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Old 02-01-16, 05:01 PM   #76
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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The crazy thing is, I don't think I would even recommend my kids to buy comics off the rack. Maybe a 99c bin or a 99c sale. The only reason I get them is because I add them to my dcbs order, and I get like 50% off. In addition to the DC titles (and if they come out with a DC Girls line of comics, I'll probably buy that too), I get the IDW Disney comics and some of the Tinkerbell stuff and pokemon manga. But it's like I'm trying to foster this love of comics in my kids, when even I think it's a waste of their money. I'm such a bad parent...
I suggested to my grandson that he get the trades instead as the two books I'm getting for him, "Gotham Academy" and "Batgirl," I feel read better that way. He indicated he "couldn't wait 6 months for each one" so I kept going with the floppies. He's at least 6 months behind right now so it seems waiting *isn't* a issue. If these two continue past the upcoming renumbering scheme I think I'll switch to TPB as they'll be a couple of $$ cheaper *and* a better read that way.

My granddaughter gets the "My Little Pony" titles and I think they're in TPB as well... Hmmm... need to check that out.
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Old 02-01-16, 06:07 PM   #77
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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Are you sure about that? I thought the average comic buyer was around 40 years old.
From DC's survey in 2011 after the New 52 first came out:
13-17 — 1%-2%

18-24 — 14%-22%

25-34 — 37%-42%

35-44 — 27%-35%

45-54 — 7%-11%

55+ — 2%

Granted it's not a perfect survey but it's still a good snapshot, especially since we're still talking about DC publications here. And it seems like a lot of older comics purchasers were very pissed about the New 52 tossing out their characters and continuities and as people on this forum and numerous others ones have said, they stopped buying DC books. Is Space Ghost or Wacky Races really going to draw them back after Convergence and "Wait we didn't mean to piss on all your favorite DC history" didn't bring them back?

There was some proprietary study done by a marketing group that you have to pay to see the full report, but allegedly they found 25% of comics readers are over 65, but it's very likely they didn't differentiate comic books from comic strips, and the average age of a newspaper reader that has funny pages has got to be pretty high too.

A more recent 2014 survey from ICv2 found:
"The majority of customers in the general sample were between the ages of 26 and 40, but this group tends to skew younger, with 58.5% between the ages of 21 and 35 and more customers in the 18-20 age group compared to the market as a whole."

So again, I really think DC missed the nostalgia boat for these particular properties.


As for the whole single issue / trade collection thing goes - as others have pointed out, that's been a big problem for the industry because young kids can't afford single issues. But that's why something like this might be better suited to the "graphic novel" format anyway.

Magazine print is doing poorly, spinner racks for comics aren't coming back any time soon, but Wal-Mart has shown an interest in stocking trades and most similar big box stores have at least a small book section. Plus B&N has an ever expanding graphic novel department (though they also carry some single issues by the magazines). Is there really a reason any of this would need to be a monthly floppy book? These things are going to end up being spun as limited series anyway when they don't catch on. But I guess if they made them graphic novels off the bat rather than single issues ---> trade collections, then they couldn't sell a million different variant covers to what collectors are left.

If digital pricing was better off the bat, the single issue thing probably wouldn't be such a big deal because young kids could probably afford (or get their parent's permission) to buy a $0.99 issue of Scooby-Doo With Guns or Trailer Park Flintstones on their iPads or iPhones. Unfortunately the $0.99-per-issue-cover-price-for-a-full-20-pages model went way off the rails a while ago, and now most "digital first" type titles are a fraction of 20 pages for $0.99 while full digital issues that also see print are sold at the full print price (unless you wait for a sale).

As a larger tangent, comics are going to crash at some point if they don't figure out their pricing model better. It's not just kids that can't afford them. As an entertainment medium they just don't make sense financially. A single issue comic is $4 for 10 minutes of reading. At least a $20 prose book that's probably 500 pages and a hardcover will probably take you a few hours if not a few days. $15 at the movie theater gets you 2.5 hours of entertainment. $10 a month gets you endless hours on Netflix. $60 (plus a monthly fee) gets you dozens upon dozens of hours of brand new video game play time and more, depending on how much you like online multiplayer.

Marvel is starting to get the hint with Marvel Unlimited and hopefully other publishers and services follow suit. Trades help offset the costs a little bit, but even those are creeping up in price. There's already $40 "larger" TPBs. Marvel Now had some 5 or 6 issues TPBs that were encroaching on $20 cover price.

Last edited by kodave; 02-01-16 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 02-01-16, 11:31 PM   #78
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

I don't think they can transition over to OGNs completely, or if they do it will be a very painful process.

