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  1. #46
    Concerned Citizen Citizen Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Trouble is, Wonder Woman has been well south of 50,000 orders for a long time now, so whose head is gonna roll? Add to that the way that DC and Marvel are sold has for a long time adapted itself to primarily selling to a market of white middle-aged men. To me, it's much more important for titles like Wonder Woman or Batgirl to reach new audiences, outside of the core comic-book reader demographic that the LCSs cater to.
    Wonder Woman and Batgirl came to popularity through a primarily male demographic. I have trouble seeing how trying to bring interest to these characters by tailoring stories for an uninterested demographic would help sales.
    It's been quite clear to me that the comic book industry has been trying to penetrate the much more lucrative novel industry, which has a predominantly female audience, for quite some time now. Instead of working to foster and grow their core readership, they look for viewership from uninterested demographics. If they want to attract interest from other groups, they should bolster their main demographic and allow the fans to sing the praises. Right now, negativity abounds, and that's hardly going to attract interested readers.

    To answer your question, I'd simply remove the writer and editor from the series--perhaps even fire them--and look for interested talents to take over. I'd be looking for someone with a vision and a passion to captivate an audience. Hell, I'd even take over the editing and writing positions, if I could.

    I would also note that I'm not advocating for the tailoring of stories for one demographic or another. A good story will always attract an audience, but tailoring a story will come across as shallow and lacking substance. The DC and Marvel of old wrote entertaining stories that attracted an audience. It just so happened that men were more interested in the comic medium than women. Luckily, comics can be just as versatile in content as a movie or book, but superheroes were chosen over fantasy, sci-fi, or drama. There's no reason why the industry can't bolster its core audience while also attracting a new one. Unfortunately, it seems like they'd rather ditch one for the other.
    Last edited by Citizen Kane; 09-16-2019 at 04:39 PM.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    If I was DC, and I saw Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl falling below 50,000 orders, heads would start rolling; it's unacceptable.

    If we look at some more recent numbers, we'll see that Black Cat was leading all female lead books with 80,000+ orders in July, according to Comichron. Vampirella came in at a close second with 70,000+ orders.

    A poster also mentioned that characters like the Invisible Woman didn't seem to be very popular anymore. Well, according to Comichron, Invisible Woman sold 60,000+ issues in July.
    If you look at Comichron Numbers for August things are quite different.

    Blck Cat is down to 48,000, Vamiprella to 36,000 and Invisible Woman to 26,000, and goiven hoe early thse books are in their respective runs, their sales will probally drop by a another few thaused copies withe ach of the next issues.

  3. #48
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    Wonder Woman and Batgirl came to popularity through a primarily male demographic. I have trouble seeing how trying to bring interest to these characters by tailoring stories for an uninterested demographic would help sales.
    Your preconceptions are showing. Women were hardly an "uninterested demographic" when it came to the Wonder Woman movie.

    And comics of the 40s (when Wonder Woman was created) were a lot more diverse than you give it credit for. Now, comics of the CCA era were written with some decidedly set ideas on gender, but it wasn't until the rise of the direct market that the climate for comics written for girls and women became hostile.

    As for "tailoring a story", it's done all the time, simply by choosing writers. That's the key. Ms Marvel was a huge success because they tailored the writer to the demographic, rather than ask one of their "normal" writers to write something he couldn't do.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  4. #49
    Incredible Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    Wonder Woman and Batgirl came to popularity through a primarily male demographic.
    Yeah, I think the thing is that Wonder Woman was popularized during a time in 1942 when there really weren't that many popular superheroines in comic books, and I think it was also such a distinction made known to many reading All-Star Comics #8, which featured already popular male heroes such as the Flash and Green Lantern, that contributed quite a bit to the popularity she was gaining. At any rate, Wonder Woman is published in quite a different comic industry now than how it was in the 1940s, because as popular as she still is, she's not as unique anymore in terms of being the only popular woman published by DC. I think it was in the 1990s and 2000s that we started seeing considerably more women at DC getting their own solo series that each lasted for quite a number of issues, so suffice to say, consumers have more DC woman titles to choose from than just Wonder Woman.

