As mentioned yesterday, the S.W.O.R.D. series is coming to an end, but writer Kieron Gillen says it will end naturally and make a heck of a mini-series.  This got us thinking – instead of an ongoing series that has the potential of being canceled midway through its run, would going the mini-series route be the better option?  That way if the series stumbles, it can wrap up the mini-series and the company can move on.  As long as the minis continue to sell, the company can keep producing arc after arc.

What say you the fine Legion of Major Spoilerites?


Long running series, or series of mini-series?

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  1. morpheus
    January 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm — Reply

    I love the long epic stories, but I also think that short story arcs are important to tell a long epic story. So, I voted for short and sweet. And when it comes to marketing short story arcs are easier to sell to new readers b/c they don’t need to read 100 previous issues.

  2. Ricco
    January 19, 2010 at 12:55 pm — Reply

    First short then epic, like “Villains United” that became “Secret Six”. Besides on-going are all written for the HC anyway, so all “epics” are chopped into little minis.

  3. January 19, 2010 at 1:52 pm — Reply

    Haha, I love how subjective this poll is.

    “Would you guys rather see an ongoing series, or the much better choice of a series of miniseries, and let me tell you why they’re awesome…”

    • ~wyntermute~
      January 19, 2010 at 4:35 pm — Reply

      Really? That’s your interpretation, I guess, because I thought it was pretty evenly stated for both sides. Sir, your bias is showing. :)

    • January 20, 2010 at 7:46 pm — Reply

      Haha, I love how subjective this poll is.

      “Would you guys rather see an ongoing series, or the much better choice of a series of miniseries, and let me tell you why they’re awesome…”

      Welcome to working with Stephen… :)

  4. Rob
    January 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm — Reply

    Either way a publisher chooses is a double edge sword.

    The short stories help get things done so we can move on to the next arc or to a different series all together. But shot stories can make some things feel rushed and forced just for the sake of ending that arc.

    The long stories can give us a deeper story with build up and depth. However with the longer stories we have points where nothing happens and readers feel like they wasted money on that issue. A devoted audience is what makes that story epic and I think the longer arcs push readers away initially until the story is released in a trade.

    I went with Short in sweet. I enjoy deep epic stories but dragging out a story and creating issues were nothing happens just to make the higher issue count hurts the story more than it helps I think.

  5. Greg A
    January 19, 2010 at 2:19 pm — Reply

    It could be argued in this day of writing for the trade (and I really hate that term), all comics already are a series of mini-series. It’s rare to find a storyarc not including “Part 1 of X” somewhere in it’s title.

    I think I’d prefer a schedule of mini-series, a couple month break, trade released of first mini-series, determine viablity of a new mini-series, start new mini-series, rinse and repeat.

  6. January 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm — Reply

    I think it’s subjective. If there’s going to be a commitment to the book: long.
    If your just trying out ideas: short.

    Maybe there should be a middle ground. I like Ricco’s idea, but I would also like to see something planned out for like 50 issues. No compromises, no cancelations. 50 and we’re done.

    BTW, what IS your definition of “short”? 3? 5? 7? Or something like DC’s “52”?

  7. Carl
    January 19, 2010 at 2:58 pm — Reply

    I don’t think this is an either/or thing. Some characters/concepts lend themselves to the long form, some to the short, and others can go either way. While one and done issues within an ongoing are becoming more rare, they’d be lost entirely if you went the all mini-series route. You’d see even fewer supporting cast-centric issues as well. I remember fondly the issue of Impulse detailing Bart’s first day of school. I can’t see such an issue in a mini-series.

    Once concept that I think comics might try is what’s known as the back door pilot. Essentially, it’s a mini-series within a series where the main character is in a more supporting role. Used sparingly, it could generate more interest in a new concept than a straight mini-series would. Publishers should be careful, however, since it could also anger fans who want to see the main character.

  8. bucs71
    January 19, 2010 at 10:45 pm — Reply

    Long running all the way. A big part of the reason I read comics is the ongoing continuity. The longer story gives more time for characters and stories to progress. If its the same writer, there could also be story threads that weave in and out, (hopefully) becoming more intricate than if everything had to set up and executed within a four or six issue run.

  9. January 20, 2010 at 4:29 am — Reply

    I prefer long-running series where you can loads of character & mythology growth and A,B,C, & D plots going at the same time without it feeling too dense, but given the realities of the market today, it’s probably more practical to do lots of tightly-focused minis.

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