Monday, May 9, 2016

Catching up on Comics with CGraig: The Manhattan Projects

The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond The Stars #2-4 (2015-2016)

I've noticed more than a few creator-owned books have gone from being regular series to mini-series format.  Think Tank, Life After, and The Manhattan Projects are all books I've read their full run but have been negligent in picking up their follow-up books.  I don't think this would have happened if they were still ongoing.  I would have made sure that I had the next issue of an ongoing I was reading.  It's long been stated in comics retail that mini-series don't sell as well as ongoing series which is why DC and Marvel tend to offer up left-of-center things like Prez and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur as ongoing rather than as minis.  But I wonder if there's a different attitude these days at the indie or smaller presses, where they can sell (and make money selling) 4000-8000 copies of a title regardless of whether it's an ongoing or regular series.  Is it the case when your likely selling as many copies of a series run in trade paperback that it's indistinguishable on the trade shelf wheter a book was the next volume of an ongoing or a subsequent mini?

If I look at the "unread" stack beside the bed (which isn't so much a pile anymore, but an easily flip-through-able row of books on a bookshelf beside the bed) I notice most of the titles remaining unread are either mini-series I'm waiting to finish or ongoing series I prefer to read in arcs rather than issue by issue.  I really should be trade waiting on most of these books but then I'm thoroughly entrenched in the Wednesday habit so it's kind of easier (if a tad more expensive) to do it this way. Plus I still get a charge out of buying floppies that I just don't get from trades.  I'm rarely as excited to dive into a trade as I am into a new floppy. And reading a run of floppies is so much better than reading a trade.  The ritual of getting to the end of one floppy, rebagging it, and unbagging the next one is kind of like a mini-Christmas.  It's certainly a more interesting process than just turning a page to continue a story.  It's just too bad floppies don't look as good on a shelf and aren't as easy to lend out.  Plus I'm much more protective of my floppies than my trades, the old collector mentality.

The Manhattan Projects: The Sun Beyond The Stars is a characteristically weird entry in the MP series.  It looks like Hickman and Pitarra are using the mini-series format to tell a concentrated story centered on a subset of the cast rather than continue the ongoing story of the entire cast. I'm not dissatisfied but I quite miss the more sprawling scope and erratic nature of the ongoing, not to mention the character glossary that each issue contained was a great part of its charm.  I'm in for pretty much anything Hickman does so lets just say I liked the mini-series format plenty, just not quite as much as when it was ongoing.

No comments: