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Thread: The comic book industry and direct market fate

  1. #51
    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Interesting information. I'm thinking that rather than traditional comic book stores, the kind of comic book I'm talking about could be directly marketed to groups' fan bases through the musical groups' fan clubs. Putting it out on fan webpages and during chats like Mikey attends would reach an eager audience.

    My associate also publishes graphic novels, which could be an additional way to go. It's surely niche marketing, which is why a small, independent publisher like my associate might be the way to go. But I'd think most people who are fans of certain groups would be interested and that could translate to considerable ongoing revenues.

    It was just a thought...
    To be fair most of the attempts are cheesy at best. I think what could help more would be others doing things like actively participating in the process. Actress Aimee Garcia and former pro wrestler AJ Mendez are wrote an issue for a series on the Netflix series GLOW, and issues of a series based on a Dungeons and Dragons title.

    I do think if done better than what has been done in the past with the right support it could help in many ways.

    -----------------

    Yeah it was shocking when I read that and I knew they were doing an online concert here in a few months and wondered if that was included in his issues with the industry or not. I've never been a fan of the whole people just not riding along but getting most of the cut. Conceptually I have no problem with record labels but they take way too much of the cut. While an online concert would be more convenient for me (have purchased some live blu-rays etc before), if it's following the same model as online albums less likely to partake. (yes buying albums is often frustrating)

    And yeah, I was just curious since it was brought up and didn't want to make a whole knew thread on a similar subject that was already brought up here.
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  2. #52
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    Figured I'd bump this given the recent rumblings on the 'net regarding DC Comics.

    Recent meetings were held between AT&T/Warner and a cabal of wealthy investors, said to all be superfans, and that's in turn led to several pitches being made to legit purchase the publishing side of the company. Warner/AT&T would retain all IP rights and control the merchandising, films, tv, animation etc, but the comic books would be handled by a different arm altogether.

    Offers have included ones based in Kent, England and New York.

    https://bleedingcool.com/comics/othe...-buyout-pitch/

  3. #53
    Liberty, justice, peace. The All American's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron Samurai View Post
    Figured I'd bump this given the recent rumblings on the 'net regarding DC Comics.

    Recent meetings were held between AT&T/Warner and a cabal of wealthy investors, said to all be superfans, and that's in turn led to several pitches being made to legit purchase the publishing side of the company. Warner/AT&T would retain all IP rights and control the merchandising, films, tv, animation etc, but the comic books would be handled by a different arm altogether.

    Offers have included ones based in Kent, England and New York.

    https://bleedingcool.com/comics/othe...-buyout-pitch/
    Thank you for sharing. This was also very interesting to hear from that article:

    I am also told that a proposed move to digital-first publication over print publication is getting knocked back after the digital numbers have remained disappointing, even during lockdown. It turns out the remaining print audience have made their decision of print vs digital some time ago and are happy to wait for the ink to hit the paper. Even in pandemic, digital comics sales did not get a bump. But paper sales did.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by The All American View Post
    This was also very interesting to hear from that article:
    This explains why some of the digital books I was reading abruptly stopped. Indeed, out of all the ones I was following (Batman: Gotham Knights and Superman: Man of Tomorrow), it was only made specifically clear that Wonder Woman Agent of Peace would wrap up (because it would then relaunch as "Sensational Wonder Woman"). Most recently the Challenge of the Super Sons digital series ended mid-way through the story, but will resume in April as a printed comic.

  5. #55
    Heroic Warrior Night Stalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The All American View Post
    Thank you for sharing. This was also very interesting to hear from that article:
    One thing Bleeding Cool likes to tout is "but comic sales are up for fall/winter 2020!" They're not mentioning what is actually selling: manga, graphic novels and omnibuses. Sales of new print titles from the big three are at an all-time low, and digital sales of that material are even lower.

    Around March, Rich Johnston was publicly predicting the stay-at-home measures would lead into a new comic renaissance, which it did- for back issue dealers. By late summer, he was saying that sales were increasing (which they were) but again, not of new material save a few scattered series.

