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Industry Rant

Old 03-22-19, 04:44 PM
  #51  
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Re: Industry Rant

That's bullshit.
I remember as a kid following the Batman Knightfall storyline when it came out. It was Batman's "Death of Superman." So when I went to get the issue where Batman gets his back broken, my local comic shop didn't even have it available to buy normally. The issues were behind the counter, on the wall, polybagged for $9.99.

I understand it must be hard to stay in business, but if a comic shop does stuff like this, I won't go back.
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Old 03-23-19, 08:19 AM
  #52  
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Re: Industry Rant

The whole industry has been mismanaged for over 30 years (there's plenty of blame to go around). If not for the huge success of these movies Marvel and DC would have gone out of business years ago, taking most comic stores with them (some could have survived as back issue outlets, but probably not a large percentage).
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Old 03-23-19, 05:51 PM
  #53  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
The whole industry has been mismanaged for over 30 years (there's plenty of blame to go around). If not for the huge success of these movies Marvel and DC would have gone out of business years ago, taking most comic stores with them (some could have survived as back issue outlets, but probably not a large percentage).
To be fair, comic shops in the US were never like book stores or magazine stands.
And unlike the newsstand, comic shops couldn't return the unsold books, so they were stuck with all those extra copies that wen into the back issue bins.

These comics that aren't being sold for cover price...can't people just go to Barnes & Noble to buy these issues? Or did that chain do away with their comic selection?
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Old 03-23-19, 07:51 PM
  #54  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
To be fair, comic shops in the US were never like book stores or magazine stands.
And unlike the newsstand, comic shops couldn't return the unsold books, so they were stuck with all those extra copies that wen into the back issue bins.

These comics that aren't being sold for cover price...can't people just go to Barnes & Noble to buy these issues? Or did that chain do away with their comic selection?
That's not true. Up to like 5-6 years ago, most comics sold in comic book stores were returnable. That changed after the New 52, Marvel's Now Initiative and Image reducing print runs. Today, some books are returnable and depending on your Diamond account, the store may still have a clause in their contract making all books returnable to Diamond. I know that the last book that was made returnable was Batman #50 after the huge outcry for spoilers being posted on the NY Times the Sunday before the issue came out, but DC was basically threatened to do this or they were going to get sued by the stores in a class action lawsuit.
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Old 03-23-19, 10:01 PM
  #55  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
The problem is you don't see stores like Target jacking up the price of a "hot" toy during the Xmas rush, or retail stores scalping iphones or new consoles when they first come out and they're in demand. Now I have no problem if the comic store wants to set limits, or even if they want to hold back some stock for their regular customers (which I think is an awesome thing to do).
The big chain stores like Walmart and Target already make tons of money every minute of the day, so keeping track of scarce/hot toys and jacking up the price on short-packed Star Wars action figures isnít something theyíre going to bother doing, though the technology is certainly there if they wanted to do it.

Ironically, if Walmart and Target would charge a premium for scarce or short-packed toys, then the average collector would stand a better chance of getting ahold of them because charging more would dissuade scalpers. Though the blame here lies on the manufacturers for restricting supply to create demand.

But the biggest difference between the big box stores and the local comic store is that the LCS is a collectors/hobby store, and run on thinner margins and are in tune to buying habits and trends.
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Old 03-23-19, 10:23 PM
  #56  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
That's not true. Up to like 5-6 years ago, most comics sold in comic book stores were returnable. That changed after the New 52, Marvel's Now Initiative and Image reducing print runs. Today, some books are returnable and depending on your Diamond account, the store may still have a clause in their contract making all books returnable to Diamond. I know that the last book that was made returnable was Batman #50 after the huge outcry for spoilers being posted on the NY Times the Sunday before the issue came out, but DC was basically threatened to do this or they were going to get sued by the stores in a class action lawsuit.
Do you have a source on returnable thing? One of the big differences between direct market and newsstand was comic companies didnít have to overprint. Of course, some books became returnable due to changes from solicitations or lateness.
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Old 03-24-19, 11:53 AM
  #57  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by majorjoe23 View Post


