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  1. #31
    Astonishing Member Gaastra's Avatar
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    And a list of stores in a state does no good for a kid whose mobility is a bicycle and the nearest store is 50 to 100 miles away.
    Much less helpful if that kid grew up in this situation and has never once seen a comic, and associates superheroes with being cartoon and movie properties only.

    Bingo. I grew up in a small city that had one comic shop that closed up leaving one gas station that sold comics in the whole city. All the kids in school got their transformers, gijoe, and marvel and dc comics at that gas station on a spinner rack. When they stopped selling them in the 90s with the comic crash we lost all comics there. Closest comic shop is a hour drive! Now live in another state and town and have one small comic shop here but no backissues before the last five years (so no 80s comics) and no free comic day due to low sales. Our book-a-million on the other hand sells tons of mangas and comic trades and has two areas of them!

  2. #32
    Astonishing Member Raye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Stone View Post
    Not to mention, any attempt to branch out of being a niche market is met with resistance, mostly by people who want to remain the sole source.
    As witnessed with the DC/Walmart deal.
    Yeah, and I also remember the hissy fits retailers threw when DC first wanted to put their digital comics on sale the same day as print with the launch of the New 52. Back in 2011 that was new, and the retailers protested, they did not want the digital books to come out the same day as they did in print. It ended up being a compromise that the comics could only be released on Comixology at like 8 AM Pacific time or something, so that all stores in the US would have had a chance to open. Which of course kinda screwed over digital readers on the East coast in particular, who could not purchase digital comics until nearly noon. Of course, after a while, the publishers and Comixology quietly let this slip more and more until now the books release shortly after midnight, at least as long as you have a subscription, the storefront takes a while longer to update. (I'm in Mountain time, not sure about elsewhere)

  3. #33
    Take Me Higher The Negative Zone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9th. View Post
    they also have a ridiculous about of sales on Amazon/comixology, not to mention the couppn codes you get every once in a while.
    Let's not forget that rather recent 99 cent sale that comic stores were really angry at.

  4. #34
    Mighty Member hawkeyefan's Avatar
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    I got into comics because I was a kid who was able to get to a place, te local 7-11, that had them on my bike. And I was able to afford them.

    I think a shift from the direct market is probably needed. DC’s deal with Wal-Mart seems like a good idea. Spinner racks in places where kids will see them is a huge step. Finding ways to reduce the proce of comics is another. At $4 a pop, a kid can buy 10 to 15 comics and be entertained for a couple of hours, or he can buy a video game and be entertained for weeks or months. The entertainment for cost ratio is too low for comics.

    There are other things that could he done as well. A lot of the industry seems to function on old concepts.

    The monthly ongoing series. This needs to go away for all but the most successful books. They should shift to mini-series/volumes. So instead of giving Moon Knight another series, they should frame their approach around the pitch. If the writer has an idea for 8 issues, then go with an 8 issie volume. Call it by a subtitle, like “Moon Knight: Darkest Night” or whatever. And if that’s all the writer has, then end the series and wait until someone else comes along with an interesting pitch. There’s no need to try and keep a comic going by finding another writer and artist to pick up where the last left off. I think in the long run, doing that actually hurts.

    Another thing is to do some stuff besides superheroes. Especially Marvel and DC. Marvel’s barely ever branched out beyond superheroes, but I think it’s necessary. Not every book has to take place in a shared universe. In fact it’d be a good idea to offerthings that specifically do not exist in a shared universe. For way too many people in the US, comics are synonymous with superheroes, and that’s not a good thing. If the industry leaders start to diversify their product, maybe it will bring more attention to the market from people who’ve always ignored it because “it’s just kid’s stuff”. There are tons of comics out there that I know non-comic readers would enjoy, but they’re never exposed to them because they simply don’t read comics, and don’t encounter comics in any stores they go to. DC’s been better at this in thhe past than Marvel, and seemsto be making such a push now, and Marvel should follow suit.

    The format is something else where some change is needed. 20 page monthly issues, later collected into a volume...that should only be one method. More original graphic novels are needed. Also perhaps some alternate takes on the monthly issue. Perhaps a black and white comic that’s 10 pages and costs $1? Something different. Get people to give things a try. And of course, embracing the digital market.

    Overall, change is what’s needed. It seems if they continue doing things as is, the problems will continue. They need to shake things up a bit.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    I got into comics because I was a kid who was able to get to a place, te local 7-11, that had them on my bike. And I was able to afford them.