1. It would be painful for a lot of the creators. Sure, we get stuff like Earth One, but those are top notch creative teams that are well established enough to probably not need that monthly income, plus have somewhat of a guarantee to sell.

2. Scheduling would be even more of a pain. If you had just large volumes come out, continuity would have to be kept to a minimum because there's no way they'd be able to schedule stuff. They can barely schedule events as it is.

3. They have a dwindling fanbase, sure, but one that is addicted to the drip feed of monthly comics. If you break them of the habit, they may be gone for good. In addition, the reader quickly realizes that not everything is worth collecting or buying in a bigger collection. The monthly comic can have some fill ins and whatnot and they'll still sell because people are on the drip. Maybe there's a bad creative team, but by the time the fans realize it, there's a new direction with new creators, and there's hope that your favorite characters will now turn around.

4. I think we underestimate just how many double and triple dippers there are, who will buy the monthly comics, then the hardcover, then maybe an omnibus. And there are those who will buy dozens of copies just for the chase cover.

5. This would pretty much be the death of the comic book store. They need that weekly/monthly habit to survive. Not to mention Amazon and discount retailers would destroy them.

I think the European model (and to some extent the Japanese model) is more collections and OGNs, but they also have more anthologies where people can sample work. Going to OGNs, eschewing binding continuity and letting the top creators just tell great stories will get you longer lasting and probably better stories, but less of them, and it's almost like the Big 2 are trading entirely on volume of output.
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Old 02-01-16, 11:44 PM   #79
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

I think what Marvel and DC will eventually have to offer is a subscription service to their entire monthly digital output for a recurring monthly payment ($49.99?) once the economics finishes off the comic book retailers. So for that fee you would have one month of access to the newest issues, while older issues are sold on a per-issue basis.

They will have to rethink how they entice new readers under that model. I would guess smaller monthly subscriptions may work if you group books by character. Many people only want to read about Batman or the X-Men, for example.
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Old 02-02-16, 03:43 AM   #80
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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I don't think they can transition over to OGNs completely, or if they do it will be a very painful process.

1. It would be painful for a lot of the creators. Sure, we get stuff like Earth One, but those are top notch creative teams that are well established enough to probably not need that monthly income, plus have somewhat of a guarantee to sell.

2. Scheduling would be even more of a pain. If you had just large volumes come out, continuity would have to be kept to a minimum because there's no way they'd be able to schedule stuff. They can barely schedule events as it is.

3. They have a dwindling fanbase, sure, but one that is addicted to the drip feed of monthly comics. If you break them of the habit, they may be gone for good. In addition, the reader quickly realizes that not everything is worth collecting or buying in a bigger collection. The monthly comic can have some fill ins and whatnot and they'll still sell because people are on the drip. Maybe there's a bad creative team, but by the time the fans realize it, there's a new direction with new creators, and there's hope that your favorite characters will now turn around.

4. I think we underestimate just how many double and triple dippers there are, who will buy the monthly comics, then the hardcover, then maybe an omnibus. And there are those who will buy dozens of copies just for the chase cover.

5. This would pretty much be the death of the comic book store. They need that weekly/monthly habit to survive. Not to mention Amazon and discount retailers would destroy them.

I think the European model (and to some extent the Japanese model) is more collections and OGNs, but they also have more anthologies where people can sample work. Going to OGNs, eschewing binding continuity and letting the top creators just tell great stories will get you longer lasting and probably better stories, but less of them, and it's almost like the Big 2 are trading entirely on volume of output.
I agree with pretty much all of that. A big reason the single issues aren't going away with the Big Two is that the financials of the industry are all structured on the single issue sales model. And then like you said, it limits continuity and cross overs and events, which is a big area for sales.

It seems like traditional prose publishing is willing to take the financial risk on a book flopping whereas the comics industry isn't willing to take that risk with many of its books. Instead the industry prefers to get that extra income from single issues and use the sales data from single issues to then make decisions about what to do next with a property in an attempt to maximize financial returns.

I think the current model of writing for trade with single issues is absolutely killing the quality of books today. The decompression is so bad. You have 4, 5, 6 issues - sometimes more - and the plot has barely moved by the end of that arc because in reality the writer is saving up the rest of the story for the next trade or maybe the next two trades. What could be told in one trade now takes 2 or 3 trades.