Do you have a source on returnable thing? One of the big differences between direct market and newsstand was comic companies didn’t have to overprint. Of course, some books became returnable due to changes from solicitations or lateness.
It's weird to say this, but I'm the source cause I'm a former comic book store owner. I was part owner of a shop that lasted 5 years and closed in December of 2017. Funny thing is that we didn't close because of sales, as we actually were doing pretty well in that department. We closed because one of the business partners, who worked as the store general manager, embezzled around $250K between cash, merchandise and defrauding customers with pitches on investing in the company. Him and his family are actually on the run from the law (there are several warrants for his arrest) and disappeared from the state the day we confirmed of what he was doing.

Because of being a former store owners, I pretty much know the in and outs of the comic book business. Since, I didn't burn my bridges, most retailers still consider me part of the business and keep me on the loop of things happening in the industry. That's why I know about returning books. Store return only the covers actually, and they are allowed to keep the rest of the book, unless otherwise stated by Diamond.
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Old 03-25-19, 10:49 AM
  #58  
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Re: Industry Rant

I don't think you're correct, Red Hood. When the direct market started, comics were non returnable, in direct opposition to the newstand distribution (where like magazines they would rip off the covers and return just the covers for a refund).

This is wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt, but this matches what I remember:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_market

The direct market as we know it was created in the early 1970s in response to the declining market for mainstream comic books on newsstands. Fan convention organizer and comic dealer Phil Seuling approached publishers in 1972 to purchase comics directly from them, rather than going through traditional periodical distribution companies. Unlike the newsstand, or ID (for independent distributor) market, which included drugstores, groceries, toy stores, convenience stores, and other magazine vendors, in which unsold units could be returned for credit, these purchases were non-returnable. In return, comics specialty retailers received larger discounts on the books they ordered, since the publisher did not carry the risk of giving credit for unsold units. Instead, distributors and retailers shouldered the risk, in exchange for greater profits.
Now there are exceptions. When Rebirth happened, DC allowed some limited returnability if you ordered a certain amount, and Marvel did the same thing with some events (like I think Secret Wars) as an incentive for retailers to over order. But otherwise the comics retailer walks a thin line every time they preorder from Diamond previews, having to predict with some amount of accuracy what is actually going to sell through. I think the major outlets like Barnes and Noble and Toys R Us had the newsstand distribution, which makes sense because they don't keep backissues. I'm sure the Walmart deal is the same.

Think about it, if every comic was fully returnable for unsold copies, stores would order a lot more books, because there's no risk besides shipping covers back.

Here's an article talking about how Rebirth worked:
https://www.newsarama.com/33169-does...s-success.html

My understanding is that other distributors other than Diamond offer some form of returnability but they can't distribute stuff like Marvel and DC and most comics where Diamond has the monopoly.
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Old 03-25-19, 10:52 AM
  #59  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post


The big chain stores like Walmart and Target already make tons of money every minute of the day, so keeping track of scarce/hot toys and jacking up the price on short-packed Star Wars action figures isnít something theyíre going to bother doing, though the technology is certainly there if they wanted to do it.

Ironically, if Walmart and Target would charge a premium for scarce or short-packed toys, then the average collector would stand a better chance of getting ahold of them because charging more would dissuade scalpers. Though the blame here lies on the manufacturers for restricting supply to create demand.

But the biggest difference between the big box stores and the local comic store is that the LCS is a collectors/hobby store, and run on thinner margins and are in tune to buying habits and trends.
I understand the razor thin margins comic stores operate on, but their local customers are their bread and butter and if they don't even give them a chance to buy stuff at retail price, then that's screwed up. The smaller stores know their customer base intimately (or they should). If you're pulling comics for someone and turn around and tell them they have to pay double because the issue is "hot" even though the guy has been pulling that same comic all year, I'm not sure what to say.
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Old 03-25-19, 11:26 AM
  #60  
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Re: Industry Rant

