Friday, September 23, 2011
.....After about a month of rumors, Diamond Comics Distributors confirmed this morning that the third and final collected trade paperback reprinting Keith Giffen's run as plotter/scripter on Doom Patrol has been 'cancelled by the publisher'. Solicited with the title "Fire Away" and scheduled for August 24th, there was some confusion prompted by the original solicitation which described the contents as omitting the final issue only. Also, the ostensible length of a single trade including all previously unpublished issues plus the Secret Six crossover during that run is not unheard of in a trade, but would probably have pushed the title into a suggested list price bracket that DC felt uncomfortable with for a title whose monthly counterpart posted low numbers.
.....While it is likely that the cancellation is part and parcel of a larger drift from a print-oriented publishing model, that can't be certain. As with most of these notices, there was no explanation of the reasoning behind it. Anticipating what is or isn't profitable (or even commercially practical) is ultimately a matter of educated guessing for publishers. When you publish that many titles regularly you have a small number of people juggling a large number of variables. However, if there were concerns that a larger list price might kill potential sales then there may be plans to split the remainder of the run into two smaller arcs and then supplement each with short stories otherwise unlikely to be collected (such as the retro stories discussed on this blog in May and June, prefixed DP09-AP). This might make the earlier half with the Kryptonian tie-in more palatable to Superman fans not otherwise interested in the Doom Patrol, likewise for Secret Six fans with the second half.
.....Well, summer's over. Back to work.