THE MONOLITH Breaks Free From DC For New Image Collection
“Get Monolith A Trade” campaign on Facebook. That, along with secret talks between the creators and the publisher, led to the book’s rights reverting back to the creators as a stipulation of their original contract.
Newsarama: For a while now you two have been supporting a “Get Monolith A Trade!” Facebook fan campaign, but most people thought imagined the goal was DC printing it, not you taking it elsewhere. How’d it turn into this?finally collected in an IDW edition a few years back. It’s not impossible, but pretty rare. What’s the process like?
Palmiotti: It’s a simple process if you look at the contract given to you and read it.
Nrama: We’d love to read it ourselves, but I’m told those things are confidential.
Palmiotti: Yes. There were parts all about ownership, reprint editions and rights reversions and we thought these were extremely generous. There are also guidelines and time frames that I am not at liberty to discuss. I will say that DC has been very good to us and we knew going in what the contract was about and the things the company could do if it felt it wanted to keep publishing the books. The two cases were books they supported when they came out, that they felt had no legs to build on based on sales, and we totally understood that. This was a clear and well-written deal that both parties went into and understood. Looking back, nothing would have made up happier to continue Monolith at DC, but it wasn’t in the cards.
Palmiotti: This was a creation that Justin and I felt, given the right time and maybe more of a female readership, could have taken off. Believe me, DC tried and we will always be thankful for that effort, but it didn’t hit the way they were hoping.
Justin Gray: I think another important element is knowing your audience. Bringing Monolith into an existing superhero universe from a company with some of the most loved icons in the world is a very difficult task. You also had fans voicing the popular “it will be canceled in x amount of issues” out of the gate as they do with so many books. That’s a hostile environment for new concepts.
Palmiotti: Looking back on the artwork and the product itself, we still feel it stands the test of time and wanted to put it out there in two volumes where we would be able to give the artwork by Phil Winslade a real good spotlight. He did an amazing job on the art and storytelling, and we feel we need to share this work with a new audience and finally collect the book as well. We have been working with Image Comics on a number of projects this past year, as well as the Creator-Owned Comics monthly book hitting in June and figured for the edition, size and hardcover we wanted, they were the perfect match for the project. The great thing about 2012 is that we are seeing a lot more diversity in comics and a wave of female readers that is just amazing, and like some other projects we have done, we think a second shot at sending this out to the world is smart move.
Nrama: Spell it out for us, then – what can people expect with Monolith?
Nrama: This first collection focuses on the first three issues, collecting them in an oversized European style set of hardcover albums. Why’d you go this route?Palmiotti: That’s simple…respect and showcasing the spectacular artwork by Phil Winslade. One look at the second and third issue and anyone that has an eye for art would want to take a better look. As well, we happen to love the hardcover format and we think retailers enjoy this over just making it a floppy version of a reprint. This format demands more of a shelf life and can endure more mishandling. When you get a second chance at something, you want to do it right and making this more of a deluxe edition in both size and printing is the way to go for us.
Nrama: People will be excited to get this trade of the old material in their hands finally. What are the chances of new Monolith stories coming about?
Palmiotti: Honestly, if a company were interested in it, we would talk. As far as self-publishing it, we would need quite a bit of money to produce new stories. The sales on this and the second trade will tell us for sure of that can happen. We sure hope so. We really believe there is an audience looking for this type of story.
Nrama: And are there any chances of other works you did like 21 Down and Twilight Experiment getting new life outside the auspices of DC?
Palmiotti: We have inquired and as you may know…the Twilight Experiment was collected last year and they promised us that 21 Down would get a large collection soon, so if that’s the case, they will be in good hands for a while. We hope that DC chooses to collect 21 Down soon for sure. Nothing would make us happier if they asked us to do a new series of books…wink , wink.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!