I’m more than a little fascinated by this roundtable with the people behind the new Valiant Comics, if only because they seem to be both forthcoming about the business and their enthusiasm about what they’re doing:
[Publisher, Fred] Pierce: We’ve been working on this quite a while, and we made a conscious effort not to promote everything too early so that all the air had come out of the balloon by the time we were talking to the retailers. Atom coming in was a huge step – having somebody that the retailers trust and somebody speaking their language. When we went to ComicsPRO we spoke to retailers a lot. And it’s a very, very credible team. You have Warren who was one of the top guys at Marvel and Atom who knows the industry from a retail perspective, and Hunter’s marketing has been great while Dinesh has been working on the creative for seven years now. It’s not like this was slapdash. We knew that in January, we’d come out guns blazing and then we’re lucky that everything hit and was respected and received well.
[Marketing Manager, Hunter] Gorinson: It was a very deliberative process. Each one of those things was meant to capture the interest of a certain segment of comics fans. We were very cognizant of the fact that not everyone reading comics today would know what Valiant Comics stood for historically or what the Valiant Universe was all about. So we wanted to make some noise and capture the attention of as many comic book readers we could and the attention of retailers in an intelligent and well-reasoned manner.
The first issue of XO Manowar sold through a first printing of 45,000, and is currently on its third print; for the first book from what’s essentially a new publisher, that’s pretty impressive.