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Thread: DC sales

  1. #16
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    Simply put, Marvel and DC are awful at getting People to buy their comics. It's almost as if the biggest gate keepers in the industry are Marvel and DC themselves.
    They need better distribution to book stores, get sold in cinemas and make it easier for People to step into the comics.
    Zdarksy has noticed this when he found there's not many full stories of Spider-man collected for newcomers, so he restarted the What if line.

    Comic sales themselves aren't bad, they are healthy at the moment, but that health needs to be stable.
    The reason why Manga sells better is because it's cheaper to produce, easier to pick up and have more complete runs.
    I've said this before, and it's a problem that's plagued the industry for years.
    Heck, even Marvel are aware, Jemas himself was scratching his head over how Marvel can be bankrupt when they have some of the most recognisable fictional characters who are popular and loved. The problem was that Marvel simply didn't market themselves properly.

    Now, a lot of DC's problems can be summed up with "Stupid business decisions".
    AT&T aren't a publishing company or an entertainment company, they have no business in that market, so obviously they are going to make dumb business decisions.

    The layoffs point out to a... Well, for one, there's no money floating around, but two, a restructuring in the company and a change of direction.

    DC has, for the best part of a decade, been dragging behind Marvel with line wide relaunches and changes in continuity.
    While Marvel have had relaunches, I feel two out of three and a half of these were successful. DC started successful with New 52 and Rebirth, but they quickly lost their way.

    People keep talking about how comics are dying, and that's mostly from crappy YouTubers who spend too much time complaining about stuff they don't like instead of stuff they do like.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cheat View Post
    Piracy is just a convenient scape goat. The fact is, DC (and Marvel) are producing product that not many people want at a price point not many people are willing to pay.
    Thank you.

    As for price-last time I checked I saw books with 24 pages at $5 each.

    Miles Morales (Marvel Spider-Man) (Little Golden Book) by Frank Berrios Hardcover $5.99
    Black Panther Little Golden Book (Marvel: Black Panther) by Frank Berrios Hardcover $4.74
    Warriors of Wakanda (Marvel: Black Panther) (Little Golden Book) by Frank Berrios Hardcover $4.99
    FYI-On Amazon this Miles book is among the top 100 children's books. In fact a WHOLE lot of Marvel books are there.


    Manga does better because you have a complete story with one writer and I don't have to go to comic book store to get them. I can go almost everywhere else.

    Can't do that with a Marvel or DC book and in most case not even the trade versions.


    As for stories-oh NOW it's an issue with POC, LGBTQA and women are the writers.

    When white guys was doing it-everyone turned their heads.

    I saw folks throw FITS over Ms Marvel #13-a book that only talked about HOW to vote NOT WHO to vote for like Faith did at Valiant.
    Champions #25 was deemed this attack on the NRA and they were going to get Marvel. Gun control was NEVER mentioned.

    Theses so-called veteran readers-I guess they MISSED Batman Seduction of the Gun-a book WB demanded to be made after an executive's son was killed by a gun. Or the Batman book about land mines? Hal Jordan & Ollie era on Green Lantern? Tony Stark being so DRUNK that Rhodey took over? Falcon was denied being Cap America because he was black? Battlestar changing his name from Bucky? Azrael can be Batman with a few issues BUT Aqualad can't be Aquaman because we haven't seen him enough.

    I have seen more offensive stuff from the 70-90s that would put many to shame.

    Maybe the reason Marvel and DC are suffering because the trolls and youtuber losers are making everything TOXIC. Then folks are SHOCKED that the INDYS are taking over-because those folks are doing stuff marvel & DC can't do because of fans.

    Boom Studios can toss out LGBTQA, black female lead and diverse stuff without a RIOT happening.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxi View Post
    I don't think the generational gap has anything to do with it. Superheroes are all the rage now. Younger people love them. They just don't read superhero comics. Kids don't read them anymore. And if they do, it's manga like My Hero Academia, and I suppose we have to wait and see if the success of the Invincible series leads to a spike in TPs sales.
    It has. Especially on Amazon. Almost every Marvel movie or comic related show that has trades gets a boost.

    Black Panther saw that trade boost for 3 years. It took the last X-Men movie to take him down and that did not last long.