    Last edited by Electricmastro; 09-17-2019 at 01:51 AM.

  5. #50
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    I think it was in the 1990s and 2000s that we started seeing considerably more women at DC getting their own solo series that each lasted for quite a number of issues, so suffice to say, consumers have more DC woman titles to choose from than just Wonder Woman.
    I don't think you can infer that female characters became more popular in the 1990s simply by counting titles, partly because the number of individual titles rose substantially, partly because a lot of the earlier titles were anthology ones with regular backup stories—which included characters like Huntress and Batgirl.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  6. #51
    Incredible Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    I don't think you can infer that female characters became more popular in the 1990s simply by counting titles, partly because the number of individual titles rose substantially, partly because a lot of the earlier titles were anthology ones with regular backup stories—which included characters like Huntress and Batgirl.
    The main point is that it became more apparent a number of DC’s females didn’t have to share books with the popular male heroes as often anymore, like All-Star Comics and Adventure Comics, and that DC started giving more of the spotlight in having them headline their own series, which lasted quite awhile surely because of enough support, thus recognizing them more as capably independent characters, which I think is worth acknowledging.
    Last edited by Electricmastro; 09-17-2019 at 12:28 PM.

  7. #52
    Death becomes you Osiris-Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electricmastro View Post
    Out of curiosity, I decided to research the DC women who had the longest solo runs in general for comparison, and it turned out to be these:

    Wonder Woman (1942-1986) - 329 issues

    Wonder Woman (1987-2006) - 226 issues

    Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane (1958-1974) - 137 issues

    Catwoman (1993-2001) - 94 issues

    Catwoman (2002-2010) - 83 issues

    Supergirl (1996-2003) - 80 issues

    Wonder Woman (2016-present) - 78 issues

    Batgirl (2000-2006) - 73 issues

    Supergirl (2005-2011) - 67 issues

    Harley Quinn (2016-present) - 65 issues

    Wonder Woman (2006-2011) - 59 issues

    Wonder Woman (2011-2016) - 52 issues

    Batgirl (2011-2016) - 52 issues

    Batwoman (2011-2015) - 40 issues

    Supergirl (2011-2015) - 40 issues

    Batgirl (2016-present) - 38 issues

    Harley Quinn (2000-2004) - 38 issues

    Manhunter (2004-2009) - 38 issues

    Supergirl (2016-present) - 33 issues

    Harley Quinn (2013-2016) - 30 issues

    Power Girl (2009-2011) - 27 issues

    Batgirl (2009-2011) - 24 issues

    Supergirl (1982-1984) - 23 issues

    The Huntress (1989-1990) - 19 issues

    Batwoman (2017-2018) - 18 issues

    The Silencer (2018-2019) - 18 issues

    Superwoman (2016-2018) - 18 issues

    Doctor Fate (1991-1992) - 17 issues

    Hawkgirl (2006-2007) - 17 issues

    Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman (2014-2016) - 17 issues

    Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld (1985-1986) - 16 issues

    Zatanna (2010-2011) - 16 issues

    Anima (1994-1995) - 15 issues

    Catwoman (2018-present) - 15 issues

    Scarlett (1993-1994) - 14 issues

    Trinity of Sin: Pandora (2013-2014) - 14 issues

    Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld (1983-1984) - 12 issues

    Black Canary (1993) - 12 issues

    Black Canary (2015-2016) - 12 issues

    Mother Panic (2017) - 12 issues

    Pearl (2018-2019) - 12 issues

    Raven: Daughter of Darkness (2018-2019) - 12 issues

    Shade, The Changing Girl (2016-2017) - 12 issues

    Starfire (2015-2016) - 12 issues

    Thriller (1983-1984) - 12 issues

    Voodoo (2011-2012) - 12 issues

    Katana (2013-2014) - 10 issues

    Supergirl (1972-1974) - 10 issues
    Catwoman also has 52 issues in New 52, for a total of 244 issues of Catwoman so far.

