Following in the footsteps of the ill-fated Bill Jemas' Double Take, Alterna Comics will release a new lineup of single issues priced under $2, according to a press release. In addition to the price, Alterna's plan is to feature "throwback style covers, a new logo, prices under $1.99 an issue, and the distant but familiar feel of newsprint" in an attempt to recreate the childhood of publisher Peter Simeti.
"When I fell in love with comics, it was an entire experience," Simeti explained while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and drinking Ecto-Cooler from a juice box. "The stories, the imagery, and the paper. There was almost nothing else like reading a comic book. It was a fragile thing, but durable at the same time. Printed on newsprint with a thin, but glossy, cover, you could roll the comic – not that you'd necessarily want to – and they were lightweight and had a floppy feel. The smell and feel of the pages is something that no longer occurs on the new comic book day release wall, yet it's prevalent in back issue bins across the country. Our goal is to create a comic book that would 'feel' like it just came out of a shop from 30 years ago."
It's on the price point where Simeti, typing the press release up from a Commodore 64 computer, really nails it, saying, "While most companies seem to be trying to out do each other with premium paper stocks and escalating price tags, we're aiming to make comics affordable and bring back a practicality to single issues. We're not in the business of making collectibles first and comics second. These won't be variant covers or variant issues, just basic comic books. We're happy to leave the premium paper stocks to our graphic novel line, which we will still be producing. Right now, we're aiming to launch this line with a few issues priced from $1 to $1.99, in Spring/Summer 2017."
Alterna's efforts to bring comics back to the "good old days" mirrors attempts by other publishers in 2016, who regressed the comic book industry by thirty years through their handling (or lack thereof) of sexual harassment charges by top editors. With that perspective, Alterna's approach seems a lot more positive by comparison, and we look forward to seeing these books on stands and not needing to consult our financial planner to see whether it would be possible to check them out.
If the plan proves successful, sources tell Bleeding Cool that Simeti's 2018 goal will be to force a major television network to revive his favorite show, Alf.