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Comic Book Industry Troubles ?8519

Collector GanaSoth private msg quote post Address this user
Marvel Comics in Trouble ?
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DC Comics in Trouble ?
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Collector moodswing private msg quote post Address this user
Fully expected this to show up here soon. Isn't this the article that circulated several years ago? There has been about hundreds of youtube videos popping up everyday about this article again. Pretty sure this is FAKE NEWS.
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Collector GanaSoth private msg quote post Address this user
@moodswing this is on which is pretty reliable.
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Collector KatKomics private msg quote post Address this user
What??!! Endless variants with no real story backup wasn't the answer??? $5 books and distribution that keeps comics out of the hands of kids also seems like a winning strategy. Surely universe resets every 36 months is also going to save things...i buy less and less modern because the stories dont talk to 11yr old starts and stops for the same reason
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Collector michaelekrupp private msg quote post Address this user
Wow, what an interesting read. I got out of buying new comics in early 1992, before the bottom fell out for the first time. I can’t say that I am completely surprised by the situation, although I did find it mildly surprising just how many comics are still being published every month by Marvel and DC. No wonder they are considering such drastic cutbacks! Clearly there is a need to start focusing on quality over quality, but at this point I don’t know if that alone is enough to save the industry. What really needs to happen is a complete overhaul of the way comics are distributed. The direct sales market has proven itself to be a double edged sword. Although direct sales saved the industry in the 1980s and led to unprecedented growth, what was once the industry’s savior is now the very thing that is killing it. Without significant changes to the distribution system, the best hope for comics is that they continue to barely survive as a loss leader and a marketing tool for more lucrative movies, television and video game products. I love the medium as much as anyone out there but I cannot say that I am surprised by the current situation, just sad.😞
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Thick Skinned OGJackster private msg quote post Address this user
With the cost of books, I have no idea how kids/parents can afford to buy them. The cheapest I remember buying them as a kid was 15¢.
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Collector Nuffsaid111 private msg quote post Address this user
I hope and pray for the day that both Marvel and DC go back to roughly 20 - 25 titles per month.
Then I will go back to reading them.
Hundreds of titles per month with 1% being good reads does not do it for me for the last 20 years.
I won't even go into the Variant fiasco.
I hope it all comes crashing down so it can be rebuilt from the bottom.
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Collector GAC private msg quote post Address this user
Let's say Marvel and DC both fold and zero new comics are printed. What effect, if any, will this have on values of older books (silver/bronze/copper) or even moderns?
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Collector michaelekrupp private msg quote post Address this user
An interesting question. My initial feeling is little, if any. At least in the short term. Maybe decades down the road, when our generation is dead and gone, who knows? It seems doubtful that key issues featuring iconic characters will ever go any direction but up, regardless of whether or not New periodicals continue to be issued.
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COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
Cant seem to find it but Eathan Van Sciver said something similar in an interview recently. Doom and gloom, demise of the industry etc etc
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Thick Skinned OGJackster private msg quote post Address this user
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
Cant seem to find it but Eathan Van Sciver said something similar in an interview recently. Doom and gloom, demise of the industry etc etc

Van Sciver said the DC line would be cut back even further, and he was right:

That on top of the fact that the comic book industry is collapsing under the weight of apathy at this point. In 2016, there were 2306 comic book stores, now there are 1900. Comic book stores are closing down and going out of business at a startling and frightening right. Once we reach the critical mass of 1500 retailers, for companies like DC and Marvel to solicit their product to, it will no longer be viable. All during this collapse, DC and Marvel have employed price hikes, they have employed various gimmick scams. I mean I call them scams, that is what I think they are. A retailers job is to look at the product that they are being offered and then kind of decide based on what they know about their customer base, the people who come into their store and what they buy, how many copies of each one of these comic books that they should provide on their stands, for complete sell-through. Nobody wants to be stuck with this product, you know two weeks after its date it has gone cold. At this points comics are like bread, they have a sell-by date, and they go stale and people do not buy them when they go stale. That is the situation with comics now.

