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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samm View Post
    Young Justice should have been a sure fire hit! I blame the lineup honestly, seems like most fans wanted the YJ4 mixed with the likes of Ms Martian, Blue Beetle and Aqualad. You know, a mix of comics and show, yet we got neither
    True.

    Only reason I have the first 6 issues is due to a dollar sale at a store.


    Now, I have no doubt that Bleeding Cool is correct about Lifford's thoughts on the monthly floppies from DC. I myself believe that DC's main lines are badly overstaffed and badly run, simply based on what I can observe as a reader. But I also think that from a business perspective, this move makes very little sense if the goal is to cut down DC's main line editorial overhead. In the short term, this will decrease DC's revenue overall, and likely increse costs.
    Well the issue is look at how many variants get made. Do all these books need 2-3?

    Do we really need 4-5 batman books? How many of those books would work better as a OGN?

    I don't think the books are overstaffed-most share the same staff. Along with many like Jamal Campbell have other books at other companies to do.

    And some of your fanbase has pretty much been HOSTILE to some creators. Where are all those folks from those talent workshops at?

    Why are some of them at other companies getting movie deals? Or books having better reception than DC?

    Lifford is arriving at a time where the consequences of Dan and his gang crapping on so many characters and fans-is finally coming to roost at DC. That Silver Age love has a price to pay.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyvolt2000 View Post
    Yet those same books that get complaints as trades can find an audience-why would you want monthly books?

    You might want to start eliminating whose the issue.

    They still want you as a customer. However they want to get more folks and some of these stores are the issue. If a trade only Naomi or Far Sector or Plastic Man works better then monthly first than trade. Guess what Dc is going to do.
    The thing is, OGNs need to sell nunbers similar to or greater than floppies - 10k at the low end, 100k+ for a real hit - for them to make equivalent amounts of money. It's a rare TPB that does that. (They're also harder on cash flow, since page rates have to be paid for the whole book before seeing any money back, rather than a quarter or sixth of the book)

    If DC shift whole-heartedly to OGNs, they will make fewer comics in total, probably a lot fewer. And the DCU as we know it might just Go Away in the process.

  3. #48
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    This lines very much with some of our predictions for years now that Marvel and /or DC will take drastic steps regarding how their comics are distributed.

    On the face of it, it looks like DC simply wants to make use of another distributor but look carefully and you can see something else. DC wants to move over and beyond the direct market. The DM is the primary means of comic sales but it’s been shrinking for decades now and most uptick in sales are linked to reboots, relaunches and other gimmicks. There’s simply no way that DC/WB will be slaves to a system that sells their comics to a few thousands when their movies are watched by millions worldwide.

    Something needed to happen, whether this is the right move remains to seen.
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  4. #49
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    Anyone who thinks dcbs only have eyes on distributing books is a mug. They will be planning a retail chain of shops to emerge as shops go under and people go from business owners to salaried employees.

    Its impossible to compete when yr forced to buy yr product from another retailer.

    And instead of 'oh monopoly of diamond' you will end up with a monopoly of distributor and retailers.

    Any shop who continues to stock dc is cutting their own throat.

    Its the most cynical and exploitative move to try and put a foot on the throat of the shops at their weakest moment.
    Last edited by iron chimp; 06-05-2020 at 04:11 PM.

  5. #50
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    I don't read monthlies anyway, as long as I continue to get great OGNs and TPBs and one shots and such, this is non-news.
    And I pray it doesn't reduce content going going forward.

  6. #51
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Reading between the lines, it sounds like AT&T or Warners are looking for a way to phase out monthly books altogether.
    Now listen to me, Clark! This great strength of yours--you've got to hide it from people or they'll be scared of you!

  7. #52
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    That is the rumor from BC. That WB is unhappy with the amount of money the monthlies actually bring in vs. what they cost to print, ship, ect. and thinks that just bypassing the whole monthly system and going straight for things like book stores and book fairs would make more sense.

    But why is any of this happening at all? The gossip is that Pamela Lifford, President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products has no love for DC Comics monthly comic books. The belief from some is that they cost too much to make, they take up too much editorial and production time, everything is rushed to deadline which means the urgent often trumps the important decisions being made and – they bring in too little money, compared everything else they do. Don't get them wrong, they still make money, just not as much as all that prime Burbank real estate could make.

    Instead, the gossip is that DC will focus on,, and rapidly expand, their original graphic novels line and the bookstore market, book fairs, libraries, Walmart – and they may keep the Walmart 100-page giant comics. They've already cancelled them for the direct market through Diamond. And for easy, cheap serialisation, they have digital already.

    Its been notable that the bookstore market for comics has been rapidly growing for a different, younger, more female market. Scholastic book fairs and the like have seen Dav Pilkey and Raina Telegemeier sell millions and more and more graphic novels being signed up for the kids, middle grand and YA market. DC has had commercial and critical success in this market, the Titans OGNs rising up the bookstore sales charts and Harley Quinn grabbing all the Eisner nominations. And, hey, comic book stores can sell those DC books instead.

    Graphic novels have a more forgiving timeframe than monthly serialised comic books. They are prepared and produced longer in advance, there's less of a rush to production, it's just a more pleasant environment all round. No events, no variants, just… comics. Now, this is just gossip right now, but it's from high levels in the industry. I'll see what shakes out over the weekend.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    Reading between the lines, it sounds like AT&T or Warners are looking for a way to phase out monthly books altogether.
    The thought crossed my mind a few days ago about how long monthly comics will last.
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  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    This lines very much with some of our predictions for years now that Marvel and /or DC will take drastic steps regarding how their comics are distributed.

