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  1. #46
    Spectacular Member Ikari's Avatar
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    Gnnn don't even get me started on Disney...they had one of the all-time great comic artists in Carl Barks, and treated him like a day labourer. Then came Don Rosa who single-handedly saved the Disney magazines in the '90s, and he got a same treatment. Vicar, perhaps the greatest Donald Duck illustrator of all time, virtual unknown over his career.
    The thing is, Disney comics still have a quite big circulation in Europe. If somebody were to pencil a really great Scrooge McDuck story, I guarantee it would get millions of readers. So you would expect this to be a coveted position for talented artists and writers, but why would they want since the previous guys got jack for their efforts?

  2. #47
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Gnnn don't even get me started on Disney...they had one of the all-time great comic artists in Carl Barks, and treated him like a day labourer. Then came Don Rosa who single-handedly saved the Disney magazines in the '90s, and he got a same treatment. Vicar, perhaps the greatest Donald Duck illustrator of all time, virtual unknown over his career.
    The thing is, Disney comics still have a quite big circulation in Europe. If somebody were to pencil a really great Scrooge McDuck story, I guarantee it would get millions of readers. So you would expect this to be a coveted position for talented artists and writers, but why would they want since the previous guys got jack for their efforts?
    Carl Barks' work on Donald Duck is like the most influential comics since the 40s...he inspired Osamu Tezuka, and through Tezuka all of anime, he inspired Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, and he inspired Spielberg and Lucas, to name a very few. Walt Simonson and Roger Stern (who is a real life friend of Don Rosa) were also inspired by the School of Barks. And he made more money after retiring doing those paintings and so on. And of course many artists in Europe and elsewhere grew up with him.

    That's the other thing Conway doesn't acknowledge is that he conflates superhero stories with comics as a whole. Because comics via manga and graphic novels are actually doing well. It's the superhero genre that's niche, but the reality is that superhero comics were always niche...go back to the period of the highest readership of comics' history -- the 40s and 50s - and superheroes were not the dominant and most influential comics in that period. The shrinking of the comics' market is a natural consequence of the domination of the superhero genre.

  3. #48
    Spectacular Member Ikari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That's the other thing Conway doesn't acknowledge is that he conflates superhero stories with comics as a whole. Because comics via manga and graphic novels are actually doing well. It's the superhero genre that's niche, but the reality is that superhero comics were always niche...go back to the period of the highest readership of comics' history -- the 40s and 50s - and superheroes were not the dominant and most influential comics in that period. The shrinking of the comics' market is a natural consequence of the domination of the superhero genre.
    Well, many of those manga arcs are superhero stories: characters like Naruto, Guts, Edward & Alphonse, Eren & Mikasa and so on, are obviously bona fide superheroes. And Disney's presently maybe the most popular character, Elsa, is a superheroine, in fact she's pretty much dead-on X-man. So kids still want superheroes, it can't be about that, at least not completely. I think that manga and anime just have more refined approach in appealing the tastes of shounen demographic which was traditionally Marvel & DC stranglehold. And what Conway says is part of it, but not the whole story. Which brings me to my earlier point - DC and Marvel don't have to start producing manga, but they could maybe learn few lessons from there.
    Last edited by Ikari; 09-25-2020 at 12:27 PM.

  4. #49
    The King Fears NO ONE! Triniking1234's Avatar
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    I was wondering what was up with the clickbait headline but it's just quoting Bleeding Cool. Oh well.

    I think Mr. Conway forgot to factor in the decline of reading as a past-time for new generations.
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  5. #50
    Astonishing Member cranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That's the other thing Conway doesn't acknowledge is that he conflates superhero stories with comics as a whole. Because comics via manga and graphic novels are actually doing well. It's the superhero genre that's niche, but the reality is that superhero comics were always niche...go back to the period of the highest readership of comics' history -- the 40s and 50s - and superheroes were not the dominant and most influential comics in that period. The shrinking of the comics' market is a natural consequence of the domination of the superhero genre.
    I am sure he could write a paper that would cover everything he sees as playing a part, for example I feel a lot of the problem is mainstream comics are stuck in a spot where it seems the best way to stay afloat is to keep targeting an aging demographic with more disposable income which has led to trying to get more money out of readers each year. But both can be true, and certainly other factors can be pointed to as well.

    I would not even bring up kids graphic novels and manga, while overall numbers may look better, it is a very small number of titles that actually bolster those genres. The difference is they exist in the bookstore market which can survive even if not a single new graphic novel comes out for a whole year. The bookstore will still be there when they hit on something successful. If periodicals died off, graphic novels and manga would just be part of the book store industry. Lumping them in with comics seems to be only done to avoid talking about what is wrong with the (periodical/superhero) mainstream comic industry.

