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WAITING FOR TOMMY: JOSH BLAYLOCK
By Richard Johnston

RICHARD: Isn't the process accelerated for franchise nostalgia properties though? Aren't your sales way lower than what you initially experienced - and in a very short time indeed?
JOSH: There's no doubt about that. Nostalgia wears off quickly. We're not selling what we once were, but to our credit, you don't get to issue 28 by riding a fad. TWENTY-EIGHT. That's something I'm extremely proud of. It does become more important to bring in bigger name creators for special events as time goes on. With issue 22, the return of Serpentor, we were already expecting high sell-through, but we added a Mike Turner cover and ended up seeing a major boost in the long term sales. We're planning an even bigger tie-in to be announced soon.

It's ironic, that when people are hot for nostalgia, big name creators don't really make a difference - people want the nostalgia and that's that, and it doesn't seem to make a difference in sales.

RICHARD: Dreamwave was the first studio to split from Image, using a big name licence as the impetus to form an independent company. Devil's Due followed in that path, but has also gathered others, such as Udon and Roaring to its cause. What lessons did DD learn from DW?
JOSH: Don't grow too fast. We've grown fast, but I've tried to keep a tight reign on things so they don't spiral out of control. I'm not saying they're out of control. I just know they had to cancel a lot of books a while back. On the other side, they were an example of just how successful one could be as a self publisher. That the advantages could outweigh the disadvantages by far.

 

G.I. JOE LITHOGRAPH - SNAKE EYES VS. STORM SHADOW: THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN BY PAINTER DAVID MICHAEL BECK - SIGNED PERSONALIZED AND RE-MARKED BY THE ARTIST

RICHARD: You seem to have grown by absorbing other studios into your publication plans. With reports of Udon working on Thundercats, and Roaring Studios picking up more fantasy titles, are is still in a position to control the spiral from your co-studios? And is there room for a little 88MPH?
JOSH: We're not out to scoop up everyone and their mother's studio. Only if it makes the company stronger, and feels right. I've also publicly stated that I felt Voltron was the last "80's" property worth snagging, and want to move on. 2004 is the year that people stop referring to us as "that 80's studio," and the same goes for G.I.Joe.

RICHARD: Talking of moving on, certain. members of Devil's Due have been quite prominent of their criticism of ex-publisher Image Comics. Friendly rivalry along the lines of Stan Lee's "Brand Echhh' and 'Distinguished Competition' or does it run deeper?
JOSH: Hey, obviously there were problems, or we'd probably still be there. Things are changing, though, but I don't know if it's still the best option for a studio like us. We're blowin' up, and takin' people along for the ride. We could be BIGGER than Image in a year, who knows?

The people who really went off were freelance associates, or members of studios affiliated with us, but not us directly. I wasn't happy with the situation at the time, but I'm not looking to blow up bridges and remove any chance of working together in some fashion again. I have a good open dialogue with a lot of people at Image, and there's no need to ruin that.

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 Continued Here...

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