It's most egregious in capes books from the Big 2, but it spills over into indie titles as well. And why shouldn't it? Even the indie books are running off the single issue financial model, so it makes no sense for those writers to tell more concise stories, especially if they want an on-going. Every issue you can drag something out longer and keep people hooked is more money in your pocket. And many books are down to 20 pages of story these days, and if it's an action book, you can practically fill a handful of pages with people punching each other and not have to worry about dialogue or plot. It's like instead of trying to tell the best story possible, they're more concerned about hitting that sweet spot of dragging out the story to increase issue counts and sale numbers without making the reader so bored that the reader gives up.
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Old 02-04-16, 07:55 AM   #81
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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Children aren't going out and buying comics anymore, which is why the companies don't bother aiming much material at them. Their entertainment market is heavily serviced now by competing cartoon networks and the children's app/book market. Marvel and DC are quite aware children don't have the necessary budget to spend money on comics these days.
My eight-year-old is too young to be buying her own comics. First, she'd need her own money. But, I get her both Scooby Doo books and she reads a bunch of my DC books. She'd read everything if I'd let her. But, IMO a lot of the stuff is too dark for kids. She loves Harley. But, after the Road Trip issue, I decided it's just too inappropriate for a kid her age.

As for the HB properties, specifically Scooby, my daughter hates the new look. She told me "DC has ruined another classic". If an eight-year-old can see it, why can't DC?!? Hipster Shaggy... uck!!!
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Old 02-04-16, 10:42 AM   #82
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

I showed my four-year-old the new Scooby Doo art and asked if she knew who it was. She did, but she didn't have any more thoughts on it.

She is a big fan of Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated, which skews a little older than the cartoonier Scooby stuff. If I find a copy of this new book in a bargain bin I might have to buy her a copy.
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Old 02-04-16, 06:58 PM   #83
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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I think what Marvel and DC will eventually have to offer is a subscription service to their entire monthly digital output for a recurring monthly payment ($49.99?) once the economics finishes off the comic book retailers. So for that fee you would have one month of access to the newest issues, while older issues are sold on a per-issue basis.

They will have to rethink how they entice new readers under that model. I would guess smaller monthly subscriptions may work if you group books by character. Many people only want to read about Batman or the X-Men, for example.
Or you could just join Marvel Unlimited for $60 for the entire year and get all the current stuff (albeit 6 months late), and 50 years of back issues.
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Old 02-05-16, 01:33 PM   #84
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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Or you could just join Marvel Unlimited for $60 for the entire year and get all the current stuff (albeit 6 months late), and 50 years of back issues.
I was more addressing a post-print reality with my speculation. There is coming a day when the current print model simply breaks down over the economics of the situation. I don't think it's a year or even five years away, but the day is coming. Marvel Unlimited is priced cheaply because it is already skimming off books that have hit the market. It's mostly free money for Marvel.

As we've seen with the transition to digital markets for other products like music and movies, consumers get pickier with their entertainment dollars. Overall comic book revenues are almost certain to decline from the current print model to an all-digital world.
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Old 02-05-16, 10:26 PM   #85
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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I was more addressing a post-print reality with my speculation. There is coming a day when the current print model simply breaks down over the economics of the situation. I don't think it's a year or even five years away, but the day is coming. Marvel Unlimited is priced cheaply because it is already skimming off books that have hit the market. It's mostly free money for Marvel.

As we've seen with the transition to digital markets for other products like music and movies, consumers get pickier with their entertainment dollars. Overall comic book revenues are almost certain to decline from the current print model to an all-digital world.
There's a huge difference between movies and music going digital and comic books doing the same. Comic books are extremely collectable due to the speculation value on the product. That's why Comic Cons all around the world have increased in attendance every year. Music and movies are collectable's too, but unless it's a limited edition LP or Blu-ray set, these products tend to depreciate with the launch of newer formats. Comics on the other hand have become more collectable throughout the years and because of this, consumers demand a physical media they can keep, read and store. I don't foresee comic books going all digital anytime soon. Even though there is myth about comic books companies not making money, that is really far from the truth. The majority of the companies are making money. Marvel is very profitable. DC Comics is not as profitable as they should be, but they still make money. The only money problem in the comic book market is the way it works at the distributor level. Geppi and Diamond Comics are huge fuckers who take a chunk of money to deliver a product from the companies to the retailers. The retailers get screwed because the majority of them have small profit margins for what they sell. Still, the reality is that printed comics make money for the companies so as long as that happens, print will live.
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Old 02-05-16, 11:01 PM   #86
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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There's a huge difference between movies and music going digital and comic books doing the same. Comic books are extremely collectable due to the speculation value on the product. That's why Comic Cons all around the world have increased in attendance every year. Music and movies are collectable's too, but unless it's a limited edition LP or Blu-ray set, these products tend to depreciate with the launch of newer formats. Comics on the other hand have become more collectable throughout the years and because of this, consumers demand a physical media they can keep, read and store. I don't foresee comic books going all digital anytime soon. Even though there is myth about comic books companies not making money, that is really far from the truth. The majority of the companies are making money. Marvel is very profitable. DC Comics is not as profitable as they should be, but they still make money. The only money problem in the comic book market is the way it works at the distributor level. Geppi and Diamond Comics are huge fuckers who take a chunk of money to deliver a product from the companies to the retailers. The retailers get screwed because the majority of them have small profit margins for what they sell. Still, the reality is that printed comics make money for the companies so as long as that happens, print will live.
I wouldn't use Comic Cons as evidence that physical comic books are doing well. Comic Cons these days are more about getting whatever celebrities and writers/artists there for people to meet, they're about cosplaying, they're about other media avenues like TV and Film... Physical books are somewhere at the end of the list. I'm sure small, local/regional cons are probably more about the buying and selling of physical comics, but nearly everything else comes before "physical comics" when it comes to the larger conventions.