While searching for old "Tilting at Windmills" columns that Hibbs wrote about returnability (I failed mainly because they are only archived as .doc files now), I came across January's Tilting article and got depressed. Note that he's not talking about returnability per se but the explosion of variant covers, the way publishers are pushing comics mainly to the same base, and how it's unsustainable:

https://www.comicsbeat.com/tilting-a...-sales-crisis/
If that wasn’t horrifying enough, Chuck went on in his recent newsletter that Mile High, one of the largest and most successful retailers in the country, was reacting to the new realities of publishing in the DM with this: “If you are a fan who wants to just browse the racks in our stores each week, however, you are most likely going to be sorely disappointed if you do not come in to one of our locations on Wednesday morning. We will definitely still be ordering copies of many new releases for speculative sale on the racks in our retail stores, but in such small quantities that we will be almost certainly sell out by the first weekend”

One of the most successful stores in the world is saying that they’re cutting bait on most new releases because they can’t stock them profitably. Think about that a second.
The January 2019 order form features 1106 solicited periodical comic books. Of those, only 454 of those SKUs are new items – the other 652 are variant covers. That means a staggering fifty-nine percent of all solicited comics are actually variants. That’s completely and entirely absurd! It is deluded, it is dangerous, and it actively works against the best interests of the market.

I remember when the number of customers streaming in for new periodical comics each week could be measured in the hundreds – one store I worked for in the 80s ordered solid 300 copy cases of each and every issue of X-Men. Now many stores can measure the periodical readers for any particular book in scores or less.

This is a direct result of publishing strategies that value excess over sustainability – the audience for comics is contracting because publishers are trying to take advantage of the comic buyers.
And there's this little depressing anecdote:

And don’t even get me started on AT&T taking over DC – scuttlebutt says the first question DC people were asked is “Wait, why are you still printing anything?”
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Old 03-25-19, 12:35 PM
  #61  
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Re: Industry Rant

Pshhh Mile High Comics. Or also the price they charge for back issues. I don't put any stock into anything they say anymore.
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Old 03-25-19, 08:39 PM
  #62  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I don't think you're correct, Red Hood. When the direct market started, comics were non returnable, in direct opposition to the newstand distribution (where like magazines they would rip off the covers and return just the covers for a refund).

This is wikipedia, so take it with a grain of salt, but this matches what I remember:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_market



Now there are exceptions. When Rebirth happened, DC allowed some limited returnability if you ordered a certain amount, and Marvel did the same thing with some events (like I think Secret Wars) as an incentive for retailers to over order. But otherwise the comics retailer walks a thin line every time they preorder from Diamond previews, having to predict with some amount of accuracy what is actually going to sell through. I think the major outlets like Barnes and Noble and Toys R Us had the newsstand distribution, which makes sense because they don't keep backissues. I'm sure the Walmart deal is the same.

Think about it, if every comic was fully returnable for unsold copies, stores would order a lot more books, because there's no risk besides shipping covers back.

Here's an article talking about how Rebirth worked:
https://www.newsarama.com/33169-does...s-success.html

My understanding is that other distributors other than Diamond offer some form of returnability but they can't distribute stuff like Marvel and DC and most comics where Diamond has the monopoly.
Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
While searching for old "Tilting at Windmills" columns that Hibbs wrote about returnability (I failed mainly because they are only archived as .doc files now), I came across January's Tilting article and got depressed. Note that he's not talking about returnability per se but the explosion of variant covers, the way publishers are pushing comics mainly to the same base, and how it's unsustainable:

