This is Justin again. I meant to post this circa last week, but I am having eight kinds of computer trouble.
Anywho: The horizontal format.
For obvious reasons, it's one of the first things that people notice looking at the book, and I like to think it helps it stand out from the crowd. The orientation also allows for visually arresting "Sunday comics" style superwidescreen layouts you don't see very often in comic books. We've gotten some very positive feedback from pros about the innovative and stylish way Josh has been putting together these pages. People really seem to dig the possibilities.
The problem, of course, is everyone on the business side of things says horizontal is a no-go. Which we completely understand; I imagine retailers hate having to try and shelve a book that works in the completely opposite direction of everything else on the rack.
We're looking to compromise. So here are the options we're faced with:
1.) Re-edit/redraw our pages so that everything fits as a vertical format, side-stapled, all-around standard comic. Perhaps the least attractive choice, as it loses everything of the widescreen effect, and it would be the most work (or at least it would be work for Josh; I'd really just have to e-mail him and ask "Are the pages done YET?" and then go back to playing Spider Solitaire).
2.) Re-edit/redraw so that the comic is still vertical format and side-stapled, but you have to turn the comic on its side to read it, rather like the way a wall calendar hangs. It would shelve normally but still allow us to lay out individual pages in a vertical format. The comic would lose the ability to do superwidescreen spreads, but it's not too terrible a compromise. People seemed to like when John Byrne did it in that old issue of Fantastic Four...
3.) Make the book a squarebound collection of 100+ pages rather than a 24ish-page "floppy." A wide format book that can be put in a bookshelf instead of on a rack, from what we gather, isn't as much of a hassle for retailers. It's the same format as, say, a Calvin & Hobbes collection, and since our comic is less a single story than a collection of shorter strips, it's somewhat appropriate. On the other hand, it comes with a higher price point.