On top of this, politics within the comics, divisive politics, and enormous unnecessary... events... these silly events... like 'hey, this is Civil War 3' and there are 1200 little spinoffs books that aren't necessary to read, and it's just too much. Foot traffic has declined in these stores. Retailers are considering what DC and Marvel are doing as predatory publishing. It is a problem for them to be able to gauge how to responsibly run their own businesses when Marvel and DC are employing tricks like this. It's catastrophic. This is #comicsgate. As much as anti-comicgaters within the comic book industry would like to marginalize our voices and let people know, gaslight people, that we are wrong, we are crazy, all this stuff, the comic book industry is healthy and will survive forever, this is just a temporary setback, I don't think so. I've been through two different comic book crashes and never felt the way I feel now. I've never seen things as so very very very very bleak and those crashes, like the one in 1998, the lowest selling book was like the highest selling book today. At the point, we thought it was extinction. We thought the comic book industry was going to go extinct. That's what's going on.

Well, here is another bit of news, DC cut their line down to 52 comics. Obviously, talent is going to get cut as well, and they are laying off seven employees as of today. I'm sure more fat-trimming will be coming. They probably just don't want a blood bath all at once. We are going to see this get whittled down.
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Thick Skinned OGJackster private msg quote post Address this user
If certain people get their way, printed comic books may go the way of farting cows and planes. God help us!
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TRA LA LA esaravo private msg quote post Address this user
Sell, Mortimer, sell!

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Collector moodswing private msg quote post Address this user
Originally Posted by GAC
Let's say Marvel and DC both fold and zero new comics are printed. What effect, if any, will this have on values of older books (silver/bronze/copper) or even moderns?

I don't see anything positive resulting from the 2 biggest comic book makers folding.
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Collector Paulbg2000 private msg quote post Address this user
Quesada shutting down the rumors...
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Collector GanaSoth private msg quote post Address this user
@Paulbg2000 time will tell I guess.

Playing devil's advocate here, but it looks like a tactic of the following analogy.

If you and others are on a cruise ship that's sinking but your captain keeps telling you to remain calm, that the ships not sinking, while the captains closest deckhands get the last life boat ready for them so they can exit at the last second, insuring their final selfpreservation, the rest of the vacationers are left to go down with the ship. Much like the stock in the comic companies & the stockholders if the people find out the truth. Of course the CEO of the company will tell everyone that everything is just fine, only rumors.
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Thick Skinned OGJackster private msg quote post Address this user
At the very least, I would love to see a reorganization. All of the crossovers are mostly boring and the variant covers have been ridiculous. Quality over quantity. If the quality is there then the selling numbers will be high. Stop feeding us crap sandwiches!
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Collector KatKomics private msg quote post Address this user
$2 books on cheap paper and story lines thag kids like(maybe even stories who have the same lineups as the movies the kids are watching...whos in Guardians now??). Adults...if you want to read...thats what the vertigo or epic banners were for.
Post 18 IP   flag post
Collector etapi65 private msg quote post Address this user
There was a time where you could go to a newstand/comic store, buy a comic, and there was a chance that someday, by random chance, that could have been THE comic to have. Everything now is telegraphed. We're going to release this event/comic with the expressed intent of making this new character/story arc popular. But, you can't just buy the regular edition; those will be worthless. Instead, for the thing to keep it's value you're going to have to shell out $50+ for the one-in-(15, 25, 50, 100, 250) version. There's no surprise, no chance, no effort. On top of that, the stories aren't very good and are delayed months. With the exception of Spider-Gwen and Bat-Junk; what has been an unexpected first in the past 5 years that makes it worth picking up something new to check-out from the big companies? $2.99/book, released twice/month? Who can afford to buy moderns? $144/year per modern title can get you some decent first appearances from the 80s, graded.
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Collector CatmanAmerica private msg quote post Address this user
As a comic historian who's aware of the current cyclical downturns in comic book publishing as well as the lucrative bubble-baiting comic hero film industry my take is that both industries have strengths, weaknesses and future risks. Unfortunately, what we currently have is a tail wagging the dog scenario, with the comic book industry coat-tailing the lucrative superhero film culture.

