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Project Superpowers - analyzing what went wrong

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  • Project Superpowers - analyzing what went wrong

    So, I think Dynamite has learned a few things about the marketplace in the last few years since they first launched PSP. From the Green Hornet franchise, they learned how dangerous it is to oversaturate the marketplace. It leads to early burnout. Judging by how they're NOT overloading Masks with too many characters, I think they learned that big crowd scenes may work for Marvel and DC, but that's because most of the characters have been around for years and are familiar to the audience. If you're trying to introduce a whole new universe like with PSP or Kirby Genesis, you need to slowly roll out the characters so people can have time to get familiar with them. Too much too soon is too confusing for most people to follow and warm up to.

    So to reiterate:

    1. DON'T run 3 or 4 related series concurrently. Marvel or DC can get away with this because of their huge market share and audience loyalty, but DE isn't Marvel or DC. Build your audience slowly with quality material and you will keep them faithful and loyal.
    2. DO run related series so that there is carryover to the next series. Overlapping the first issue of a new series with the last issue of an older related series in the same month works, like passing the baton. It will keep readers' interest moving forward without them feeling like they're being gouged or overwhelmed with too many titles.
    3. DON'T overload a series with too many characters.
    4. DO keep a moderate-sized cast, specifically geared to fit the number of issues the series is planned for. If the cast is too big and the plot too convoluted, break it down into more than one series, or more than one story arc, with smaller cliques of characters.
    5. DO aim for consistency with creative teams. DON'T switch artists from issue to issue, and choose artists to keep related series' artists' styles from being too radically different.
    6. PLAN your deadlines well in advance, so you don't wind up with gaps of months between issues. You've got to keep the momentum moving forward to keep the sales. In order to accomplish both #5 and #6, it might be good to commission a few one-shot specials ahead of time when planning a new series, so you have something to fill a gap if you really get stuck.
    DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

  • #2
    "Hard couch, Dr. Freud!!"

    What he said!!

    and....give us...

    1) Interior Artists that excite.
    Don't put great covers on interior art that "doesn't pay off"!

    2) Too many characters, poorly drawn, become just "suits with different powers" that the readers can't connect with.

    3) Convoluted stories with too many characters lose the readers.

    4) Yes, start with a small cast and have some character development.
    (Example: Terra Obscura.) Readers want to care.... and connect with the characters.

    And yes, we love these GOLDEN AGE heroes!! Please do them well.!!

    PSP had GREAT promise.... and ...was ....ah,... not executed very well.
    Last edited by magnoanddavey; 12-15-2012, 03:58 AM.

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    • #3
      The spinoff books would have done much better had they come out after volume 2 finished up, that way fans waiting on volume 3 would have had an opportunity to enjoy these characters during this long and painful wait. As for running multiple titles at once, I have no issues with doing so as long as Project Superpowers core book is on hiatus.
      Dynamite Entertainment
      Forum Administrator


      Check out Dynamite on Twitter here!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
        What he said!!

        and....give us...

        1) Interior Artists that excite.
        Don't put great covers on interior art that "doesn't pay off"!

        2) Too many characters, poorly drawn, become just "suits with different powers" that the readers can't connect with.

        3) Convoluted stories with too many characters lose the readers.

        4) Yes, start with a small cast and have some character development.
        (Example: Terra Obscura.) Readers want to care.... and connect with the characters.

        And yes, we love these GOLDEN AGE heroes!! Please do them well.!!

        PSP had GREAT promise.... and ...was ....ah,... not executed very well.
        That's all a matter of opinion. I personally felt that Project Superpowers was illustrated and scribed just fine in its first two chapters, sure the art was better in chapter 2 but the first chapter surly wasn't drawn terribly.

        I loved the story about the urn and how the characters came back, I just fell in love with everything P:SP and I LOVED the solo books, especially Black Terror. Damn I miss it all

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by positronic View Post
          So, I think Dynamite has learned a few things about the marketplace in the last few years since they first launched PSP. From the Green Hornet franchise, they learned how dangerous it is to oversaturate the marketplace. It leads to early burnout. Judging by how they're NOT overloading Masks with too many characters, I think they learned that big crowd scenes may work for Marvel and DC, but that's because most of the characters have been around for years and are familiar to the audience. If you're trying to introduce a whole new universe like with PSP or Kirby Genesis, you need to slowly roll out the characters so people can have time to get familiar with them. Too much too soon is too confusing for most people to follow and warm up to.

