Today a feature I wrote about German indie comic publisher Cross Cult Comics went up on Young Germany. I didn’t have quite enough material for a separate Book Punks profile, so instead I’m publishing the interview outtakes here. I recommend reading the Cross Cult feature on Young Germany first. Then, if you’re still hungry for information, come on back and see what bits of the conversation with Cross Cult Founder Andreas Mergenthaler were left out.
I would have liked to ask Mergenthaler to comment on how few women Cross Cult publishes, but alas, this interview was almost a year in the making and time marches on.
NS: As a small press, do you think you’re able to take more or fewer risks as to the kind of material you put out?
Andreas Mergenthaler: We can act faster than a big company who has to plan ahead many months, which is especially good for movie related art books or comics or novels, and we can stick to series if we believe in their potential, even when we lose money in that moment. That’s harder for editors working for bigger companies where only making money counts.
NS: Where does Cross Cult stand on the ebook debate? Any plans to put any out? Can comics be successfully sold as ebooks?
AM: Our novels are doing great as ebooks. Especially Star Trek has very tech friendly readers. We sell approximately 25% of our books digitally. Comics are harder to sell digitally, because they do not work on cheap or battery-life-efficient ebook readers. For comics, you need pads or desktop computers. So, this will take some extra time and better hardware to get the digital comic sales up. Amazon is pushing this. They bought comic specialist Comixology to get more people, also in Europe, interested in digital comics.
NS: Do you have any personal favorites among the Cross Cult titles? (I know, I know, nobody likes to pick a favorite child, but still I have to ask.) Anything coming out soon that you’d especially like to highlight?
AM: We’re developing an album series based on Michael Peinkofers popular Orks-novels with Danish artist Peter Snejbjerg. This is fun. More projects with German and international talents are in development. Those are my “babies.” It’s good to not only buying ready to print US-american, british or italian titles, but to create new titles for German and then, hopefully, also international audiences.