  8. #53
    Incredible Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osiris-Rex View Post
    Catwoman also has 52 issues in New 52, for a total of 244 issues of Catwoman so far.
    Ah, thanks.

  9. #54
    Concerned Citizen Citizen Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Your preconceptions are showing. Women were hardly an "uninterested demographic" when it came to the Wonder Woman movie.

    And comics of the 40s (when Wonder Woman was created) were a lot more diverse than you give it credit for. Now, comics of the CCA era were written with some decidedly set ideas on gender, but it wasn't until the rise of the direct market that the climate for comics written for girls and women became hostile.

    As for "tailoring a story", it's done all the time, simply by choosing writers. That's the key. Ms Marvel was a huge success because they tailored the writer to the demographic, rather than ask one of their "normal" writers to write something he couldn't do.
    Movies and comics are not comparable mediums. It also hasn't translated into Wonder Woman comic sales.

    Not sure what you're inferring in your second statement.

    Never said anything about whether or not anyone was tailoring stories or not. Writers should simply focus on writing a good story, not pandering to certain demographics. Generally, Brian Micheal Bendis is good at writing street level heroes. Others aren't. Ms. Marvel wasn't selling because the writer was good at writing street level heroes. Rather, it had more to do with the marketing. Your use of "tailored" and "tailoring" is strange to me. It sounds as if you're saying Marvel trained or was training a writer to better suit a certain demographic, but I think I know what you meant.

    20,000 orders (on Comichron) on issue 6 is hardly a success. Pretty sure Ms. Marvel was cancelled not too long ago. It was getting somewhere around 14,000 orders by the end. If by "success" you mean "popular media appearances", perhaps, you could call her a success; however, the average person didn't have a clue who she was until she started getting pushed by the media. She has no drawing power.
    Last edited by Citizen Kane; 09-18-2019 at 11:48 AM.

  10. #55
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    Movies and comics are not comparable mediums. It also hasn't translated into Wonder Woman comic sales.

    Not sure what you're inferring in your second statement.

    Never said anything about whether or not anyone was tailoring stories or not. Writers should simply focus on writing a good story, not pandering to certain demographics. Generally, Brian Micheal Bendis is good at writing street level heroes. Others aren't. Ms. Marvel wasn't selling because the writer was good at writing street level heroes. Rather, it had more to do with the marketing. Your use of "tailored" and "tailoring" is strange to me. It sounds as if you're saying Marvel trained or was training a writer to better suit a certain demographic, but I think I know what you meant.

    20,000 orders (on Comichron) on issue 6 is hardly a success. Pretty sure Ms. Marvel was cancelled not too long ago. It was getting somewhere around 14,000 orders by the end. If by "success" you mean "popular media appearances", perhaps, you could call her a success; however, the average person didn't have a clue who she was until she started getting pushed by the media. She has no drawing power.
    I think she caught on before she had any major media appearances, since she was getting a lot of coverage and push even before she started popping up in games or cartoons.

    It didn't translate to comic sales where her book's sales started going downhill after it's tie-in to Civil War II, but she had already made a fairly surprising splash by then.

  11. #56
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    Movies and comics are not comparable mediums. It also hasn't translated into Wonder Woman comic sales.
    While correct, it has also been rather fundamentally proven that no movies manage to increase sales of comics, or at least not of floppies. But that's because the floppies are sold on such an un-elastic market (and also one that is largely unfriendly to new customers, women, or people of colour). Other forms of distribution show a higher effect, like trades and likely also digital. And the movie most assuredly shows that women are interested in the character of Wonder Woman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    Not sure what you're inferring in your second statement.
    Simply that the popular comics market has undergone at least two huge and fundamental shifts since it was first formed back in the 1940s, and that there is you cannot infer anything about the markets of then based on your own perception of the market now. I can recommend How Censors Killed The Weird, Experimental, Progressive Golden Age Of Comics by Saladin Ahmed (who I guess has forgotten more about comics history than you and I know together).