Nothing in the current marketplace suggests the comic publishing industry is facing impending doom, but the wisdom suggests taking the cautionary view that adjustments need to occur on the comic book side of the equation in order to rebuild the health of the industry.

The toxic problems manifested in the comic book side of the industry are numerous. Rising costs of publication combined with lower page counts are prominent among them. The reliance on collectors to bolster weak product is more Ponzi scheme than bailout. Overuse of variant cover marketing and connected universe storylines ...which ironically has worked in film, but makes collectors buy every tie-in to have complete stories... is unsustainable. The superstardom of comic artists is both a blessing and a curse, as it drives comic prices ever higher while failing to provide a yardstick for craft.

Solution: Back to basics...

We're never going to see 64 pages for a dime again, but thicker books (higher page count), complete stories and a diversity of characters in their own well plotted tales would provide more bang for the buck. I'm persuaded that readers will pay more for good content that doesn't feel like the fast food equivalent of empty calories.

Comic publishers should back away from variant cover editions that bully collectors into buying too many copies with the same content. This has the appearance of a money grab. Comic readers aren't fools and shouldn't be treated as such by the publisher's on whose patronage they depend.

Innovative artists with widely varying styles should be encouraged (where are today's Wally Woods, Lou Fines, Jack Kirbys, Carmine Infantinos, Graham Ingles and Basil Wolvertons?). Looking to successful international publications of the not too distant past for inspiration such as Metal Hurling (aka Heavy Metal) might be a good starting point for revitalization.

Also, the anatomically distorted, steroid popping look of muscle-bound male heroes and silicone enhanced sexually evocative heroines might benefit from being ratcheted back to a healthier, more realistic look (Fox's SOTI queen and Betty Page knock off Phantom Lady pales in comparison to some of the enhancements being marketed as normal today). The obvious question that follows relates to market demographic, but digresses too much from our industry overview discussion.

I'm not suggesting that publishers shy away from compelling social topics, but the creation of new characters ...while respecting the legacies of older characters... is an essential part of building a universe. Rebooting should be a last resort, not the first choice or obvious alternative for characters that have fallen from favor. Retirement may be a better option for some legacy characters, but for those in transition having compelling stories that reflect contemporary issues is essential for characters to remain relevant.

If an epic series is contemplated, make it a finite serialized tale with revelations in every issue that pull new readers in and keep them coming back. Dragging out stories with useless padding and weak plot points is an ineffective way to maintain reader interest.

Once again, ...too much caffeine, but hopefully my musings will have some value as part of this ongoing discussion.
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Beaten by boat oars Studley_Dudley private msg quote post Address this user
I'll be honest, I don't read much in the way of new stuff. My current pull list has dwindled down to Star Wars, Doctor Aphra, and Punisher. The new Transformers series is on it too, but that starts some time this month. Growing up in the 90s when cutting grass and doing chores got me my weekly $5-$10, my friends and I would venture to the local grocery store or drug store to see what was on the spinner racks. I very much remember buying X-Men comics, but then having to buy Excalibur or some other book that I didn't read because of all the crossovers. It was like an annual event for X-Men since the 1980s (with the exception being Acts of Vengeance - where other characters were focused on). It started off innocently enough. Then came Onslaught. What a pile of garbage. I stopped buying and reading around 2003. Started up again a few years later but only kept it to Transformers and Punisher. Stopped again from 2008-2013, then have been on since then. At $4 plus a pop, it's an expensive hobby. If I had kids, there is no way I could keep up with getting them all the issues from whatever annual crossover is going to happen. I was a sucker for the variants for a while. I think they're a total scam, but others like it. I believe in buying what you like. But, 60+ variants for Star Wars #1, however many for FF #1, etc gets old. It's no secret that sales are dwindling, and shop owners tell me that their main comic customers are people in their late 20s and up. Kids don't buy them and Free Comic Book Day is a joke at getting kids into comics. That's a lot of work to give away some free shit once a year. I would love to see Marvel and DC just cut it back, streamline it, and put out quality over quantity. Weren't mini series used to gauge if a character was worthy of having an ongoing series, a la Wolverine and Punisher? I don't even know where I'm going with this anymore. Back to the original links, I feel like these articles come out every year or so. There are definitely issues (no pun intended) that the industry needs to sort out.
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Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
According to a survey DC did back when New 52 was going on, the majority of their readers are ~25. But the heavier end of the curve is before that instead of after it (I'll post the picture later). I doubt the demographics have changed all that much, and I don't think anyone was saying that the industry was going to collapse in 2011.
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Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user

