Comix Engine 4
A 90-page publication, 3 times a year.
That's what I seem to be honing in on right now. It would include: – 52 pages of comix: * 36 constituting one act of a single feature * 12 constituting a self-contained backup story (which I think works better than four 3-page self contained comix as suggested in Comix Engine 1) * 4 pages for story breaks, etc. – 48 pages of prose: * 16 constituting one short story * 16 constituting four 4-page micro stories * 14 constituting four 4-page essays – 2 pages of art: * perhaps a double-page spread of something that falls more in line with contemporary art than the heavily illustrated representation stuff often seen in comicbooks?
I'm starting to wonder though whether that much prose would be seen as a plus or minus? Is it better to include something other than prose in those 48 pages?
As far as the comix component is concerned, there's no way to go above the 52 pages, at least not at my current drawing pace.
Funding-wise, I've discussed in Comix Engine 1 how a minimum of $68,000 U.S. in the bank would be wise before even attempting to put pen to paper.
My initial estimate for retail price was $10, but it now looks like going below $15 would be difficult. And I'm not entiiiiirely sure 15 bucks for a 90-page black and white publication is something potential readers would be interested in (help?).
My dilapidated mathematics tell me I'd need a minimum of 3,800 regular readers for this to be a sustainable endeavor. Which in principle isn't an outrageous goal, but is considered rather ambitious in the current climate of independent comicbook publishing.
Allow me to clarify: The latest TANK GIRL (published by Titan) sold about 3,856 units. Todd McFarlane's SPAWN sold a meager 2,996 units! Even Marvel's GHOST RIDER has fallen well below 2000 units (as has their CAPTAIN MARVEL). Titan, McFarlane, and Marvel are all heavyweights who have way better resources and distribution pull than I'll ever manage. So, the numbers just aren't looking very optimistic.
(But then again, Michel Fiffe's COPRA moved 4,594 units!)