This is the second Wizard Edge special since the release of Super Real, and once again, the annual indie spotlight section doesn't include the book. I'm not here to share sour grapes, I'd love to get the book some coverage in the magazine, but realistically it had just come out by the time they were putting last years feature together. This year however, Super Real has been out for a while, received great reviews, lined up some name talent, and even campaigned on their Secret Stash and Wizard Edge forum threads. So what gives? I send every copy to the Secret Stash address, and copy editorial on all press releases, so it's not that I haven't tried, or that they aren't aware of the book, but still no love. Oh well.
As with last year, they spotlighted 40 indie titles, and a quick glance at the list tells you they include everyone outside of Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse. Widely recognized publishers like Image, Dynamite, Virgin are considered indie, and that's fine, because in today's market anything outside the big 2 are truly up against long to longer odds.
Lets go ahead and break down the entire list by publishers (and their number of listings):
Upper tier (one of four upper tier/high profile publishers with Diamond Distribution) -
Back Catalog -
AFTER HOURS PRESS: 1
ARCHAIA STUDIOS PRESS: 3
And here are the books that are self-published, or not part of a bigger publishing line (and their position in the list) -
1) Strangers In Paradise - Abstract Studio
4) Archaic - Fenickx
18) Stykman - AKA Comics
24) PS238 - Dork Storm
25) Action Philosophers - Evil Twin Comics
28) Living With Zombies
32) Ragmop - Planet Lucy Press
37) Public Enemy - American Mule Entertainment
39) Morbid Myths - Alterna Comics
40) Black Mane - One Time Press
So, that's 10 books total that aren't part of a larger publisher, or exactly 1/4 of the list. However, "indie" is a fairly gray term, especially in terms of comics, and most of the publishers outside these 10 are known as independent publishers, with the possible exception of Image, who happens to make up almost 1/4 of this years list.
In years past, the lists can be littered with books you've never heard of or seen, but oddly enough have advertising in the pages of the feature... this year that's not so much the case. Stykman and After Hours Press' Foxwood Falcons both advertised in the issue and placed on the list (at #'s 18 and 34 respectively), and Archaic is regularly advertised in the magazine (and placed #4), but there were also ads from Lost Girls (by TOP SHELF), Southside Nefertiti, and Return of the Super Pimps with no placing.
So there you have it, for whatever it's worth, that's this year's list of independent titles that receive coveted face time in, like it or not, the industries largest publication. Keep in mind, Wizard also regularly features independent titles in their Secret Stash section, and the result of coverage is negligible, with many previous featured titles seeing no discernible difference from being featured. But for me, it's a personal goal to see my book in Wizard, good or bad, it's just one of those things that many aspiring creators hope to achieve when jumping into publishing. And I'd hope to achieve coverage on the merits of the book itself, and not via paid advertising. I've no disdain for those who've potentially achieved coverage from Wizard by getting advertising, more power to them, it's just not a move I've made yet myself, but will continue to reconsider... especially for what I've got cooking later this year.
So, a big congrats to all those who made the list, I'm sure you're all deserving!
Just watch your backs for next year! ;)