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How do Mini series' work? Options
Werewolf67
Posted: Saturday, December 08, 2012 12:57:26 PM

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HI, so i was wondering, how do mini series' work?
I am currently looking at the mini series "Happy!" and was wondering are mini series a start point to see of the comic will take off or not?
A trial? Think

And if they sell well do they then get a on going series from it then?
(I have read the four issue limited series of the Savage dragon that came out before the on going one, and figured from there whether its a trialing tactic from said companys)Tongue

Just wondering as i have not seen this question before. Wave
Xylob
Posted: Saturday, December 08, 2012 2:03:57 PM

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Werewolf67 wrote:
HI, so i...was wondering are mini series a start point to see of the comic will take off or not?
A trial? Think
Often times, yes, that's exactly the point.
Or to keep their IP in the public view.
Or sometimes a writer who has nothing to do with a specific character comes up with a really cool idea for a story and it just wouldn't really fit in with the 'regular' series for that character.

Werewolf67 wrote:
And if they sell well do they then get a on going series from it then?...
I'm going to go with "usually but not always" on that one.

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Thundercron
Posted: Saturday, December 08, 2012 2:04:51 PM

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All of your assumptions are pretty much correct. Back in the 80's, most mini-series were designed for characters that the publisher didn't feel could carry an ongoing series. However, some minis were so successful so as to spawn an ongoing series (Transformers being the most famous example).

Nowadays, though, it seems a lot of titles are actually on-going, but in the disguise as a miniseries. A certain character will be in a mini-series, only to be followed up with another, and another, etc.

Seems like everything is a miniseries anymore, though, what with every title getting cancelled constantly and rebooted with a new #1.
Werewolf67
Posted: Saturday, December 08, 2012 3:06:22 PM

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i hear that chew is set to end at issue 60 but then again theres no hard evidence to actually say that it will end. But yeah the one that comes to mind woth spin off comics to me would be spawn what with all the different titles within it. I take it the likes of deadpool the circle chase story line i think its called is a example too?
Thundercron
Posted: Saturday, December 08, 2012 3:23:21 PM

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Werewolf67 wrote:
i hear that chew is set to end at issue 60 but then again theres no hard evidence to actually say that it will end. But yeah the one that comes to mind woth spin off comics to me would be spawn what with all the different titles within it. I take it the likes of deadpool the circle chase story line i think its called is a example too?


Yeah, I'd say the Circle Chase gave rise to the ongoing series. Same as the two issue Cable mini-series by John Romita, Jr. that preceded the ongoing series the following year back in the 90's.

As for Chew ending with #60, I've seen creators do similiar things where they have an ongoing series but they decide they'll end it at a certain issue right from the start. The 'Nam, Cerebus, and Y the Last Man come to mind.
Werewolf67
Posted: Saturday, December 08, 2012 4:33:14 PM

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ive heard and seen cerberus through spawn but i will check them all out fully sometime
monidaw1
Posted: Saturday, December 08, 2012 8:33:36 PM

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Marvels first mini series was Contest of Champions in Jan 82. It looked to me at the time to a straight money grab by Marvel by giving us the impression every Marvel charecter would be in it but played out as mostly a launching platform for new heroes which as best I can tell never amounted to anything. It did sell well enough it appears to get follow up storys in the Avengers and WCA annuals and had a herd of other mini series follow with lesser known heroes that couldn't neccesarily support a long running title without problems I would speculate ran from staffing to having to cancel other titles outright. Some of the one's that quickly followed included Hercules, Wolverine and Vision and Scarlett Witch. Those did well enough to allow for follow ups with the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine mini which was good for 6 issues I believe, another 4 pack of Hercules stories, Another Vision/Scarlett witch expanding to a Maxi series 12 issue form. Notice by 1988 Wolverine progressed to his own series where none of the other's ever did although you could make a reasonible argument that my personnel favorite of the era, the Hawkeye mini did so well it spawned the Avengers West Coast mini which did well enough to start the AWC series featuring Hawkeye and his wife from beginning to end and an additional run in Solo Avengers.

Transformers came around in the middle of all this as a mini it appears but did so well it appears they just never stopped so I'm not sure it can really be classified as a mini.

DC who I still believe had the first mini series with Firestorm in the 70's was quick to follow Marvel's direction with mini's like Smurf's and Master's of the Universe although those are direct tie in to external commercial product lines/tv series/ etc.

A lot of the mini's from the late 80's and beyond that I've seen appear to be good ideas that weren't big enough for longer series or in some cases bad ideas that probably should have stayed in the idea drawer. Sometimes I feel they were just crammed to fit like that Firestar mini which had the making of a great maxi series and feels like 3/4's of it was left on the cutting room floor. The Iceman series I was just disappointed with. Falcon was intriguing in concept but lost something in delivery. Gargoyle could have been handled in the defenders easily enough I felt without the mini.

With all that going on in the 80's it's amazing I didn't break my neck rushing to the 7-11 after school to blow my allowance. Of course maybe if I had and a few thousand others had joined me we could have avoided this stop and start stuff that's going on now.



Almost forgot Magik, which I felt was the first direct tie in to an existing storyline and probably storylined in the first place to ad a new member to the New Mutants team. It was there and with the Firestar mini that I thought they were finally getting around to turning the school into a school with a larger cast comparible to a small private school but it appears they didn't make it to that until the late 90's and beyond. For years the entire school student body was Kitty. Then there was the small team of NM's that just never really grew and even their counterparts they spent years developing in the Hellions just to kill off on a whimsy to support a weak storyline that's forgettable never really expanded.


Something I've always wondered is if the mini was a way to put the staff that used to work on movie adaptions to work. I don't remember a whole lot of movie comics coming out from that point on or at least not as frequently. Did Marvel lose a contract with a movie house or two?

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Thundercron
Posted: Saturday, December 08, 2012 10:51:19 PM

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Seems to me the heyday of limited series' was also the heyday of movie adaptations. I also thought it strange that Marvel would reprint the movie adaptation minis as one volume in Marvel Super Special. The single comics were poor sellers--why would a single volume sell any better?
Werewolf67
Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012 5:03:12 AM

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true. i like a comic thats going to be there tomorrow and not just end out of the blue. Just makes it feel somewhat unfinished to me
monidaw1
Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012 7:05:37 AM

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They didn't all just finish so much. Take the Kitty story in X-men about the fairy tale. Wildly popular and a great straying away from the main storyline for an issue. Its popularity leads to Kitty getting her dragon in space. Instead of the single issue being an end it leads to the Nightcrawler mini series so in that case the mini is not an end but an expansion or continuation. You could even say that it progresses even further by showing Kitty and Nightcrawler in more of a comedy role that it was a precuresur to Excalibur which is basically them doing comedy as near as I can tell having only read Excalibur up till the 1991 new team mark.

Bamf!!! Photobucket Pages

Werewolf67
Posted: Sunday, December 09, 2012 8:42:16 AM

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very true mate, those "expansion" comics that you speak of remind me of the prequel type "before watchmen" books that are out at the moment as they seem to have the potential (and have actually)introduced a new different story that continues to make the watchmen a memorable bunch of characters
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