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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonsChi View Post
    Your not looking at the whole picture.


    ....fudge you guys are going to make me make a graph at teach this stuff like it's class.
    I don't think we're going to agree here because we are focusing on different things.
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  2. #62
    Astonishing Member DragonsChi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    I don't think we're going to agree here because we are focusing on different things.
    well yeah if you are not focused on pure sales, which is all that matters at the end
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonsChi View Post
    well yeah if you are not focused on pure sales, which is all that matters at the end
    We are not focused on the same things so we are not going to agree.
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comic-Reader Lad View Post
    I think both DC and Marvel should really rebuild their business from the ground up and create products that appeal to the DIFFERENT KINDS of customer -- or potential customer.

    I agree that the direct market is being pandered to, but right now, that's the backbone of the industry. I don't see abandoning the DM as a good thing. Rather, I like what DC is doing with their new imprints, DC Ink and DC Zoom -- they are creating products to reach new kinds of customers.

    The serialized story periodical that is the core product in the LCS will not appeal to the casual buyer -- the potential new fan who is curious about these characters after seeing them in movies.

    It's overwhelming for a movie fan to walk into a comic store and be faced with racks and racks and cases and cases of floppies -- or shelves and shelves of trade paperbacks that reprint the floppies and are organized haphazardly.

    The Infinity Gauntlet trade paperback sold very well for Marvel last year because those who saw the movie were able to come in to a store and pick up a single book that told a version of the story that the movie was based on. However, that's not always gonna work as not all movies are based on a specific storyline.

    With DC Ink and Zoom, DC is creating standalone graphic novels that don't tie in to the movies, but also are self-contained so knowing the storylines in the monthly comics isn't necessary.

    These books will appeal to the casual reader who just wants to read a fun story then maybe lend it to a friend -- the same kids and young adults who buy Captain Underpants or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. There's no reason why DC and Marvel should NOT be in that market.

    So, right now DC is creating product for the hardcore fan who wants to follow a universe of serialized periodicals each week, but is also creating product that is self-contained and whose storylines are more timeless that can be picked up and read in any order and at any time by someone who is just browsing in a regular bookstore.

    That's what I think needs to be done more. Don't abandon the LCS because right now, there's nothing to replace it. Rather, make the commitment to develop new distribution channels like Wal-Mart and bookstores and create products that will appeal to customers who frequent those venues, but would never set foot in a comic store, but still nurture the LCS market with compelling product.

    Right now, DC is doing just that, but I think DC has always had a stronger presence in the bookstore market than Marvel. Hopefully, Marvel and the other companies will follow suit. Archie, in particular, is tailor made for standalone graphic novels that appeal to the 8-to-15 year olds. Instead, it has been trying to ape DC and Marvel by converting to serialized periodicals with the Mark Waid stuff.

    Standalone, complete-in-one-book stories priced below 15 dollars should be a goal. Bookstores are notorious for not having a complete set of a series. So, no numbering each volume. Stop trying to appeal to the collectors' mentality in the bookstore marketplace, because it turns more people off than on. Make it EASY for people to buy your product -- as much or as little as THEY want. Stop trying to force a whole collection on them, and they'll be willing to sample more.

    For me, the more interconnected the floppies became and the more the stories became a never-ending serial, the fewer comics I bought. Once collecting comics became WORK, I checked out.
    I agree with this.

    We need more avenues of distribution for comics. Most of us started reading comics from supermarkets.

    The reason I'm going in on the direct market is because a lot of titles that were "gateway" titles like Rom, Firestorm, Sgt Rock would likely never find an audience today not because they're bad but because retailers will never, ever carry sufficient numbers of these books. In fact some retailers will never order these books at all without variant covers or gimmicks.
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  5. #65
    Astonishing Member cranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    I agree with this.

    We need more avenues of distribution for comics. Most of us started reading comics from supermarkets.

    The reason I'm going in on the direct market is because a lot of titles that were "gateway" titles like Rom, Firestorm, Sgt Rock would likely never find an audience today not because they're bad but because retailers will never, ever carry sufficient numbers of these books. In fact some retailers will never order these books at all without variant covers or gimmicks.
    There are too many comics out there. Even just limiting it to Marvel they are competing with themselves. It is overwhelming for a reader even if retailers managed to put everything on the shelf, which they can't because they would go out of business. This not a shortcoming of the DM though, because no newsstand would have carried 106 (or whatever) Marvel issues a month either.

  6. #66
    Astonishing Member DragonsChi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    We are not focused on the same things so we are not going to agree.
    Probably not. And the only reason Im adressing this is because looking at what is going on with the big two they have people in seats who aren’t focused in what matter. While at the same time listening to people who will drive them into the poor house and ruin the hobby for those purchasing the books.

