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  1. #76
    Incredible Member Zauriel's Avatar
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    The majority of people who watched those movies were never interested in comic books and had short attention span.

  2. #77
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zauriel View Post
    The majority of people who watched those movies were never interested in comic books and had short attention span.
    The majority, yes. But if one is to compare with the book market, those publishers often manage to turn the movie version of a novel into a major sales boost and marketing event for the original novel. The reach of the movies is such that even 10% of the movie audience is enough to change the trajectory of a book.

    To take an example, see Bridget Jones's Diary. It was a hugely successful book when released, and then it got a major (and successful) movie. The book had sold two million copies in 2006 (after the 2001 movie), and assuming a cover price of $10 you get a total revenue of $20M. At a guess, at least half of that would be after the movie. But the movie managed a world-wide box office of near $300M, or fifteen times as much.

    So the comic book market is basically in-elastic and non-discoverable: it is unable to create breakout hits or answer to a sudden surge in demand.
    «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])

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    The majority, yes. But if one is to compare with the book market, those publishers often manage to turn the movie version of a novel into a major sales boost and marketing event for the original novel. The reach of the movies is such that even 10% of the movie audience is enough to change the trajectory of a book.

    To take an example, see Bridget Jones's Diary. It was a hugely successful book when released, and then it got a major (and successful) movie. The book had sold two million copies in 2006 (after the 2001 movie), and assuming a cover price of $10 you get a total revenue of $20M. At a guess, at least half of that would be after the movie. But the movie managed a world-wide box office of near $300M, or fifteen times as much.

    So the comic book market is basically in-elastic and non-discoverable: it is unable to create breakout hits or answer to a sudden surge in demand.
    True.

    In addition to this, movies actually lead in some cases to higher trade sales.

    I think overall, DC has done a better job of keeping their "evergreen" titles constantly available. But overall, in the direct market, greater mainstream attention doesn't lead to higher sales because superhero comics are pretty much nowhere to be found.
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  4. #79
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    The majority, yes. But if one is to compare with the book market, those publishers often manage to turn the movie version of a novel into a major sales boost and marketing event for the original novel. The reach of the movies is such that even 10% of the movie audience is enough to change the trajectory of a book.

    To take an example, see Bridget Jones's Diary. It was a hugely successful book when released, and then it got a major (and successful) movie. The book had sold two million copies in 2006 (after the 2001 movie), and assuming a cover price of $10 you get a total revenue of $20M. At a guess, at least half of that would be after the movie. But the movie managed a world-wide box office of near $300M, or fifteen times as much.

    So the comic book market is basically in-elastic and non-discoverable: it is unable to create breakout hits or answer to a sudden surge in demand.
    They may have been true a decade ago, but many (if not most) motion pictures now (that are not book adaptations) do not even get novelizations any more (a few genre movies may be the exception). Also, the bulk of those post movie book sales happened because those books were put in new outlets-the small book sections in places like grocery stores, pharmacies, and big box retailers that only feature best sellers and things in the current zeitgeist where they became available to casual customers who wouldn't go to a destination bookseller like B&N (or Borders back in the day). plus the advent of Amazon as a bookseller made the books accessible to customers who normally wouldn't make a special trip to a bookseller. Most of those outlets have disappeared or shrunk to near non-existence. The book section in most grocery stores or pharmacies maybe hold 10-20 selections if they are still there at all, the selection at box retailers has shrunk as well, so shelf space for those movie-based titles is no longer available. Amazon still exists, but it is no longer perceived primarily as a bookseller, and the combined effect of all that is that sales of those types of books in print have shrunk over the past decade (and while sales of ebooks have grown, they haven't grown at an amount to offset the loss of print sales that occured at the same time leading to a net loss of units sold for those type of books).

    So that model of movies leading to sales of material in other mediums, especially print, which was once viable really isn't any more in a field where it did work. It's never really worked with comics, and pinning any hopes movies and television featuring super-heroes will revive print sales of comics is fool's gold.

