This is why I ♥ Brandon Graham

"As much as I understand a lot of books just arent worth getting in monthly chunks... I'm trying to make stuff to be read in issues."
-Brandon Graham
Most comicbook scholars (stop laughing) agree that the monthly comic is in serious decline. The giant companies are still propping it up and comic shops are pretty much built on serving the weekly traffic of comix nerds showing up to bleed their pull boxes, but it's a foregone conclusion that graphic novels and trades are taking over even hardcore nerds' buying habits. I resist this trend whenever possible. When I'm making money, nothing pleases me more than picking up a bunch of random issues at the local shop, but the reality is that many of those comics aren't worth returning to the next month, and when money's tight, buying a couple nice fat trade paperbacks is a better use of the same bread. In fact, even a good comic is probably a better read in the trade format unless it is specifically designed not to be. But in an economy where readers are increasingly predisposed to tradewaiting*, you'd hafta be crazy to do that, right?
Yes. And Brandon Graham is just the right kind of crazy. After rapping up the twelve issue King City, Brandon has returned to his post-apocalyptic Russian werewolf love story Multiple Warheads, in which he fully intends to create comics that actually read better in single servings. One weapon he will have in his arsenal are his eye-melting double page spreads, which work a whole lot better in single, floppy issues than in the Trade Paperback format. He's also sticking to the upsized issues he used on King City, but fortunately will do Multiple Warheads in color, which will probably help it sales-wise. The larger size really helps Graham's fun, ornate environments pull readers into the story and invest them in his imaginary-yet-familiar world.
Don't get me wrong: Trades and OGN's are taking over (and don't even get me STARTED on the web, iPads, etc)... but comics that are intended to work as periodicals can still survive in the multiplicity of formats that is the modern world of comics... IF they are properly designed! So it's good to see that Brandon understands the benefits and features (to use salespeak) of the format!
Carry on...


Ian Cook said...

Before I even knew about Brandon Graham, every comic I bought was in trade and OGN format. After I read King City and his Prophet #26, not only have been following his work but I started collecting single-issue comics for the first time ever. For some reason, his uncommon brand of cool comics had a long term effect on me. Thank you, Brandon :)

samax amen said...

Brandon is definitely a designer drug. My friends are probably not as crazy about him as I am, but his particular brand of comics encourages and rewards multiple readings. That made a big fan out of me!

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