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  1. #16
    Black Belt in Bad Ideas Robanker's Avatar
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    Luffy's coming for our ass, boys and girls.

    Given One Piece's meteoric rise since initial publication and the way Clark's sales have stagnated, it's only a matter of time before Clark gets eclipsed. No king rules forever. Genuine congratulations to Oda for his hard work.

  2. #17
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robanker View Post
    Luffy's coming for our ass, boys and girls.

    Given One Piece's meteoric rise since initial publication and the way Clark's sales have stagnated, it's only a matter of time before Clark gets eclipsed. No king rules forever. Genuine congratulations to Oda for his hard work.
    I hope not..i love one piece..it's my bread and butter.But,for oda's sake i hope he finishes the story at his terms and keeps himself healthy.One piece takes breaks each two weeks these years.the number of volumes decreased as well.But,it's for good reason...So,having that kinda burden to keep on churning would burn him out..Though,i do believe oda loves what he's doing...

    One piece makes me realise even ideas reincarnate and take new forms..A man of action in 1938.A man of action in 1997.. it's all an imaginary story...a laugh tale..
    imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-CKLNgqdTBUB.jpg
    Last edited by manwhohaseverything; 07-22-2021 at 09:52 PM.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hizashi View Post
    I mean, Superman is popular, everyone in the world knows who he is, but how many people read his ongoing adventures? I'm not acting in bad faith, I genuinely want to know what can be done to improve the state of comics.
    Nothing.
    What many superhero readers fail to realize is that the recognizability of the characters have nothing to do with their popularity, or how many people read them. I am quite sure that a lot of people could recognize tons of pop culture figures (such as Zorro or Conan the Barbarian) without ever reading one of their books or even without knowing some basic traits of their personality.
    Focusing on One Piece is somehow misleading, because it's not that when One Piece ends superheroes will gain the upper hand again. There will be other comic books - probably mangas, but who knows - which will take One Piece's place. Younger generations are just not interested in superhero books, and how can we blame them? Superhero books are expensive, the single issues are short (4 dollars for 28 pages on a monthly basis? Seriously?), the stories decompressed, storylines are changed along the way to the point they don't make sense anymore. And let's face it, if you are not a 30+ year old reader understanding anything - and I mean anything - about the continuity is impossible. The most debated topics in this forum - the eternal Barry Allen vs Wally West thing, whether Lois Lane should be killed or get more prominence in Superman books, Jon Kent - are pure crap no one in the real world cares about, including young readers - and rightfully so.

    It's not that every best selling manga is a masterpiece - I think that the really good, Alan Moore/Grant Morrison-level ones, for example Naoki Urasawa's works, are relatively niche products - but the popular ones (I am thinking of stuff such as My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, Tokyo Ghoul and of course One Piece) are easily approachable, very captivating, often drawn in an interesting way, and they provide a sense of wonder which superhero books haven't shown since the 1950s (human/demonic characters with a chainsaw for head; post-apocalyptic futures with Hieronymus Bosch-like monsters; etc). Let's face it: how many times did Batman provide something similar in recent times? Other works, such as Dragon Ball in many of its incarnations, are awfully repetitive, but they are supported by very clever marketing strategies and tons of merchandising including anime, OAVs, etc. Also - and that's quite an important point as far as I am concerned, as you may understand from my signature - superhero books are way, way more shallowly paternalistic and moralistic than many mangas. How many times have we seen Superman providing some kind of vague lesson about justice, optimism, fatherhood, even in recent times? And are we sure that overemphasizing the importance of Wonder Woman as a role model - a character who has been presented more and more often as a feminist icon, even if the premises of her ethics are generic to say the least - hasn't been counterproductive?

    Some mangas are way, way fresher or more relatable without sounding fake. Just for comparison, think of stuff such as Death Note. A supernatural thriller told entirely from the perspective of the villain, with elements of delirium of omnipotence. Again, not a masterpiece IMHO (but someone would disagree I guess), but it is impossible to deny that the premise is captivating and fascinating. Or Demon Slayer: an early-20th century demon hunter goes around killing monsters and trying to find a cure for his sister, possessed by a demon. Just a simple, straightforward, interesting premise. No endless, paternalistic superhero chit-chat about humanity's potential, or how men are fundamentally good at heart, etc. And that's without taking into account the REALLY good authors, such as Tezuka, Go Nagai, Taniguchi, or the fact that there are mangas about EVERY possible topic. There are mangas about eating in restaurants, basketball, fishing. How often have you seen such variety in superhero books? Well, maybe I should say AMERICAN superhero books, because My Hero Academia is in all respects a superhero book, in which the author successfully merged suggestions from postmodern superhero books, with Power Rangers campness and the freshness of a coming-of-age story.