    But let's say someone does see a movie and TV show and does the unlikely and seeks out a comic shop to try to buy a comic...what are they going to find available to buy? Many shops base their order numbers on preorders from pull customers and only enough shelf copies to sell out the first week of release. Any shelf copies of a hot in demand books are likely snapped up by speculators trying to flip them on ebay for a profit. So If someone does walk in off the street to buy comics and didn't pre-order them, will they even be able to find something to buy that fits their field of interest? There are too many books being published for a retailer to shoulder the risk of buying extra copies that might sell if new customers come in but will tie up operating capital if they don't sell because they are non-returnable. The direct market model is not designed to be a growth model. It was designed to sell books to people who already know they want them and to meet that demand with efficiency and lack of wasted capital. That's what Phil Seuling and the others were aiming for when they developed the direct market model. It was never intended to make books available for sale to new customers and keep copies available long term for new customer sales and growth. It works very well for what it was designed for-getting product for existing customers. It does not work well as a mechanism to service potential new customers because it it risk heavy on retailers and ties up too much capital to allow retailers to continue to have cash flow available and liquid unless they maintain levels of capitalization that most small businesses cannot achieve. Trying to make the direct market model work as a growth market is trying to pound a square peg in a round hole. There are some retailers who achieve it, but that is a testament to their business acumen not to the suitability of the system to the task. The industry's biggest mistake, which is at the heart of all their issues today is their failure to develop a growth market mechanism to work alongside the direct market when newsstands became an untenable market. They chose to rely on the success of the direct market at the time to sustain the business because it was so profitable and robust at the time without taking into account the natural attrition of all markets and the need to replenish the pool of available customers on a regular basis. Now they are reaping what they sowed decades ago and scrambling to find solutions to an untenable situation of their own making.


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  5. #80
    Frenzied Bedlam Future Odd Rödney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    1) the American mass market is not the Japanese mas market, and success in the Japanese market is not a predictor of success in the American market, where anthologies in any genre or medium do not fare well, not just comics in the American direct market. Anthologies of short stories do not sell well in the American book market either, and retailers often choose not to give them any shelf space because they do not pay for the retail real estate they occupy, giving the space instead to better sellers that offer a greater return.

    2) DC tried anthologies for a year in Wal Mart with the 100 Page Giants, and Walmart only carried them because an outside vendor game and did the merchandising in the collectible aisle. They could not be bothered to carry them in their small periodical section, again because there were other things that would sell better in the valuable real estate. so you can make the product sure, but good luck getting the retailers you listed to actually carry it. Periodicals are labor intensive sections with limited real estates and retailers would rather carry an extra Fantasy Football Guide or seven than give the real estate to a slow seller like a comic book anthology. It's basic retail theory that any buyer or merchandiser for those chains will use as a guiding principle in choosing what to stock. You may be able to interest a third party merchandiser who buys the retail real estate from Walmart and the like to carry them (as happened with the 100 Page Giants), but even then the space will be limited and the margins will be much smaller because you've added another layer to the distribution model, essentially halving your take for the product so each level can make something off of it (if the MSRP is $10 you probably sell direct to Walmart at about $5 for a 100% mark up, which is typical in a lot of retail. Add a 3rd party and you sell to them at $2.50 so they can sell to Walmart at $5 so Walmart keeps their margins as enticement to carry it, but you the producer get much les per unit because you have to divvy up the take at each level of distribution). And now you have the added burden of trying to convince the retailers that Walmart not doing well with those 100 Page Giant anthologies is somehow not an indicator of the market's potential for sales and not an indicator of how they will be received by consumers, meaning you have to spend a lot more on marketing the product to the retailers (not the consumer/end customer) just to have a chance to sell to the end customer, which adds expense and cuts margins even more, making it less profitable.

