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Stray Question: Why is JIMMY CORRIGAN OOP?

Brian Hibbs

It hasn’t been available for months. It looks like March was the last time it was in print. With BUILDING STORIES doing as well as it is, shouldn’t this (And, for that matter, QUIMBY THE MOUSE) be in print?
I don’t get it?


15 Responses to “ Stray Question: Why is JIMMY CORRIGAN OOP? ”

  1. I didn’t know JIMMY CORRIGAN was a Marvel book! Nyuk! Nyuk!

    (Also, if WATCHMEN ever accidently goes OOP let me know as there’s a couple of guys this side of the pond who’d appreciate a heads up.)

    No, I don’t know. Sorry.

  2. Hahaha. I read the title as “Why is Jim Corrigan a cop?” and had absolutely no answer, or idea why you were asking this question.

    (For those that don’t know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Corrigan )

  3. I am totally down for the ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY / WRATH OF THE SPECTRE crossover.

    Eat giant scissors, Quimby!

  4. it’s cool for art comics to be out of print, that makes them more like art objects in their limited availability and “you had to be there”-ness, part of art, and I mean gallery art and the art community, is that it’s exclusive and appeals to only the “coolest,” it feigns unmarketability to the masses in it’s ultimate saleability to the “elite”

  5. Why? Because there isn’t enough interest in it to make it worth the publisher’s while to print more copies. Yeah, I know there’s other factors at work but if there were legions of folks demanding new copies of JIMMY CORRIGAN, they’d be on the shelves.

    One of the things that gets forgotten/ignored in the whole trade vs. periodical debates is that while a trade/book has a greater shelf life than any individual issue of a periodical, the overwhelming majority of books go out of print as well. Go look at the New York Times bestseller list from the month when the first issue of Amazing Spider-Man was published. How many of those books are still in print?


  6. @MBunge: Your point sounds like it should not work. After all, the majority of succesful books are ephemera that posterity dances on the neck of after the initial flush of success. In the ‘7os Arthur Hailey was always bothering the charts but who reads him now? Or bloody Jeffrey Archer?

    Anyway, I found the NYT bestsellers list for March 17 1963 and I only recognise Salinger, Updike and Wylie. And I only recognise Wylie because of Gladiator. But,no (I hear you),that doesn’t mean they are in print. I’d expect Salinger to be in print, maybe the Updike and certainly not the Wylie. Even 1 out of 10 is pretty good given how old that chart is.

    So, comics-wise I’d have thought JIMMY CORRIGAN would be a perennial But it’s OOP so, I don’t know, you could very well be right. I think they are probbaly re-packaging it or it’s changed publishers or…oh, God, in retrospect we’ll look back and class Chris Ware as our Arthur Hailey. How weird.

  7. So looking at the top 10 from 1963, it looks like most are still in print.

  8. VERY surprising, considering that seems to be one of the most highly regarded graphic novels.

    On a vaguely related note, I am really sorry I did not grab the Howard the Duck Omnibus when it came out. It seemed too pricey at the time, or I guess I was too low on cash. It can only be had for megabucks now. I seriously doubt it will get reprinted. However, having learned from that, I was wise enough to get the Man-Thing Omnibus.

  9. By the logic of MBunge, “Ulysses,” “Gravity’s Rainbow,” and “Infinite Jest” certainly shouldn’t be in print. While “Ulysses” has a lot of love from college classes, I’m pretty sure “Infinite Jest” has never sold more than maybe a couple hundred copies a year at its peak.

    Anyway, I’m pretty sure Quimby isn’t in print because Ware doesn’t like it. I’m not sure about Jimmy Corrigan, but I know Ware has very exacting standards regarding printed books and he may have another edition he’s designing to release in the future. Or it could be he doesn’t want to continue with Fanta and is waiting for the contract to end. I’m just speculating.

    But I don’t get the hate towards the artsy comic book from some people. They have small print runs because the people making them don’t have a ton of money and they kinda count on word of mouth and editorial reviews for promotion. The authors and publishers aren’t trying to be exclusive or judge anyone else’s reading.

  10. Chris:

    JIMMY C is from Pantheon, not FBI.


  11. Oh really? Then the answer is obvious…I am a moron. To further that confirmation, some Googling told me “Infinite Jest” sold a lot more than a couple hundred copies at its peak. It was closer to 100,000.

    Anyway, yeah, I can understand your confusion better now. I knew Ware left FBI (on good terms), but wtf Pantheon?

  12. [And P.S., it’s not quite necessarily the same as saying “in print,” but a quick search of the March 17, 1963 bestsellers reveals that 8 out of the top 10 titles are available new and in stock directly from Amazon. 6 of the 10 had new editions come out within the last five years.]

  13. “By the logic of MBunge, “Ulysses,” “Gravity’s Rainbow,” and “Infinite Jest” certainly shouldn’t be in print.”

    Uh, you mean the logic that said if there was demand for the book it would still be in print? If nothing else, I’d guess there’s a pretty constant scholastic demand for new copies of the three books you mention. Certainly far more than for JIMMY CORRIGAN.

    “But I don’t get the hate towards the artsy comic book from some people.”

    And I don’t get the defensiveness about artsy comic books.


  14. I’m thinking with the recent release of Building Stories, Mr. Hibbs and other retailers could probably sell quite a few copies of Jimmy Corrigan. I think that’s what you’re missing; when a new critically adored book is released, book sellers usually have a lot of success selling the author’s backlist.

  15. Well, the Fanta editions of the Acme Library are indeed around, albeit in reduced bins even from many of the more indie friendly dealers. I imagine Fanta couldn’t keep these in print mainly due to their unique formats and how they were always “fun” to figure out how to display, keeping them from being displayed permanently.

    While it’s sad that these aren’t easily available to dealers now, Collector’s and readers should be able to find them, cheap at that. With all these reformatting of “classic” comics, I imagine they’re are up for reprinting, most likely with a more permanent format, that will no doubt cost a buck and a half.

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