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Old 07-31-17, 11:50 PM   #26
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

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They had always agreed that Image as a company wouldn't own any of the IPs, everything would be owned by individual creators, which at the time were the founders. Since they all came from a superhero background they all did superhero-ey books. When Kirkman came in with Walking Dead (and Invincible) and did well enough to be elevated to partner, they did a marked shift in what they published, including a shift to feature writers and to diversify their portfolio.

Though Astro City is under the Vertigo banner now since Wildstorm (and Lee) went to Marvel.
How does it work with Image. A writer/creator comes up with a book idea, and then Image would produce and distribute the book for a fee, with no rights to the property?
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Old 08-01-17, 05:03 AM   #27
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

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How does it work with Image. A writer/creator comes up with a book idea, and then Image would produce and distribute the book for a fee, with no rights to the property?
Yeah, I think so.

There's some kind of process to get the book approved, the creators pay some kind of fee to cover printing and publication costs, and then gets to keep all of the money the book makes. The creators also retain all of the copyrights and trademarks, so if Hollywood picks up the rights the creators reap all of the rewards.

On the other hand, I don't think Image gives out any kind of advances or front money for printing, so if you want to TPB your series you'll need to cover it yourself. In that respect it's sort of like self-publishing.
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Old 08-01-17, 07:00 AM   #28
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

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Originally Posted by fujishig View Post

Though Astro City is under the Vertigo banner now since Wildstorm (and Lee) went to Marvel.
Wildstorm went to Marvel? When did this happen? I can't find any articles that state this as such. Last I heard is that Wildstorm was shut down, the characters folded into the main DCU, and Jim Lee was co-publisher at DC.
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Old 08-01-17, 07:11 AM   #29
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

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Wildstorm went to Marvel? When did this happen? I can't find any articles that state this as such. Last I heard is that Wildstorm was shut down, the characters folded into the main DCU, and Jim Lee was co-publisher at DC.
I'm pretty sure that was just a brain fart and that fujishig meant DC.
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Old 08-01-17, 09:10 AM   #30
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

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I'm pretty sure that was just a brain fart and that fujishig meant DC.
Yup, brain fart.
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Old 08-02-17, 03:48 PM   #31
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

DC and particularly Marvel are little more than IP farms at this point for the movie divisions. DC still seems to have some independence left in it but the success of the Marvel movies has drastically altered that company's landscape.

I suspect DC would have similar problems if someone like Geoff Johns wasn't overseeing things on a creative level.

The death of the direct market is coming, slowly but surely. There are simply too many market forces working against it, even as superheroes are more popular than ever.

Independent comics need the direct market more than Marvel and DC. It's going to be a bloodbath for independent creators as the direct market shrinks.
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Old 08-16-17, 09:00 AM   #32
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

Instead of starting a new thread I thought this would belong in this discussion...info. we all already know...

http://comicbooksresource.com/disney...ff-shelf-soon/

What if we told you, one day Marvel comics would stop publishing? You would probably laugh at us. However, if the signs mean anything, it may happen sooner than you expect.

The purchase of Marvel comics by Disney back in 2009 was a cause of mass speculation. There were talks of how the movies may take the comics out of business. While that buzz soon died out, it cannot be ignored that two giant corporate houses now own most of the comic book industry of America today. Marvel is owned by Disney, while Time Warner owns DC.

Let’s have a little context to this story. As you might have noticed, comic books are no longer sold like newspapers. The concept of “Direct Marketing” is responsible for most of their sales in the USA. It means that independent specialty shops are responsible for getting the comics from the sole distributor (Diamond) and selling to customers. However, this is the catch: specialty stores are hard to locate. Most people are not interested in driving miles before finding the single shop in their city. Also, even the biggest fans feel that paying $4 for just 24-32 pages of comics is a bit too much. There are diehard comic book clubs, of course, but the chances of becoming a part of them are slim. These factors have been at play for decades now, but the digital age has only hastened the death of American comic book industry.

Now, let us come back to Marvel. Right now, marvel is the top comic book publisher in the country. However, the top spot means little and less, since both its profits and popularity are on a decline. Marvel has been coming up with excuses like the diversity of characters as being responsible for the decline in popularity. There might be some truth in that, but it does not change the fact that Marvel is losing its customer base.

And here is the big news: Disney and Time Warner are currently publishing comics, not for the profits, but purely to extract the intellectual property from the characters, which could then be used in other media (movies, TV, and games).

But this might soon change. According to reports, the entire comic book industry made revenue of around $1 billion in 2016. Sounds good, right? Well, this was the total revenue for all the comic book publishers. Marvel’s share would hardly be more than a few million dollars, and even that would be the revenue, not profits. In short, Marvel comics are not the cash-cow for Disney by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, Disney is making more money from the box office revenues of a single Marvel movie than they do from the annual comic book sales. And like we know, Disney won’t think twice before shutting down a business that does not bring enough profits for them.