    I see a lot of ideas floated on things that will fix the market, but most of them do not take into consideration the realities of the American periodical market in 2021. For too long people have relied on the idea of "if you build it, they will come" as a strategy for fixing what ails omics, but all too often they have built things that do not appeal to the modern American consumer and no one came, Unless they can find a way to package comics as a product that appeals to the modern American consumer and that will achieve sustainable sales in the American mass market, none of those fixes will work.

    Comics as a medium for telling stories using words and pictures arranged in panels and pages will endure. It's almost timeless. Comics as a publishing business in the American market however is not, and it needs to adapt to the realities of the 21st century marketplace and the buying habits of American consumers if it wants to survive or thrive. Tweaking the existing model is not going to accomplish that. If this were a home improvement show, it is one that would require a complete tear down to the studs and starting over. The problem is, there's no guarantee there will be a buyer waiting on the other side of the rebuild, so the existing companies like Marvel and DC (and their parent companies) are hesitant to commit the time and resources to such a rebuild. So we have essentially a holding pattern where they are trying to milk as much revenue as they can from the current model in the short term while it lasts and not committing to the kinds of changes needed to transition to a different model for long-term viability. They may try tweaks here and there hoping to extend the shelf-life of the current model, but there is an expiration date looming on that model. Which is why I keep saying they would be better off shifting to focus full time as content creators and partner with someone else better suited to navigate the realities of being a publisher in the 21st century marketplace and with a better grasp of what is needed to bring products to that market that will have viable sales levels. That's why I like the move from Diamond to PRH for Marvel. PRH has their own graphic novel line that is growing and gaining market share with new audiences, they understand the marketplace, they understand what is needed to reach a mass market, they understand what types of products work and which do not. Marvel and DC seem to lack those things and are overly reliant on dinosaur business models and dinosaur distribution systems. It's as publishing businesses they need to evolve, not as content creators, and I am not sure they can given the limitations and realities of being subsidiaries of larger entities. Better to stick to what they are actually good at-creating content and IP.

    -M
    I was going to post my thoughts but MRP already done summed it up, well said!
    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    I like the move from Diamond to PRH for Marvel. PRH has their own graphic novel line that is growing and gaining market share with new audiences... Marvel and DC seem to lack those things and are overly reliant on dinosaur business models and dinosaur distribution systems. It's as publishing businesses they need to evolve, not as content creators... Better to stick to what they are actually good at-creating content and IP.

  6. #81
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    They may have been true a decade ago, but many (if not most) motion pictures now (that are not book adaptations) do not even get novelizations any more (a few genre movies may be the exception). Also, the bulk of those post movie book sales happened because those books were put in new outlets-the small book sections in places like grocery stores, pharmacies, and big box retailers that only feature best sellers and things in the current zeitgeist where they became available to casual customers who wouldn't go to a destination bookseller like B&N (or Borders back in the day).
    Note that I wasn't talking about novelisations at all, but original novels made into movies. And you're right that the same factors that depresses the sales of books today (especially the midlist) also impacts the books that are made into movies.

    But for all practical purposes, a mainstream movie version of a book pretty much means a second first release of the book, and often with a lot of marketing behind it. Compare this with the way that DC and Marvel basically has failed anything to reinforce any success from movies.
    «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])

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Username taken View Post
    True.
    In addition to this, movies actually lead in some cases to higher trade sales.
    I think overall, DC has done a better job of keeping their "evergreen" titles constantly available. But overall, in the direct market, greater mainstream attention doesn't lead to higher sales because superhero comics are pretty much nowhere to be found.
    Two things-

    1) Does a trade for that movie or show even exist? Along with does everyone have access to it. Disney and Nickelodeon had ZERO issue letting you know That's So Raven, Kenan & Kel and others had books to go along with the shows. While Soul Food and Static Shock had books that NOBODY knew about (or could find).

    2) Does everyone KNOW that movie or show is based on a book? Take Static or Two Guns or Kick Azz or Men in Black-folks did not know those were originally comics. Bitter Root, Black & Goldie Vance-most folks don't know those were books. Heck there were folks shock to learn Mile Morales was a comic book.