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    Never said anything about whether or not anyone was tailoring stories or not. Writers should simply focus on writing a good story, not pandering to certain demographics. Generally, Brian Micheal Bendis is good at writing street level heroes. Others aren't. Ms. Marvel wasn't selling because the writer was good at writing street level heroes. Rather, it had more to do with the marketing. Your use of "tailored" and "tailoring" is strange to me. It sounds as if you're saying Marvel trained or was training a writer to better suit a certain demographic, but I think I know what you meant.

    20,000 orders (on Comichron) on issue 6 is hardly a success. Pretty sure Ms. Marvel was cancelled not too long ago. It was getting somewhere around 14,000 orders by the end. If by "success" you mean "popular media appearances", perhaps, you could call her a success; however, the average person didn't have a clue who she was until she started getting pushed by the media. She has no drawing power.
    Here I don't even know where to start.

    The single most important decision an editor does when pushing a new title is selecting the writer, precisely because that has a huge impact in what type of story that will be told. If you want to market a story to men who like street-level stuff, you get Bendis. If you want to market to teens, especially teen girls, you get G Willow Wilson. Simple as that.

    And again your preconceptions are showing, and blinding you. Ms Marvel was the most important thing to happen to the American mainstream comic book scene, together with Miles Morales, in the last ten years. The floppy sales might not be impressive, but it went to largely new customers who previously didn't go to comic book stores, and the trade sales were through the roof. There is a reason why a planned run of maybe ten issues went on for 50, and that the title wasn't cancelled, but rather immediately re-launched with a new top-flight creative team once the first creative team felt the need to pass the baton.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  12. #57
    Incredible Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    But that's because the floppies are sold on such an un-elastic market (and also one that is largely unfriendly to new customers, women, or people of colour).
    Who's making it unfriendly for them?


    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Ms Marvel was the most important thing to happen to the American mainstream comic book scene, together with Miles Morales, in the last ten years.
    ...

    ...

    ...ok then, and?...

    ...
    Last edited by Electricmastro; 09-18-2019 at 06:24 PM.

  13. #58
    Concerned Citizen Citizen Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    While correct, it has also been rather fundamentally proven that no movies manage to increase sales of comics, or at least not of floppies. But that's because the floppies are sold on such an un-elastic market (and also one that is largely unfriendly to new customers, women, or people of colour). Other forms of distribution show a higher effect, like trades and likely also digital. And the movie most assuredly shows that women are interested in the character of Wonder Woman.
    Not sure how you can so brazenly state that the market is unfriendly to new customers, women, or people of color. What about it is unfriendly? The medium? The fans? The writers?

    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Simply that the popular comics market has undergone at least two huge and fundamental shifts since it was first formed back in the 1940s, and that there is you cannot infer anything about the markets of then based on your own perception of the market now. I can recommend How Censors Killed The Weird, Experimental, Progressive Golden Age Of Comics by Saladin Ahmed (who I guess has forgotten more about comics history than you and I know together).
    So, using your observations, you're saying that because the male demographic who made Wonder Woman popular has long since passed being a major market contributor, women would be a better demographic to market to because they've shown interest in the character recently, based off of attendance numbers--which I never received--for the Wonder Woman movie? I'd say your preconceptions are just as prominent as mine. However, evidence suggests that it's been men and not women who have been keeping the Wonder Woman comics afloat for all these decades. Wonder Woman was adopted as a female icon decades ago, yet it's men who are consistently supporting her comics and keeping her relevant. Where is the historical evidence that proves women would do the same? As I already stated, women were interested in the character decades ago, yet this has never translated into lasting comic sales. Even if we said that the earlier Wonder Woman comics were being marketed to middle-aged men, it hardly seemed to have stopped women from adopting her as a female icon. By association, women should have been perfectly okay with reading Wonder Woman comics, yet they didn't--at least not for long.