    I think a shift from the direct market is probably needed. DC’s deal with Wal-Mart seems like a good idea. Spinner racks in places where kids will see them is a huge step. Finding ways to reduce the proce of comics is another. At $4 a pop, a kid can buy 10 to 15 comics and be entertained for a couple of hours, or he can buy a video game and be entertained for weeks or months. The entertainment for cost ratio is too low for comics.

    There are other things that could he done as well. A lot of the industry seems to function on old concepts.

    The monthly ongoing series. This needs to go away for all but the most successful books. They should shift to mini-series/volumes. So instead of giving Moon Knight another series, they should frame their approach around the pitch. If the writer has an idea for 8 issues, then go with an 8 issie volume. Call it by a subtitle, like “Moon Knight: Darkest Night” or whatever. And if that’s all the writer has, then end the series and wait until someone else comes along with an interesting pitch. There’s no need to try and keep a comic going by finding another writer and artist to pick up where the last left off. I think in the long run, doing that actually hurts.

    Another thing is to do some stuff besides superheroes. Especially Marvel and DC. Marvel’s barely ever branched out beyond superheroes, but I think it’s necessary. Not every book has to take place in a shared universe. In fact it’d be a good idea to offerthings that specifically do not exist in a shared universe. For way too many people in the US, comics are synonymous with superheroes, and that’s not a good thing. If the industry leaders start to diversify their product, maybe it will bring more attention to the market from people who’ve always ignored it because “it’s just kid’s stuff”. There are tons of comics out there that I know non-comic readers would enjoy, but they’re never exposed to them because they simply don’t read comics, and don’t encounter comics in any stores they go to. DC’s been better at this in thhe past than Marvel, and seemsto be making such a push now, and Marvel should follow suit.

    The format is something else where some change is needed. 20 page monthly issues, later collected into a volume...that should only be one method. More original graphic novels are needed. Also perhaps some alternate takes on the monthly issue. Perhaps a black and white comic that’s 10 pages and costs $1? Something different. Get people to give things a try. And of course, embracing the digital market.

    Overall, change is what’s needed. It seems if they continue doing things as is, the problems will continue. They need to shake things up a bit.
    One thing: Marvel has barely ever branched out? Are you kidding? In the past Marvel has literaly done every type of comic. Transformers, GI Joe, star wars, Conan and almost any type of licenced comic and genre you can think of. You name the tv/cartoon and Marvel has done it in the past. You are right its been a while, except Star Wars and likely Conan again soon, but in the past Marvel has done a whole lot of other things besides super heroes.

  6. #36
    Mighty Member hawkeyefan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bor View Post
    One thing: Marvel has barely ever branched out? Are you kidding? In the past Marvel has literaly done every type of comic. Transformers, GI Joe, star wars, Conan and almost any type of licenced comic and genre you can think of. You name the tv/cartoon and Marvel has done it in the past. You are right its been a while, except Star Wars and likely Conan again soon, but in the past Marvel has done a whole lot of other things besides super heroes.
    No I’m not kidding. None of that is very far from superheroes. And a lot of it was shoehorned into the Marvel Universe...Conan, Godzilla, Shogun Warriors, and so on. And GI Joe is just superheores as soldiers....codenames and costumes, cand many of the other trappings.

    So yes....I’d say barely. Star Wars is the big exception, but there’s such considerable overlap between the two audiences as to be virtually the same.

    What I mean is seeing something like Walking Dead or Saga where the target audience is likely very different from the traditional audience for superheroes. Horror comics or crime comics or romance comics. Comics aimed specifically at mature readers and also comics aimed specifically at kids.

    True diversity of content would ideally broaden the audience. And if that happened, then more people would realize that comics are not just superheroes or not just for kids, and then they’d be more willing to try more books and tell others to do the same.

    As an industry leader, Marvel needs to be at the forefront of that, instead of leaving it up to smaller publishers.

  7. #37
    Mighty Member krazijoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    No I’m not kidding. None of that is very far from superheroes. And a lot of it was shoehorned into the Marvel Universe...Conan, Godzilla, Shogun Warriors, and so on. And GI Joe is just superheores as soldiers....codenames and costumes, cand many of the other trappings.

    So yes....I’d say barely. Star Wars is the big exception, but there’s such considerable overlap between the two audiences as to be virtually the same.

    What I mean is seeing something like Walking Dead or Saga where the target audience is likely very different from the traditional audience for superheroes. Horror comics or crime comics or romance comics. Comics aimed specifically at mature readers and also comics aimed specifically at kids.

    True diversity of content would ideally broaden the audience. And if that happened, then more people would realize that comics are not just superheroes or not just for kids, and then they’d be more willing to try more books and tell others to do the same.