    But let's say someone does see a movie and TV show and does the unlikely and seeks out a comic shop to try to buy a comic...what are they going to find available to buy?
    Once again is there a COMIC? Excluding Finn-a person will not have issue finding Star Wars stuff with Rey or Poe. Nor Batman, WW, Flash, Hal, Peter Parker and X-Men.
    Static Shock remains the only DC animated series to NOT have a comic book version while on the air.

    Stuff like The Boys & Invincible-are not an issue because stores already stocked them and don't have trouble getting new copies.

    Now Bitter Root will be an issue because Barnes & Nobles is going to make sure you go to them and not comic book stores.

    The book section in most grocery stores or pharmacies maybe hold 10-20 selections if they are still there at all, the selection at box retailers has shrunk as well, so shelf space for those movie-based titles is no longer available.
    They are still there. The movie based titles are still there to a point. It depends on who you are talking about. Take Black Panther-the Shuri books are there. Meanwhile the OGN of Raven, Beast Boy and others are NOT. Marvel seems to be able to get those spot way more than DC.

    You also forget places like Half Price books are still around. Who do sale new books along with use books. Although they have become more of a haven for all those unsold Batman books.

  8. #83
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyvolt2000 View Post
    Two things-

    1) Does a trade for that movie or show even exist? Along with does everyone have access to it. Disney and Nickelodeon had ZERO issue letting you know That's So Raven, Kenan & Kel and others had books to go along with the shows. While Soul Food and Static Shock had books that NOBODY knew about (or could find).

    2) Does everyone KNOW that movie or show is based on a book? Take Static or Two Guns or Kick Azz or Men in Black-folks did not know those were originally comics. Bitter Root, Black & Goldie Vance-most folks don't know those were books. Heck there were folks shock to learn Mile Morales was a comic book.



    Once again is there a COMIC? Excluding Finn-a person will not have issue finding Star Wars stuff with Rey or Poe. Nor Batman, WW, Flash, Hal, Peter Parker and X-Men.
    Static Shock remains the only DC animated series to NOT have a comic book version while on the air.

    Stuff like The Boys & Invincible-are not an issue because stores already stocked them and don't have trouble getting new copies.

    Now Bitter Root will be an issue because Barnes & Nobles is going to make sure you go to them and not comic book stores.



    They are still there. The movie based titles are still there to a point. It depends on who you are talking about. Take Black Panther-the Shuri books are there. Meanwhile the OGN of Raven, Beast Boy and others are NOT. Marvel seems to be able to get those spot way more than DC.

    You also forget places like Half Price books are still around. Who do sale new books along with use books. Although they have become more of a haven for all those unsold Batman books.
    Half Price Books faces the same problem comic shops do. It's a destination store. If you are not going to buy books (or physical media) you are not going to go into the store to encounter the things they have for sale. Which is great for people who already know they want books and seek them out, but isn't going to grow the market by drawing in new customers who don't already shop for books. If you want to grow the market, you have to put products where customers already are, not rely on them to come find your product. Even in a box store like Walmart or Target, if the product isn't at the register or on an endcap to be seen, someone who isn't looking for books/comics is not going to go into the book section to discover the product, they will bypass that section unless they are shopping for books. Growing the market is about putting product where people can buy it on an impulse when they discover it, not relying on them to come seek it out, even with a massive marketing campaign, the average shopper is not going to go out of their way to seek out a product they are not already inclined to buy. Marketing to get people to come seek out your product is a lot of expense with little return on investment. The key is putting the product where the customer will discover it without having to seek it out. And there is not a lot of places where you can do that, even in big box store mass market retail outlets.

