Marvel and DC are Killing Comics

With Marvel putting out multiple Avengers, X-Men, Hulk, Thor comics, et al. They are putting the squeeze on retailers, making it hard for them because they have to order minimums of this stuff and in many cases they have trouble selling it. DC is playing the same game. They’ve just announced there will now be two Batmans running around.

This is going to make it even harder on independent publishers who have to try to pick up what little slack there is. And making it extremely hard on retailers is not a way to save the business. The “big two” are busting out the comics trade. The fans and retailers should really show them their rage and refuse to participate in these stunts. Otherwise, what will happen is more and more people will stop buying comics, and or start downloading them from the torrents for free and the publishers will see their profits shrink even further.

As it is now, there are no books breaking 100,000 in sales anymore. That should be a clue they should cut back, but since the comics companies are run by Democrats, they seem to think Obamanomics (spend more the less you make) is how you save things. That’s really working out great for the prez.

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8 Comments

  1. You had raised excellent points until your last paragraph. It is NOT about Democrats or Obamanomics. Comics companies are run by BUSINESS PEOPLE. Publishers, especially Marvel, are being very aggressive in pushing on-line subscriptions to their archived and new books. They save TONS by killing off print comics and moving to an online presence, and printing only select TPBs and Graphic Novels of the most popular and/or critically acclaimed titles. They won’t have to deal with paper costs, production costs, printing costs, or distribution. They can downsize staff considerably, which will also add to their bottom line. Wake up, guy! As bad a deal as Obama has handed the country, this has nothing at all to do with politics and everything to do with company profits.

    • That part you hate was a snarky joke, Lois. But the truth is a lot of them are ideologues who don’t see the forest for the trees. Been talking to them for 25 years. I’m not sure it’s entirely as you say, though. Your argument does make some sense. But online hasn’t proven itself yet as a business model. I fully believe that is where it’s going. I was saying that as far back as the late 1980s. But I don’t think they would kill print for something not quite ready yet. They are cutting and they will do a lot more cutting as the movie companies that own them will shift everything out west and cut loose a lot of long term staff. And then we’ll see where we’re at. As it is, what they’re doing now is a lot like the mid-90s where they almost killed the business,

      • The dead tree comics industry is so small in relation to the Time Warner DC / Disney Marvel universe that they could subsidize and even underwrite it back to the days of 6000+ national comic book stores and not even notice the resultant 10 cent change in their stock price. Not to mention the tax deductions and the fact that it would be research and development for future properties. One big payoff, e.g. like the Frank Miller “Dark Knight” of the 80s and they’d make it all back, in spades.

        • The R&D value of dead tree comics is overrated. What was the last new comics character that made a lot of money? Spawn, who wasn’t even from DC or Marvel? If Diane Nelson asked, “What new profitable brands have you created lately?”, how would DC execs answer? Unlike manga publishers, DC and Marvel are unable to create new hits. They are living off the licensing of decades-old characters. They could be shut down while the movies and TV shows and merchandising could continue.

          • You’re half right, Amritas. Red was successful so far and that was a new idea from a DC imprint (mainly a creator owned book). Creator owned books have the potential to do well. However, a lot of DC movies have not like Jonah Hex and the Losers, both based on old comics properties (but new versions).

          • The R&D value of dead tree comics is overrated.

            Which is like saying that medical R&D is overrated after closing 9 out of 10 hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices. The talented comics “researchers” have little monetary incentive to come up with new characters/properties when the distribution system is broken. Better to work in movies/video games.

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  3. I pretty much dislike editorial at both DC and Marvel. Did-I-Not and Quesadilla are the worst Ediots-Not-In-Charge in both companies’ histories.

    There’s a question about whether they’re actually doing their jobs to be honest. Other than running Spider-Man into the ground with his own bad ideas, what DOES Joey do besides decorate his penthouse apartment with plasma TV’s? It’s like the majority of the comics are being dictated by Brian Bendis (who’s an awful writer in my opinion) and whoever else is hot at the time. The same is very true with writer (and new editor) Geoff Johns at DC. A lot of his stuff is both very hyperviolent and mediocre to the extreme.

    Besides reversing decades-old character deaths and old storylines, I must admit I don’t care for the idea of multiple Batmans. Unlike Flash and Green Lantern, multiple Batmans doesn’t work. Bruce Wayne IS Batman. Accept it. Stever Rogers IS Captain America. Clark Kent IS Superman. Accept that, too. There are just some basics that shouldn’t be trifled with. (DC should’ve kept Dick Grayson as Robin, too, but the fans who have grown into editors and writers at the companies have mucked with formulas and aged characters to the point that some basics have become untenable in the last 30 years.)

    I don’t know that this is so much ideology, either, more than it is editors imposing THEIR personal views without checking out to see what has worked in the past and what is consistent and best for the comic lines in the future.

    Schwartz and Lee were both Liberals, but not Loonies, either, and did their homework and figured out what worked. They were also far more educated in life and less prone to doing the knuckleheaded half-assed strategies of the EIC’s today.

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