    Wait till Moon Girl, Ironheart and Moon Knight shows come out.


    Even in the kids books-the top 100 books are mainly Marvel with it being Loki, Miles, Falcon, Widow, Panther, Carol, Peter Parker and Avengers.

    DC had 3 books that were those DC origin books-Bruce, Hal & WW. SAD THING about those 3 those were KINDLE editions that you could read for free with a subscription.

    Of those books Cyborg was the ONLY POC and he was the WORST seller with not one review about the story content.

    You wonder why you are not getting kids-that's why. Where is John, Vixen, Star Girl, Ollie, Zantana and the rest? Not just the folks who were in DCAU cartoons. Heck Cyborg is not even the Teen Titans cartoon version but some version I have saw.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Nostalgia View Post
    I agree the continuous tampering with characters and their history has most likely been detrimental to DC comic sales over the long run (Particularly if the character is killed off or ends up being replaced) (I've quit DC comics three times in my life, I came back, most I imagine don't)

    As for a lack of new readers.....

    Some ideas of been touched upon, they prefer Manga's format, a dip in quality writing at DC as mentioned, (I brought up a generational change) but accessibility is a major problem these days. You can only find printed comics now in comic book stores which are dying off like flies, and to get a digital download you have to go through Amazon.

    Finally, the price of comics turns younger readers off. All that being said, I still think piracy is the main culprit in declining sales, despite Magna's success. Why pay for something you can get for free.
    *Raises hand*

    I've wanted to give DC money for quite a while now and virtually every time i've had to close my wallet without that happening. They are literally giving me very few characters that i have any interest in supporting.

    Right now i'm down to Mister Miracle (something new that i'm giving a chance), Booster Gold (an old character that i've always thought had potential in a new series) and Green Lantern John Stewart.

    I'm not sure if the first two are going to be around long and i won't tolerate Green Lantern John Stewart being toyed with as a character (he hasn't been thus far).

    That's it.

    Where's Cyborg? Where's Animal Man? Mister Terrific (his recent title was fun)?

    I want to give DC money but they keep shutting me down.

    Marvel is no better.
    Don't complain. Create.

  5. #20
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    Well, we can see that the broad strokes of it are DC and Marvel are virtually getting no new fans that actually want to read their comics, and they are frequently disappointing large segments of the people that are interested in the comics. I can empathize a bit. When there isn't a lot of money to play with, it can be difficult to give everyone what they want. But a lot of of their problems come down to dumb decisions they have made.

    If we talk about Cyborg, it's like...You want to get black readers (I assume), so you work at increasing Cyborg's profile. Okay, not a bad idea. But then you don't give him an ongoing series for years after the New 52 started (which is something all the other Justice League members have), and you treat him like worthless wallpaper in the Justice League comic. Thus, their effort at boosting his profile completely backfires and now you have many of those black readers actually mad at DC and feeling perhaps even more alienated than if Cyborg wasn't even there. Furthermore, they have now drawn attention to certain unfortunate features of the character, such as the only black guy on the Justice League being deformed, maimed and missing his genitals. There is really no one else to blame but DC for that.

    Looking at Marvel, I can appreciate the commitment they had to Captain Marvel...to a degree. I can appreciate keeping a character around prominently to build up their long term worth (though I don't think that was even done well in this instance) even if that character isn't instantly connecting. I understand comics fans (I think). They're set in their ways. They like what they like. And when they DO actually have their interest piqued by something that is different for them, they tend to like a nice back catalogue of content to dive into and explore with the character or concept that has intrigued them. Thus, I believe sometimes eating it and keeping on trucking with a character that isn't instantly mega popular is not always a bad strategy if you want long term success with them.

    HOWEVER! You do not want to actually annoy the readers by doubling down on things they do not like about the character when the readers actually give you feedback about the character. Furthermore, trying to act like the character is the most valued and important and greatest thing in their universe when clearly the readers do not agree with that is also going to annoy the readers, especially when they are being TOLD that and not organically shown it. If you want Captain Marvel to be the best, let her organically be the best through good storytelling and artwork. Not through bad stories and annoyingly trumpeting that she is the best.

    So, I see examples of the "big" companies pissing off important portions of the readers they do have and there is no one else to blame but the people managing the companies.

