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Thread: DC sales

  1. #46
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    https://www.comichron.com/monthlycom...1/2021-06.html

    I don't like where this is going.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAWtoyoto 432 View Post
    What do you mean? Batman is kicking-ass and making WB a killing!

    Last edited by Doctor Kent Nelson; 07-28-2021 at 04:09 AM.

  3. #48
    Astonishing Member Badou's Avatar
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    Floppies are the main revenue generator for the Big 2 by a wide margin. Trade sales haven't really made up enough ground to offset them, and superhero trade sales from the Big 2 were actually trending down I think before the pandemic despite the entire graphic novel market growing in the US off the back off manga and children's GNs. So they can't really stop producing floppies or their entire business model would collapse. Even digital sales haven't really grown enough and have stagnated I think. Plus you can't manipulate digital sales the way you can floppies with gimmicks.

    I don't know the exact numbers so I'll be conservative. Lets say a comic can sell 25K units an issue at $4 per issue. So each issue would generate $100K in sales. Lets then say that for one collected volume they cover 5 issues. So that is $500K in sales for those 5 issues in floppies. Then a basic trade paperback collecting those 5 issues at $15 would need to sell 33K copies to reach that $500K in revenue generated from those floppies. In 2019 DC only had 14 series break 10K in trade sales, and of those 14 only 3 broke 20K and just 1 from that broke 50K (Watchmen) in sales for that year. In 2019 on average DC sold 404 copies per series from the 3229 different listed items for sale. Numbers come from Brian Hibbs' article. It just doesn't seem feasible for DC to remove floppies especially when DC can also sell ads in floppies as well as sell variant covers which they can't with just trades. Plus the attrition rate of sales for trades falls off quite a bit with each volume.

    Edit: I do think GNs and digital are the future of course, but I think the entire market is going to have to remake itself into something else with how they produce and sell series, but I have no idea how that will happen when the Big 2 are so reliant on floppies.
    Last edited by Badou; 07-28-2021 at 04:52 AM.

  4. #49
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    Don't trades have bigger long term sale value than individual issues? It's much more likely for someone to pick up a trade 4 months down the line than to pick up an individual issue 4 months later.

  5. #50
    Astonishing Member Badou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    Don't trades have bigger long term sale value than individual issues? It's much more likely for someone to pick up a trade 4 months down the line than to pick up an individual issue 4 months later.
    Well all of the floppy sales are completely upfront, right? A DC produces basically the exact amount stores ordered, and in a few instances will have extra print runs on a very popular issue when stores under ordered them, but usually most series just have one print run per issue. So all the money a DC makes on sales of floppies happens right at the beginning, but they can sell each individual issue. So each month they are selling a new issue and with trades you do have that long gap between releases.

    But yes, trades will sell long term over floppies. I just don't know if there are that many series where their trades will have decent sales long term and sell enough to offset floppy sales. When there is some other media adaptation there will be a spike in trade sales for a related series for a time, and obviously you have the BIG series like Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, and The Killing Joke that sell well every year and DC just keeps releasing new editions of them, but given the amount of series DC produces each year I don't think the majority of them have a very long shelf life even in trades.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFJamie94 View Post

    6. Disagree, comics have always been focused on Social and political issues. Some of the best comics and most celebrated comics of the 80's also dealt with these issues. I do feel like some writers do it badly however. But again, much like everything, time will filter out the bad and you'll only remember the good stuff or the incredibly bad stuff. (I wonder who Watchman would have fared with the anti-sjw crowd if Youtube existed in 1984).
    While I do agree that this factor is pretty low on the list of reasons, and that comics always had social issues, which are definitely important, I think we're living in strange times were they're written in such a strange and unsubtle way, playing partisan politics or being too biased towards a certain type of thinking. This wasn't the case in the 70s and 80s, while you can definitely see that the writers were liberal, they were a type of liberalism I can agree with (I would consider pretty liberal myself, even though the more extremist twitter types would slander me unjustly as a right-winger). Green Lantern/Green Arrow by O'Neil is amazing. And Watchmen is so masterfully written that even a character with ideas Moore despises such as Rorschach is written as a 3dimensional character instead of a caricature because that's how good of a writer he was and he couldn't help himself. Nowadays that would be impossible. Nevermind how the story leaves stuff to the reader to interpret and doesn't spoonfeeds you with preachy ideology.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Kent Nelson View Post
    What do you mean? Batman is kicking-ass and making WB a killing!

    I am talking about The Flash, Infinite Frontier and Green Lantern sales. They don't seem to have a strong sales otherwise.

  8. #53
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by titanfan View Post
    Going to Baxter format and taking Legion/NTT/Outsiders and all that, basically killed those books and franchises. Arguably the worst decision in DC Comics history.
    Yes, this is true.
    Moving to 'specialty shops', as they were called back then, led many readers without access to a comic shop to become lost and move to other comics.

