Traditionell führt die website ICv2 einmal jährlich längere Interviews mit den "Machern" der größeren US -Comic Book - Verlage (wie etwa Dark Horse, DC, Marvel etc.).
In diesem Jahr nun feiern Dark Horse Comics ihren 30. Geburtstag; daher liegt eines der Hauptaugenmerke des diesjährigen Interviews mit Dark Horse Comics Gründer und CEO Mike Richardson auf diesem Jubiläum. Der Verlag, dem die Fans nicht nur die ersten wirklich mit Liebe zum Detail gemachten Film-Comics verdanken ("Star Wars", "Aliens" usw.), aber eben auch Mignola's "Hellboy", Pini's "Elfquest" Neu-Auflage (sowie deren gelungener Fortsetzung), das mehrfach preisgekrönte "Dark Horse Presents"- Anthology Comic, "Big Guy", "Shaolin Cowboy", "Groo" u.v.m.!
Richardson reflektiert über die Zeit -Mitte der 80er Jahre- und den damaligen Zustand der US- Comic Book Industrie, den Vertrieb -damals und heute- und einiges anderes mehr.
icv2: " ... You talked about the audience and the content and the creators. What about the distribution?"
Mike Richardson: "The market has changed dramatically as far as the distribution of comics. When I started our first retail store, we bought a lot of our product from the local ID [Independent Distributor], the local magazine wholesalers that filled the racks at local grocery or variety stores (there aren’t any variety stores anymore either). Where you saw spinner racks, or magazine racks, those were generally filled by an ID. That was a whole different market. They don’t even distribute comic books anymore, but that was a huge part of the market.
When we couldn’t get comics through the direct market sales system we’d go down to our local ID and pick up bundles of them. I remember when (DC Comics') Man of Steel came out. (It’s hard to remember what a big deal that was at the time, but for those who don’t remember, Man of Steel # 1 was the relaunch of the whole Superman myth. DC had finally decided that their whole continuity had gotten too convoluted so they decided to start fresh. So Man of Steel #1 was where Superman was going to start. They did the first Crisis on Infinite Earths, but Man of Steel was the first Superman comic.) ....
....Now, as you know, the direct sales market is where the pamphlets are sold and Diamond is the only distributor. In those days there were 19 distributors when we got into the business. Now there’s one, so that’s a dramatic change. That change from 19 direct sales distributors to one and the loss of the ID market has had a big effect on us as a publisher, and every publisher, from the way things used to be. When there was competition among 19 different entities vying for your business, they were all concerned that they would not have enough books to service their retail clients. They wanted to make sure they had them, so every distributor over-ordered the books 10 - 20% (no more than that if they were smart)...."
Das komplette lesenswerte Interview findet ihr auf icv2!
In Teil 1 erzählt Richardson von den Dark Horse -Anfängen bzw. wie sehr sich die US-Comic Book-Landschaft seither verändert hat... In Teil 2 wird ein Blick auf den derzeitigen Dark Horse -Verlag und seinen Output an Comicheftchen und Graphic Novels geworfen... sowie ein Blick in die Zukunft gewagt!