    What can you do as DC or Marvel? You're bleeding red ink on every new comic you print. People aren't going digital because there's no incentive. The only products in print that turn a profit are reprints of older material that you try to distance yourself from. The people have spoken. Give us the product we want, not the product you want to make. If you're unable to do so, we'll just read the stuff you used to produce which we actually like.
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  6. #56
    Heroic Warrior King Kahn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night Stalker View Post
    One thing Bleeding Cool likes to tout is "but comic sales are up for fall/winter 2020!" They're not mentioning what is actually selling: manga, graphic novels and omnibuses. Sales of new print titles from the big three are at an all-time low, and digital sales of that material are even lower.

    Around March, Rich Johnston was publicly predicting the stay-at-home measures would lead into a new comic renaissance, which it did- for back issue dealers. By late summer, he was saying that sales were increasing (which they were) but again, not of new material save a few scattered series.

    What can you do as DC or Marvel? You're bleeding red ink on every new comic you print. People aren't going digital because there's no incentive. The only products in print that turn a profit are reprints of older material that you try to distance yourself from. The people have spoken. Give us the product we want, not the product you want to make. If you're unable to do so, we'll just read the stuff you used to produce which we actually like.
    it doesn't help that they are still trying to get the same cover price for a digital comic that they charge for print. They should have made digital comics .99 long ago and kept it there to build an audience etc. People are already trained by itunes for the price point and people don't bat an eye at a buck.

    The real reason marvel/dc keep printing is to keep trademarks on their IPs. That is why you see a mini series or one shot of a random character every now and then.

    They can use comics as a testing ground for what stories work and dont work. It's like R&D that we pay for lol.
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  7. #57
    Heroic Warrior A Dalek's Avatar
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    The thing is as I pointed out earlier, Marvel and DC's comics haven't been consistently good in decades. They turned crap in the 90's, started to get better in the late 90's to early 2000's, but then fell off the wagon again in the mid 2000's and never recovered.

    People want to blame recent trends for the decline in comics. But all those trends have either been around longer than people like to admit, or are mishandled attempts to solve the the problems cause by those long running trends.

  8. #58
    Heroic Warrior MJOLNIR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron Samurai View Post
    Figured I'd bump this given the recent rumblings on the 'net regarding DC Comics.

    Recent meetings were held between AT&T/Warner and a cabal of wealthy investors, said to all be superfans, and that's in turn led to several pitches being made to legit purchase the publishing side of the company. Warner/AT&T would retain all IP rights and control the merchandising, films, tv, animation etc, but the comic books would be handled by a different arm altogether.

    Offers have included ones based in Kent, England and New York.

    https://bleedingcool.com/comics/othe...-buyout-pitch/
    Yeah rumor has it that Kirkman is the leading person to buy the publishing rights. I'd love to see the comics portion of DC go back into the hands of someone who loves comic books and has worked in the industry.

  9. #59
    Heroic Warrior seth-man's Avatar
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    Did not read all the pages but ...Why are comics $4-5 a book now for new releases? I'm a 90's comicbook reader quit as I got older and prices rose to $2.25 or so a book.

    I remember collecting when they were a buck and my LCBS had my stack waiting for me when I arrived and I'd browse the new #1's It was so satisfying pedaling home to read my fresh stash dropping cookie crumbs all over my bed. Those were the days!

    I got into a Marvel Heroes video game in 2013 that dragged me back into comics but couldn't justify the $3 cover price back then either so went with an Marvel Unlimited App and it was perfect for train commuting. However when jobs changed and I started driving again I dropped the app saving $10 bucks a month. I still don't have a good tablet or something comfortable enough to really enjoy them on.

    Why hasn't Marvel or DC teamed up with a hardware maker to make a specific comic book reader like a kindle but in fullsize comic proportion limited to just downloading and viewing comics?

    Recently I tried Comixology for $5.99 a month... but will probably drop that soon too. I just can't find any good stuff i want to read that is included in unlimited.

    I want to read comics ... actual physical current comics, but unless i'm will to spend at least $60 a month on new releases there is no way, comic readers don't just read 1 comic a month we juggle 20+ titles..so how is it even affordable to read comics anymore? Anything included in a digital plan is at least 3 years old and whose talking about those?
    Last edited by seth-man; February 27, 2021 at 03:06pm.

