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Saturday, July 11, 2015 

Mike Richardson wants more audience for Dark Horse

Business Insider wrote about Dark Horse's 30th year in the business, and how Richardson would like a bigger audience:
“When I was a kid comics were everywhere: They were in pharmacies and gas stations, they were in convenience stores. They were even in the meat market where my mom used to shop,” says Richardson. “That's not the case anymore, you don't see comics in very many places. So the digital distribution of comics puts them back in front of huge numbers of people, so if we can catch a tiny portion of those readers it actually makes a huge jump in the customer base for comics.”

And like any publisher, more readers is all Richardson really wants.
Any sane publisher, I'd think. Let's remember that Marvel withdrew from monthly market, making their titles less noticeable since they're no longer on regular newsstands. Yet they're still going by the monthly model when they market to specialty stores, and the time has come to change that for real, because switching to paperbacks, IMO, could save a lot of money, yet Marvel and DC refuse to do that because it would ruin all their insular pleasures. If Dark Horse, among other publishers, were to make the shift to paperback only whenever they're writing a story planned as a miniseries, they'd be able to save money, and to market more easily in bookstores, gaining a lot more recognition and noticeability for their output. Why don't they think about that for a change? I honestly think it could be the most logical and helpful step.

So if Richardson really wants to find a bigger audience, he should consider a better marketing and formatting strategy.

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For about 80 or so years, at least one comic magazine has come out monthly and people had several generations to absorb that way of life. If publishers were to remove monthly distribution, who knows what effect it might have on the stubborn readers who refuse to accept such an idea.

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