    At first, it appeared to be only a marginal problem - you'd just have to read through a year of new stories before the reprints started.
    However, Crisis on Infinite Earths crossed over with the Baxter comics and readers without a comic shop had to wait a year to read the crossover issues.
    (This also occurred most annoyingly with JLA, as it did a cross-over with Infinity Inc, which wasn't available outside comic shops.)
    Then, because readers in the comic shops didn't buy the newsstand copies anymore once the reprints started, the retailers no longer had a need to order them, which cut into the sales.
    When the newsstand comics were finally cancelled, the non-comic shop readers were left with nothing.

    We were fortunate to get a Waldenbooks in our area around 1986 that sold the Baxter comics, but they closed a few years later.

    The success of the Baxter books (at the comic shops) also helped open the door for DC to eventually pull out of newsstands altogether. This, of course, also left rural areas without any comics at all until the digital age and the Walmart deal (both of which were met with comic shop retailer resistance).
    In my hometown, we went almost 20 years with no comics before DC started doing 'same day digital' with New52. A whole generation without even seeing a comic for sale. People in my town who remembered comics from their youth but didn't become avid readers just assumed that they no longer made comics.
    Last edited by Lee Stone; 07-28-2021 at 01:57 PM.
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  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    Don't trades have bigger long term sale value than individual issues? It's much more likely for someone to pick up a trade 4 months down the line than to pick up an individual issue 4 months later.
    Depends on the trade in question.

    For some mainly those that star POC, certain women, LGBTQA+ and a few others that trade represents the FIRST time some folks see said character. Because not every store orders floppies of certain titles for a variety of reasons including trouble selling that character.

    Lets take Barnes and Nobles-I found it FUNNY I could go to ANY of the 4 stores and get Wildstorm Michael Cray or Spawn trades in my city area. Could not do that with Miles Morales (despite the book being called Ultimate Spiderman at the time), Black Panther (before the movie), Supergirl, Green Arrow (NOT by Kevin Smith) and Legion and Wally West era of Flash.

    superhero trade sales from the Big 2 were actually trending down I think before the pandemic despite the entire graphic novel market growing in the US off the back off manga and children's GNs.
    Trades sells have gone up in every market except ONE-super Heroes. Folks will scream Batman sells but Batman is not winning over new readers.

    Dc panders to that crowd that says ONLY Batman and selective friends should have books or be leads. So while he wins the floppy wars, nobody notices in trade and floppy sales who else is there beating him or keeping up with him.

    Because all the folks DC management has ALIENATED have gone elsewhere. With many giving up on their favorite characters.

    Why is Flash struggling? How many times has DC shown Wally West fans the middle finger?
    How many editors have ruined books mainly those of color like Static Shock and Cyborg?
    How many writers have been chased off? Folks have not forgotten what was done to McDuffie on JLA.
    We know Redjack's GL run is on limited time.
    Can anyone not screw up Superman or Legion?
    Why should fans of Tim Drake, Jaime Reyes and that generation stay around?

    When you got better choices elsewhere? That are drama free.


    Nowadays that would be impossible. Nevermind how the story leaves stuff to the reader to interpret and doesn't spoonfeeds you with preachy ideology.
    No it's not impossible. It's the readers and trolls who won't let it happen now.

    Lion Forge 's Noble did an issue that flashback to Noble and his wife growing up. Noble's granny was killed in a drive by shooting. The BLACK writer got attacked for showing the "false narrative" of black on black violence. By LOL Black folks including the writer he replaced-who is currently working on 3 DC books right now.

    And we did have stories in the 70s-80s that left stuff to the reader.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimbo View Post
    You had me til the bolded part. Can you elaborate on "mainstream comics have allowed this ideological stuff to become the point of what they do"? Like that whole last sentence seems like it's coming from a place of strong resentment and negativity and I'm not sure what that has to do with DC's sales lol.
    It sounds like the comments has to do with a writer using their personal political beliefs into these stories. I mean, a lot of writers do push politics on Twitter for everyone to see, which is fine. But it does create a form of division in some kind of way. These companies need to figure out a way to unite everyone, regardless of their views if they want a stronger base.

  11. #56
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    Some notes or rambles..no reboot again so just switch to another universe to boost those low sales for non Batman books. And hire more big name writers on books and use Johns more. Seems fans want more Hal and less screw up the corps stuff. And also Barry as lead in Flash. Bendis isn't much of a draw for DC as he was for Marvel.

