The First In An Ongoing Series of Firsts

I’ve long said that one of the things troubling the comics industry these days is the obsession with number #1. This goes for both the publishers and the comics buyers.

I can understand the publisher point of view. Time and time again, we see huge spikes in sales when series are re-started with a new #1 issue, or the first issue of a new ongoing series. So naturally, they want to capitalize on that. The problem is that after they are done patting themselves on the back for selling all these issues (many of which are to speculators who buy multiple copies, I might add), they tend to turn away from the series, leaving it’s sales to drop (sometimes as much as 50%) with issues #2, #3 and so on until the series is cancelled and relaunched with a new #1. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The fan point of view is different, but not much better. I’ve heard time and time again from people, both in my store and out of it, “if I can’t start with #1, I don’t want to read it.” This kind of attitude blows my mind, especially in the world we live in where second printings are made available for order the same day the issue comes out and at the very least almost everything new is available digitally. So, publishers hear that people only want to start with #1’s and the cycle is complete.

One of my favourite series ever is the classic Preacher. I started that series with issue #7. Not because I was waiting for a story arc, or a number one, but because it looked interesting to me. I picked it up, read it and even though I didn’t know every little detail of what was happening, I enjoyed it enough to want to know more. That’s what it’s all about. I could care less about the number on a book as long as the pages within are quality and worth my $3.99. If a book is good enough, any given issue of that series should spark the desire to read more. The rest is easy to fill in.

Today’s spectacular first issue comes to us from Paul Salvi:

Paul Salvi is an attractive, successful artist.  He lives in a nice part of Baltimore, contemplates suicide very infrequently, and strives every moment of his life to make himself better and better, to the best of his ability, that all may profit from it.  Twitter: @headzo.

Have a great weekend, Everyone! See you back here Tuesday!


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