Hard to tell without having the actual numbers but it looks like there are as many people below 25ish as above.
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Thick Skinned OGJackster private msg quote post Address this user
I don't think if artists started to make characters look more normal rather than "anatomically distorted" is something people take into consideration when buying a comic book. Sex sells and always has since the beginning of comic books. The entire industry is based on make-believe. It would be silly if Bruce Banner just simply changed colors.
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Collector antoniofett private msg quote post Address this user
maybe marvel will figure out that we don't need a new #1 every other month.
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Collector yamada69 private msg quote post Address this user
Here is the text of my local comic store owner who was invited to the "State of the Industry" topic delivered in Charlotte last week at the @comicspro annual meeting. Great read!!
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COLLECTOR drchaos private msg quote post Address this user
If anything Disney and maybe DC will outsource comic creation and reduce their employees and offices.

Why maintain expensive NYC office space when creators can work from anywhere including their homes?
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Collector KatKomics private msg quote post Address this user
@yamada69 - I think I realllly like your LCS owner!!

"Listen to me, publishers: this behavior needs to stop! If you can’t sell enough copies of your comic to fit your business goals with one single cover, then you probably shouldn’t be publishing it in the first place!"

Too many titles under one banner (how many Spidey books??) too many variants, too many multi title mass events timed too close to one another all with sh!t loads of variants all on stories that aren't all that good and only get reset or over written with the next event

I'm not sure what the answer is but clearly the current actions are not it!
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Collector DrWatson private msg quote post Address this user
If they went back to house style art, one title per property, and story lines that didn't suck, then they would see their way clear in no time.
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Collector Enelson private msg quote post Address this user
If it finally does collapse, like so many of us long time readers have predicted/feared for years, it will be an example of an industry that learned NOTHING from previous failures. The constant reboots, the proliferation of titles, the onslaught of variants are all reasons that it might finally crash. The craziest thing- and I have said this so many times to people- is that comics should be more popular than ever with all of the movies and shows. Marvel and Dc are doing nothing to attract new readers. Every story is a part of a 6 part arc- so they can collect it in a trade. The entry level price of a comic continues to be at or near $5. Comics are not accessible to new readers and the current fanbase is only getting older. What new kid is reading a comic? My boys do, but that is obviously just because I do, and did at a young age. It really is a shame. I know the days of walking in and seeing a spinner rack are long gone, but they have to figure out how to get new readers if they want to survive.

The other issue, and I think we have ALL been guilty of this at times is the speculator market is BACK! Go into a comic shop on Wednesday and tell me how many times you have seen new faces buying up copies of "old(insert character name her) #1" or getting the special limited edition variant of some other thing. I mean, look at Detective 1000- why have so many covers? Its crazy. I could rant about this forever. A couple of people have said this already- but get back to 1 title of each major character, and I bet it rights the ship. Right now they are just doubling down on bad ideas.
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