    Ultimately his point is the mainstream comic industry needs make it a priority to sell comics to kids/new readers.

  6. #51
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triniking1234 View Post
    I was wondering what was up with the clickbait headline but it's just quoting Bleeding Cool. Oh well.

    I think Mr. Conway forgot to factor in the decline of reading as a past-time for new generations.
    That's true. Art Spiegelman said in the '80s that the comics readership faced a major threat from the 1978 Superman. He noted that comics genres and storytelling got away with their fantastic elements and stuff that you couldn't do in any medium but then the movie came where they had a man fly on camera. You also had Star Wars in that time, and all of a sudden the fantastic weird elements of comics -- robot characters, sidekicks who are alien, and so on and so forth -- became conceivable in live action. It's not a coincidence, that it was about this time the mainstream comics turned towards doing more mature stories on the genre and so on. The childish fantasy and make-believe elements of comics lost verisimilitude and relying on the imagination of little kids when those same little kids got something of a higher quality with Star Wars, with ET. Who cares about Tawky Tawny the Talking Tiger or Krypto the Super-Dog when you have a creature like ET with its tennis ball eyes charming kids like nothing else?

    Many people say that the MCU for them has superseded the 616 Continuity. That's because the kind of intensive shared universe where characters cross over and stories overlap was one of the last frontiers dividing movies from comics narrative...because even earlier with sequels and so on, the understanding was that the movie presented a picture of the world that one way or another ended with the credits. Now even the credits don't bracket that.

  7. #52
    Fantastic Member basbash99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triniking1234 View Post
    I was wondering what was up with the clickbait headline but it's just quoting Bleeding Cool. Oh well.

    I think Mr. Conway forgot to factor in the decline of reading as a past-time for new generations.
    Certainly that is a factor, but there are still plenty of book series aimed at kids that sell well (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, etc.) Given the success of the mcu, feels like there is certainly a market for kids books with Spidey, the Avengers, etc. even if instead of full on comics its more like the "Big Little" books from days of old, with a page of text accompanied by a page with an illustration.

    Ultimately i think Conway is mostly correct, except i don't think floppies as they currently designed will ever really develop a new audience. The $4 for 30 pages (maybe) just is not enough bang for buck in today's world. Focus more on a larger. digest or anthology format with cheaper paper and simpler artwork that can be cranked out more quickly, that don't require much knowledge of prior continuity to enjoy. For adults go with graphic novels that represent 4-8 issues worth of pages and that , if not telling a complete story, at least don't end on a cliffhanger. Start renumbering volumes whenever a new creative team tackles a character, and include a page or two at the beginning of each trade that summarizes the relevant details of continuity or previous volumes in the series, to make it easier for new readers to jump aboard. Avoid confusing crossovers. And of course continue to attempt to tackle the issue of digital comics.... books have found a way to make it work, time for comic book publishers to figure out something as print media becomes more and more irrelevant. And yeah this means comic book shops will have to shift their focus and some of them (perhaps many) will not survive, sorry.

  8. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Well, many of those manga arcs are superhero stories: characters like Naruto, Guts, Eric & Alphonse, Eren & Mikasa and so on, are obviously bona fide superheroes. And Disney's presently maybe the most popular character, Elsa, is a superheroine, in fact she's pretty much dead-on X-man.
    Naruto & the other characters you named are not superheroes. They're more comparable to fantasy epics like Lord of the Rings & Star Wars. Elsa is not a superheroine, she's a princess with ice powers. Calling every piece of fiction that involves someone with super powers 'superheroes' is a major stretch.

  9. #54
    Marvel's 1st Superhero Reviresco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basbash99 View Post
    Certainly that is a factor, but there are still plenty of book series aimed at kids that sell well (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, etc.) Given the success of the mcu, feels like there is certainly a market for kids books with Spidey, the Avengers, etc. even if instead of full on comics its more like the "Big Little" books from days of old, with a page of text accompanied by a page with an illustration.

