Last year, a group of creators from Disney's animation department got together and produced an anthology for Comic-Con International: San Diego. Who Is Rocket Johnson? was a cult hit and completely sold out. It also had quite a gimmick: incredible art, solid storytelling and the contributors weren’t looking to get picked up by a major publisher. No, they just wanted to tell some incredible stories.
For the 2009 edition of Comic-Con, they were back with another anthology, What Is Torch Tiger? The stories in the book have only the title question in common. Some are cute, some whimsical, and some are serious. The diverse art and storytelling styles range from cartoonish sketches to lavishly illustrated tales, all of which have very different interpretations of the answer to the question.
For those who think anthologies don’t work or don’t sell, it’s an important reminder that good ones do both.
J.C. Vaughn is the Executive Editor and Associate Publisher of Gemstone Publishing, the home of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and Scoop, among other projects.