    You can have all the books featuring Static or whatever property in question exist, but if they are not in a place where people will discover them without having to seek them out or go to destination shop, they are not going to sell to new customers and you are not going to grow your audience. Fixing content is not going to fix the issue facing comics. It may create a minor uptick in sales to existing customers, but it won't grow the market. The issues of content in current books are a symptom of the issues with the mechanism of delivering books to the market and finding an audience. You have to fix that first before any changes in content can have a meaningful impact on sales.

    -M
    Last edited by MRP; 05-14-2021 at 10:09 AM.
    Comic fans get the comics their buying habits deserve.

  9. #84
    Astonishing Member mathew101281's Avatar
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    What American comics need is a strong third comic brand. Image is a large comic book company, but they don’t really have a brand. Individual image titles can become popular, but it really does elevate Image as a whole much, because most of their titles are so dispersed from each other. Archie comics is another large comic book company, but for all its notoriety, I find that it really doesn’t move the needle socially. You don’t see much fan chatter about Archie comics on social media or really anywhere.

  10. #85
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathew101281 View Post
    What American comics need is a strong third comic brand. Image is a large comic book company, but they don’t really have a brand. Individual image titles can become popular, but it really does elevate Image as a whole much, because most of their titles are so dispersed from each other. Archie comics is another large comic book company, but for all its notoriety, I find that it really doesn’t move the needle socially. You don’t see much fan chatter about Archie comics on social media or really anywhere.
    Of all the comic publishers, Image is most like a traditional book publisher. Their function is to publish books and get them to market. They are not content creators. Content creators work with them to bring books to market. Both Marvel and DC need to find a company that does that to work with to bring their books to market, leaving publishing behind and focusing on content creation. Their suits are either out of touch with the current market realities of publishing or do not have the leeway to make the kinds of changes needed to transition into the 21st century marketplace and its realities because of constraints placed on them by their corporate owners.

    But Image doesn't have a brand, true, but neither does Penguin Random House, Hachette, Simon & Shuster, Harper-Collins or any of the big book publishers, most of whom have graphic novel lines because they are not creating content or IP to be branded, they are bringing that content to the marketplace. Image does that well, and has a lot of books that succeed in the marketplace, but those books come from various and diverse creators who work independently of each other so there is no cohesive brand, and never will be. Walking Dead is published by Image, but it's not an Image book the way say Batman is a DC book. It's a Kirkman book. And Saga is a Vaughan/Staples book not an Image book. That's the way it works in real publishing. Tor publishes both Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time and John Scalzi's Collapsing Empire series. Both have a recognizable "brand" and large audiences, but that brand is Jordan and Scalzi not Tor. The Marvel and DC brand should be attached ot the content not the actual publishing house as well.


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    Comic fans get the comics their buying habits deserve.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    They may have been true a decade ago, but many (if not most) motion pictures now (that are not book adaptations) do not even get novelizations any more (a few genre movies may be the exception). Also, the bulk of those post movie book sales happened because those books were put in new outlets-the small book sections in places like grocery stores, pharmacies, and big box retailers that only feature best sellers and things in the current zeitgeist where they became available to casual customers who wouldn't go to a destination bookseller like B&N (or Borders back in the day). plus the advent of Amazon as a bookseller made the books accessible to customers who normally wouldn't make a special trip to a bookseller. Most of those outlets have disappeared or shrunk to near non-existence. The book section in most grocery stores or pharmacies maybe hold 10-20 selections if they are still there at all, the selection at box retailers has shrunk as well, so shelf space for those movie-based titles is no longer available. Amazon still exists, but it is no longer perceived primarily as a bookseller, and the combined effect of all that is that sales of those types of books in print have shrunk over the past decade (and while sales of ebooks have grown, they haven't grown at an amount to offset the loss of print sales that occured at the same time leading to a net loss of units sold for those type of books).

    So that model of movies leading to sales of material in other mediums, especially print, which was once viable really isn't any more in a field where it did work. It's never really worked with comics, and pinning any hopes movies and television featuring super-heroes will revive print sales of comics is fool's gold.