    Without GOOD SALES you cannot STAY IN BUISNESS.

    Without GOOD SALES you WILL NOT have any platform to do anything else on.

    PERIOD. There is no debate. No hooing or hawing. Thats pure unadultrated facts.

    The peolpe who are continually selling low figures need to be either removed or be trained by people who can produce.

    Editors need to actually edit. Check and re-check those who they know have LITTLE EXPERIENCE and build them up. If an and when they fail the company needs to part ways.

    Not trying to be crul here but the fact is I would rather have my favorite hobby around when Im old with grandchildren then have the hobby die for some feel good points by judgemental people not buying the books.
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  7. #67
    Astonishing Member DragonsChi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comic-Reader Lad View Post
    I think both DC and Marvel should really rebuild their business from the ground up and create products that appeal to the DIFFERENT KINDS of customer -- or potential customer.

    I agree that the direct market is being pandered to, but right now, that's the backbone of the industry. I don't see abandoning the DM as a good thing. Rather, I like what DC is doing with their new imprints, DC Ink and DC Zoom -- they are creating products to reach new kinds of customers.

    The serialized story periodical that is the core product in the LCS will not appeal to the casual buyer -- the potential new fan who is curious about these characters after seeing them in movies.

    It's overwhelming for a movie fan to walk into a comic store and be faced with racks and racks and cases and cases of floppies -- or shelves and shelves of trade paperbacks that reprint the floppies and are organized haphazardly.

    The Infinity Gauntlet trade paperback sold very well for Marvel last year because those who saw the movie were able to come in to a store and pick up a single book that told a version of the story that the movie was based on. However, that's not always gonna work as not all movies are based on a specific storyline.

    With DC Ink and Zoom, DC is creating standalone graphic novels that don't tie in to the movies, but also are self-contained so knowing the storylines in the monthly comics isn't necessary.

    These books will appeal to the casual reader who just wants to read a fun story then maybe lend it to a friend -- the same kids and young adults who buy Captain Underpants or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. There's no reason why DC and Marvel should NOT be in that market.

    So, right now DC is creating product for the hardcore fan who wants to follow a universe of serialized periodicals each week, but is also creating product that is self-contained and whose storylines are more timeless that can be picked up and read in any order and at any time by someone who is just browsing in a regular bookstore.

    That's what I think needs to be done more. Don't abandon the LCS because right now, there's nothing to replace it. Rather, make the commitment to develop new distribution channels like Wal-Mart and bookstores and create products that will appeal to customers who frequent those venues, but would never set foot in a comic store, but still nurture the LCS market with compelling product.

    Right now, DC is doing just that, but I think DC has always had a stronger presence in the bookstore market than Marvel. Hopefully, Marvel and the other companies will follow suit. Archie, in particular, is tailor made for standalone graphic novels that appeal to the 8-to-15 year olds. Instead, it has been trying to ape DC and Marvel by converting to serialized periodicals with the Mark Waid stuff.

    Standalone, complete-in-one-book stories priced below 15 dollars should be a goal. Bookstores are notorious for not having a complete set of a series. So, no numbering each volume. Stop trying to appeal to the collectors' mentality in the bookstore marketplace, because it turns more people off than on. Make it EASY for people to buy your product -- as much or as little as THEY want. Stop trying to force a whole collection on them, and they'll be willing to sample more.

    For me, the more interconnected the floppies became and the more the stories became a never-ending serial, the fewer comics I bought. Once collecting comics became WORK, I checked out.
    A lot of good ideas here. But one large problem here is if your primary market is not preforming at a solid level your compounding your risk branching out in other areas that gaurantee no return.

    For the sake on anology it would be like pulling a weed but not getting the root.

    If your core base does not like your product its indicative that no one else really will either.

    They need to reclaim the audiance they have then branch put for better survieability.


    Quote Originally Posted by cranger View Post
    There are too many comics out there. Even just limiting it to Marvel they are competing with themselves. It is overwhelming for a reader even if retailers managed to put everything on the shelf, which they can't because they would go out of business. This not a shortcoming of the DM though, because no newsstand would have carried 106 (or whatever) Marvel issues a month either.
    Marvel is flooding the sheleves on purpose. They are trying to push others out so more people buy their items. Its a key componet of why they are on top. Not saying it is a good thing but it is what it is.
    Last edited by DragonsChi; 05-15-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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  8. #68
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    The numbers reflect exactly what everyone expect, the direct market is crashing, as it should and as everyone expected. It's simple, most media properties have gotten with the time and focus more on a digital development, Marvel and DC stay with the brick and motor.