    So they are in a bad spot, and those are just two random examples. They are getting no new fans and seem to be consistently at odds with significant portions of the people who do read or want to read the comics.
    Last edited by Neo Goblin; 07-25-2021 at 06:52 PM.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyvolt2000 View Post
    Then folks are SHOCKED that the INDYS are taking over-because those folks are doing stuff marvel & DC can't do because of fans.
    See, this is the root of the problem wandering if the higher up listening the demands will increasing the sales numbers.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAWtoyoto 432 View Post
    See, this is the root of the problem wandering if the higher up listening the demands will increasing the sales numbers.
    I don't agree with that... With the independents, they are writing GOOD stories with GOOD characterization... DC are just pumping out recirculated crap and targeting 'fan groups' that don't exist, all while making their interconnected multiverse a blender of confusion.
    Last edited by Doctor Kent Nelson; 07-25-2021 at 11:15 PM.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Kent Nelson View Post
    I don't agree with that... With the independents, they are writing GOOD stories with GOOD characterization... DC are just pumping out recirculated crap and targeting 'fan groups' that don't exist, all while making their interconnected multiverse a blender of confusion.
    This.

    Older fans: Who wants to pay $5 a book for stuff that is padded out and will be erased in about six months?

    Newer fans: How do you afford to sample enough comics to find the one or two you may like when they're $5 and so thin?

    And a reason Manga outsells comics?
    For the price of two comics you can get over 150 pages of story that makes sense and 'means something' to the narrative.
    A year from now, that GN will still mean something to the story and you may even want to re-read it.
    Those two $5 comics will most likely be forgotten about.
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  9. #24
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    IMO, the problems with DC and Marvel's comic books business, in order:

    1. Distribution - The Big 2 are not placing comics where would-be new readers can easily access them and/or parents can impulse buy them for their kids. Comic books need to be sold at grocery stores, theaters, airport convenience stores, etc.

    2. Price Too Expensive - They have increased the price past the rate of inflation. It is hard to sell customers on paying $30 for a 6-issue story/arc. Why not spend $30 on a video game instead or two good novels, when the comic book story would likely be bad anyway? Which brings me to...

    3. Writer Quality is at a Nadir - Instead of fixing the issues with distribution and price, the Big 2 have instead dealt with the problem of declining sales by, with few exceptions, hiring cheap writers, which has impacted writing quality for most of their lines. This is exacerbated by...

    4. Competition from Creator-Owned Publishers - The problem of awful writer quality is worsened by Image and other creator-owned publishers who can take away top talent. Further exacerbation comes from...

    5. Creators Being on Social Media - Too many creators seem to be thin-skinned and can't take criticism and should therefore not be on social media, where they end up feuding with customers and insulting them. That by itself would be decently bad, but these creators seem to then hold grudges and let the grudges affect their writing by giving customers exactly what they don't want to see in comic books as payback, lol.

    6. SJWs - I can not say that SJWs have cost the comic book industry zero sales. They're just not one of the major problems like distribution and price.

    7. Piracy - Ditto.

  10. #25
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    its not looking good...they need another new52/rebirth style relaunch, check the sales rankings on comichron.

  11. #26
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    Most people tend to miss out the most important factor here: Patience.

    Manga is cheaper, yes but it's also faster. They also have loyal cross-media appeal (I will explain this later). Monthly mangas do exist but they tend to fall out of radar until a new anime season comes out (unless it's a giant like Fullmetal Alchemist or Attack on Titan). Weekly mangas are where the true popularity lies in. The interest is always fresh. Monthly mangas also have full content in their books to make the wait worth it. They don't always have "filler issues" to fill a volume. In comparison, American comics are tedious to follow with floppies. So many issues you put down thinking it's a waste of time and money. And thus crowds move to trades to read full content, which means monthly single issues will sell less.

    To give an example: Wally West came back in 2016. His story went south for two years and he was completely put on hold for almost a year. He could only put his foot on the ground at the end of the first half of 2021. Not to mention entire story that got him to that point was shrugged away as "whoops, this wasn't a good idea". Now tell me who puts up with that besides a die-hard fan? The Flash book is selling average because everyone with casual interest dropped the character after waiting for 5 and a half years. Time is a valuable thing, why waste your half a freaking decade (not even including 2009-2016 period!) following dull stories?