https://www.comicsbeat.com/tilting-a...-sales-crisis/



And there's this little depressing anecdote:
I don't think I was completely clear on the subject, so let me add some things. I don't know how long returnability on comic books with Diamond has been going on, but it has happened at least for the past 15 years in one way or another. Second, stores don't get a refund in terms of cash (except on some extreme situations, like extra delayed shipping, extreme damages on a bulk item, etc). Stores get credit on their Diamond account for the returns. I was shocked as you about the ripping off the cover, but from what Diamond managers told me when I asked about this, it has to do more with accounting and writes offs. There's a timeframe for books to be returned and paperwork has to be filed online (used to be a phone call before 2012) to return eligible books. Returnability depends on the company. I can tell you from experience that DC and Image provided more opportunities for returns up till 2016. I remember that the dolt manager from the competing store in my area used to over order Image #1 issues due to their returnability, killing his budget in the process because those books are still billed on the weekly statement. The credit for returns is given approximately between 3-5 months later. By the way, Image stop doing the return of books and they simply print much less than they were doing 5 years ago unless the book looks like a sure fire hit like I Hate Fairyland and Outcast. Marvel and DC doesn't do returns that much anymore or at all, unless something like the Batman #50 thing happened. Usually, when DC promotes a book for returnability it is on something that they know it will really sell, like Rebirth #1.

As for Chuck of Mile High, I met him and he's a nice guy in person, but I don't agree with many things he does on his business, including the way he's been pricing the books, new and old. He also tried to corner the market around 4-5 years ago on Star Wars books, going to dozens of cons and buying the entire Star Wars inventory from vendors, to try to re-sell it later on those same shows for 3x-10x the real price of the books. He also says that he's against variants, yet he has store exclusive variants for many, if not all of the new Star Wars books and prices them for $30-$50 each, while competing stores have them for $10-$20. Chuck has fallen way behind the times and doesn't want to invest on things that would really help his business like revamping his shitty website.
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Old 03-26-19, 09:38 AM
  #63  
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Re: Industry Rant

I think that select comic books are returnable, like certain #1 issues that the publishers want to push hard, but the vast majority aren’t. Or in some cases, if a comic is a dud or misrepresented in the solicitations, it is made returnable after the fact like Batman #50 and Catwoman #1.

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/07...sorrynotsorry/

Some retailers, having ordered thousands of non-returnable copies, started to talk about lawsuits, class-action movements to force DC Comics to make the comic returnable as it was falsely solicited.

Today, DC Comics made that unnecessary. Bleeding Cool has been informed that DC Comics will make both Batman #50 and Catwoman #1 that span out of it fully returnable. And they have done so because of expressed concerns from retailers. Or as they call them, partners.
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Old 03-26-19, 09:49 AM
  #64  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I don't think you're correct, Red Hood. When the direct market started, comics were non returnable, in direct opposition to the newstand distribution (where like magazines they would rip off the covers and return just the covers for a refund).
I remember a lot of these returned comics would end up in a 3 pack with just the title ripped off the top. They were sold in drug stores and thrift stores in the 70's and 80's.
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Old 03-26-19, 11:08 AM
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by mrhan View Post
I remember a lot of these returned comics would end up in a 3 pack with just the title ripped off the top. They were sold in drug stores and thrift stores in the 70's and 80's.
I'm pretty sure this was illegal, too. You're supposed to pulp the magazines after you tear the cover off, one of the reasons they send back the cover is for accounting reasons (I didn't sell this many so I want my refund) but also so you don't waste a ton of money on freight. Like I can't imagine how many magazines the big bookstores didn't sell every month when their newsstands were full.
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Old 03-26-19, 02:57 PM
  #66  
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Re: Industry Rant

I believe DC made the entire New 52 line returnable for its first year. It was a big deal when it happened.
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Old 03-26-19, 04:02 PM
  #67  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
I believe DC made the entire New 52 line returnable for its first year. It was a big deal when it happened.
Yes it was. DC kept that policy up until 2015 for some New 52 stuff. For example, the main Convergence book was returnable, but in this case it changed issue by issue. Issue #0 and #1 were returnable with a full credit given back and from then on the rest of the series was returnable for partial credit to the account.
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Old 03-26-19, 04:09 PM
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I think that select comic books are returnable, like certain #1 issues that the publishers want to push hard, but the vast majority arenít. Or in some cases, if a comic is a dud or misrepresented in the solicitations, it is made returnable after the fact like Batman #50 and Catwoman #1.