    As for the Buzzfeed article, while the contents may be interesting, I hardly consider anyone at that office to be qualified enough to share their opinions on anything more complicated than a grilled cheese sandwich.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Here I don't even know where to start.

    The single most important decision an editor does when pushing a new title is selecting the writer, precisely because that has a huge impact in what type of story that will be told. If you want to market a story to men who like street-level stuff, you get Bendis. If you want to market to teens, especially teen girls, you get G Willow Wilson. Simple as that.

    And again your preconceptions are showing, and blinding you. Ms Marvel was the most important thing to happen to the American mainstream comic book scene, together with Miles Morales, in the last ten years. The floppy sales might not be impressive, but it went to largely new customers who previously didn't go to comic book stores, and the trade sales were through the roof. There is a reason why a planned run of maybe ten issues went on for 50, and that the title wasn't cancelled, but rather immediately re-launched with a new top-flight creative team once the first creative team felt the need to pass the baton.
    You don't choose a writer because they can write for a certain demographic. You choose a writer who can write in a certain genre. There should be no thought of who the story will be marketed towards. The audience will come if it's worth their time. I'd argue that this fundamental difference in perception is why many of the recent, experimental books, such as Ms. Marvel, are much more likely to fail over time. In fact, Ms. Marvel's sales are struggling to reach 15,000 sales right now. The demographic they were aiming to attract hardly supports her any more. On the other hand, Miles Morales is doing significantly better but not great.

    I'm done discussing this section of our discussion; it's irrelevant.

  14. #59
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    Not sure how you can so brazenly state that the market is unfriendly to new customers, women, or people of color. What about it is unfriendly? The medium? The fans? The writers?
    All of them play a part, but most especially the distribution channel. Now, there is no trouble to find women working in or visiting comic shops, or comic book shops that are welcoming to a varied demographic, but lots of them aren't—and enough that there is a widespread perception that comic book shops are viewed as a place for dudes, and are unwelcoming to women.

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    So, using your observations, you're saying that because the male demographic who made Wonder Woman popular has long since passed being a major market contributor, women would be a better demographic to market to because they've shown interest in the character recently, based off of attendance numbers--which I never received--for the Wonder Woman movie?
    Here is a quote from the first hit on "wonder woman movie demographics" over on Google for me:

    The “Wonder Woman” audiences also didn’t follow traditional superhero film audience demographics, with 52 percent of its viewers being women. Normally, as the Hollywood Reporter noted, 60 percent or more of a superhero movie’s fans are male.
    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    As for the Buzzfeed article, while the contents may be interesting, I hardly consider anyone at that office to be qualified enough to share their opinions on anything more complicated than a grilled cheese sandwich.
    Guess you don't consider Saladin Ahmed a good source of knowledge on comics. Good to know that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen Kane View Post
    You don't choose a writer because they can write for a certain demographic. You choose a writer who can write in a certain genre. There should be no thought of who the story will be marketed towards. The audience will come if it's worth their time. I'd argue that this fundamental difference in perception is why many of the recent, experimental books, such as Ms. Marvel, are much more likely to fail over time. In fact, Ms. Marvel's sales are struggling to reach 15,000 sales right now. The demographic they were aiming to attract hardly supports her any more. On the other hand, Miles Morales is doing significantly better but not great.
    The reason genres exist is because they are marketing shorthands. A genre comes prepackaged with its own set of conventions and readers: that's what makes it a genre, and an established genre is (or at least should be) well understood who people who market books or comics or movies. Choosing a genre is literally choosing your market and the demographic.

    And again, you are mistaking a piece of the market that you see—the floppies—for the entire comics market. It's currently the most important piece for superhero comics in the USA, yes, but for individual titles digital sales or trades might be more important. Trades were and are much more important for Ms Marvel than the floppies are. Likewise, trades are sold on a much more elastic market than the floppies, since they are much more readily available on Amazon and in regular bookstores.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

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