    This is also why piracy exists. Nobody wants to waste money on stories that would be nullified later on. I don't blame people for that. In addition to this, it's thanks to piracy that comics have fans outside of the USA. It's an expensive and inaccessible hobby for those who live outside of Americas and Britain. Manga doesn't have this problem either. Shonen Jump, Kodansha and even Square Enix recently started to invest in distributing their works outside of Japan, especially in digital format.

    Now another big problem people overlook is cross-media promotion. Anime is essentially a shiny advertisement for manga. It's super close to source material so when you get hooked into a series, you go and continue your adventure in manga serialization. This is especially important for monthly mangas, which require longer waiting periods. I really have to emphasize on how close these adaptations are...In west, they don't have loyal adaptations. For some reason, they don't like adapting source materials closely. When you watch Young Justice and go to comics store, you don't find the YJ you watched on television. Same with MCU, DCTV...Most characters are vastly different from their comics counterpart, so if you care about a character....the comics version doesn't matter anymore. I think Invincible is a great proof that we need more loyal adaptations of comic book runs, not cartoons/shows/movies "inspired" by them with small easter eggs.


    My two cents that doesn't involve belittling on the efforts of creating more inclusive comics.

  12. #27
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    I've debated this over and over for years, but I truly believe it comes down to the one thing almost everything does.

    Money.

    People are far more willing to try something new for $1.99 then they are for $5.99.

    The other issue is US!

    For the best part of three decades, comics were an expendable form of entertainment. Always have been.
    Kids would read 'em, pass them onto their mates to read, fold them up in the back pocket, trace the pictures a thousand times over etc.

    All that went out of the window when they became more 'collectable'.
    Now, we pay our $5.99 (anywhere from $3.99 to $9.99 actually) while pissing and moaning about how expensive our hobby is, then bag, board and catalogue our issues while looking at how much our Something Is Killing the Children #1 is now selling for.

    We probably COULD go back to a $1.99 pricepoint per issue, but who would buy them? They would be printed on pulp paper, old school printing & colouring and probably reprints as the price point would mean they couldn't afford the top talent.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Customizer View Post
    *Raises hand*

    I've wanted to give DC money for quite a while now and virtually every time i've had to close my wallet without that happening. They are literally giving me very few characters that i have any interest in supporting.

    Right now i'm down to Mister Miracle (something new that i'm giving a chance), Booster Gold (an old character that i've always thought had potential in a new series) and Green Lantern John Stewart.

    I'm not sure if the first two are going to be around long and i won't tolerate Green Lantern John Stewart being toyed with as a character (he hasn't been thus far).

    That's it.

    Where's Cyborg? Where's Animal Man? Mister Terrific (his recent title was fun)?

    I want to give DC money but they keep shutting me down.

    Marvel is no better.
    Decades of reading DC comics has made me realize that if your not a big fan of the trinity (or Nightwing) it's pretty rough going in terms of your favourite characters.

    I've come to the conclusion (Batman aside) that DC has the problem of having a vast selection of interesting 2nd tier and obscure heroes, that can't get exposure, while Marvel overall, simply doesn't have the wealth of interesting superheroes, but most probably, has a more solid core of premier heroes.


    Quote Originally Posted by hairys View Post
    IMO, the problems with DC and Marvel's comic books business, in order:

    1. Distribution - The Big 2 are not placing comics where would-be new readers can easily access them and/or parents can impulse buy them for their kids. Comic books need to be sold at grocery stores, theaters, airport convenience stores, etc.

    2. Price Too Expensive - They have increased the price past the rate of inflation. It is hard to sell customers on paying $30 for a 6-issue story/arc. Why not spend $30 on a video game instead or two good novels, when the comic book story would likely be bad anyway? Which brings me to...

    3. Writer Quality is at a Nadir - Instead of fixing the issues with distribution and price, the Big 2 have instead dealt with the problem of declining sales by, with few exceptions, hiring cheap writers, which has impacted writing quality for most of their lines. This is exacerbated by...

    4. Competition from Creator-Owned Publishers - The problem of awful writer quality is worsened by Image and other creator-owned publishers who can take away top talent. Further exacerbation comes from...