          So to reiterate:

          1. DON'T run 3 or 4 related series concurrently. Marvel or DC can get away with this because of their huge market share and audience loyalty, but DE isn't Marvel or DC. Build your audience slowly with quality material and you will keep them faithful and loyal.
          2. DO run related series so that there is carryover to the next series. Overlapping the first issue of a new series with the last issue of an older related series in the same month works, like passing the baton. It will keep readers' interest moving forward without them feeling like they're being gouged or overwhelmed with too many titles.
          3. DON'T overload a series with too many characters.
          4. DO keep a moderate-sized cast, specifically geared to fit the number of issues the series is planned for. If the cast is too big and the plot too convoluted, break it down into more than one series, or more than one story arc, with smaller cliques of characters.
          5. DO aim for consistency with creative teams. DON'T switch artists from issue to issue, and choose artists to keep related series' artists' styles from being too radically different.
          6. PLAN your deadlines well in advance, so you don't wind up with gaps of months between issues. You've got to keep the momentum moving forward to keep the sales. In order to accomplish both #5 and #6, it might be good to commission a few one-shot specials ahead of time when planning a new series, so you have something to fill a gap if you really get stuck.

          Solo titles could work alongside the main title, but like CF1980 said, I think they'd work better in mini's while we all wait on the next chapter to begin shipping. But they wanted to have a "universe" where the main book was the launching point for more books, I just feel the promotion died completely once Hornet and Vampirella were announced and all Dynamite's attention and resources went into promoting those books and not Superpowers.

          That seems to be how Dynamite rolls, they push a book hard and then forget about promoting it once they acquire something else.

          Comment


          • #6
            It was definitely a case of too much too many too quickly. And it did get very confusing. That we are still talking about PSP when itís been gone for ??? should be a good sign to the powers that be.

            I'd like to see PSP come back with a main title that featured a team, four or so main characters and a rotating cast of few semi regulars and a second title similar to what DC is doing with DC Presents featuring three or four issue arcs with different characters I think it could work and expand from there. Having it be a single title rather then a series of one shots or minis make it easier for the reader, we donít have to remember/figure out what books are out this month. They could even coordinate the titles so a character who shows up in the main title is featured in the second book.

            Black Terror, Green Lama etc. could be given mini series that could lead to regular series. Maybe add a two of three page back up or origin section to the main title to help define the 'new' characters.
            Always remember, Murphy was an optimist
            Munchkin 1, 2, 4, 7 Super Munchkin 1&2, Munchkin Bites 1&2, Munchkin Fu, Star Munchkin Deluxe and Star 2
            http://ghornet.deviantart.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              I would say that more than one concurrently-running series works fine, AFTER the main series is already established and the sales are proven as reliable. The problem, it seems, is Dynamite's policy of "blitz the marketplace, then disappear" (or endure delays with months of nothing). It makes much better business sense to BUILD popular franchises over time in conjunction with positive audience response, rather than trying to grab a lot of attention in one 6 or 8 month period, only to have it peter out after the first few months.
              DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by manga4life View Post
                That's all a matter of opinion. I personally felt that Project Superpowers was illustrated and scribed just fine in its first two chapters, sure the art was better in chapter 2 but the first chapter surly wasn't drawn terribly.

                I loved the story about the urn and how the characters came back, I just fell in love with everything P:SP and I LOVED the solo books, especially Black Terror. Damn I miss it all
                Yes, it is a matter of opinion.!!
                I know ALL of my friends who I encouraged to pick up PSP did so for about two issues ...and they were gone.
                I looked at it, and couldn't really blame them.
                I loved the possibilites of returning THE GOLDEN AGE HEROES and thought it held GREAT PROMISE.

                I bought every issue and kept hoping things were going to get better.
                It wasn't just missed deadlines. It was the way it was written and drawn.
                I never closed an issue and said, "ALRIGHT!! Great issue."

                I fed off the Ross Covers and the characters that he drew that were going to appear. That's where my imagination went. What could have been.!!

                Look at Masks #1.... for an example. Well-written,.... well-drawn... dynamite!!

                It can be done!! (And no, Alex Ross doesn't have to do every issue.) But you need real talent to succeed in today's marketplace. There's a lot of competition on the "racks".

                I think you need well-written stories with good to great art!! Visually exciting art.

                PSP was bleeding numbers. We stayed for a variety of reasons.
                I didn't stay because the stories were so strong or the art was so great or both were great.
                I stayed because I loved those characters, the covers, and the promise of what it could be.

                I hope it comes back strong in all areas.

                And don't get "surly" with me!! (Only kiddin'. I know you meant surely.) Don't call me "Shirley" again.
                Last edited by magnoanddavey; 12-16-2012, 12:24 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes, he's right, you know.

