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No More 'Writing to Trade'

Six-Issue Story Arcs Blamed for Industry Malaise

Published: 06/27/2011, Last Updated: 06/28/2011 01:22am
A report from the first DC Roadshow meeting with retailers indicates that among the key behind-the-scenes changes at DC editorial as part of its “New 52” campaign is the abolition of the concept of “writing to trade”—that is creating all comic book story arcs in 6 or 12-issue increments to facilitate their publication as trade paperbacks. 

Fans have long complained that story arcs were padded out to six-issue length with additional dialogue, and in their survey of what was lacking in the contemporary comics world, the DC editors felt that comics have become too dialogue heavy and decided that writers should compose their narratives more organically and not try to stretch or cram them into six-issue straightjackets.
 
Retailer Mike Gendreau of Modern Myths of Northampton, Massachusetts provided an excellent summary of the DC Roadshow for Bleeding Cool.  In addition to allowing writers the freedom to create well-paced stories of whatever length, and the usual “guarantees” that the books involved in the new publishing initiative would all ship on time, DC Co-Publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee also indicated that acting on the theory of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the publisher’s Green Lantern and Batman titles will basically continue where they left off when the return in September.  Evidently with the Green Lantern and Batman titles, the only substantive change will be in the numbering of the issues. 

DC also promised to spiff up its trade dress for post "New 52" releases and to create a better spine design that will help fans identify a volume's contents.
 
 
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