    Ultimately i think Conway is mostly correct, except i don't think floppies as they currently designed will ever really develop a new audience. The $4 for 30 pages (maybe) just is not enough bang for buck in today's world. Focus more on a larger. digest or anthology format with cheaper paper and simpler artwork that can be cranked out more quickly, that don't require much knowledge of prior continuity to enjoy. For adults go with graphic novels that represent 4-8 issues worth of pages and that , if not telling a complete story, at least don't end on a cliffhanger. Start renumbering volumes whenever a new creative team tackles a character, and include a page or two at the beginning of each trade that summarizes the relevant details of continuity or previous volumes in the series, to make it easier for new readers to jump aboard. Avoid confusing crossovers. And of course continue to attempt to tackle the issue of digital comics.... books have found a way to make it work, time for comic book publishers to figure out something as print media becomes more and more irrelevant. And yeah this means comic book shops will have to shift their focus and some of them (perhaps many) will not survive, sorry.
    The floppies fund every format that comes out after that -- from trade to digital. The floppies allow the publishers to break up the payment of the creators into a timely manner, i.e. every month. There are practically no creators who can float their living expenses for 4 to 8 months without getting paid. And the publisher can't afford to pay in advance for work that may not be finished in a timely manner or at all.

    People keep talking about digital, but they either ignore the fact that digital has overhead / production costs, just like print. And that they are really rentals. And books really haven't found a way to make it work, if you mean, replacing print readers or finding new readers. They don't make a huge percentage of sales -- in fact, according to this article, it's probably comparable to digital comic sales, maybe a little better, and the eBooks sales were going down, before the pandemic.

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  10. #55
    Mighty Member dkrook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reviresco View Post
    What's happening today is because of Covid, the shutdown, and DC's attempt to do away with the comic book stores.
    Wow...definitely not seeing where you are getting that, from what he said. Gerry is pretty much on the money. He making a sharp reference to the insularity and regressive minded culture taken root in the industry, specifically the big two. Marvel isn't catching it as bad right now, but they are going down the same path. If you were to compile the major gripes of the medium, I think they hit close to the core of what he's saying.

  11. #56

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    comics have to get elsewhere besides comic book stores. And comics with BIPOC characters have to get into ethnic bookstores as well. There's no excuses not to do it.

  12. #57
    Astonishing Member babyblob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypestyle View Post
    comics have to get elsewhere besides comic book stores. And comics with BIPOC characters have to get into ethnic bookstores as well. There's no excuses not to do it.
    That would be great. But then the Purists and Comic shop owners would bitch and moan about how the companies are trying to put comic shops out of business. Fact is Marvel, Dc and the others have to go beyond the local comic shops and into other retailers if they are going to want to go long term. I dont know how the Dc books at Walmart sold but it was a good attempt.
    Dont stop at Walmart. But books in Trager, or in the magazine section of Kroger.
    And like Hypestyle said get comics with POC into ethnic shops. And start to promote gay characters and book them in LTBGQ Friendly stores.

    I am not sure if this is a thing right now but if its not why not try it. Why not have the companies do an online store not for digital but for floppies. let people who have no access to comic shops or other retailers go online to buy floppies and ship them out.
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  13. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triniking1234 View Post
    I was wondering what was up with the clickbait headline but it's just quoting Bleeding Cool. Oh well.

    I think Mr. Conway forgot to factor in the decline of reading as a past-time for new generations.
    I'd think this too if Manga weren't so popular.
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  14. #59
    Mighty Member Vortex85's Avatar
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    This has nothing to do with the maturity level or continuity of current books.

    The shrinking market has everything to do with comics being exclusively out of sight and out of mind in comic shops and on websites. The general public is never going to go out of their way to a comic book store to expose their children to comics at $4+ a pop. Now if its sitting near the toy section of a walmart or target, you've just secured your market for the next generation of readers.

    Another problem is price. I have young kids and I don't let them handle my physical books because I want them in good condition. If I handed them over I'd get crinkled and ripped pages in a few seconds. I spend too much to ruin the condition of all these books. So if they are going to at least be 12+ so I know they can be responsible enough to treat a book with care. If comics were half the price I may buy two copies, one for them, one for me and I wouldn't worry so much.
    Last edited by Vortex85; 09-25-2020 at 11:35 AM.

  15. #60
    Spectacular Member Ikari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushidoBlade2 View Post
    Naruto & the other characters you named are not superheroes. They're more comparable to fantasy epics like Lord of the Rings & Star Wars. Elsa is not a superheroine, she's a princess with ice powers. Calling every piece of fiction that involves someone with super powers 'superheroes' is a major stretch.
    I'm not. I am not sure what kind of definition you have for 'superhero' but lets use Wikipedia:
    "A superhero or superheroine is a stock character that possesses abilities beyond those of ordinary people, who typically uses his or her powers to help the world become a better place, or is dedicated to protecting the public, and stopping evil. "
    All of the above are certainly superheroes. Well I maybe give you Naruto, I have actually read him only a little. Guts doesn't start a superhero but becomes one later in the series. Elric brothers clearly are superheroes. Elsa is not a superhero in the first Frozen, but in Frozen 2 she most assuredly is.

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