    As an industry leader, Marvel needs to be at the forefront of that, instead of leaving it up to smaller publishers.
    Not sure if you have ever heard of Epic... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Comics

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    No Iím not kidding. None of that is very far from superheroes. And a lot of it was shoehorned into the Marvel Universe...Conan, Godzilla, Shogun Warriors, and so on. And GI Joe is just superheores as soldiers....codenames and costumes, cand many of the other trappings.

    So yes....Iíd say barely. Star Wars is the big exception, but thereís such considerable overlap between the two audiences as to be virtually the same.

    What I mean is seeing something like Walking Dead or Saga where the target audience is likely very different from the traditional audience for superheroes. Horror comics or crime comics or romance comics. Comics aimed specifically at mature readers and also comics aimed specifically at kids.

    True diversity of content would ideally broaden the audience. And if that happened, then more people would realize that comics are not just superheroes or not just for kids, and then theyíd be more willing to try more books and tell others to do the same.

    As an industry leader, Marvel needs to be at the forefront of that, instead of leaving it up to smaller publishers.
    So your argument is that Conan, transformers, godzilla, Doctor who, Red Sonja, Battle star galactica, planets of the apes, indiana jones, John Carter, Star Trek + several others are not different? Eh okay if thats yoiur view thats fine but I would argue that all that is a lot more variad and different then you are giving it credit for.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazijoe View Post
    Not sure if you have ever heard of Epic... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Comics
    Exactly. But you know stuff like Elf quest is superheroes too I guess?

  10. #40
    Mighty Member hawkeyefan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krazijoe View Post
    Not sure if you have ever heard of Epic... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Comics
    Quote Originally Posted by Bor View Post
    So your argument is that Conan, transformers, godzilla, Doctor who, Red Sonja, Battle star galactica, planets of the apes, indiana jones, John Carter, Star Trek + several others are not different? Eh okay if thats yoiur view thats fine but I would argue that all that is a lot more variad and different then you are giving it credit for.
    Guys...I’m not saying they’ve never done it. I’m saying they need to do it a lot more. And they need to do it now.

    Citing a 30 year old imprint and some licensed comics also from 30 years ago doesn’t really refute my point. I’m not trying to play “who knows more about Marvel’s past” because it’s really not that relevant. Compare the comics you’re citing to the comics Marvel’s put out that feature superheroes. The non-superheroes are a drop in the bucket. We could debate whether Transformers or Crystar should be considered superheroes all day, but it’s beside the point.

    Something like the Icon Imprint would be far more relevant and far more recent. But still, a small drop in the bucket.

    They need to put out content that will appeal to a wider and/or different audience than superheroes.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    Guys...Iím not saying theyíve never done it. Iím saying they need to do it a lot more. And they need to do it now.

    Citing a 30 year old imprint and some licensed comics also from 30 years ago doesnít really refute my point. Iím not trying to play ďwho knows more about Marvelís pastĒ because itís really not that relevant. Compare the comics youíre citing to the comics Marvelís put out that feature superheroes. The non-superheroes are a drop in the bucket. We could debate whether Transformers or Crystar should be considered superheroes all day, but itís beside the point.

    Something like the Icon Imprint would be far more relevant and far more recent. But still, a small drop in the bucket.

    They need to put out content that will appeal to a wider and/or different audience than superheroes.
    Then I think you choice of words was not well chosen. Claiming that stuff like we mentioned is aparently superhero comics is not besides the point when it shows that they have been willing to do something different in the past and then they might be willing to do so again. Star Wars is once again a prominent part of what they publish and more stuff is likely coming with them haven regained Conan forinstance.
    Its not like we are likely to get a Alf comics again from Marvel, although I WOULD LOVE IT, but they might publish some things. With Disney owning pretty much a million different things besides Star Wars it could be possible for them to get some other stuff too.

  12. #42
    Astonishing Member Gaastra's Avatar
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    Marvel has done lots of non hero books.

    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]

  13. #43
    Astonishing Member Raye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeyefan View Post
    Guys...I’m not saying they’ve never done it. I’m saying they need to do it a lot more. And they need to do it now.

    Citing a 30 year old imprint and some licensed comics also from 30 years ago doesn’t really refute my point. I’m not trying to play “who knows more about Marvel’s past” because it’s really not that relevant. Compare the comics you’re citing to the comics Marvel’s put out that feature superheroes. The non-superheroes are a drop in the bucket. We could debate whether Transformers or Crystar should be considered superheroes all day, but it’s beside the point.

    Something like the Icon Imprint would be far more relevant and far more recent. But still, a small drop in the bucket.

