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Keeping Hellblazer Alive

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Well we know that Hellblazer will be around for at least a little over a year with Denise Mina's 13 issue tenure. But after that? What would you do as editor of Hellblazer to increase circulation of the title? Not necessarly what you think the stories should be about but how would you get more people to pick up the issues or trades?

 

Personally I'm assuming that the sales figures increase somewhat under Mina so I would keep the same idea of getting an up and coming novelist or comic writer to do self contained 6 to 12 issue runs. Something that can be easily sold in trades. Of course getting word of mouth, especially in the internet community, is important. Cross promotion with the series of novels should get some of the sci-fi/horror novel reading demographic to at least try one of the trades or issues. Advertising in something other than the comic-book periodicals should be a must.

 

Sometimes it seems that Hellblazer is just kind of taken for granted in the comic book community and such disinterest almost killed it during the Jenkins run so what would you do to keep the book from avoiding such a fate.

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Well we know that Hellblazer will be around for at least a little over a year with Denise Mina's 13 issue tenure.  But after that?  What would you do as editor of Hellblazer to increase circulation of the title?  Not necessarly what you think the stories should be about but how would you get more people to pick up the issues or trades?

 

Personally I'm assuming that the sales figures increase somewhat under Mina so I would keep the same idea of getting an up and coming novelist or comic writer to do self contained 6 to 12 issue runs.  Something that can be easily sold in trades.  Of course getting word of mouth, especially in the internet community, is important.  Cross promotion with the series of novels should get some of the sci-fi/horror novel reading demographic to at least try one of the trades or issues.  Advertising in something other than the comic-book periodicals should be a must.

 

Sometimes it seems that Hellblazer is just kind of taken for granted in the comic book community and such disinterest almost killed it during the Jenkins run so what would you do to keep the book from avoiding such a fate.

 

Zombies, dude. Lots of zombies.

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Well we know that Hellblazer will be around for at least a little over a year with Denise Mina's 13 issue tenure.  But after that?  What would you do as editor of Hellblazer to increase circulation of the title?  Not necessarly what you think the stories should be about but how would you get more people to pick up the issues or trades?

 

Personally I'm assuming that the sales figures increase somewhat under Mina so I would keep the same idea of getting an up and coming novelist or comic writer to do self contained 6 to 12 issue runs.  Something that can be easily sold in trades.  Of course getting word of mouth, especially in the internet community, is important.  Cross promotion with the series of novels should get some of the sci-fi/horror novel reading demographic to at least try one of the trades or issues.  Advertising in something other than the comic-book periodicals should be a must.

 

Sometimes it seems that Hellblazer is just kind of taken for granted in the comic book community and such disinterest almost killed it during the Jenkins run so what would you do to keep the book from avoiding such a fate.

 

Idea 2:

 

Special guest star:Mr. T!

 

Synopsis-A crack demon terrorized the streets of new york. Enter John Constantine. Together with Mr. T, the magician says no to drugs....with magic!

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I have been encouraging people to pick it up for ages now. Plugging to as many people as possible.

 

So far I have convinced one person to pick up a couple of trades.

 

I think I need to talk to more people.

 

I think more trades are the way to go.More self contained stories that can be sold in bookshops.

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Whilst I clearly have no idea what I'm talking about, it might be an idea to actually trade all the Jenkins issues - plus any outstanding issues. It may not help, but it surely can't hurt if new readers can access the whole of the backstory. This presumably would show their is enough financial interest out there for the title to strengthen. Follow that up with, as Keeyah and Andy say, trading shorter titles by known names.

 

It's tricky, becasue I feel, personally, that Hellblazer walks a tricky path. On the one hand it's a horror comic - but not one that is base enough to appeal to gore-hounds, as it is too cerebral and short on action, yet it's subject matter seems almost to dumb for those who think they are well read. The ideal audience, I would have thought.

 

I do think it's too clever, too unique to ever have mass-appeal, you can't cross over enough for kids for instance, and that harms the sales. If Constanteen is what the masses expect, Hellblazer has no chance.

 

BUT I know fuck all about comics, so please don't all point out how more difficult reads have widestream appeal, because I won't have a clue.

 

I did say I had no idea what I was talking about. :biggrin:

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If I were in charge of it and wanted to gain mass-market appeal, I would organise a major Hollywood motion picture, starring some high-profile actor with whom The Kids will identify - perhaps Keanu Reeves or someone like him... oh.

 

In seriousness, I think a better approach to trades is needed. I'm not sure how well a complete run would go down (though I'd surely buy it, personally), but complete runs of at least Delano and (whisper it) Azzarello would certainly garner some attention. Doubtless some demand for a complete run of trades is there - witness the constant availability of 'Complete Hellblazer' torrents; people certainly want to read it. In some ways, I wonder if the title would be a good target for a DC foray into digital delivery.

I do like the idea that up-and-coming novelists should take self-contained runs for the foreseeable future - not least because it fuels my wee fantasy of getting to write it one day (yes, I have to become up-and-coming first :blink: ).

 

Of course, it has to come to an end eventually; I really hope it hits #300 before it does. Or at least its 20th birthday. It'd be nice. No idea how I'd go about the final curtain, narrative-wise, mind.

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i think that if the movie had been more faithful to the comic book it would have encouraged people who saw the movie but didnt know about the comic to pick it up to see what is all about.

 

 

Actually i dont care if people who dont know the book pick it upo or not...i just want them to make a new movie with an english-blonde-stinglooking-chainsmoking-trenchcoated bastard and not with fucking keannu reeves goddammit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

whos with me,i say we set warner bros studios on fire!!!!

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but complete runs of ... Azzarello would certainly garner some attention.

 

Ummm...

 

Azzarello's the only HB writer thus far to have had his complete run traded already. At this rate, it looks like Mike Carey'll be the second. After that, who knows?

