365 Reasons to Love Comics #261
I have a proposition for you, my friends. As you well know by this column occasionally disappearing, I’m having scheduling issues– more to the point, I am swamped in this thing men call reality. Even more to the point– I’m looking for good men and women to do some fill-ins. I’ve let the readers decide the direction of the column quite often, though we’ve surely butted heads a few times– but now I’m letting the readers write the column. Let it be known that this blog is the ultimate interactive experience!
Anyway, I know there are Reasons you’d like to see that maybe I’m not a big fan of, or that I don’t know much about. If you’d like to write a Reason, pitch me ideas by dropping me an e-mail or leaving a comment or flying one of those planes with the banners dragging behind it or sending up smoke signals or whatever you’d like to do.
Quick one today– instead of talking about characters or creators, let’s talk about format. (Archive.)
261. Image Slimline
Oh, Image Slimline format. How art thou awesome? Let me count the ways:
1. Great creators: Really, when Warren Ellis comes to your company and decides to invent a new way to publish comics, you let him. No one thinks about comics format more than Mr. Ellis. And when Matt Fraction pops in and says “Hey, that looks awesome. Can I do one?” you let him bloody do one. With Fell and Casanova, they’re giving us two of the best comics being published. And when paired with fantastic artists like Ben Templesmith and Gabriel BÃ¡ and Fabio Moon, the result could be nothing but good comics. And that’s not all! Coming next year, Corey Lewis of snazzy books like Peng and Sharknife will be bringing us Pinapl, which sounds cool. More on that in this CBR interview.
2. Price: This is the big one though, isn’t it? Each Slimline book is only two dollars, which make them the cheapest new comic singles on the stands. Yeah, you’re getting 16 pages as opposed to 22, but you won’t notice. For two bucks, you’re more likely to try a book out and find out you love it. That’s what happened to me with Casanova, and it’s become my favorite series that isn’t All Star Superman.
3. Content: As I mentioned in #2, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. Fell and Casanova are super-compressed masterworks that tell wonderfully dense stories in only 16 pages. And with Fell and Cass, you’re getting a story that stands on its own as a complete issue. In today’s world of long, drawn-out story arcs and infinite tie-ins, it’s great to find a single issue that stands as a complete experience. It also helps that the stories are actually good. Fell and Casanova both deserve their own Reasons, and will probably receive them one day.
4. Diversity: Look ma, no superheroes! Currently, the Slimline seems to house cool new twists on genres– with Fell, we’ve got a detective story where the edge is turned up to 11. With Casanova, the “superspy” genre is pumped up with amphetamines and set loose in a world that fears it, but needs it. Then there’s the upcoming Pinapl, which defies explanation but involves big action and vampirates.
5. Backmatter: I love when writers talk about their process, and that’s why I love the backmatter. This is the stuff that hooks me– and it forces me to buy the singles, ’cause the trades don’t include it. Discussions on how and why the book is made, preliminary art, letters from smart readers– it’s all good.
I really want nothing more than to pen my own Slimline comic. It’s a marvelous format, and I hope to see it expand, as well as continue to blow me away with brilliant new comics.
Thanks to Ian Astheimer for doing my thinking for me and suggesting today’s topic. He knows what’s good.