Friday, March 06, 2009

SUPER REAL NOTES: Super Real on again, off again

Okay, this update is a bit late, as the current Diamond Previews catalog came out over a week ago now, but with Wondercon last weekend and prepping for it last week, I simply ran out of time to touch on this until now...

Super Real: Cast Change, aka issue four, aka the final issue, will NOT be released via Diamond.

As many know, Diamond recently changed their sales thresholds for independent publishers, and this issue of Super Real, although approved after the change was announced by Diamond, was still a casualty of it. Why it was initially approved, only to be undone, after I'd begun communicating the books release, is unfortunate, and frustrating, but simply how it came about.

So, even though I'd previously announced the book would be solicited in the March Previews catalog, for a May release to comic book shops via Diamond distribution, that is no longer the case.

The comic book direct market has been evolving into a more difficult landscape for independent books to achieve any kind of success for years, and that is increasingly becoming more the case. This latest change from Diamond only escalates that. Since Super Real was set up with Diamond in late 2005, the market has gotten tougher and tougher, with the large publishers, Marvel and DC, focusing their efforts on massive crossovers, and weekly books, etc, to suck up as many dollars as possible. Couple that with rising cover prices (Super Real number 1 was $3.25, a then high price point in November of 2005, and a standard color comic is now $3.99), a crashing economy, and a massive amount of competing material, and the writing was on the wall. There was not a future for Super Real as a periodical in the direct market (and in fact, increasingly, no market for periodical comics outside of Marvel and DC). I had hoped though, to combine the final 2 issues of our story into one release and complete what I had started. That will not be happening though, at least via Diamond, and for that I'm truly sorry.

However, it is not the end for Super Real, as I've mentioned time and again, it was always a closed-ended story arc, and I'm fully dedicated to finishing that story, both for me, and of course, the fans. It just means it will be reaching the public in a different way. I will still complete the super-sized cast change special, our sixth issue overall (aka Episode VI: The Cast Strike Back), and fourth and fifth regular series issues in essence. It will most likely be released both directly via print (online, at conventions, and in comic shops via Haven Distribution), but also for download online via the website. In roughly the same time frame as originally intended for Diamond Distribution. I will of course announce once schedules and plans are finalized.

Additionally, I hope to offer the complete series as a collected trade paperback/graphic novel. More on that later.

So, again, I'm sorry if you're awaiting the book, and this is another set back, but in time it will see release, and we'll all get to have some closure to our story. Then hopefully, down the road, when we look in the rear view, all of this will be irrelevant, and we'll have what I hope is a unique comic story and vision all can be proud of, that fans new and old can discover moving forward.

The future is now with comics, and I'm ready and willing to embrace it. It just came a touch sooner than I and others had expected. These are exciting times though, and with digital and new formats and models of delivery, the future is definitely bright!

Thanks as always for your support, and STAY TUNED!

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