    If you are afraid that superhero books will disappear, don't worry - they will be kept alive as IP farms for videogames and TV series - but if you want to get an idea of what will be of them, well, think of current Scooby-Doo books or Archie Comics. That's the future. Has ever been possible to change the course? Well, think of this: French comic book Asterix was created in 1959 and it still is hugely popular in Europe (one single book, released in 2020, has sold 5 million copies). So it is technically possible for an old property to sell and be popular in 2021. The problem is that even Asterix as a lot of points of strength superhero books don't generally have. Again, in Asterix the premise is simple and straightforward, the characters are relatable, there are both humor and action and both adults and kids can read it and enjoy it. Also - the art is beautiful. I actually think that for superheroes the ship sailed years ago, because it would require a complete, total rethinking of how they are told and sold to become, well, not popular, but vaguely competitive in the market again (and probably it wouldn't work anyway), and it's an effort and a risk publishers don't really wants to take, especially since they stopped believing in comic books years ago.
    Last edited by Myskin; 07-23-2021 at 01:45 AM.
    Educational town, Rolemodel city and Moralofthestory land are the places where good comics go to die.

    DC writers and editors looked up and shouted "Save us!"
    And Alan Moore looked down and whispered "No."

    I'm kinda surprised Snyder didn't want Superman to watch Lois and Bruce conceive their love child. All the while singing the "Na na na na na na Batman!" theme song - Robotman, 03/06/2021

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Manga has been popular in North America for the last few decades--and around where I live even longer than that. And I've been coming to this forum for more than a decade now. Yet it's only in the last few months where I see several posts about Manga in opposition to other comic books--as if to drive a wedge and polarize comic book fandom. I don't know why this is happening now. People who like comic books like all kinds of comic books--it's not a competition.

    If some Manga property has sold a lot of units that doesn't surprise me--even though I've never heard of "One Piece." If you told me that a Bollywood film I never heard of was actually the movie in the world that has been seen by the most people in all of history--that would not surprise me. There are a billion people in India and Bollywood is really popular there (also very popular around where I live). Manga is really popular so it makes sense that some Manga property has sold a lot of units.

    That has nothing to do with American super-hero comics. It's a different market and a different history.

    The only reason for making the comparison is to create a false equivalency and promote a conflict where none exists.
    Manga may have always been "popular" but the degree of popularity has soared in recent years. More and more kids are reading manga these days when in the past, they would be reading DC and Marvel; from the perspective of the Big 2, this is a worrisome long-term trend. Like I wrote above, I don't really care that much. I love manga and if it dominates the sequential art market now and into the future, I'm fine with it. But from the perspective of DC and Marvel, they want to capture more of the sequential art market share, and they should do it by learning some of the lessons of manga on distribution, storytelling, creator tenure on books, etc.

  5. #20
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    The irony here is that Luffy has several elements in common with the Golden Age Superman who the modern writers have been dimwittedly been saying is outdated for years. Goes to show you how out of touch and clueless these people really are.
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  6. #21
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    This makes me think of when you're on the highway and then out of the blue one car comes weaving through traffic, speeding to get ahead, like it's some kind of race. Maybe to that driver it is a race, but you're just driving home. It's not a race, because all the cars on the road began at their own start lines and they're all getting to their own finish lines. But this driver likes to think he's A.J. Foyt in the Indianapolis 500.
    Say it's only an Opti-Screen show
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  7. #22
    Astonishing Member HsssH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    No endless, paternalistic superhero chit-chat about humanity's potential, or how men are fundamentally good at heart, etc.
    One of the things that has started to annoy me in last few years is the idea of "mission statement". Every new book, or a relaunch, now needs some reason to exist. Like, oh JLD is dealing with big magical threats that JL can't handle. Who cares, this is neither meaningful nor interesting.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by HsssH View Post
    One of the things that has started to annoy me in last few years is the idea of "mission statement". Every new book, or a relaunch, now needs some reason to exist. Like, oh JLD is dealing with big magical threats that JL can't handle. Who cares, this is neither meaningful nor interesting.
    True. I'd say this is the unavoidable consequence of adding stuff to pre-existing elements instead of keeping what's really useful and trying to make it interesting.
    As in, do we really need, I don't know, 5-6 super-speedsters? Heck, one Flash and one Kid Flash are more than enough (and IMHO Kid Flash is superfluous). Most of the legacy characters are basically endless repetitions of the same concept ad nauseam.
    To a degree, that's the same weak point of the endless Superman reboot. Jesus Christ, the Byrne relaunch was the one with enough new elements to justify its existence, and I'd say that most of them could have been implemented with a more organic retcon.
    And the repetitive elements also concern the "variations on the theme". You realize that they have officially run out of ideas when basically every single story is about a legacy character, an alternative timeline or parallel earths. When you find a newer version of Earth-crap every single month you feel the need to read something more interesting, possibly from Japan or Europe.
    Educational town, Rolemodel city and Moralofthestory land are the places where good comics go to die.