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/07...sorrynotsorry/



This is the only time this type of scenario had happened. The issue here was the NYT spoiler the Sunday before release, like I mentioned before. Every retailer was extremely pissed because when we sign a contract with Diamond, one of the clauses specifically talks about not breaking release date and online spoilers, as either could affect sales of the book. If retailers are caught breaking either one, Diamond has the right to not ship the books before release date, which in this industry, it basically kills a store. I know of a store that did that around 7 years ago and the closed within 6 months as Diamond started delivering the orders one week delayed. With Batman #50 and Catwoman #1, retailers talked about a class action suit against DC Comics and Diamond unless the books became fully returnable. Also, dozens of stores were already fuming as their exclusive Batman #50 covers had arrived heavily damaged from the printers. DC accepted their error and allowed these 2 books to be returned, which many stores did, including those with special release variant covers.
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Old 03-26-19, 09:35 PM
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by mrhan View Post
I remember a lot of these returned comics would end up in a 3 pack with just the title ripped off the top. They were sold in drug stores and thrift stores in the 70's and 80's.
Back in the sixties, after a hard day of mowing yards and collecting bottles, my dad would buy these from his local drug store for a nickel a comic. Left him enough money to also afford a burger and float.

​​​​​​Since he kept them, I also got to benefit and read his collection.




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Old 03-26-19, 11:16 PM
  #70  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
It's weird to say this, but I'm the source cause I'm a former comic book store owner. I was part owner of a shop that lasted 5 years and closed in December of 2017. Funny thing is that we didn't close because of sales, as we actually were doing pretty well in that department. We closed because one of the business partners, who worked as the store general manager, embezzled around $250K between cash, merchandise and defrauding customers with pitches on investing in the company. Him and his family are actually on the run from the law (there are several warrants for his arrest) and disappeared from the state the day we confirmed of what he was doing.
Sorry, Red Hook. That sucks.
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Old 03-27-19, 02:32 PM
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post


Sorry, Red Hook. That sucks.
It does. Luckily, that store wasn't my main source of income as I have another full time job. Also, I actually lost more of my time than actual money in this endeavor but the situation taught me of being more careful of who I do business with. The sad part is that the area I live in needs a comic book store like the one I had. The 2 that we have are horrible. One is more gaming that comic book store and the other one is simply run down, dirty and old and both of them are full of gatekeepers. These assholes basically have made people go and shop online for their books. I would love to open a store again but besides the fact that the industry is in a downturn, it takes a good amount of money to run a great store.

Something else I want to add to the industry rant is the bullshit that Marvel doesn't learn. I just saw the listings for next week and War of the Realms #1, their latest event, has 16 different regular covers at $5.99 each. Then there are like 10 additional variants (1:10, 1:25, 1:50, 1:100, 1:200, 1:500, 1:1000, one per store, etc) plus many stores have their own exclusive variants. Why the hell are they doing this? Many of these variants, especially the higher ratio ones are not even original art made for the event. Many of them are repurposed art from Wal Simonson and George Perez that are being used for this racket. It's like they didn't learn from the crash in the 90's.
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Old 03-27-19, 04:40 PM
  #72  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
It does. Luckily, that store wasn't my main source of income as I have another full time job. Also, I actually lost more of my time than actual money in this endeavor but the situation taught me of being more careful of who I do business with. The sad part is that the area I live in needs a comic book store like the one I had. The 2 that we have are horrible. One is more gaming that comic book store and the other one is simply run down, dirty and old and both of them are full of gatekeepers. These assholes basically have made people go and shop online for their books. I would love to open a store again but besides the fact that the industry is in a downturn, it takes a good amount of money to run a great store.

Something else I want to add to the industry rant is the bullshit that Marvel doesn't learn. I just saw the listings for next week and War of the Realms #1, their latest event, has 16 different regular covers at $5.99 each. Then there are like 10 additional variants (1:10, 1:25, 1:50, 1:100, 1:200, 1:500, 1:1000, one per store, etc) plus many stores have their own exclusive variants. Why the hell are they doing this? Many of these variants, especially the higher ratio ones are not even original art made for the event. Many of them are repurposed art from Wal Simonson and George Perez that are being used for this racket. It's like they didn't learn from the crash in the 90's.
Yeah, the Hibbs article also mentions that:
Again, the new Marvel catalog leads with a mini-series called “War of the Realms” that has seventeen different covers attached to it. For one single issue worth of release. Even if you try to “ignore variants” they take up catalog and “eye” space, they increase the amount of time it takes to order (let alone find) the comics you want to stock; they also consume distributor resources, ultimately increasing overages, shortages and damages, hurting everyone as a result.

