Slave Labor Graphics makes the headlines over on Robot Six this morning with an update on his blog, the direction of SLG, and what the realities are in the comic book business. As the industry shifts away from print to digital, there will be companies that struggle with the changeover. From all appearances, SLG is in just that situation, down to Dan Vado, some part time help, and amazingly cool back catalog from authors that are totally awesome, but little to no press coverage of the company, or the titles they are pushing out. No press means no headlines, means no readers, and it falls to smaller and larger sites to write about the problems with the company rather than focus on the authors that will be impacted by what SLG is doing. As robot six reports, they are only going to publish a few titles a year now, and are looking for other ways of getting money so that they can stay afloat.
This is where their Kickstarter campaign comes into play. They want to rehab their physical site so that it can be more of a night club, rock show, art gallery in hopes of remaining afloat and funneling money back into not just their operating costs, but the comic book authors themselves. The Kickstarter project has six days to go, and is only 20% funded as of this morning.
Cue the Video:
We have done business with SLG since we started, and appreciate the things they are doing in the independent comic book market. So beyond the normal appeal to help out if you can, really the comic book business for smaller publishers is going to remain interesting for the foreseeable future. While we might revel in digital abundance, the reality is that the margins are so thin on digital sales and on physical sales you need just a couple of bad print runs and that is pretty much so it for the company. It is my sincere hope that SLG remains a viable business, and I do agree with Dan Vado that there has to be other avenues of making money that go well beyond the standard print, sell, comic book store model we have today. This includes online sales as well, we have to write something that is not just overly compelling, but we have to compete with everyone else who has an interest in what we are doing, and if we don’t provide our items in the manner they want, will go ahead and make it the way they want it themselves.
While we really want to have SLG survive, and we want them to have some success with their Kickstarter project, the realities of the comic book business are evident with the smaller publishers. If you have a little time and a couple of bucks, might want to head on over to their Kickstarter project, they need a hand, and this is a company that is worth preserving. Where else are you going to get Johnny the Homicidal Maniac or other awesome things from people who would otherwise not get published?
- SLG Publishing Endures Infinite Crises of Drunks, Rats and Urine [Video] (comicsalliance.com)
- Homeland by Chip Buchanan (comicsforge.com)
- Heart of a Corpse Beats at SLG Publishing (graphicpolicy.com)
- Dan Vado on SLG’s evolving business model (robot6.comicbookresources.com)
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