Print is still profitable for now, but I think studies have shown the industry is relying more and more on a shrinking number of customers to pay higher prices to keep those numbers up. Something will have to give at some point, but when that point is definitely is up for debate.
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Old 02-05-16, 11:40 PM   #87
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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I wouldn't use Comic Cons as evidence that physical comic books are doing well. Comic Cons these days are more about getting whatever celebrities and writers/artists there for people to meet, they're about cosplaying, they're about other media avenues like TV and Film... Physical books are somewhere at the end of the list. I'm sure small, local/regional cons are probably more about the buying and selling of physical comics, but nearly everything else comes before "physical comics" when it comes to the larger conventions.

Print is still profitable for now, but I think studies have shown the industry is relying more and more on a shrinking number of customers to pay higher prices to keep those numbers up. Something will have to give at some point, but when that point is definitely is up for debate.
Actually, I'm talking about Comic Cons like New York Comic Con, Heroescon in Charlotte, Baltimore Comic Con, Florida Comic Con, etc. These are actual comic conventions full of vendors, and yes, they include artists and writers like every other comic con has had in the past.
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Old 02-06-16, 01:00 AM   #88
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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Actually, I'm talking about Comic Cons like New York Comic Con, Heroescon in Charlotte, Baltimore Comic Con, Florida Comic Con, etc. These are actual comic conventions full of vendors, and yes, they include artists and writers like every other comic con has had in the past.
I'm not saying there aren't vendors. There are a crap ton of vendors at every Comic Con, big and small. Conventions cost money to put on, and vendors paying money to be there and sell their goods is a big way the people putting on the conventions make money. My point is was that the larger cons, like those put on by CCI or Wizard World, are a draw because of the huge emphasis on guests, panels, activities, cosplay, etc. whereas the comic con put on in your local Marriott ballroom next to the airport is probably going to be lucky to get a couple quasi-known artists out there as guests, so vendors and buying stuff are the big draw. But those small shows aren't necessarily the conventions that are part of the hype and boom right now.

Vendors that are primarily pedaling comic books are not what makes the Comic Cons such a big hit these days. Most people are there for the celebrity stuff, genre stuff (horror, sci fi, fantasy, etc.), the movie/TV stuff, to buy art, to buy crafts (which, according to one survey, make 4x the amount other vendors do), to buy toys and collectibles, to go to panels, to meet writers/artists, to cosplay, to do networking, to do gaming things, etc. For the cons that offer this wide and diverse array of interests and activities, you'd probably get just as many people going if there were no vendors selling physical comics (though calling it a comic con at that point might be a bit awkward).

Yes, of course some people go to cons because they want to drop some money with vendors selling physical comic books, but Comic Cons are not as popular as they are today because people are super excited about the idea of a centralized place to buy physical comics.

To attribute the growth and success of comic cons to the financially speculative nature of collecting physical comic books just isn't true in this era. There's definitely a subset of people that are chasing key issues or collections or trying to find something their LCS didn't have. There's a reason comic companies drop so many variants on the marketplace today. But this isn't the mid 90s anymore. The people speculating and engaging in that rat race are the diminishing number of people who have been doing it all their lives. No one is going to a Comic Con thinking they're going to find some rare comic and send their kids to college on it. Vendors know exactly what inventory they have and mark it up accordingly. Comics vendors are frequently bitching and moaning post-cons that their sales are down or stagnant and that it's not worth the price they have to pay to have a booth. Whether that's true or not is up for debate because there aren't many good studies on this. But if people were so jazzed up to buy and speculate on physical comic books at cons I doubt there would be the kind of bitching and moaning you frequently see reported on The Beat and other blogs post-cons.