The January 2019 order form features 1106 solicited periodical comic books. Of those, only 454 of those SKUs are new items – the other 652 are variant covers. That means a staggering fifty-nine percent of all solicited comics are actually variants. That’s completely and entirely absurd! It is deluded, it is dangerous, and it actively works against the best interests of the market.

I remember when the number of customers streaming in for new periodical comics each week could be measured in the hundreds – one store I worked for in the 80s ordered solid 300 copy cases of each and every issue of X-Men. Now many stores can measure the periodical readers for any particular book in scores or less.

This is a direct result of publishing strategies that value excess over sustainability – the audience for comics is contracting because publishers are trying to take advantage of the comic buyers.
It's gouging the existing reader base because they can't seem to expand it, which is kind of what they've been doing for a long, long time now.

Also, man I didn't mean to come across as insensitive, Red Hood, by not mentioning it before but I'm glad that the comic book store didn't just outright destroy your finances, and man I wish everyone had a good LCBS around them. As a parent with young kids, I just don't see how the industry is going to turn around and attract the next batch of fans. I've mentioned it before but even though my daughter is an avid reader, and she loves comic collections and especially manga, she's had no interest in collecting things monthly. I'm hoping the new DC line for kids will help.
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Old 03-27-19, 08:22 PM
  #73  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Yeah, the Hibbs article also mentions that:

It's gouging the existing reader base because they can't seem to expand it, which is kind of what they've been doing for a long, long time now.

Also, man I didn't mean to come across as insensitive, Red Hood, by not mentioning it before but I'm glad that the comic book store didn't just outright destroy your finances, and man I wish everyone had a good LCBS around them. As a parent with young kids, I just don't see how the industry is going to turn around and attract the next batch of fans. I've mentioned it before but even though my daughter is an avid reader, and she loves comic collections and especially manga, she's had no interest in collecting things monthly. I'm hoping the new DC line for kids will help.
I appreciate the kind words. My store was good at bringing newer readers, from kids to college students. We had a kid section with little tables and seats to read and enjoy the books and it was pretty popular as many parents were using the medium to get their kids to read. During my time there, we kept the store clean, lighted, family friendly and no gatekeeping. Most of our personnel was female, with knowledge of the industry. Other stores in the area (1-4 hours far from where I live) are a mixed bag. There are some that have a similar model to ours but are overpriced when it comes to back issues. There are other 2 stores like an hour from where I live that are also overpriced, have gatekeepers, but they do a lot of community events, and have been successful because of that. Like you said, I don't know where the next generation of readers will come from because my store was the exception, not the norm and when you go to conventions you see people 30 years or older in the aisles. The only thing were you see a lot of younger participants is with cosplay.
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Old 03-28-19, 11:19 PM
  #74  
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Re: Industry Rant

The comic book industry can't survive without new readers. It just can't.

So how do they get new readers?

It was EASY in the 60's and 70's when kids couldn't miss comic books in stores even if they wanted to. They were everywhere. And they were priced to sell in large quantities.

Now? Very few kids ever even see an actual comic book in person, let alone read one. And for those who do see them they see prices that are too high for the kids to even consider collecting on a monthly basis.

To me, the biggest problems are distribution/exposure and pricing. With the explosion of comic book movies you'd think that Marvel and DC would have gotten their shit together, gotten creative, and found a way to get lower priced comic books into stores where they would be visible. But they really haven't - not to any significant degree.

Now, for me? I don't read current comics. I'm not a fan of modern superhero comic book storytelling (there are exceptions - like the Straczynski and Byrne runs on Amazing Spider-Man, but most of the modern art and storylines just isn't my kind of thing). So if comics went away tomorrow I wouldn't feel like I'm missing out on anything - but I would feel awful just knowing that the possibility of a new golden age was gone forever, and I'd feel bad for all the future generations of kids who would grow up without comic books.

