Official Press Release
Future Comics has announced that they will be concentrating their efforts on creating mass market trades and will cease publication of their regular monthly titles. This new initiative will be effective after the August cover dated books.
When asked about the radical move, President and Editor-In-Chief Bob Layton stated, "It has become rather obvious that consumer tastes are gravitating towards the trade paperback format. While the direct market continues to decline, mass market interest in the genre is on the increase. We've prided ourselves on breaking new ground, whether it's self-distribution, returnability or, in this case, creating material exclusively for the mass market. Europe and Japan have embraced this format for decades and statistics clearly show that the U.S. is heading in the same direction. In the last year, revenues from the mass market has eclipsed that of the entire direct market with a 30% growth projected for 2004. And as an independent publisher, Future Comics is in a more advantageous position for making a major shift in its business plan than are the larger, publicly-owned companies. Our test marketing with mass market bookstores has been very successful. That, and the skyrocketing costs of producing the 22 page monthly format, makes this move a "no-brainer".
Future plans to release all-new trades in a variety of formats, from digests to graphic novels, beginning in October 2003. Additionally, there will be a line of trade books directly tied into Future's licensing, movie and television deals.
Since Future Comics will be producing new material for their mass market trades, they have promised to honor all subscriptions as soon as the new material begins to hit the bookstores, by providing either those new publications or refunds to their customers.
Layton added, "We're not entirely washing our hands of the direct market. There will be several special projects that will be published in the traditional comics format and distributed through the normal direct market channels, starting in February. Distributors and retailers are welcome to order all of our products (mass or direct) from us. All we're doing is shifting the company's focus away from the monthly, 22 page package."