    They need to put out content that will appeal to a wider and/or different audience than superheroes.
    But they are. They announced Conan a while ago, they have Star Wars, and then at NYCC just yesterday, they announced that they are bringing back a lot of old titles (granted, trademark retention is likely a motivating factor but some good talent is working on the books) which include horror, romance, war stories, western, etc. https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/10...ry-in-january/ It is unclear if they are oneshots or ongoings, but still.

    Also, I'd argue that even though they take place in the MU, and sometimes superheroes appear or are otherwise involved, some of their shared universe books are other genres, such as Jessica Jones being a detective book for the most part. Do superpowers come into play? yes, of course, but in terms of feel and tropes used, it has so much of the detective genre in it, that fans of that genre can easily get into and enjoy it. Same with Thor and fantasy, or Guardians of the Galaxy and sci-fi and so on, even if they do sometimes change genres at times to be more or less superhero focused. That's one of the fun things about Marvel (and DC's) shared universe, it's diverse enough that a lot of different genres can be played with, even if they are all still technically superheroes. Superhero is more of an umbrella grouping, which can include many sub-genres. It's like in music saying something is 'metal' only goes so far, when you have everything from Cannibal Corpse to Nightwish, so you have death metal, gothic metal, black metal, folk metal, sludge metal, symphonic metal, prog metal, pirate metal, viking metal, thrash metal, and on and on, and sometimes crossovers of 2 or more of the sub-genres, and you can enjoy one sub-genre and not another. Superheroes is like that.
    Last edited by Raye; 10-05-2018 at 03:52 PM.

  14. #44
    Mighty Member hawkeyefan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raye View Post
    But they are. They announced Conan a while ago, they have Star Wars, and then at NYCC just yesterday, they announced that they are bringing back a lot of old titles (granted, trademark retention is likely a motivating factor but some good talent is working on the books) which include horror, romance, war stories, western, etc. https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/10...ry-in-january/ It is unclear if they are oneshots or ongoings, but still.

    Also, I'd argue that even though they take place in the MU, and sometimes superheroes appear or are otherwise involved, some of their shared universe books are other genres, such as Jessica Jones being a detective book for the most part. Do superpowers come into play? yes, of course, but in terms of feel and tropes used, it has so much of the detective genre in it, that fans of that genre can easily get into and enjoy it. Same with Thor and fantasy, or Guardians of the Galaxy and sci-fi and so on, even if they do sometimes change genres at times to be more or less superhero focused. That's one of the fun things about Marvel (and DC's) shared universe, it's diverse enough that a lot of different genres can be played with, even if they are all still technically superheroes. Superhero is more of an umbrella grouping, which can include many sub-genres. It's like in music saying something is 'metal' only goes so far, when you have everything from Cannibal Corpse to Nightwish, so you have death metal, gothic metal, black metal, folk metal, sludge metal, symphonic metal, prog metal, pirate metal, viking metal, thrash metal, and on and on, and sometimes crossovers of 2 or more of the sub-genres, and you can enjoy one sub-genre and not another. Superheroes is like that.
    The link doesn’t work but I hope it’s accurate. I don’t put much stock in Bleeding Cool. Hopefully they’re onto something.

    And I think your point about metal actually supports what I’m saying. I’m not much of a metal fan, so all those subgenres you mention mean nothing to me. It’s all just metal to me. Now that may not be fair, and there may be stuff I’d actually enjoy in there, but I’m not going to find out because I don’t like metal.

    The difference between Jessica Jones and GotG and Weat Coast Avengers don’t mean anything to the average non-comic fan. Yes, there’s some diversity of content in there, but most folks will see Marvel and lump it all into superheroes.

    They need to create content that’s significantly different from what they do 95% of the time. And they likely need some different branding for such content.

    Think early Vertigo and DC at the time. Sandman appealed to a new and varied audience compared to most of what DC had been putting out before. This is what I’m talking about.

  15. #45
    Astonishing Member Raye's Avatar
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    Weird, dunno why the link won't work, maybe I have a cached version. Anyway, there were pictures of slides, so it's a pretty sure thing, it's not BC reporting on rumors in this case. They will be hitting in January and February, as part of them celebrating their 80th anniversary.

