Dark Horse's dollar store: David Land on low-price entry comics

Dark Horse's dollar comics, debuting in August, are a wallet-friendly way to kill some time while you wait for the recession to end. The comics are first issues of established series (or story arcs within series), including Hellboy, Usagi Yojimbo, Umbrella Academy and The Goon.

The idea piqued my curiosity, so I fired off some questions to editor Dave Land about the new/old line. Here's our mini-chat:

Brigid: Is this the first time you have tried something like this — low-priced introductory issues?

Dave: We've done low-priced first issues before, but we've never done a whole line of low-priced reprints before.

Brigid: How did you select the comics to be reprinted?

Dave: Mainly it was based on finding popular titles that played an important part in helping to define Dark Horse. There's a good mix of different types of material covered by the 1 for 1 program — from creator owned titles like Sin City to licensed properties like Star Wars and even to classic reprint comics like Magnus, Robot Fighter.

Brigid: Are the subsequent issues still available, or are these gateways to the trades?

Dave: All the books featured in the program have supporting trades that are available.

Brigid: In this digital era, it seems almost quaint to be using print comics like this. Why did you choose to do this in print rather than, say, through comiXology or Dark Horse Presents?

Dave: At this point, print is our main avenue for reaching readers. Not everyone has or can afford digital reader of some sort or other. So this is a low cost way to give people a taste of what Dark Horse does.

Brigid: Will there be digital editions?

Dave: At this time there aren't plans to make these titles available digitally.

Brigid: It looks like some of these are the first issues of the series while others are the beginnings of more recent story arcs. How did you decide on a good jumping-in point for each story?

Dave: First issues generally serve as good entry points for any story. On properties like Star Wars we wanted to keep things more contemporary to show where we've taken the property, so we didn't go all the way back to the very first issue. Hopefully those issues will still pique reader's curiosity and they'll check out the other story arcs we've published.

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