The British, and regular non-British readers of this site, should be familiar with the concept of the “partwork”. A large body of work, chopped up into bite sized portions, serialised as a magazine and sold through British newsagents. How to build a ship in a bottle, the history of the Romans, a guide to Star Trek, fly fishing, any subject is a possible target for a partwork. Usually beginning in January, when people are full of New Year’s Resolutions, sales usually atrophy and the publisher’s main concern is to switch as many readers on to a subscription model, this locking them in for the duration of the partwork. If not, the publication could just cease half way through and you are left with half a model Roman Villa and you didn’t even get to the sexy bits in the magazine.
A few years ago, something changed. And Eaglemoss discovered a far larger audience for it’s Marvel lead figurines. They were a roaring success in US comic stores and, after fighting US customs over the legality of toys made of lead, they found a place in every comic store, lasting far longer than originally planned, spinning ff into a DC line, a chess line and more. Hachette began to produce Marvel hardcover graphic novels as part of a line that is still going – especially since due to licensing deals they don’t have to pay any creator royalties. The partwork had found a new business model.
Well, now it’s time for a British comics character to seize a bit of that action. Hachette are publishing the complete partworks of Judge Dredd, being serialised right now as The Mega Collection.
The Mega Collection. Here’s what’s coming, every two weeks.
Here’s how the spines will look.
And subscribers get extra stuff.
So… anyone signing up? Before there were Lootcrates, there were… Partworks!