    When you say you won't listen to metal even though it's probably a lot more diverse and different than you realize, you do realize it's the same situation with comics, right? The public feels the same way about not just superheroes, but comics in general as you do about metal. You will never know there is metal music played exclusively on cellos, or sung with operatic vocals, or played with traditional folk instruments with lyrics sung in Gaulish, or teenage Japanese girls in frilly dresses singing about chocolate, because you have this general idea of what 'metal' is, probably something like Slayer, or Metallica or similar, and don't want to wade into the whole mess to find what you like. I get it, I'm the same way with Hip-hop, or Country, until i discovered i really like Bluegrass. But it's the exact same situation with comics. Putting out a romance book won't attract a bunch of teenage girls who have never read a comic before, because they've already decided comics aren't their thing, so putting that book on the market won't magically attract them as readers, the same way Eluveitie won't necessarily attract someone who likes traditional Celtic music, even though they share a lot of elements. But it will probably attract a few. But a few isn't enough to keep a book afloat on their own, but if it is in the shared universe, it will attract some more traditional fans as well, which may make the difference. And then the new fans may branch out further, and try other books. And it will work in reverse, as well, that's what's wonderful about things that straddle boundaries. I wasn't saying that Marvel having diverse genres under the Superhero umbrella was going to attract a ton of readers, just saying they did it. And though it won't attract a ton of brand new readers, it will probably bring in a few, and it's connection to the larger MU will allow it to actually exist and continue to be published.

    Marvel and DC know superheroes, or at least things in their shared universe, work, it's reliable. So putting things in the main universe, which will come with superhero tropes running in the background, is the safer option, things outside that have proven themselves to be risky ventures, and they will have more chance of success if it is tied to the shared universe in some way. I wish things were more diverse, but that's just the reality of the situation at the moment. Starting something completely new is way more risky, so that's why they only occasionally do it. They try it from time to time, but it usually can not support itself for long, since after the Comics Code kinda drove away a large portion of the non-superhero reading audience and they never came back. Yes, there are some big sellers not attached to the Big Two's main universe, or an existing franchise at all, which are in other genres, your Walking Deads and Sagas. And that's great! If they can get more people reading comics, that's wonderful. But the thing is, they are the exceptions, there are many, many more that fail to catch on, or are only modest successes, that bring in enough for the creators to continue, but they are not exactly at the top of the charts. Also, it's not like they have some totally separate audience from Marvel or DC, there is a lot of overlap there. I read Saga and The Wicked + The Divine AND Marvel, and I am sure the same can be said for much of their readership. I am sure they do bring in some new readers that have never read comics before, but it's not like it's the majority of their audience that's new to reading comics. So it's not the case of publishing a western will bring in Marvel a lot more new readers, guaranteed, like the only thing they were waiting for before diving in was a western book. I mean, not like Jonah Hex did that for DC, it scraped the bottom of the charts for years. (though, I understand it was big in Europe, which is why it continued for so long despite it selling like 5,000 copies a month via Diamond) those non-superhero books are one of those things where you just gotta keep trying, throwing stuff at the wall until something sticks, and there will be many many failures along the way. With a model like Image where the creator themselves shoulders some of the risk, that can work, they can throw stuff at the wall constantly, as long as just a few catch on. But in a situation like the Big Two where they shoulder all the risk, they have to play a bit more carefully. They are a business, and can't be putting out a lot of things that are really risky. They can and do take some risks, but it's going to be weighted more towards things they are sure will pull in some money, and that's superheroes, or at least superhero adjacent.

    Basically, yes, I agree they should put out more stuff and try to broaden their audience. I'm just saying that there are good reasons they don't do it more often, and it is not a magic bullet solution.

    Also, Sandman was superheroes, if you are going to count like Alias and stuff as Superheroes as well. It was a bit more removed from things than most, but the Endless were kinda superheroes in the same way Thor is. And the other DC characters occupy the same universe as them, Constantine, and Superman and Batman all made appearances in Gaiman's story. (granted, Superman and Batman only in small cameos when Dream died) and the reverse is true as well, Sandman characters have appeared in the main DC universe books several times. Off the top of my head, Death appeared in Superman a few years back and Daniel/Dream appeared in Dark Nights: Metal this year. Pretty sure Gaiman's version of Lucifer has shown up a few times... And Destiny predates Gaiman's story by quite a lot, actually, he's a bit like if they had used Uatu. As well as Lucien, Cain and Abel. That some readers probably were unaware that it had ties to the main universe doesn't change the fact that it did actually occupy the DC universe. And Marvel has done similar at times with their characters, it's just that they have a bit more connection to the rest of things and also appear in more 'standard' fare more often than Sandman stuff does. It's not that much different a situation than some of the more mythology heavy Thor comics, and really, a lot of the cosmic stuff is straight up Sci-fi with very few ties to the main universe in a substantial way, and very few superhero tropes used. It's more in the way it's marketed than the actual content that they are different from Sandman in terms of connectivity to the main universe.
    Last edited by Raye; 10-05-2018 at 08:14 PM.

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