  10. #60
    Heroic Warrior Rikki Roxx's Avatar
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    1. Inflation
    2. Gloss paper
    3. A combination of those two things

    Prices were going up rather steadily every couple years until 2005 or so anyway - I remember when they hit $2 an issue and I was like "WTF is this?!" - but then around 2008 when gloss paper became the universal standard for everything, that's when prices hit the roof and kept climbing.

    Back then I was buying about 2/3 of the entire DC line every month but shortly before "Flashpoint" I just had to stop because once it went over $3 an issue I simply couldn't keep up with that many books. *I* would be fine with books still being printed on newsprint but nobody ever asks me before they make these decisions.
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  11. #61
    Heroic Warrior Amentep's Avatar
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    When they shifted to the collector's market instead of newsstands, they started making a product that wasn't disposable.

    That's what led to pursuing better and better printing, better coloring and so on.

  12. #62
    Heroic Warrior Night Stalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki Roxx View Post
    1. Inflation
    2. Gloss paper
    3. A combination of those two things

    Prices were going up rather steadily every couple years until 2005 or so anyway - I remember when they hit $2 an issue and I was like "WTF is this?!" - but then around 2008 when gloss paper became the universal standard for everything, that's when prices hit the roof and kept climbing.

    Back then I was buying about 2/3 of the entire DC line every month but shortly before "Flashpoint" I just had to stop because once it went over $3 an issue I simply couldn't keep up with that many books. *I* would be fine with books still being printed on newsprint but nobody ever asks me before they make these decisions.

    The industry really had no alternative but to go to (arguably) better paper, as all of the North American printers had phased out Improved Newsstock, Mando and Baxter paper by the mid nineties. Detroit's ink industry collapsed alongside the automotive industry in the 1980s, leading to the widespread importation of Asian ink. The Chinese inks they were importing were not compatible with porous print, so the only books you saw utilizing that type of paper post-96 were B&W indies like Cerebus or the Gemstone E.C. reprints, which were printed by a small Missouri printer that specialized in furniture store flyers and restaurant menus.

    Nowadays, the industry has somewhat settled and theoretically could go back to improved stock (the basic newsprint type utilized by Marvel from 1990-1997 and DC from 1992-1999/Vertigo 1993-2000) but it would require a complete overhaul of the way the industry colored their books, as the palette would be more limited.

    Val could probably give more insight on this than I could, but when DC changed to the semi-gloss coated stock in 2018-2019, colorists were given new parameters and percentage thresholds to work with, as this new stock does not lend itself to extreme depth or vibrancy. It works great in omnibus collections of old material, but reprints of material originally created 1995-2015 look dull and muted unless they're recolored.

    So yeah, paper costs are a huge factor in price, but it's not the greatest factor. By the time the industry made the switch as a whole, it was only incrementally more expensive to print on glossy paper than it was the improved stock they were using. Image, for example, never even raised the cover price on most of their titles after going to gloss. Dave Sim mentioned a few years back that it would have cost him more to do Glamourpuss on newsprint than it cost him to do gloss.
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  13. #63
    Heroic Warrior Amentep's Avatar
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    Interesting about the ink collapse, I seem to vaguely remember reading about that now that you mention it.

  14. #64
    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    comic costs has more to do with many other factors
    1) paying the creators, while not all are getting paid well top names are paid much better than they were in the past, and are typically paid upfront
    2) markup and how publishing pays out
    3) the paper has created a problem with collectible value, which goes into #2, and the comic shop has to make money
    4) move to the direct market
    5) the readership isn't getting bigger
    6) have to cover the loss of titles that didn't sell

    good discussion here about the whole thing https://www.reddit.com/r/comicbooks/..._so_expensive/
    One Gum Drop to rule them all, One Gum Drop to find them,
    One Gum Drop to bring them all and in the sweetness bind them
    In the Land of Candy where the Gingerbreads lie.
    -Tag line for the Candy Land Movie Adaptation

    There are sentences I should just stay a way from. - The Doctor

    Rob Liefeld isn't a comic artist, he's a women's clothing designer. Think about it

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