    I mean even with video games, digital sales started exceeding it's physical copies counterpart. I purchase all of my comics digitally, I don't buy physical copies. Yet it's asinine for a digital comic to cost the same amount as it's printing counterpart.

    That's in combination with DC and Marvel both performing poorly in regards to advancement with diversity. Both Rebirth and Fresh Start are currently selling less than both New 52 and ANAD during the same time frame. I warned that returning things to the status quo would help bring the end of comics as it's alienating a much needed diverse market for a dying demographic that cannot keep this market alive. And ANAD had the perfect opportunity to literally turned the market around. You had great sellers like The Mighty Thor, All New Wolverine and more. And instead of merging the fresh start by allowing the two eras to share the mantles, they went back to status quo territory. DC's is at an even worse predicament, as almost all of their diverse properties from New 52 were eventually executed poorly. Cyborg started with tons of potential but was reduced to man vs machine that gotten taken apart every 2-3 issues. Earth 2 started out great but crashed and burn during World's End. And don't get me started on how they launched Static Shock and Mr. Terrific.

    Ultimately, ANAD was Marvel doing diversity right and it was paying off, and yet they ruined all of that build up due to dying comic book shops upset about diverse characters taking over the mantle temporarily and comics gate upset about minority heroes taking center stage.

    So If the market crashes, so be it. I'm building up my comic book company to show Marvel and DC how to do diversity right.

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonsChi View Post
    A lot of good ideas here. But one large problem here is if your primary market is not preforming at a solid level your compounding your risk branching out in other areas that gaurantee no return.

    For the sake on anology it would be like pulling a weed but not getting the root.

    If your core base does not like your product its indicative that no one else really will either.

    They need to reclaim the audiance they have then branch put for better survieability.




    Marvel is flooding the sheleves on purpose. They are trying to push others out so more people buy their items. Its a key componet of why they are on top. Not saying it is a good thing but it is what it is.
    Branching out might be a risk, but all new business ideas involve risk. It's worth trying because the hardcore fans are dying off and aren't being replaced by enough new hardcore fans.

    I think the hardcore fan and the casual fan are two different markets and losing hardcore fans doesn't mean DC & Marvel can't cultivate casual fans as a second revenue stream.

    DC Ink and DC Zoom are being written by writers who have an existing presence in the YA marketplace. They're being produced differently, sold differently, and marketed differently. They're not being written and drawn by existing DC talent, and they have no ties to DCU continuity. These are all GOOD things.

    The books are inviting to kids and young adults who may know of these characters from movies or cartoons, but don't want to start collecting comics. It's a way for kids to get their superhero fix in between movies. It's a way for DC to make their characters visible in print formats outside the comic shop ghetto.

    It is a risk and a slow build, to be sure, but it's absolutely worth doing.

    Here's a quote from Wikipedia about Captain Underpants:

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    As of early 2019, the series includes 12 books and 10 spin-offs, and won a Disney Adventures Kids' Choice Award on April 4, 2006. As of 2016, the series had been translated into over 30 languages, with more than 80 million books sold worldwide, including over 50 million in the United States.
    Here's a quote from Wikipedia about Diary of a Wimpy Kid:

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    Since the release of the online version in May 2004, most of the books have garnered positive reviews and commercial success. as of January 2019, more than 200 million copies have been sold globally.
    Captain Underpants started publishing in 1997; Wimpy Kid switched from online to print in 2007. So in the last 22 years and 12 years, respectively, they've sold 80 and 200 million copies.

    It's amazing it took DC this long to try to get into that market. If DC can get even a fraction of those sales, their risk will yield great rewards.

    Getting comics characters into standalone books at an attractive price and selling at every bookstore in the country and Amazon is the future for the industry. That, and doing a bigger push for digital comics. Digital copies of comics should be offered with the sale of DVDs and should be prominently offered to subscribers of Warner's and Disney's streaming services not just offered to people who already own the print edition.

    The industry needs to make big moves and continue thinking outside the box if it wants to do more than barely survive. Today, comics characters are at their highest profile in the industry's history, so the higher ups at Disney and Warners need to put people in charge of these companies who know how to create and expand markets, not just people who know how to dream up silly events and variant covers. Warner & Disney should treat DC and Marvel as book publishers, not just as niche market magazine publishers.

  10. #70
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    I am not going to get into the same argument every month so I will just say, moaning about the direct market as if that is the be all and end all of Marvelís sales is entirely pointless.

    Talking about what they could do better outside of the direct market is like talking about the invisible manís smile. We canít see it so we canít judge.

    Moaning about declining sales on individual books is pointless because their direct market business model is clearly about selling a larger range of books to cater for different sub-sectors of the market. They sell impressive numbers overall and the break even point on books is clearly lower than some seem to assume due to factors we canít perceive.

