Toon Zone, 2/26/07
Slave Labor Graphics' Dan Vado Talks Disney Licensed Comics

On the first day of this weekend’s New York Comic Con, Toon Zone News managed to catch up briefly with Slave Labor Graphics founder, President, and Publisher Dan Vado about his licensed Disney comics based on Gargoyles, Alice in Wonderland, Tron, and the Haunted Mansion live-action movie. Vado had recently commented in his weblog that the initiative had not gone as well as he had hoped. Simply put, Vado stated that the company had bitten off more than it could chew at once by attempting to launch four licensed comic book titles at once. In hindsight, Vado said that it would have been a better plan to license only one comic book first and work out the kinks in the process before launching the entire line.

Vado also told us that he wants to renew the licensing contract in 2008, but added that he really has no idea how Disney feels about the comics initiative, and couldn’t rule out an amicable parting of the ways as a possible future. At this time, he said he had no solid ideas on what would come next.

The hardest part of the Disney deal was that it consumed so much time that some of Slave Labor Graphics’ creator-owned comics efforts fell off a bit -- something which the company is dealing with now. Vado described his current efforts with the Disney comics as a course correction, partially required due to the nature of selling comic books to the direct market and also to resume their efforts on their creator-owned catalog of comics. While Vado had been hoping that the Disney comics would raise Slave Labor Graphics' profile and boost sales of the other titles in the direct market, it seemed that many retailers opted to replace any existing Slave Labor orders with orders for the Disney comics instead. He added that the average consumer just doesn’t enjoy purchasing monthly comics.
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