There always has to be someone to make sure the trains come in on time, and for Dark Horse Comics (HELLBOY, STAR WARS, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) that person is Scott Allie, Dark Horse’s Senior Managing Editor.
I met up with Scott at the Dark Horse booth at New York Comic Con where I’m almost sure he stood throughout the first full day of the east coast answer to San Diego, meeting fans, pros, and press alike.
Accommodating and forthright, Allie spoke about Joss Whedon’s involvement in this “season” of the BUFFY comic, the future of FIREFLY comics with Dark Horse, and the digital future of comic books.
Is Joss’s involvement on BUFFY this year less than it was last year?
SA: It’s different. He wrote a lot of last season, and he’s not writing any of it right now. He wrote the first issue. So it’s definitely less in that way. But we’ve got more going on, you know. So he’s overseeing the script that Andrew’s writing and that Chris is writing on the two different titles. And he’s still in control of the covers and that kind of stuff. Yeah, so there’s a little less day to day. And he’s not writing as many issues as he was.
He’s probably going to come back to write some when he really wraps up AVENGERS. But for right now Andrew Chambliss is writing all of BUFFY and Chris is writing all of ANGEL AND FAITH.
Any possibility of a FIREFLY monthly title?
SA: Not a monthly title. We don’t have any interest. It’d be great to do commercially, but creatively that’s not where we’re headed. But we are going to do more FIREFLY. We actually just announced yesterday that our Free Comic Book Day book will have STAR WARS and SERENITY. And then we’re going to follow up with some more stuff later in 2012.
Any more graphic novels like THE SHEPHERDS TALE?
SA: Depending on what we come up with it might be straight to graphic novel or it might be serialized like in the past.
You guys are really at the forefront of digital comics; Where do you see the industry five years from now? Do you see it more digital, or still paper and ink?
SA: There will be a shifting balance towards digital. Right now digital is not really a significant part of anyone’s financial life, but everybody’s being really aggressive and ambitious about building it.
We’re doing our thing, comiXology has what they’re doing, and there are other companies. I think that will continue to grow. Right now it’s a relatively small portion of income in the industry. So I’m sure it’ll shift a little bit more towards that in the next 5 years.
What about the pricing model? Do you think it’ll stay similar, or drop down to due to less overhead?
It’s all over the place. I think our digital pricing is the right way to go. But there are a lot of companies that charge a lot more for digital. So right now it’s everywhere. I imagine over a short period of time it will fall in line with ours, but you never know. Maybe when it takes off people will start charging more. Right now it seems like a lot of pricing is based off of pamphlet pricing. And we’re not exactly doing that. We’re a little lower, because you’re not paying for printing.