ICv2 caught up with Nick Barrucci, founder and CEO of Dynamite Entertainment and sister company Dynamic Forces to talk about the state of the market and Dynamite’s place in it. In Part 3, Barrucci talks about Dynamite’s editorial plans for 2011. In Part 1, Barrucci talked about the state of the market in both comic stores and bookstores and Dynamite’s top categories. In Part 2, Barrucci discussed digital trends and the trends in comic collectibles.
What are the top three initiatives for new products or product groupings that Dynamite’s working on for 2011?
The biggest titles from Dynamite will be Kirby: Genesis, Vampirella, and The Boys. The Boys is very important because it’s one of our flagship titles. It’s one of our longest running titles along with Army of Darkness and Red Sonja. And we’re coming into the home stretch. We have about 18 more issues of The Boys regular series. We want to make sure that we end on a high note. And we also have The Boys: Butcher series which fans have been waiting for since day one, since Garth announced that he and Darick were working on it. Butcher, for those who may not know, is the main protagonist in The Boys.
Vampirella. Thank God, we’ve very well with Vampirella. Not only is the main series selling very well the Archives are doing very well. We’ve gotten tremendous write-ups from retailers like Cliff Biggers at Doctor No’s to Wayne Markley who does a column at Westfield Comics. The Archives have been doing fantastic. The Masters Series, the first two volumes are almost sold out and we’re going back to press. And we’re doing a Vampirella miniseries. We’re bringing in new talent like Joe Harris who’s never worked with Dynamite before. So we’re bringing new voices to our company and that is creating excitement. We couldn’t be happier.
A lot of people wrote Vampirella off. She was a total T&A character for the last 20 years. When the 90s hit with the T&A, it took a long time for people to not look at Vampirella as a pure T&A book. Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, a few creators attacked the character well in the way that Archie Goodwin did where they made her more than just a girl in a bikini. If you look at the depth that Archie Goodwin gave Vampirella and if you look at the way Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison, James Robinson, Millar, all these great writers, the depth they gave her -- that’s what we looked at when we acquired Vampirella. And we we’re able to launch her well. It’s one of the best selling independent comics out there right now.
Kirby: Genesis--we’ve put three years into that project. It’s a very important project for us. It’s a project that we’ve invested a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of energy. It’s a project where you’ve got Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek working together for the first time at the same level that they worked on with Marvels where they collaborated. Obviously Alex and Kurt have worked together on Astro City. Alex has done covers for the last 17 years, but they never worked together collaborating as they did on Marvels. And we have it moving forward so much so that Alex is also laying out the book and he’s painting interior pages with Jackson Herbert. We’re really giving that a huge push, and we will have some spin-offs. And I’ll use this one more time, we won’t have the same amount of spin-offs that we had on The Green Hornet. We’ll have a strong three title line-up with the main series and two additional series.
And I want to turn around to say we’re going to be rejiggering Green Hornet in the second half of this year. We’re actually going to put a lot of effort into slimming the line down for 2011 and then relaunching it in 2012 to make it a stronger line. The movie was successful enough that the collections sold really well for us. The collections continue to sell great. We overprinted the Green Hornet Year One collection by Matt Wagner by about 7,000 copies and they sold out. All the collections keep selling well for us so we have built a good market there, but we have too many periodicals that we need to slim down.
We do expect everything from Garth Ennis, like Jennifer Blood and a few other series that we have with him, to grow. And we’re going to put a lot of focus onto Warlord of Mars. Disney’s coming out with a movie in 2012. We want to have three strong trade paperbacks out by then. And you’re going to see a nice push with all of our titles.
I know I’m giving you more than three, but the impression I’m trying to leave is that we’re not just focusing on three. We know that we have three to five strong lines to push this year, and all the other titles are still important. There are also some titles that we’ll either be slowing down to be able to rejigger to be able to make them stronger again, or they’re doing really well and we’re very happy with the way they’re going.