Originally Posted by HouseofComics.Com
Just read this thread from beginning to end last night. Really interesting to sort of see the two different arcs (regular sales and aftermarket sales) and great to have the author pop on at various times.
I have to say, I don't fully understand what's going on with circulation and threatening the cancellation of the book. Kurtis' comments make it sound like at 7000 circulation it's profitable and at 5000 it veers into labor of love territory and logically at 2000 copies or 1200 it could be costing them money.
I'm no expert, but from my reading of Dave Sim editorials in the 90s plus just generally being around comics and publishing, the way I understand it is that the trade sales are the key. Sim said that by issue 130 or so of Cerebus, the monthly wasn't selling enough to make it worth going forward...except for the trades (which he more or less pioneered). He said there wasn't one month since 1977 that he hadn't made money on Cerebus 1.
Add in some BBC money for Kurtis (not sure his agreement with the artist on stuff like that) and the artist being able to sell original art, and it seems like a more or less viable concern. Now maybe they are pulling out all kinds of behind the scenes stops to keep this going, but I would hope that with the first trade printed and money coming in from that, selling art, etc. they are going to be able to make it to at least the 25 issues and have a great finished story that they can make money on (mostly via trades) for years.
You have to keep in mind a few things about the income of the book.
1) BBC TV show isn't official and we don't make anything unless it is. That could be years from now and we have to live off something
in the meantime.
2) At the current sales, I receive a cheque of $1500 per issue, sometimes a little bit more, sometimes a bit less. That amount is reduced by the page rate we pay our colourist and a percentage goes to our letterer. I won't go into the details, but at the end of both of those dediuctions, Tyler and I split the remainder.
3) We do make money from TPB's, but we aren't paid until six months after it's released, meaning we're doing the following five issues for very little money. See, this is what happened to Green Wake, my last series that I had to stop because Riley Rossmo wasn't making a dime. We didn't get the Volume 1 money until after we decided to end the series because we simply couldn't afford to go through the monthly singles to reach the collections.
I'm not trying to stretch the truth when I say we are doing this as a passion project. We really are. Yes, potential money could be coming down the pipeline, but since the first issue came out, Tyler has been making, essentially, $20/page. It takes him 3 weeks of every month to complete an issue and he has to live off something. He has a wife and two kids.
So, that's where Peter Panzerfaust is at right now. I'm very much hoping that all the recent publicity drives the sales up, but nothing's ever certain. Regardless, we will finish this series because it's something we HAVE to do.
And to answer the questions on print runs. I believe each issue sells around 4700 copies, so I'd imagine a print run of 5000 or so.