    But let's say someone does see a movie and TV show and does the unlikely and seeks out a comic shop to try to buy a comic...what are they going to find available to buy? Many shops base their order numbers on preorders from pull customers and only enough shelf copies to sell out the first week of release. Any shelf copies of a hot in demand books are likely snapped up by speculators trying to flip them on ebay for a profit. So If someone does walk in off the street to buy comics and didn't pre-order them, will they even be able to find something to buy that fits their field of interest? There are too many books being published for a retailer to shoulder the risk of buying extra copies that might sell if new customers come in but will tie up operating capital if they don't sell because they are non-returnable. The direct market model is not designed to be a growth model. It was designed to sell books to people who already know they want them and to meet that demand with efficiency and lack of wasted capital. That's what Phil Seuling and the others were aiming for when they developed the direct market model. It was never intended to make books available for sale to new customers and keep copies available long term for new customer sales and growth. It works very well for what it was designed for-getting product for existing customers. It does not work well as a mechanism to service potential new customers because it it risk heavy on retailers and ties up too much capital to allow retailers to continue to have cash flow available and liquid unless they maintain levels of capitalization that most small businesses cannot achieve. Trying to make the direct market model work as a growth market is trying to pound a square peg in a round hole. There are some retailers who achieve it, but that is a testament to their business acumen not to the suitability of the system to the task. The industry's biggest mistake, which is at the heart of all their issues today is their failure to develop a growth market mechanism to work alongside the direct market when newsstands became an untenable market. They chose to rely on the success of the direct market at the time to sustain the business because it was so profitable and robust at the time without taking into account the natural attrition of all markets and the need to replenish the pool of available customers on a regular basis. Now they are reaping what they sowed decades ago and scrambling to find solutions to an untenable situation of their own making.


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  12. #87
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    Here is graph from a study done in the Netherlands:



    From here:

    https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cu...read-revisited

    Readers have declined, which is part of the challenge. Over the time of the study, people's average per week of reading went from 5 hours to 3 hours. Readers are still reading, then, but this means they have to be more picky about what they read. I think readers are a stubborn lot, and won't die easily. But you still have to get their attention. And if you have the same content in a movie or TV show as in a book, what is the point of getting the book?

    For this reason, I think comic book movies and TV shows have been a two-edged sword. Introducing more people to the stories and characters, but actually discouraging people from buying comic books about them. FYI, you can also experience all the MCU fantasy stuff at Disneyland.

    No easy answers, as others have said. Right now, though, the comic companies are all stuck in the rut they created back in the 1980s called the Direct Market.
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  13. #88
    Incredible Member Zauriel's Avatar
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    In the 1940's, the majority of comic book readers were kids from the levels K to 12, who were eager to join in the WWII action but too young to join the military. The superhero comic books provided them with the fantasy of experiencing action in the WWII. There was no internet, video games, DVDs, and social media in the 1940's. Television was barely invented. The most popular Comic books sold over a million copies per month.

  14. #89
    Mighty Member Dr. Skeleton's Avatar
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    The both rely too much on shock value and character deaths.

    They don't care what the fans think.

    Marvel's covers have become too tacky looking and too essentric.

    Marvel's been hiring way too many amateur artists that have no dynamic or backbone to their style.

    Too many restarting of their titles. I know there's clams that issue 1 comics sell more, but come on.

    Their books are too expensive now.

    Too many unnecessary events and mini series that's too much to try to follow.

    Marvel has too...many...X...titles!

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Compare this with the way that DC and Marvel basically has failed anything to reinforce any success from movies.
    The problem is that other than with Novels with Superhero Comics there is often not really a single comic book that it is based on, and the movies are in general often a pretty lose adaption of the comic book characters.

    I have actually a number of comic I bought because I liked the movie (Kick Ass, Kingsman, Under the Red Hood, Batman Year One) but these are all cases were the movies were pretty close to the comic, but with most of the MCU or DCEU movies there isn't just a single story where it is based on.

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