The sole reason why Disney allowed Marvel to exist thus far was due to the brand recognition it provided. But that was the past decade. Today, MCU has more fans than Marvel comics ever had. The fact that MCU only shares a little material from the comics has meant that it could exist entirely on its own, without any need of Marvel comics. Despite the enormous success of MCU, comic book sales had only lifted a little. Most fans prefer buying merchandise than comics.

In short, Marvel comics have little and less need in today’s world. If the MCU, which borrowed characters and story arcs from them, is ready to exist independently, it sure shouts “existential crisis.” However, that does not mean it is the end. Remember, for Disney, Marvel is just a brand. They might cease the comic book publishing themselves, but may license the rights to some other publisher. Disney is expert in doing this, so it must not come as a surprise. It would save Disney from the trouble of the whole publishing task, while still managing to mine IP from the characters. So, marvel comics might continue to exist, but just in a different form.
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Old 08-16-17, 11:45 AM   #33
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

I know this is an opinion article with no inside information, but I just don't see it happening, at least not anytime soon. Unless Marvel Comics are just bleeding money at some point, why shut them down? It's true that they're not as profitable as some of their other divisions, but they are more than just the creative IP behind the movies... they are the IP behind the cartoons, the videogames, books the mobile games, the merchandise. If you let that IP stagnate, it may very well eventually go away. Plus you open up the playing field for WB/DC to take over, which would affect their precious MCU eventually as well.

Plus, I realize the number of comic book purchasers is relatively small, but you're going to tick off your core nerd fanbase.
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Old 08-16-17, 12:15 PM   #34
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

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As far as comics growing in revenue, I kinda feel like a lot of that is just milking the same fan base for more and more. Stuff like variant covers and shipping a ton of titles twice a month, then the endless crossovers, I'm most sure any of that brings new fans in. I think I will always be hooked on comics... my kids, not so much, despite my best efforts.
In recent times I thought about getting back into collecting monthly comics. Nowadays I'm kinda bored of buying/collecting dvds and blurays.

Back in the day, I more or less stopped collecting comics shortly after the Secret Wars 2 limited series was over. At the time, I thought Secret Wars 2 was a "crossover hell".

Nowadays it seems like crossover hell on steroids. This and the $3 cover prices is what has turned me off from jumping back onto the comic collecting treadmill. (For now, I'm not willing to go all-digital for comic books).


Ironically, collecting comics today may very well be more expensive than collecting dvds/blurays.
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Old 08-16-17, 12:35 PM   #35
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

As far as dollar per hour of entertainment, comics may indeed be the most expensive form of traditional entertainment around.

However, if you have any kind of tablet, I would suggest checking out comixology anyway, because there are a bunch of free issues that you can kind of test the waters with to see if it's for you. Barring that, it makes a lot more sense to get trades and collections that come highly recommended (from places like Instocktrades), since collecting monthly is not only more expensive, it's essentially a crapshoot because you have no idea if the creative team will be around long enough to finish their story.

Secret Wars 2 was one of the starts of crossover hell, I think we documented that in another thread somewhere in this forum.
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Old 08-16-17, 01:01 PM   #36
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

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Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Barring that, it makes a lot more sense to get trades and collections that come highly recommended (from places like Instocktrades), since collecting monthly is not only more expensive, it's essentially a crapshoot because you have no idea if the creative team will be around long enough to finish their story.
Every now and then, I spend an entire Saturday or Sunday afternoon reading through some trades at a local library. Though I've rarely ever signed them out after reading. Not many which were good reads a second time.
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Old 08-16-17, 02:11 PM   #37
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Re: Evolution of the Direct Market

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Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I know this is an opinion article with no inside information, but I just don't see it happening, at least not anytime soon. Unless Marvel Comics are just bleeding money at some point, why shut them down? It's true that they're not as profitable as some of their other divisions, but they are more than just the creative IP behind the movies... they are the IP behind the cartoons, the videogames, books the mobile games, the merchandise. If you let that IP stagnate, it may very well eventually go away. Plus you open up the playing field for WB/DC to take over, which would affect their precious MCU eventually as well.

Plus, I realize the number of comic book purchasers is relatively small, but you're going to tick off your core nerd fanbase.
I think it's speculation that may be correct but vastly overshoots when it may happen. I could see the day when Disney decides to license out their Marvel comics to another publisher, but that day is probably a couple of decades away. It's basically assuming that Marvel's profitability would collapse when the direct market collapses. DC has diversified their income streams far more than Marvel and are in a better spot to handle the direct market's end.
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Every now and then, I spend an entire Saturday or Sunday afternoon reading through some trades at a local library. Though I've rarely ever signed them out after reading. Not many which were good reads a second time.
Use a site like http://collectededitions.blogspot.com/ to find out which trades are worth reading. Modern comics are occasionally worth it but there is a lot of generic garbage getting put out. If you stick to the flagship titles put out by the big two, you are usually okay.
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