    5. Creators Being on Social Media - Too many creators seem to be thin-skinned and can't take criticism and should therefore not be on social media, where they end up feuding with customers and insulting them. That by itself would be decently bad, but these creators seem to then hold grudges and let the grudges affect their writing by giving customers exactly what they don't want to see in comic books as payback, lol.

    6. SJWs - I can not say that SJWs have cost the comic book industry zero sales. They're just not one of the major problems like distribution and price.

    7. Piracy - Ditto.
    Good list, I'd add the previous post discussion about killing off, replacing, altering or rebooting people's favourite characters...or superhero teams (Legion anyone?)

    I'd put that at the top with streaming internet piracy, distribution and price....absolutely price, as someone just mentioned!

  14. #29
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    Maybe floppies need to go. Aren't tpbs doing better anyway?

    I've been saying modern comics read way better in trades and honestly floppies are just too expensive for the small content they contain. Older comics feels like more things happened in one issue.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterfall View Post
    Most people tend to miss out the most important factor here: Patience.

    Manga is cheaper, yes but it's also faster. They also have loyal cross-media appeal (I will explain this later). Monthly mangas do exist but they tend to fall out of radar until a new anime season comes out (unless it's a giant like Fullmetal Alchemist or Attack on Titan). Weekly mangas are where the true popularity lies in. The interest is always fresh. Monthly mangas also have full content in their books to make the wait worth it. They don't always have "filler issues" to fill a volume. In comparison, American comics are tedious to follow with floppies. So many issues you put down thinking it's a waste of time and money. And thus crowds move to trades to read full content, which means monthly single issues will sell less.

    To give an example: Wally West came back in 2016. His story went south for two years and he was completely put on hold for almost a year. He could only put his foot on the ground at the end of the first half of 2021. Not to mention entire story that got him to that point was shrugged away as "whoops, this wasn't a good idea". Now tell me who puts up with that besides a die-hard fan? The Flash book is selling average because everyone with casual interest dropped the character after waiting for 5 and a half years. Time is a valuable thing, why waste your half a freaking decade (not even including 2009-2016 period!) following dull stories?

    This is also why piracy exists. Nobody wants to waste money on stories that would be nullified later on. I don't blame people for that. In addition to this, it's thanks to piracy that comics have fans outside of the USA. It's an expensive and inaccessible hobby for those who live outside of Americas and Britain. Manga doesn't have this problem either. Shonen Jump, Kodansha and even Square Enix recently started to invest in distributing their works outside of Japan, especially in digital format.

    Now another big problem people overlook is cross-media promotion. Anime is essentially a shiny advertisement for manga. It's super close to source material so when you get hooked into a series, you go and continue your adventure in manga serialization. This is especially important for monthly mangas, which require longer waiting periods. I really have to emphasize on how close these adaptations are...In west, they don't have loyal adaptations. For some reason, they don't like adapting source materials closely. When you watch Young Justice and go to comics store, you don't find the YJ you watched on television. Same with MCU, DCTV...Most characters are vastly different from their comics counterpart, so if you care about a character....the comics version doesn't matter anymore. I think Invincible is a great proof that we need more loyal adaptations of comic book runs, not cartoons/shows/movies "inspired" by them with small easter eggs.


    My two cents that doesn't involve belittling on the efforts of creating more inclusive comics.
    Agreed.

    Manga is also as big as it is because it’s catering to a much more diverse audience than US superhero comics.

    https://www.cbr.com/manga-boom-lgbtq/

    Manga has for a good long while had a massive LGBT subsection and Boys Love anime is even becoming mainstream. Seriously, the anti-SJW crowd are doing everything possible to antagonize creators that are not straight or white or male. We’ve seen trans and gay creators get severely harassed on social media and even guys like Coates have been targeted (unfortunately for them, Coates isn’t on social media and doesn’t really care).

    Basically, the exact thing the anti-SJW crowd is complaining about is exactly what Manga has been doing to maintain its level of relevance. Even shonen like Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia added in black characters in later seasons. Although to be fair, independent titles are very diverse but because of the direct market a lot of these titles just die off (Motor Crush was under ordered in the DM because the main character was a black woman….only for the title to sell massively in book stores).

    This is aside issues of format, distribution and content issues. But taken together, it’s easy to see why Manga is still selling very well. Build it and they will come.

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