|Maybe the single book I was happiest about in 2015. Happy irony!|
Looking at some articles out there from not only fans but also some retailers, it appears I'm not alone in my trepidation. One thing the market hates is uncertainty, and in 2015 the Big Two gave it to retailers and readers alike in spades. With a spate of regular series, retailers can base their orders on their regular customers and their buying habits, forecasting here and there for "new" series based on the performance of other, similar books. With a two-month-long event like Convergence, there's a degree more of uncertainty because the entire regular lineup is replaced by forty two-issue miniseries anchored by a 9-issue event series. And because Marvel must take every idea DC has and shoot it full of Gamma Rays to do it "better," they anchored a staggering 42 miniseries of indeterminate length (upon early solicitations), as well as several issues of 10 ongoing series, to their own 9, then 10-issue event series.
So, to recap: we've got big event miniseries, which usually sell gangbusters. But what happens when you tie them to countless miniseries instead of the traditional issues of ongoing series? Remember the theory to using events and crossovers in the first place: namely, to prop up flagging sales of series by tying them--unnecessarily, even--to said event. But how do retailers even begin to determine orders when juggling an event with a whole bunch of new #1 issues for series of unknown length, with no real corollaries to existing series? Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!