22 May, 2009

The Warlord of Io Incident part zero

The comics blogosphere has been in a general state of agitation about (what I am calling) 'The Warlord of Io Incident.'

The Warlord of Io and Other Stories, was a one-shot comic, by illustrator and comics creator James Turner, published by Slave Labour Graphics.

However, when news that comics distributor, Diamond, declined to carry the planned mini-series, on the grounds of its poor sales to comic shops, it seemed to reflect a lack of confidence in the medium on the part of the very people responsible for running the industry, prompting furious debate on all sides.

Without doubt the matter raises some serious issues about the way the comics industry is run; specifically, about...
  1. retail comics as a product (their content, format and price)
  2. the publication and marketing of comics
  3. the distribution and retail of comics
Over the next few weeks, I'll review the debate and try to unpick some of these issues, starting with retail comics themselves, not as a medium, but as a product. Part one of this article - to be posted this afternoon - will look at retail comics.