Take this with a grain of salt as it’s scooped from an Amazon book listing, Wally Wood’s EC Comics Artisan Edition. IDW is launching a new imprint called Artisan Edition that is offering Artist’s Editions in an 8″ x 12″ paperback format for $50. The listing looks fairly complete with page count, ISBN and price. Here’s the information from the listing:
The Wally Wood EC Comics Artist’s Edition was a massive volume that collected some of the greatest Wally Wood stories from the classic glory days as one of the brightest stars in the EC pantheon of artists. Upon it’s release it was a huge critical and commercial success, selling out two printings in record time. Now IDW Publishing, the industry originator and leader in producing original art scanned books, continues to blaze new trails by launching a new format within the Artist’s Edition brand – the Artisan Edition. And we have chosen the immensely popular Wally Wood EC Comics Artist’s Edition as the debut title in the line. Like an Artist’s Edition, an Artisan Edition collects complete stories that are all painstakingly scanned from the original art. But this series will be reproduced at a much more manageable 8 x 12 inches, and in softcover format – making this much easier to peruse and store while all other aspects regarding quality remain the same. If you have been holding off exploring the wonderful world of Artist’s Edition, this is the perfect place to begin! Featuring some of the most classic Wally Wood stories ever produced, including “My World,” “Came the Dawn,” “Mars is Heaven,” and many others, as well as a gallery of Wood’s breathtakingly beautiful covers.
The move makes complete sense. For some reason IDW chose to publish the Artist’s Editions in a limiting manner: a net cost with no discount, distribution only through Diamond and their own website, all aimed at the hardcore comic buying market. So they have the scans from all previous Artist’s Editions and now will publish them in a semi-affordable format for the general book market. Choosing 8″ x 12″ still gives it a good overall feel and is manageable enough to easily go through distribution channels and sit on store shelves.
The only misstep I see is the paperback format; the choice can’t be for anything other than cost. For that size and heft consumers want hardcover.
Of course all this could change and this listing be deleted without another word, but that’s seems unlikely. For all those who teetered on spending the big money on an Artist’s Edition, now you’ll be able to pick up the smaller but infinitely more affordable Artisan Edition from local sellers and Amazon at a significant discount.