THE SMALL 5
It used to be easy: the “Big Two” in comic books referred to the two biggest guns in the world of super hero publishing, Marvel and DC. Then the Nineties happened and everybody had to amend the playing field to make room for “The Big Three,” meaning Marvel, DC and the new upstart Image. My favorite publisher is unabashedly Dark Horse, and they often have a strong presence in the marketplace, as well.
Everybody who knows comic books knows these companies. There are a handful of smaller publishers who continue to share a good portion of the spoils while still remaining obscure or seemingly outdated. Let’s take a look at a few of these fellows in “The Small Five.”
You know who they are, but what you don’t know is they still move titles. This week they have Betty and Veronica Double Digest #182, as well as Sonic the Hedgehog #214 and Veronica #201. Look out, Deadpool, Veronica could give you a run for the money as far as titles per week goes!
See, parents will always buy Archie comics for their kids, especially daughters. These titles are selling because they fill a niche no one else wants to touch: dependable all ages, all gendered comics, a.k.a. cheap family entertainment.
Archie and friends are doing fine!
These guys work hard! Dynamite is hustling all licenses it can to keep comic books going, from classic characters like Buck Rogers, The Green Hornet and the Phantom to movie, TV and video-game titles like Army of Darkness, Xena and Prince of Persia. This week alone they’re offering Queen Sonja #9, based on sword-and-sorcery queen Red Sonja, and Prince of Persia #1.
Following the Dark Horse method of using your licensed books to pay for your vanity and creator owned projects, Dynamite is ALSO offering the week Kevin Smith on writing duties with Kato #3, as well as licensed books pay for the creator owned books like, reprints of Howard Chaykin’s Black Kiss GN and a collection of Garth Ennis’s The Boys (The Boys Limited Edition HC).
We all have a couple of Dynamite books in our collections. Some of them are amazing, some of them just “are.” No, they’re not always great, but they are always representing the small comics studio done good!
Same as Dynamite, only with some more success of late: The Angel comics, Transformers and G.I. Joe, Dr. Who and more! IDW’s roster of licenses is top notch! This week alone they have G.I. Joe Hearts and Minds #2, written by World War Z and the Zombie Survival Guide’s author Max Brooks and drawn by the legendary Howard Chaykin. HIM again.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg for these guys. That’s quality merchandise, and that’s how IDW is winning the comics war. Get on board or get out of their way.
THE SMALL GUYS
That’s three of the “Small Five,” and they’re all doing bank! I’m out of room for this week, but I think I made my point: Try some small frys.
Comics is still the best value entertainment has to offer! Even small companies can share in the rewards of telling fun stories at cheap prices! Go Comics, Go!