So how does the industry deal with the distribution/exposure and price issues? From what little I've seen, they don't seem to be trying to do much of anything about those issues. Marvel with their 32 variant covers for each key issue seems to have surrendered and given up any hope of fixing those issues (focusing on gouging their existing customers instead). DC at least tried the WalMart deal.


Now, I honestly don't know how they could do it, but I would think that they need to come up with $1.95 comics that can appeal to the 12-18 year old demographics (meaning no sex or graphic violence), and they need to find a new method of distribution to get them into more stores. There has to be a way to make that happen.
B5Erik is offline  
Old 03-29-19, 05:45 AM
  #75  
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Re: Industry Rant

Originally Posted by B5Erik View Post
The comic book industry can't survive without new readers. It just can't.
This is true.

Now? Very few kids ever even see an actual comic book in person, let alone read one. And for those who do see them they see prices that are too high for the kids to even consider collecting on a monthly basis.
At one point a big glossy magazine like GQ, Vogue with 100+ pages, was like $3.99, whereas a 21-page comic book was also $3.99. Not a very good value.
But you also have to factor in that the print medium is declining over all. Even magazine now are reduced in page count and more expensive.
Then also consider that if kids are interested in superheroes, they can watch their favorite superheroes in cartoon form on their iPhones for free. They can play as Spider-man, Wolverine, or Batman on their X-Box or Playstation. They can see the Marvel Universe or DCU on the big screen ever other month. Why buy a comic book for?

To me, the biggest problems are distribution/exposure and pricing. With the explosion of comic book movies you'd think that Marvel and DC would have gotten their shit together, gotten creative, and found a way to get lower priced comic books into stores where they would be visible. But they really haven't - not to any significant degree.
I think the only way is if they would have gone the creative owned route way back when.
The American comic industry needs completely new stories ideas and genres. Marvel and DC are the only ones that ever had a visible presence outside of comic shops, for the most part. And yet, all there ever was was superheroes, and the majority of them just the same ol' Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman/Spider-man/X-Men/Captain America/Avengers etc etc.
You had people top talent like Alan Moore coming to DC in the 80s, creating brand new stories and characters, having it be a huge hit, only for DC to say, "yeah, we're just going to keep this thing in print so ownership never reverts back to you." Sucks, but he originally planned on using Charlton characters, so maybe complete ownership of the project wasn't his initial goal. But he brought his previous UK work, V for Vendetta to DC to have it published here and DC kept the rights to that too! So DC in this case burned their bridges with one of the industry's best writers. Who wants to create something new for DC Comics when it's just work-for-hire?
Same goes for Marvel Comics.

Now, for me? I don't read
current comics. I'm not a fan of modern superhero comic book storytelling (there are exceptions - like the Straczynski and Byrne runs on Amazing Spider-Man, but most of the modern art and storylines just isn't my kind of thing). So if comics went away tomorrow I wouldn't feel like I'm missing out on anything - but I would feel awful just knowing that the possibility of a new golden age was gone forever, and I'd feel bad for all the future generations of kids who would grow up without comic books.
Same here. I love comic books but most of the stuff I come across isn't that good.
ABC Comics had a good approach, as they really pushed what you could do with comics. Alan Moore and company took advantage of the medium, whereas many pros don't. It's more like watching a conventional movie.

So how does the industry deal with the distribution/exposure and price issues? From what little I've seen, they don't seem to be trying to do much of anything about those issues. Marvel with their 32 variant covers for each key issue seems to have surrendered and given up any hope of fixing those issues (focusing on gouging their existing customers instead). DC at least tried the WalMart deal.
If DC and Marvel did a Shonen Jump-like weekly/monthly book where they had one or two of regular superheroe stories, and then had 3 or 4 creator-owned, any-type-of-genre stories as well, I'd buy that in a heartbeat.
brayzie is offline  

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