    DC writers and editors looked up and shouted "Save us!"
    And Alan Moore looked down and whispered "No."

    I'm kinda surprised Snyder didn't want Superman to watch Lois and Bruce conceive their love child. All the while singing the "Na na na na na na Batman!" theme song - Robotman, 03/06/2021

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    This makes me think of when you're on the highway and then out of the blue one car comes weaving through traffic, speeding to get ahead, like it's some kind of race. Maybe to that driver it is a race, but you're just driving home. It's not a race, because all the cars on the road began at their own start lines and they're all getting to their own finish lines. But this driver likes to think he's A.J. Foyt in the Indianapolis 500.
    It's more like these big 18-wheelers are coming down the highway and crowding you out of your lane.

    If you go to a Barnes and Noble and compare it to a decade ago, the shelf space reserved for manga has risen considerably and the shelf space for Marvel and DC trades and graphic novels has decreased.

    In the end, the marketplace pie can only get so big, and you are competing for how big a slice you own, both today and in the future. Kids today who are buying more manga than Big 2 comics will likely continue choosing manga as adults and will birth and raise kids who prefer manga.

    It's not whistling past the graveyard per se because DC and Marvel will still exist, but the way things are trending, they will put out fewer books and be like a Boom or a Valiant in the future if things continue the way they are.

  10. #25
    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    Okay, first question: Where did his rocket land if the planet is all water?
    Greenlight the Smallville animated series, WB!

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Manga has been popular in North America for the last few decades--and around where I live even longer than that. And I've been coming to this forum for more than a decade now. Yet it's only in the last few months where I see several posts about Manga in opposition to other comic books--as if to drive a wedge and polarize comic book fandom. I don't know why this is happening now. People who like comic books like all kinds of comic books--it's not a competition.

    If some Manga property has sold a lot of units that doesn't surprise me--even though I've never heard of "One Piece." If you told me that a Bollywood film I never heard of was actually the movie in the world that has been seen by the most people in all of history--that would not surprise me. There are a billion people in India and Bollywood is really popular there (also very popular around where I live). Manga is really popular so it makes sense that some Manga property has sold a lot of units.

    That has nothing to do with American super-hero comics. It's a different market and a different history.

    The only reason for making the comparison is to create a false equivalency and promote a conflict where none exists.
    Look at the merch being sold in stores. Look at what young people are wearing. MHA, DBZ, Nartuo, etc.

    Also, I saw more people buying more manga than American comic books when I worked at Amazon. The comics I saw was TMNT, Old Lady Harley, and something Marvel. Where as once saw a bin full of the same manga. Someone ordered To-Love-Ru. My Hero Academia stickers is always being bought, constantly. There is no false equivalency being made. Manga is outselling American comic books.

  12. #27
    Extraordinary Member Hizashi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    Nothing.
    What many superhero readers fail to realize is that the recognizability of the characters have nothing to do with their popularity, or how many people read them. I am quite sure that a lot of people could recognize tons of pop culture figures (such as Zorro or Conan the Barbarian) without ever reading one of their books or even without knowing some basic traits of their personality.
    Focusing on One Piece is somehow misleading, because it's not that when One Piece ends superheroes will gain the upper hand again. There will be other comic books - probably mangas, but who knows - which will take One Piece's place. Younger generations are just not interested in superhero books, and how can we blame them? Superhero books are expensive, the single issues are short (4 dollars for 28 pages on a monthly basis? Seriously?), the stories decompressed, storylines are changed along the way to the point they don't make sense anymore. And let's face it, if you are not a 30+ year old reader understanding anything - and I mean anything - about the continuity is impossible. The most debated topics in this forum - the eternal Barry Allen vs Wally West thing, whether Lois Lane should be killed or get more prominence in Superman books, Jon Kent - are pure crap no one in the real world cares about, including young readers - and rightfully so.

    It's not that every best selling manga is a masterpiece - I think that the really good, Alan Moore/Grant Morrison-level ones, for example Naoki Urasawa's works, are relatively niche products - but the popular ones (I am thinking of stuff such as My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, Tokyo Ghoul and of course One Piece) are easily approachable, very captivating, often drawn in an interesting way, and they provide a sense of wonder which superhero books haven't shown since the 1950s (human/demonic characters with a chainsaw for head; post-apocalyptic futures with Hieronymus Bosch-like monsters; etc). Let's face it: how many times did Batman provide something similar in recent times? Other works, such as Dragon Ball in many of its incarnations, are awfully repetitive, but they are supported by very clever marketing strategies and tons of merchandising including anime, OAVs, etc. Also - and that's quite an important point as far as I am concerned, as you may understand from my signature - superhero books are way, way more shallowly paternalistic and moralistic than many mangas. How many times have we seen Superman providing some kind of vague lesson about justice, optimism, fatherhood, even in recent times? And are we sure that overemphasizing the importance of Wonder Woman as a role model - a character who has been presented more and more often as a feminist icon, even if the premises of her ethics are generic to say the least - hasn't been counterproductive?