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but complete runs of ... Azzarello would certainly garner some attention.

 

Ummm...

 

Azzarello's the only HB writer thus far to have had his complete run traded already. At this rate, it looks like Mike Carey'll be the second. After that, who knows?

 

Beg yer pudding, meant Jenkins. Am retarded :p

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I don't think Hellblazer will ever be in the top 20 but there's no reason it couldn't be Vertigo's top seller. It's usually been a solid seller but never the flagship title. Yet if there's a comic that a new reader can easily jump into it's Hellblazer. Unlike say X-Men or tv shows such as Lost or Buffy there arn't a whole lot of characters one needs to keep straight. It's just John Constantine and you only need to know the basics about him. While not as iconic as Superman or Batman, Constantine is still a malleable figure and can be used in many new ways while still keeping him the same character.

 

Anyway I'm basically trying to create some discussion that's isn't about the movie and am interested on some ideas on how to keep the Constantine the character and Hellblazer the title alive and moving forward without things becoming tired and formulatic.

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I think a Gem Constantine spin-off could work if it's done right.

 

I'm not sure there is much ground left to cover with John though. Hopefully there are some writers out there who have a few new things to say though and it can carry on a while longer.

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Hellblazer is the book I most often recommend to those wanting a non-superhero monthly.

I think the lack of trade consistency is part of the problem. If someone is interested in Hellblazer, they may want to check out past issue via trades. With the way DC is handling things, that new potential fan is unable to do so.

But there is also the issue of DC not really pushing Hellblazer the "flag ship" title DC claims it is. The kind of messed up with the movie. Yes, there was some cross marketing, but new fans exposed to Hellblazer by the movie most likely found something different than advertised. With the X-Men, fans drawn by the movie found mutants fighting for good in a world that hates and fears them in both comic and movie. This did not happen with Hellblazer. In the comic you have an English mystical con man that often uses his wits, many times giving the big finger to Heaven and Hell; but in the movie you have a L.A. surfer dude exorcist with a special power who wants salvation and to just be a good boy.

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i think those who didnt get into the comic trough the film wouldnt have been even if its a good adaptation, because if someones a person with respect or hunger for knowledge or just with plain curiosity, they would have checked it out and, if they like comics as medium, gotten into hb. i mean, the "normal people". but not everyone is normal. altough, there sure were exceptions. or i dont know, but how many people got into sin city or batman, spiderman etc. with the films, if not interested in comics overall?

i dont think that the jc in the movie was as you described btw, but lets not argue, thats not the thread for that. and, it hadnt got a big campaign like other titles had, not in comics, not in film. i mean, germany and austria and switzerland arent a small market but there are just 8 translated trades of hb here, and almost no one knows them, they are in one library in vienna, and just taken from me.

maybe they should make a bit more advertising and hire in every country translators to have them at least available. or make smaller appereances in wider known titles, or releasing some excerpts on the medium paper, or some books with not just hb in it.

and i dont think it would be a big deal if they would make more trades, because many do like them more than to collect the monthly titles, because its cheaper, handier, and a higher qualitative product.

the tone itself is set. they could try at least.

but what do i know.

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Quality of the movie aside, from what I've heard just about everyone who came onto the comic via the film has enjoyed the comic and was able to differentiate between the two.

 

And I think there are plenty of Constantine stories to tell. They just might have to be a little different so each story doesn't become formulaic like the Bond films.

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i dont really know how profitable it would be for dc,but you gus have a point....hb hasnt been edited in some countries,and getting the imports may be a little expensive for some people.For example,i live in argentina,where three american dollars are equivalent to only one argentinian peso, so i have to pay almost 15 pesos for a monthly issue of HB,wich is ridiculous,its too expensive...not to mention triying to buy a trade,almost 80 pesos!!!!........and there is not even an argentinian edition of HB,you can only get the spanish(form spain,hehe) editions,and not everithing is collected.So we have two problems here,that a lot of peopple cant read in english and on the other side that buying HB in some countries such as mine is too expensive.

altough dc has made a deal with a book company to edit superman/batman and identity crisis at a reasonable price, but you cant get vertigo or most of DC apart from buyin the us imports,and as i said.reaaaallyyyy expensive.

 

So to finish,DC should consider publishing their book at a reasonable price in some parts of the world

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Guest spiderlegs
Hellblazer is the book I most often recommend to those wanting a non-superhero monthly.

 

Ditto on that. I also suggest Transmet, V for Vendetta, and lately WE3.

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I first heard about Constantine in the parodic series of Fanhunter, Konstantin was the name of one of the main characters.

So, I would say that a couple of comic books or miniseries about a kind of parody of Hellblazer, ready for the mainstream, would be just fine and attract some readers to the original series.

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Quality of the movie aside, from what I've heard just about everyone who came onto the comic via the film has enjoyed the comic and was able to differentiate between the two.

 

And I think there are plenty of Constantine stories to tell.  They just might have to be a little different so each story doesn't become formulaic like the Bond films.

to both points: yes. like i said, if someones open and likes comics just a bit, i dont think theres much to hold them away to love hb.

but there not just such people, frankly.

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I don't think Hellblazer will ever be in the top 20 but there's no reason it couldn't be Vertigo's top seller.

Yeah there is. It doesn't contain females with big tits.

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so what would you do to keep the book from avoiding such a fate.

 

I would make more quality for less price! No..seriously not everthing that has a good qualtity easily sells good! All we can do is keep on buying it and so support the series!

I will buy when the Trade about the Mina Run comes out! Every single issue here´s hard to find or too expensive to buy and I only read the Orginal Sin and the whole Ennis Trades! Now I heading for Mina´s (and I really hope it comes) !Thank you that I kept updated with Hellblazer by this side.

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