  11. #71
    Astonishing Member cranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    Moaning about declining sales on individual books is pointless because their direct market business model is clearly about selling a larger range of books to cater for different sub-sectors of the market. They sell impressive numbers overall and the break even point on books is clearly lower than some seem to assume due to factors we can’t perceive.
    It is about selling a larger number of books no matter what. That is it. Even if you just want to care to a wider market, they could still clear half the books from the solicits and cover it. This is about dominating the Diamond orders reports since, although we like to pick over it for our own purposes, it is primarily made available to assist retailers in ordering. Yes, there are quite a few retailers out there who don't have the time to go over every single title in the Previews catalog and rely on them to figure sales trends. It also does not hurt to have readers see the monthly headline the Marvel is the biggest publisher in the market, C.B. gladly boasted about it this month.

    So, this is not about Marvel managing to sell 100+ books each month at a profit. All those books that look like they are losing money are losing money. They are just writing it off as a cost of 'advertising.'

  12. #72
    Extraordinary Member JKtheMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranger View Post
    It is about selling a larger number of books no matter what. That is it. Even if you just want to care to a wider market, they could still clear half the books from the solicits and cover it. This is about dominating the Diamond orders reports since, although we like to pick over it for our own purposes, it is primarily made available to assist retailers in ordering. Yes, there are quite a few retailers out there who don't have the time to go over every single title in the Previews catalog and rely on them to figure sales trends. It also does not hurt to have readers see the monthly headline the Marvel is the biggest publisher in the market, C.B. gladly boasted about it this month.

    So, this is not about Marvel managing to sell 100+ books each month at a profit. All those books that look like they are losing money are losing money. They are just writing it off as a cost of 'advertising.'
    To that last point I honestly don’t think they are writing them off. I suspect most of those books are wiping their face just fine. When I listen to interviews with the creatives they clearly know when their books will be single trades based on sales, so Marvel will not let a book go past six or so issues without it making money, but that doesn’t make them loss leaders.

    What I have gleaned from listening to many years of interviews is that they have an investment ladder at Marvel. It has at least three tiers. The lowest tier is all about putting books out with the objective of breaking even and hopefully creating a few books that can climb up that ladder. The second tier is the longer running books that are paying for themselves generally but might occasionally warrant a boost in the form of variant covers or event tie-ins. The upper tier are the books that last for years, often get investment and marketing, attract the top talent of the day and generally make most of their profits.

    We are beginning to see a subtle shift in strategy in that lowest tier, where books that make money in trades are getting extended, even sometimes after a gap in publication. This clearly points to an invisible income for some books. We can probably assume this is from the book channel for which we have no figures, or the digital channel for which we are almost blind.

    I suspect some think that the Diamond TPB figures represent a meaningful sales figure. They just don’t. We know from anecdotal evidence regarding many of the larger trade only comic shops and chains, that they actually buy a proportion of their trades from the book channel. We also know that trades are significant sellers in the book channel.

    For example most comic stores swear that movies don’t sell books, and yet over and over the trade portfolio is built up to cross promote movies. This is a clear indication that they do sell movie related books but not through the direct market.
    Last edited by JKtheMac; 05-16-2019 at 02:12 AM.

  13. #73
    Astonishing Member cranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKtheMac View Post
    For example most comic stores swear that movies don’t sell books, and yet over and over the trade portfolio is built up to cross promote movies. This is a clear indication that they do sell movie related books but not through the direct market.
    Neither Marvel nor DC are found in the top sellers in Graphic Novels in books stores. Most of that money is coming from Manga and junior fiction. Even the superhero movie tie-ins is rather isolated and mostly involves old reprints or luxury editions, and there is no sign it leads to return purchases. There is definitely a market there, but the low selling floppies are losing money just by being printed, if Marvel wants the book store they need to focus on product designed for the book store. Self-contained stories with almost no reference to continuity from other stories (does not mean characters cannot guest star.)

    As for the rest, we are not saying anything all that different. You just don't think Marvel sees the Diamond figures as important, that's fine.

  14. #74
    Take Me Higher The Negative Zone's Avatar
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    I think comic book sales are a mess in just about everything but I trust Marvel knows what we're doing as opposed to some fans looking at sales figures...

    Honestly, discussing sales never seems to lead anywhere good.

    Just remember guys, nobody's reading our posts and taking notes. Marvel doesn't care what we have to say about sales figures so really what's the point?
    Last edited by The Negative Zone; 05-16-2019 at 06:22 PM.

  15. #75
    Incredible Member Anthony W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Negative Zone View Post
    I think comic book sales are a mess in just about everything but I trust Marvel knows what we're doing as opposed to some fans looking at sales figures.
    As someone who lived through the nineties crash, I disagree.
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