C2E2 2018: The IDW PDX Full Bleed Panel With Dirk Wood Reveals Volume 2 Content
by Hannah Means Shannon
The IDW Full Bleed Panel at C2E2 took place bright and early on Friday, and IDW PDX host, Dirk Wood, explained the background and history of the new publication.
The idea of old Comics Journal issues inspired Wood, and in thinking about the internet and what’s it done to the “discourse” made him feel like lamenting the loss of long-form interviews. He wondered, alongside Ted Adams, if older formats could be brought back combined with other content. The history of Rolling Stone was also an influence, where there’d be eclectic content. McSweeney’s is another anthology in deluxe format.
The first issue, a 200 page hardcover quarterly magazine, combines “comics and culture”, is currently out and the second issue is currently funding on Kickstarter. The new issue’s, Vol. 2: “Deep Cuts” cover was created by someone who used to be Dirk Wood’s neighbor many years ago who moved to San Francisco, and was inspired by the idea of “sanctuary cities”, with a California bear rising up angrily. It started life as a print raising money for recovery from forest fires.
The fact that the cover is less “comic-ish” than the last one does convey the diversity of content you’ll find in the quarterly. Wood showed some sneak peeks of content in Volume 2. Talking about cartoonist Gideon Kendall, Wood described his style as “Jack Davis, Morton Drucker” in tone.
The location of IDW PDX was part of an old rock venue, the Pine Street Theater. It’s been decorated with flyers from shows. One of Kendall’s stories in the upcoming issue features a music event that happened at the same theater. Wood wrote the story and Kendall drew it, featuring “The Replacements”.
They haven’t really set out to have “themed” issues, but Wood finds that Vol. 2 has more of a “political element” than the first one. It’s just “naturally happened” that way. He doesn’t want it to “dominate” the magazine, but it’s there.
Wood explained that Full Bleed is a magazine and doesn’t need to be read in this direct, cover-to-cover read. You can dip into it, and you may not love every single thing in, but you’ll find things for you. The idea is to have some unifying themes that will reflect Wood’s sensibilities, and Adams’.
Kim Dwinell, who did the Top Shelf book, Surfside Girls, has done a story about Californian mythical gods. The Lost Boys of the Uboat Bremen is back, part of a 5 issue comic series, and the first part ran in Volume 1. It will continue in each issue until complete, and eventually be published as a collection.
A prose essay by Jon Raymond (who wrote the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce) tells the story of his grandfather, a Holocaust survivor who ran a health food store that catered to celebrities. Four of his essays will run in different volumes.
Nnedi Okrafor is featured in an interview by Abdulkareem Baba Aminu, journalist and artist, and he drew the portrait of Okrafor as well.
A big interview with the Hernandez Brothers also features artwork, and is conducted by Derek Royal and Andy Kunka.
Wood did an interview with Sam Coomes, and he’s aware that people who pick up the quarterly aren’t necessarily going to know who all these people are, but the “art of curation” is important to him. This is something that’s harder to come by on the internet. He wants there to be material in the quarterly to introduce readers to new people, media, and the like. Coomes is in a band called Quasi, and he was in Elliot Smith’s band for many years. Coomes has never really achieved any degree of “mainstream success” though he’s had a great career. The interview is about chasing things that don’t exist anymore, “pre-internet success”. And realizing that if he achieved that, he’d probably hate it.
There’s a travelogue by Jarrett Melendez about some comics folks on a trip to Iceland that follows on from an essay in Volume 1 about drinking whisky in Japan.
It’s challenging to fit enough long pieces into the quarterlies and piecing it together. He acquires as much content as possible, then tries to figure out where all will fit. They already have more than enough content to fill Volume 2.
Rob Salkowitz writes about the role of comic art in galleries these days and is becoming more common in “public spaces”.
Joel Meadows did a long interview with a famous war photographer in the UK, “A Life Lived in Black and White”.
D.A. Cox writes a “Requiem for a Comic Shop” about a shop in Tennessee he used to go to as a kid, and supplied spot illustration.
Las Vegas Repo is like “Rockford Files set in Vegas in the 60’s”, a comic that’s pulpy, that will be released as an issue alongside the Kickstarter.
Bob Fingerman’s (recently announced on Mad Magazine) political caricatures appear in this volume, too.
Asked about how they’ve kept the price low at $25.00, Wood said that having good printing partners has been key, since the fact that this is a magazine means they want to keep it low. Starting early next year, they’ll be moving into softcovers also, ranging around $17.00 or so.
The first four volumes are going to be kickstarted, but after that, the model might be unsustainable. But kickstarting has generated excitement and helped retailers. By the fourth and fifth volume, they are hoping people will become more aware since the push has “worked”.
Asked if there will be a digital version, Wood doubled down on “print only”. Though there may be future discussions, perhaps with exclusive digital content that “connects”. For instance, super long interviews might be continued digitally, perhaps with audio or the like.
In an era where we get news online and many other things, long digital reading is rarer. So long form reading in print is still a viable option people are wanting, Wood said.
Once several volumes have come out, there’s also potential to create a “bunch of books” that collect certain items, like music comics, art, and the like, out of Full Bleed items that have been published previously. Wood tries to pick items that aren’t dated, and have a long shelf life, in terms of interviews especially, so they continue to be “fascinating”.
Asked what the print relationship might be with the future collection of comics that have first appeared in Full Bleed, Wood said that they follow a Top Shelf-like method which Chris Staros really helped him set up. Full Bleed pays a fee for “usage” to publish the comics, but they remain in the hands of creators for future publication. Some comics may be a different kind of deal if the book publishing is pre-arranged, and pay in the magazine may be part of an advance against royalties on the future collection, Wood explained. Pay is not super high because there is so much content, but Full Bleed is very focused on getting people paid on time, and the creators retain ownership.
Find Full Bleed Volume 2 on Kickstarter funding right now.