Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Things that aren't going to appear in the limited print run version of THE HOLIDAY MEN, Episode One

(DAN VAN COOL - I'd love to make it out to a Drink and Draw or three, but living in Edmonton kinda hampers my ability to do so. One of these days I'll be back in Calgary at the right time...

And now, the actual post:)

As you may or may not know, and may or may not care, one of the more common business plans for small press comics publishers these days is to put out comics that are intended less as comics than as movie pitches. What these people seem to be doing is pinning their hopes on some rich producer sweeping in and saving their bottom line from the savage indifference of the direct market by giving the publisher and possibly even the creators,a lot of money for the right to turn the comic into a film or television show.

I'm not opposed to the idea of creators, or even publishers, making money by licensing rights out this way, but I sometimes wish that they weren't quite so blatantly convinced there's no way publishing comics and JUST publishing comics could possibly be worthwhile, from a business standpoint. It's hard to be a pie-in-the-sky idealist when a substantial number of comic publishers are more interested in their "intellectual property" than their "comics/graphic novels/books" or even their comics' "characters and stories."

Anyway, it seemed to me that it'd be funny if, in the print version of THE HOLIDAY MEN Episode One we're planning to do, Nick and I took on the role of exaggeratedly shameless hucksters looking to make some of that long Hollywood green, in a full-page ad supposedly aimed at prospective producers and publishers of a HOLIDAY MEN-based project that'd involve more than a couple hundred copies, if that. I even asked my managers if I could use their logos and contact information as part of the ad, to add to the sense of realism.

My publishing manager was OK with the idea, until he read what I wanted to put in the ads. Then he strongly advised me not to do it.

STRONGLY advised.

I figure there's not much point having managers if you aren't going to listen to them, so the bit's been cut and will be replaced by something else (hopefully an ad for something "real"--we'll see.)

But I think, and Nick and even my manager agree, that what I wrote was funny. So of course I'm going to post the text here, so you can judge for yourself.

Here's the one aimed at Hollywood producers:

"As Funny as V FOR VENDETTA, more senselessly violent than GHOST WORLD, and slightly less homoerotic than 300, THE HOLIDAY MEN has all the elements needed to become a breakout summer blockbuster, but one: YOU, an established, respected, and, if you don't mind my saying, quite handsome for your age Executive Producer with the foresight, good taste, and gross overabundance of wealth and power to get it greenlit."

And for non-small press publishers:

"With art that could be considered to be in the incredibly popular manga style if you were half-blind and had never seen a manga before, and a writer who's been compared to Stephen King (in that he also got run over by a truck), THE HOLIDAY MEN would make an invaluable addition to any publishing house's catalogue, especially the catalogue of a publishing house that's willing to give the creators an extremely reasonable five figure advance."

In retrospect, I guess I can see why people who are actually seriously engaged in trying to generate income from the intellectual property that is THE HOLIDAY MEN might not want those blurbs to appear in what will hopefully be a decent sales tool. But the lesson I take away from this?

Next time, print first and ask the managers what they think later.


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