It just seems incredibly bizarre to attribute the success of Comic Cons today to vendors selling physical comic books or to even believe that comic books are still extremely collectible due to speculation. Unless you've got an early Walking Dead on your hands you're lucky if a physical comic book stays worth the cover price printed on it. Most of them just end up discounted in back issue bins.
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Old 02-06-16, 01:08 AM   #89
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

Cons have become popular mostly as a way to share the nerd experience with like-minded fans in a safe environment.

The most popular cons today don't really resemble the comic cons of the 80s or early 90s, when comic book issues were the central reason everyone was there.

I do agree that comic books are collectible beyond the value of the entertainment content printed on their pages, which means they won't disappear.
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Old 02-06-16, 02:45 AM   #90
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

Are modern comics really all that collectible though? We discussed it in another thread but there haven't been many breakout new heroes in the last decade or so, so very few first appearances. Print runs are minuscule but I don't see a lot of demand. They're collectible in the sense that people hooked on them will still bag and board them and not really want to get rid of them, but take them down to the local comic shop and you'll see how little value they really have.

As someone that just wants to read them, if there were a way to subscribe digitally I'd probably do it, and pick up collections of stuff I really enjoy. That's what I do with Shonen Jump digital anyway.
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Old 02-06-16, 06:33 AM   #91
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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Or you could just join Marvel Unlimited for $60 for the entire year and get all the current stuff (albeit 6 months late), and 50 years of back issues.
Aren't there a lot of holes in the issue runs though?

I was a member a few years ago and quit subscribing because of that. Did that get fixed?
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Old 02-06-16, 12:17 PM   #92
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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Aren't there a lot of holes in the issue runs though?

I was a member a few years ago and quit subscribing because of that. Did that get fixed?
They've actually been making a concerted effort to fill in a lot of random little holes over the last 6 months or so. The big titles like Amazing Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and Avengers are pretty much all complete. Daredevil is probably the most notorious major title to have large gaps. Even then, they've added quite a few to that run in recent months. There's still a lot from the glut that was the 80's and 90's that is missing, but overall (especially with the 40 years of Star Wars stuff added last year) there's more content than anyone could possibly keep up with.
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Old 02-12-16, 09:39 PM   #93
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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They've actually been making a concerted effort to fill in a lot of random little holes over the last 6 months or so. The big titles like Amazing Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Captain America, and Avengers are pretty much all complete. Daredevil is probably the most notorious major title to have large gaps. Even then, they've added quite a few to that run in recent months. There's still a lot from the glut that was the 80's and 90's that is missing, but overall (especially with the 40 years of Star Wars stuff added last year) there's more content than anyone could possibly keep up with.
Do they do the current Star Wars stuff as well? If so, I might just drop all my physical subscriptions for this and pick up trades of stuff I really, really like.
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Old 02-14-16, 12:05 PM   #94
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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Do they do the current Star Wars stuff as well? If so, I might just drop all my physical subscriptions for this and pick up trades of stuff I really, really like.
Yes. Although, again, it's 6 months behind the physical books.
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Old 02-15-16, 02:48 PM   #95
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

I just received news about a huge rumor regarding Batman #50

Spoiler:
Alfred will die on issue Batman #50.
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Old 02-15-16, 02:55 PM   #96
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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I just received news about a huge rumor regarding Batman #50

Spoiler:
Alfred will die on issue Batman #50.
Sweet. That will shake things up.
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Old 02-15-16, 03:47 PM   #97
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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Old 02-15-16, 07:53 PM   #98
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

They're going back to the Pre-Flashpoint DCU. And returning to Legacy numbering for all titles.


Or not.
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Old 02-16-16, 08:29 AM   #99
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
They're going back to the Pre-Flashpoint DCU. And returning to Legacy numbering for all titles.


Or not.
I really wonder how this would be received if they did do this. I have zero interest in DC (or Marvel for that matter) as comic continuity laden universes anymore, but I do find the machinations behind their relaunches/reboots/rejiggerings interesting. I feel like there was a time when DC could have rolled back their universe, but since it has been 5 years now the old DC feels very dead to me. It would be fascinating to see DC try to bring that post Crisis DC back.
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Old 02-16-16, 10:10 AM   #100
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Re: DC Comics to relaunch everything with #1s in June 2016

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Originally Posted by boredsilly View Post
It would be fascinating to see DC try to bring that post Crisis DC back.
Which Crisis?
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