Since yesterday the G.I. Joe fandom has been buzzing about the rumor that IDW is “streamlining” their G.I. Joe comic releases, and one Twitter use ComixAce even mentioned the fact that they would be trimming down to a single title.
Obviously lots of concern was immediately voiced, specifically about G.I. Joe: Cobra, which many fans consider the best of the current running comics, to say nothing about its ties to G.I. Joe. Cobra writer Mike Costa has evidently heard the concern, and voiced some reassurances via his Twitter page:
“Everyone’s concern has really been a huge compliment to me, but I want to assuage your fears: I am not leaving the Joe franchise”
What does this mean in the grand scheme of things? Seems pretty unlikely that the Cobra title would remain the only G.I. Joe themed comic that IDW does, so my first guess is that this issue has been somewhat overblown.
While there is no doubt that some streamlining is likely taking place, my guess is that it’s not as serious as some folks are making it out to be. Time will tell, and hopefully we’ll get some sort of formal announcement at C2E2.
UPDATE – Thanks to Troynos from the ComixVerse who reached out to John Barber and got even better clarification about IDW’s statements. Check them out here, and also quoted below.
“I think Dirk (Wood, IDW’s VP Of Marketing) was actually talking in vaguer terms than any concrete plan; the basic gist is that we’re aware that (in general terms) there are a lot of groups of titles from a lot of publishers where there are a LOT of titles (like Avengers or X-Men or whatever). We’re aware of overburdening the market with a lot of anything–Joe, Turtles, X-Men, anything, no matter how popular–can have an overall negative effect on sales. Plus, I’ve got to admit that the GI JOE trade paperback numbering and the several-times renumbering of series like Cobra over the years is pretty confusing… and we’re trying to not be confusing going forward. What exactly that means, we’re not sure (other than I don’t want to have a GI JOE: COBRA: COBRA CIVIL WAR: VOL 2 and a GI JOE: COBRA CIVIL WAR: VOL 2 book and have them be different books…). But it’s not really any paring back on anything. It was more about assuring retailers we’re not going to flood the market with confusing material. We had a month or two with the movie-tie-in series plus some specials where there was a TON of Joe comics out the same month; we’ll try to spread the wealth more over a longer period of time.
So there’s still going to be plenty of GI Joe; D&D has never had more than one ongoing and a limited series; Magic’s never been more than one series at a time.”
Big props to Troy for reaching out and getting clarification. Glad to hear this was misinterpreted.