Singles life

January 18, 2006

Johanna Draper Carlson discussed a comment from Andi Watson from over at the Engine indicating that singles would be giving way to OGNs in the future. Oni’s Randal Jarrell stopped by to offer some clarification:

“So… we will happily continue to publish works by Andi for as long as he lets us. The real issue is what format these future stories will be in. That will have to be decided on a case by case basis and based on estimations of sales in a sometimes strange and sometimes depressing market.”

The final issue of Little Star comes out today, and I’ve really enjoyed the series. I think it’s played out very well in singles, and the bi-monthly release schedule hasn’t bothered me, because it isn’t really a book about momentum. As Jarrell notes, it’s more introspective. The scope is smaller and more observant, and it isn’t about creating any kind of what-happens-next urgency.

I suppose that’s a reasonably good argument for publishing it as an OGN, come to think of it, but the single issues have all met the satisfying chunk test. It’s been a nice bi-monthly change of pace, something a little quieter and more character-driven than the average floppy. And Watson manages to avoid the hero-saint approach to stories about parenthood, which is always a relief.

(You know the type of story I’m talking about: someone beams at the miracle of life, even though they’re exhausted and covered with pureed squash, or something equally noxious. Or Dianne Wiest learns a valuable lesson about parenting from Keanu Reeves, right before some horrible Randy Newman song kicks in.)

Because I have a tendency to overreact, I initially thought Watson was talking about a general move away from floppies on Oni’s part, so I’m relieved to hear about the case-by-case approach. Some of my favorite recent comics have come in monthly form from Oni (Banana Sunday, which Johanna reviews, and Polly and the Pirates).

I think what makes both of those books so enjoyable in floppy form is the excellent use the creators make of the cliffhanger. It’s the what-happens-next thing again, and while it isn’t particularly essential to Little Star, it gave Banana Sunday a lot of kick, and it seems to be working in Polly’s favor as well.

Anyway, also shipping today is the new issue of The Comics Journal. (I feel like I’ve read it already.) Viz trots out the fifth volume of Fullmetal Alchemist, which is always welcome. And ALC’s Yuri Monogatari shows up after a slight delay.