                  Originally posted by positronic View Post
                  I would say that more than one concurrently-running series works fine, AFTER the main series is already established and the sales are proven as reliable. The problem, it seems, is Dynamite's policy of "blitz the marketplace, then disappear" (or endure delays with months of nothing). It makes much better business sense to BUILD popular franchises over time in conjunction with positive audience response, rather than trying to grab a lot of attention in one 6 or 8 month period, only to have it peter out after the first few months.
                  What he said.!!
                  The fans are fickled that way. If you start missing deadlines --- they start wandering away!!

                  Establish that "main series". Like having a "tent-pole" holding everything up. Then spin out other books.

                  But get your numbers solid and be hitting those deadlines on the "main series".
                  Then, you have a fan base and that base starts wanting to see other characters come out of the main series. Demand can almost drive the "next series" or title.

                  Geeeesh!! You have a GREAT bullpen of heroes to chose from. Give each a character and "life". Motivation. Characterization. Personality and dimension. ....and if you're not careful...they start to "live".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by magnoanddavey View Post
                    I fed off the Ross Covers and the characters that he drew that were going to appear. That's where my imagination went. What could have been.!!
                    I'll go you one better. Ross' contributions in terms of both finished art, covers, character re-designs and concepts for the series was the heart of where the interest lay in this series. Plotwise, things got wonkier and wonkier as the series wore on. Just way too convoluted. Yet you can just reduce this whole series to a collection of Alex Ross' covers, occasional interior pages, character profiles and re-designs, and short origin stories, and just the basic idea of bringing back these public domain Golden Age heroes. It's still a great foundation blueprint for a comic book universe.

                    I don't think the interior art was as bad as all that. I think if they'd just stuck with Stephen Sadowski as artist for the main series, they'd have been all right. But it seemed like there were way too many subplots running through the series at the same time. These should have been broken down into discrete story arcs. There were enough characters and plot material in the two main series and original 3 miniseries spinoffs that they could have easily stretched them at a decent pace from 2008 until now, allowing the story room to breath and for some characterization to come into play, instead of the breathless pace and shoehorning of all the characters into too few issues.
                    DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by positronic View Post
                      I'll go you one better. Ross' contributions in terms of both finished art, covers, character re-designs and concepts for the series was the heart of where the interest lay in this series. Plotwise, things got wonkier and wonkier as the series wore on. Just way too convoluted. Yet you can just reduce this whole series to a collection of Alex Ross' covers, occasional interior pages, character profiles and re-designs, and short origin stories, and just the basic idea of bringing back these public domain Golden Age heroes. It's still a great foundation blueprint for a comic book universe.

                      I don't think the interior art was as bad as all that. I think if they'd just stuck with Stephen Sadowski as artist for the main series, they'd have been all right. But it seemed like there were way too many subplots running through the series at the same time. These should have been broken down into discrete story arcs. There were enough characters and plot material in the two main series and original 3 miniseries spinoffs that they could have easily stretched them at a decent pace from 2008 until now, allowing the story room to breath and for some characterization to come into play, instead of the breathless pace and shoehorning of all the characters into too few issues.
                      You explained it better than I did. Character re-design and character profiles were the terms I was looking for. Covers, character re-designs, character profiles and concept kept me hangin' in there.

                      Too many subplots, no "breathing room" for the story, limited characterization, and "shoehorning" of all the characters into too few issues.

                      Bringing these public domain characters back WAS/is a wonderful idea. My disappointment was that it was suppose to lay the "foundation blueprint" for the Dynamite Universe....and it will be forever marred.
                      But, I'm buyin' the next issue....and despite my complaining...I'm looking forward to it!!

                      and I agree with you, pos.!!
                      (Except I was never excited about most of the interior art!! I thought most of it wasn't very good. I'll go look at it again.)
                      Last edited by magnoanddavey; 12-17-2012, 02:17 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        CEO/Publisher

                        All,

                        This passion - criticism and compliments does show the potential for Project Super Powers. And, the characters are coming back. Yes, it will take a bit of time, but if you look at Masks - some are there already.

                        Black Terror anyone? http://dynamite.com/htmlfiles/viewPr...13019768900311

                        Hhhmmmmmm - are the seeds here?

                        Maybe. Maybe not.

                        Maybe this is just our relaunching a cross-over with more to come.

                        I can't give the answers just yet.

                        BUT!

                        As I hinted at before - TKC!

                        Happy Holidays!

                        Nick

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wait, so is Masks in the same continuity with Project Superpowers? What is Black Terror doing there?

                          I'm confused.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sadly, I have little interest in PSP character prior to the Urn. I like what comes after. I had some interest in Masks but my shop sold out of #1s before I got there and every issue I skim afterword looks like they focus more on the better known characters like Green Hornet and Shadow than Mask or Llama. But, with Owl coming out that gives me hope.

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