    On the face of it, it looks like DC simply wants to make use of another distributor but look carefully and you can see something else. DC wants to move over and beyond the direct market. The DM is the primary means of comic sales but it’s been shrinking for decades now and most uptick in sales are linked to reboots, relaunches and other gimmicks. There’s simply no way that DC/WB will be slaves to a system that sells their comics to a few thousands when their movies are watched by millions worldwide.

    Something needed to happen, whether this is the right move remains to seen.
    Thing is, it's easy to say "comics are read by X, movies are watched by 1000X, there's a huge market for comics based on Movie A". That overlooks that most people... don't read. Your average DM comic actually outsells your average prose book. (Your Harry Potters and Songs of Ice and Fire are a tiny, tiny minority. Remember that prose basically has the lowest inherent production cost of any medium too, much lower than comics let alone recorded media.)

    The DM isn't healthy, but comics were basically dying before it. If we end up in a post-DM situation, there are going to be three basic streams for paid comic-book equivalents from the likes of Marvel & DC. None of them are going to be "newsstand comics" - magazines are dying as it is:
    1. Digital "purchases"
    2. Digital subscriptions
    3. Physical OGNs.

    On (1), it's been a source of seeming confusion for years that physical comics have continued to massively outsell digital comics (although some of that is certainly down to variant covers and other collector-centric behavior that doesn't translate to digital, it goes beyond that. It's even been said that "digital-first" comics have basically been loss-leaders that have rarely or never covered the cost of production.) How many of these sales would actively translate to digital in a post-DM world? There's also the fact that ComiXology were basically allowed to become the "Diamond of Digital" - if you buy a digital comic, you've probably bought it from them. And then they were bought by Amazon. Good luck dictating terms to Amazon.

    On (2), Marvel have had a "Netflix of Comics" in Marvel Unlimited (né Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited) for over a decade now. Even granted that there's a six-month delay in there, it still gives the option to read the entirety of Marvel's line, plus a huge-and-increasing chunk of their back catalogue, for $10 a month+tax. In other words, less than the cost of three comics a month. Yet it doesn't seem to have become a big focus for Marvel, who do most of their comics marketing for the initial, periodical releases. Maybe part of that is the cost - to sustain the same amount of comics production at that price, it would need a HUGE audience, in the millions. And if they had that, presumably they would be crowing that to the heavens.

    DC have latterly tried something, but the comics side of DC Universe started as a limited adjunct to the TV/movie side meant more as a barker reel for ComiXology sales, even if it's been expanded since. And with HBO Max being WarnerMedia's streaming focus, who knows if it will even survive long? (Not to mention that it's locked to North America only, unlike Marvel Unlimited)

    And on (3)... OGNs are more expensive to make than serialised comics (since they have a much larger upfront investment - an 88 page OGN requires four times the page rate of four 22-page singles before seeing any return). And just as open to the vagaries of the book market as prose books - there'll be hits, but how many of the books won't make five figures? Will the comics that make up the DCU line today even be viable at all in that scenario?

    None of this is to say that these things won't happen. My point is simply that none of them are panaceas, and are more likely to result in a shrunken DC Comics than an expanded one.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    Reading between the lines, it sounds like AT&T or Warners are looking for a way to phase out monthly books altogether.
    ...or drive their monthly fans to DC Universe. Where DC gets a nice, dependable revenue stream with (practically) ZERO physical distribution fixed cost.

    If we soon see a DC Universe Premium that gives you same print day release, we'll know.

  11. #56
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holt View Post
    That is the rumor from BC. That WB is unhappy with the amount of money the monthlies actually bring in vs. what they cost to print, ship, ect. and thinks that just bypassing the whole monthly system and going straight for things like book stores and book fairs would make more sense.
    I thought if anyone would use that line of thinking, it would be Disney first.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I thought if anyone would use that line of thinking, it would be Disney first.
    Disney probably looks at Marvel's ongoings as minor advertising expense for Marvel Studios.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I thought if anyone would use that line of thinking, it would be Disney first.
    Marvel Comics was Ike P's domain. For all that he is penny-wise, pound-foolish, he didn't want to do anything that would shrink his kingdom. (And after Marvel bought Disney, he became Disney's single biggest shareholder, IIRC, and had a seat on the board).

  14. #59

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    I guess as a comics fan, I'm always up for a bit of earthshaking comics gossip, and this announcement has it all and then some.

    Those of us on the outside may think DC has done something really dumb, but I think they know what they're doing and all the pluses and minuses that go with it, and they've decided the benefits outweigh the detriments.

    For now, I'll trust that they know what they're doing. As far as retailers refusing to stock DC titles, I think DC knew that there would be massive blowback from the retail community and will be making future announcements targeted to retailer concerns. Maybe they'll announce a special shipping deal to reduce or eliminate any added expense of using two distributors -- like buy x% more DC copies and you get free shipping or something like that. Of course, they'll also have to address the retailer fear of having competing retailers distribute DC Comics -- they'll have to ensure that there is a form of "net neutrality" in this new distribution model.

    In any event, there's no way we've heard the last of this from DC. It's the usual thing with comic book announcements -- release the news in dribs and drabs to keep the conversation going.

  15. #60
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Disney probably looks at Marvel's ongoings as minor advertising expense for Marvel Studios.
    That or R&D. When you look at how much modern comics have had an influence on a lot of the movies and TV shows (both Marvel and DC), that's probably a major factor in why they're still published despite not bringing in a whole hell of a lot of money.

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