    Some mangas are way, way fresher or more relatable without sounding fake. Just for comparison, think of stuff such as Death Note. A supernatural thriller told entirely from the perspective of the villain, with elements of delirium of omnipotence. Again, not a masterpiece IMHO (but someone would disagree I guess), but it is impossible to deny that the premise is captivating and fascinating. Or Demon Slayer: an early-20th century demon hunter goes around killing monsters and trying to find a cure for his sister, possessed by a demon. Just a simple, straightforward, interesting premise. No endless, paternalistic superhero chit-chat about humanity's potential, or how men are fundamentally good at heart, etc. And that's without taking into account the REALLY good authors, such as Tezuka, Go Nagai, Taniguchi, or the fact that there are mangas about EVERY possible topic. There are mangas about eating in restaurants, basketball, fishing. How often have you seen such variety in superhero books? Well, maybe I should say AMERICAN superhero books, because My Hero Academia is in all respects a superhero book, in which the author successfully merged suggestions from postmodern superhero books, with Power Rangers campness and the freshness of a coming-of-age story.

    If you are afraid that superhero books will disappear, don't worry - they will be kept alive as IP farms for videogames and TV series - but if you want to get an idea of what will be of them, well, think of current Scooby-Doo books or Archie Comics. That's the future. Has ever been possible to change the course? Well, think of this: French comic book Asterix was created in 1959 and it still is hugely popular in Europe (one single book, released in 2020, has sold 5 million copies). So it is technically possible for an old property to sell and be popular in 2021. The problem is that even Asterix as a lot of points of strength superhero books don't generally have. Again, in Asterix the premise is simple and straightforward, the characters are relatable, there are both humor and action and both adults and kids can read it and enjoy it. Also - the art is beautiful. I actually think that for superheroes the ship sailed years ago, because it would require a complete, total rethinking of how they are told and sold to become, well, not popular, but vaguely competitive in the market again (and probably it wouldn't work anyway), and it's an effort and a risk publishers don't really wants to take, especially since they stopped believing in comic books years ago.
    Right, I wasn't drawing a correlation between popularity/overall awareness and sales, simply trying to say that Superman (and comics in general) should/could be in better shape.

    All I can really say about the rest of your points (very well put by the way) is that I wasn't focusing solely on the improvement of superhero books. I mean, comics were a big cultural thing here, and they've just declined across the board haven't they? Meanwhile, as you said, manga about cooking, sports, mundane things, are popular and sell well in Japan. Manga (and European comics if I'm not mistaken) are in better shape and I wish we could replicate that here.
    Does it need doing?
    Yes.
    Then it will be done.

  13. #28
    Black Belt in Bad Ideas Robanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    I hope not..i love one piece..it's my bread and butter.But,for oda's sake i hope he finishes the story at his terms and keeps himself healthy.One piece takes breaks each two weeks these years.the number of volumes decreased as well.But,it's for good reason...So,having that kinda burden to keep on churning would burn him out..Though,i do believe oda loves what he's doing...

    One piece makes me realise even ideas reincarnate and take new forms..A man of action in 1938.A man of action in 1997.. it's all an imaginary story...a laugh tale..
    imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-CKLNgqdTBUB.jpg
    Mangaka across the board need help and a union to improve the state they work in. Oda is prolific, but the conditions those creators work in are cruel to be polite and obscene if I'm being honest.

    I feel the product will improve drastically if they went biweekly or monthly. Pacing would, if nothing else, and the creators might actually be able to have time to spend with loved ones or indulging in a hobby.

  14. #29
    The Superior One Celgress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hizashi View Post
    Comics are in a decline, and it saddens me. Manga is killing it, and there's no good reason comics shouldn't be in better shape.
    Co-signed for truth. I've dropped all but a few American Comic Books in favor of Manga.
    "So you've come to the end now alive but dead inside."

  15. #30
    Extraordinary Member Hizashi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celgress View Post
    Co-signed for truth. I've dropped all but a few American Comic Books in favor of Manga.
    There are still comics, not just superhero comics either, that still absorb me completely or give me chills. We need to make more comics like that.

    My pull list is mostly DC (eight), I've also got one Marvel book and a few indies - and I've sometimes had to convince myself not to drop some of them. On the other hand, any manga I've started, I've finished, even when I knew I was looking at several hundred chapters of reading.
    Does it need doing?
    Yes.
    Then it will be done.

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