Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Essential Cerebus

(100 Hours Internet Tour at Newsarama, February 2008)
I'm not sure if I can take credit for the trade paperback format. That takes in a lot of territory. You could probably make a persuasive argument that Joe Quesada and Paul Levitz, individually, at some point, looked at a CEREBUS trade and thought, "Okay, we can do much bigger volume than he can, so the cost per unit comes way down, presumably" and got Quebecor to price the "phone book" format. As far as I know Marvel was first into the pool with their "Essentials". Even taking into account that I had been doing it for ten years at that point, it still represents pretty innovative thinking (i.e. "We don't print in black and white: as far as we know our fans only buy colour...but is that, in fact, true?"). 

As these things tend to work, competition benefits everyone. You can say Marvel and DC "stole" my idea, but in doing so, they also broke down the barrier between colour and black-and-white and trade paperback vs. phone book. Their customers are, now, already familiar with what I'm doing whereas before they had no frame of reference for it.

If I had a lick of common sense I'd call HIGH SOCIETY "THE ESSENTIAL CEREBUS Vol.2" instead. Oh well, I'm not really known for common sense a lot of times.


M Kitchen said...

I always wished the last four volumes had black and white covers.

Jeff Seiler said...

Dave can say what he wants about the Marvel Essential reprints, but I still contend that I cannot stand to look at them. Pencils and inks made to be colored (as in most of the rest of Marvel's and DC's books) do NOT translate well to being printed in just B&W. To me, they come out muddy and unappealing. Dave and Ger drew and inked their art to be printed in B&W originally and, as such, they are nearly always crisp and clean, even in the phone book reprints. Just sayin'.