The GeeksverseTo Event or Not To Event…

To Event or Not To Event…
Published on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 by

… That is the question…

Technically the question is “what is the best way to do tie-ins for an event?”

It’s a multi-part question and not easily answered.

For awhile now whenever there is a major event series, there ends up being alot of one-shots, mini-series and specials that tie-in with the event series. Blackest Night seemed to have 3 issue mini-series for all of DC’s books, but there was even some books that had the tie-in during the regular monthly series. Marvel’s Siege had a bunch of one-shots. It seemed each book had their own one-shot that spotlighted that particular team/hero and part of their involvement in Siege.

Back in the day when there was a major event, the tie-ins occured during the regular monthly series. Crisis didn’t have spin-offs. DC’s Invasion tie-ins happened in the individual titles.

Which method is best?

Both have pros and cons.

The biggest con (well pro for the publishers) for having all the spin-off and tie-in mini-series is that it hurts the wallet. Big time. You already buy Secret Warriors and its still coming out that month. But now you have to buy Siege: Secret Warriors.

Now you don’t have to buy it, but you already collect the series, so why wouldn’t you buy the one-shot?

The publishers hope that the one-shot gets you interested in the event enough that you’ll buy the rest of the event and the tie-in oneshots. So it could end up hurting your wallet even more in the end.

Is there a pro to this method, at least from a fan’s prospective?

Well yes, in a way, there is, and it ties into the other method doing tie-in books to an event.

The pro is that the event doesn’t get in the way of the monthly title itself.

The second method causes an interruption in the ongoing titles. Their continuing stories have to take a break for the event.

As a reader, who may or may not have an interest in the event, this causes an unwelcome disruption. The flow of the stories is stopped and plots have to be put on hold. If you’re not interested in the event this disruption is even worse. And if you are interested in the event, the disruption can still be bad as the story you were enjoying is interupted.

Is there a pro to the second method? The only one I can think of is that you don’t have to buy an extra book.

Is either one preferable? That’s up to each person individually. Which makes it hard for a publisher to decide which method to do.

When it can be done so that it doesn’t interupt the main story (as in the Justice League Blackest Night issues) then that is the best way to do it. But the chances of that happening?

Very slim.

Now they could always not do events or do them where they are more like a theme then an actual book; like Heroic Age, Dark Reign and Brightest Day (to an extent). But then you don’t get to event books, which do have a certain charm to them. There are just some things you can only do in an event book that you couldn’t do in a regular book. And even the themes can cause disruptions to ongoing books as the writers have to hurry up or change plans in order to get their books new arcs and storylines to align with the theme.

So no matter what we just can’t win. We either have extra books to buy or we get ongoing stories disrupted.

The only thing we can hope for with event books, to lessen the pain, is that the event is actually good.

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