Confirmed via Robots In Disguise comic writer Georgia Ball, it appears the RID comic book will be ending with issue #6. Ball goes on in detail to provide several reasons the series would not continue, despite originally being only approved for four issues.
The cartoon show tie-in was generally well received by fans, but unfortunately will see its end shortly. You can see the full blog post from Ball after the jump.
codyscommandpost asked: Hi there! Big fan of your work on the RID and MLP comics– I had a question regarding the former, actually. I noticed that in IDW’s January solicitations, there was no new RID issue mentioned. But the December one didn’t exactly seem like a finale, from the description…has the book been canned, or is it just skipping a month or something? I understand this is probably beyond what can be answered over social media, and no worries if it is, I was just wondering. Keep up the good work!
I’ve been waiting for this question to come along so I can answer – Yes, we were not given the green light to continue the comic past six issues. I’m turning in the script for #6 tomorrow and it will be the last issue in the regular series.
There are a lot of factors that went into this:
1. Almost all comics are pitched in short sets even if they are solicited as ongoing.
We were originally only approved for four issues and it felt like an achievement to be extended to 6. As my editor said in the back letter of issue 1, I got the assignment because I wrote a pitch for Jem that didn’t make it so I know that Jem was originally only greenlit to 5. Littlest Pet Shop was also 5, but good hardcover sales brought it back for another round.
2. Comics are sold to retailers, not fans.
Kate Leth is a former retailer and her recent post about this is spot on. Everyone knows the system is deeply flawed, and I had a pretty good idea we wouldn’t have a long run before Issue #1 even came out. Stores do not take chances on TF cartoon tie-ins, and since the first book was solicited before the show had come out in the States, we think there is a good chance they weren’t familiar with the show. I frequently saw this comic end up in the all-ages section rather than the wall with the other TF books, and the typical retailer approach to an all-ages book is to buy a small number of issues and then let it run out without making another order and they’re frequently out of the book within a week of release. We struggled with that behavior all the way through the AE Strawberry Shortcake series so I’m more than familiar with it.
3. It was not digital-first.
But that’s how most of the fans I heard from seemed to be reading it. Some comic companies have a digital-first program, some don’t. It would take a lot of digital sales to make up for a poor performance in print and Comixology doesn’t publicly release those numbers the way Diamond does. Neither does the book industry by the way, it’s actually completely bizarre that we know this much about how comics are selling and as Kate says in her post, seeing those numbers also influences retailers. Side note: Digital-first series often pay lower page rates and have lower page counts. The industry is struggling to figure out digital publishing and the results are messy, but personally, that’s how I read everything I subscribe to so I have no right to tell people to buy differently.
All of that said, the reviews were good and the fan response couldn’t have made me happier. Priscilla did a brilliant job and made everything easy. Hasbro LOVED this book and it’s possible more of it could come out in the future but I can’t give out any details! Thank you all so much for posting about the comic, sending me questions and letting me get to know you.