    Then again could just be all Covid effecting DC more.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxi View Post
    While I do agree that this factor is pretty low on the list of reasons, and that comics always had social issues, which are definitely important, I think we're living in strange times were they're written in such a strange and unsubtle way, playing partisan politics or being too biased towards a certain type of thinking. This wasn't the case in the 70s and 80s, while you can definitely see that the writers were liberal, they were a type of liberalism I can agree with (I would consider pretty liberal myself, even though the more extremist twitter types would slander me unjustly as a right-winger). Green Lantern/Green Arrow by O'Neil is amazing. And Watchmen is so masterfully written that even a character with ideas Moore despises such as Rorschach is written as a 3dimensional character instead of a caricature because that's how good of a writer he was and he couldn't help himself. Nowadays that would be impossible. Nevermind how the story leaves stuff to the reader to interpret and doesn't spoonfeeds you with preachy ideology.
    Comics have always been preachy. First issue of Captain America has him literally punching Hitler on the cover. I don't know if you can get a more obvious political statement as that in the 1940's.
    People were complaining about how liberal comics were back in the 60's, it's an argument that has never gone away.
    Even Rorschach, while may be a character with more depth, was still obvious that he was wrong. He would often talk about how everyone else in the World was wrong and how he is the only one who is right. He literally a comicsgate YouTuber. A sad man who has never progressed out of his own sad, lonely World.
    Moore is very obvious with his politics. He is just a good enough writer to make you think Watchmen is as subtle as everyone thinks it is.

    Where I think the argument is, People read the comics they read when they were young, and as they got older, they started noticing more political overtones in these books. And for a lot of People, they may not agree with those politics, so they have a memory of what these books used to be and filtered out those politics.
    We've seen a similar thing happen with news that District 10 will be focusing on the history of American atrocities. People didn't think that D9 had political subtext, which was very obvious by the way. Same with Star Trek, these People don't see the subtext of the original. They remember things differently and watch it with the filter on, not understanding the politics of these stories.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyvolt2000 View Post

    Because all the folks DC management has ALIENATED have gone elsewhere. With many giving up on their favorite characters.

    Why is Flash struggling? How many times has DC shown Wally West fans the middle finger?
    That's because a lot of Wally's fans don't even know he's leading The Flash title right now because the cover just only show the classic Flash costume which people mistake him as Barry. Moreover, When you're not getting what you want in comics, some people don't stick around too long and will complaining ad nauseum. They eventually find other things to occupy them, so many Wally fans are probably gone and unaware, and DC probably wouldn't be able to get many of them back, because now they're in the habit of contently spending their time elsewhere.

    Even if DC tried to fix the mistake, by then it was too late.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFJamie94 View Post
    Comics have always been preachy. First issue of Captain America has him literally punching Hitler on the cover. I don't know if you can get a more obvious political statement as that in the 1940's.
    People were complaining about how liberal comics were back in the 60's, it's an argument that has never gone away.
    Even Rorschach, while may be a character with more depth, was still obvious that he was wrong. He would often talk about how everyone else in the World was wrong and how he is the only one who is right. He literally a comicsgate YouTuber. A sad man who has never progressed out of his own sad, lonely World.
    Moore is very obvious with his politics. He is just a good enough writer to make you think Watchmen is as subtle as everyone thinks it is.

    Where I think the argument is, People read the comics they read when they were young, and as they got older, they started noticing more political overtones in these books. And for a lot of People, they may not agree with those politics, so they have a memory of what these books used to be and filtered out those politics.
    We've seen a similar thing happen with news that District 10 will be focusing on the history of American atrocities. People didn't think that D9 had political subtext, which was very obvious by the way. Same with Star Trek, these People don't see the subtext of the original. They remember things differently and watch it with the filter on, not understanding the politics of these stories.
    I both agree and disagree with you. I do think the modern creators are more "in your face" about the politics than in the past, probably as a result of their anger over the 2016 election. The "Captain America punching Hitler" example is overused and isn't persuasive to me because that's exactly what I'd expect war-time comics to look like.

    Where we agree is that comics have always had a left-wing lean (although subtler in the past, from my perspective), which makes sense because most creators are left-wing, including almost all of my favorites. If I had decided to not ever read a comic from a left-wing creator, then I'd probably lose 95% of all comics, haha. Luckily I enjoy the medium and am open-minded enough not to care when I see left-wing things show up in comics, as long as (1) The characters stay true to themselves and you don't lose their voice as they become a mouthpiece for the creator's views, and (2) everything is organic to the story and the franchise.

  15. #60
    Ultimate Member Lee Stone's Avatar
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    See Captain America #270 for "Someone Who Cares", a story that didn't hit the reader over the head with its social issues.
    It featured Steve helping an old war buddy save his best friend, who was obviously his lover, which inspires Steve to finally let Bernie in.
    Granted, that story could go a bit further today, as readers are more receptive now, but it really wasn't necessary to get the point across.

    The main reason the story existed was because Steve needed a push to bring down his walls and let someone care for him. DeMatteis could've written countless different stories to trigger Cap to make the decision, but he chose to use this one featuring the two men.

    Kids read it and got one story, while adults could read between the lines and get the rest of the story.
    It's still one of my favorite comics.
    Last edited by Lee Stone; 07-29-2021 at 09:15 AM.
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