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  1. #1441
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    Yeah, you are right - I had definitely forgotten the Earth-One stuff (thankfully). Which, in addition to all of the flaws we already know, had one more, too: now that I think about it, the stories didn't actually fit a 144-page book - it was as if the writers had written 5-6 scripts with the 22-page format in mind and then these "virtual", separate issues had been collected for the release of the OGN.
    And that's been a very common mistake on DC's part, which is why the majority of their efforts to enter new markets have failed. The YA stuff has done well because it *hasn't* made that mistake. They're figuring out how to operate in new markets, largely it seems by hiring people who are already in those markets. That Earth-1 effort, who was writing it? Comic book writers like Johns, JMS, and Morrison. Who's writing the YA and webtoons stuff? People who were already writing YA and webtoons stuff. It's a little concerning that DC didn't realize they needed to do this at the start, but they've figured it out now. I think.

    Ok, thanks (may I have already asked you this question in this past? Should it be the case, sorry).
    I think you have, but that's fine. We all need a refresher from time to time. I'm sure you've explained before how comics work out your way, and I couldn't remember either

    And the history of comics in your country isn't so terribly far removed from the States. We used to have comics on newsstands and spinner racks and magazine shelves too, until the rise of the hobby shop. Then they started moving into bookstores via trade collections, then OGN's and manga, etc.

    The direct market sales is in a sad situation, but it's a really great example of a market at the end of its life cycle. Units sold keep going down so cover price keeps going up...which makes sales go down so the price has to rise even more. Supply/demand can be a real bitch.

    You're totally right that it's a untenable position, the hobby is a pure rip-off, financially. Five bucks for twenty pages! A manga is what, 120 pages or something? For ten-twelve bucks? A $25 blu-ray is at least a couple hours of entertainment, but $25 worth of comics is like, five issues that you'll finish in a half hour. It's a horribly expensive hobby. But the only solution is to expand readership and/or cut production costs. Getting new readers into a hobby shop isn't something DC can really do much to affect; they don't control local level advertising, they're not a big enough entertainment venue to get on the national news unless they do something wild like the New52 reboot. It's simply too niche a market, and publishers are too far removed from the ground level and customers, for things to be turned around by any single entity. Maybe if *all* the publishers got together they could work something out, somehow, but DC itself? Not likely.

    And that's assuming DC would reduce their cover price even if they did reduce their expenses. I'm sure the publishing line is still making profit on comics, there's no way we're at "break even" or "loss" territory yet, but if DC did manage to reduce their bills they'd likely just keep the cover price the same and pocket that extra cash.

    They *could* lower production costs by switching to a lower grade paper, stop printing in color, etc., but those things don't actually account for a huge chunk of the cover price (only about 10% I think?), their biggest expense seems to be payroll, and that only changes if they start paying people less, or they find a way to cut people out of the production chain (like getting rid of colorists and going black-and-white or making the editor/s do the lettering). DC already moved out of their big office with it's high overhead costs, and moved into a smaller spot that's cheaper to maintain (I think?). And it's not like the shop owners are going to accept a smaller slice of the cover price either, I think they get something like 40% of the cover sale? And most hobby shops struggle to pay the bills already, they're not gonna let publishers take a bigger cut.

    I'm not one of those "the sky is falling and comics are seconds away from death!" fans, but I can recognize the direct market is nearing the end of its cycle. It'll stick around for years yet, assuming economic chaos doesn't pull the rug out from under them or something, but I'm pretty sure that, short of a business miracle, there's no recovering from where we're at. That's why it's so important for publishers to break into those new markets and establish footholds there before the direct market collapses.
    "We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

    ~ Black Panther.

  2. #1442
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    A manga is what, 120 pages or something?
    In my country, it's almost 200 pages for the equivalent of $4/5.
    I am quite nitpicky regarding my manga choices (Tezuka, Otomo, Koike - all classic mangakas) and I don't really follow any recent Japanese comic book. However, mangas have an interesting quality - basically they succeeded in proving many preconceptions wrong, especially regarding the current state of affairs in the comics world.

    "Young readers are not interested in comic books anymore because there are too many distractions, like computer games and social networks!" - well, Japan is technologically advanced, but Japanese mangakas make a LOT of comic books which are conquering Western countries, too.
    "Young readers are not interested in superheroes!" - My Hero Academia entirely revolves around superheroes, and it is one of the most successful mangas out there.
    "Anthology magazines don't sell anymore!" - Well, what about Weekly Shōnen Jump?

    And so on. And on. Of course it is a different type of industry and what I've written above is an oversimplification - in addition, there are more differences regarding the synergy between animes and mangas. However, mangas IMHO have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that comics are more alive (and sometimes creative) than ever - it's the industry of superhero books which just doesn't work anymore.
    Last edited by Myskin; 08-14-2022 at 12:05 PM.
    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

  3. #1443
    Incredible Member Mantis-Ray's Avatar
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    Its basically cost to connivence ratio. Comics originally flourished because they were regarded as a cheap way to spend your disposable income on. But floppies have only gotten more expensive and in times where money ain't so good, spending 5 dollars on a 20 page book isn't really convenient.

    Its about costs, its always about costs. Manga flourished because they aren't too expensive, everything else is an addition to that.

    Just provide cheaper and affordable products to the audience, thats all they want.

  4. #1444
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    Comic book fans would whine about the lack of colors.

  5. #1445
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    In my country, it's almost 200 pages for the equivalent of $4/5.
    Maybe our's are closer to that page count too then. It's a much better value than what I pay for my floppies, I know that. I'm not much of a manga guy, my daughter loves them and we get some for her, and I've followed a couple, but it's not an industry or fandom I know that much about. Like, I have no idea what these "classic mangakas" you mention are; Otomo? Is that a specific title or a subgenre or....?

    However, mangas IMHO have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that comics are more alive (and sometimes creative) than ever - it's the industry of superhero books which just doesn't work anymore.
    I'm gonna nitpick you just a little. It's not even "the industry of superhero books" that's failing, it's this one specific market that's struggling. Which is maybe what you meant anyway, but superheroes are doing pretty damn well everywhere *except* the direct market these days.

    Ironic, really.

    Comic book fans would whine about the lack of colors.
    True, but we'd whine a lot more if there were no new books at all.

    And we're gonna whine anyway, we always find something to bitch about.

    Speaking for myself, I'd love it if DC went the manga route. More value for my dollar, I don't mind the lower paper quality or the lack of color, and I don't mind waiting a few months between volumes. Hell, if DC did that, I could almost actually justify this hobby instead of quietly knowing that every floppy I buy is a slap in the face to responsible adult financial behavior.
    Last edited by Ascended; 08-14-2022 at 01:30 PM.
    "We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

    ~ Black Panther.

  6. #1446
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    I mean they will stop buying because of no colors. They will. Colors are too ingrained.

  7. #1447
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.Z View Post
    I mean they will stop buying because of no colors. They will. Colors are too ingrained.
    Eh, if so then that's regrettable, but it shouldn't be assumed that Wednesday Warriors would follow characters into that market anyway.

    Many established fans would follow, if it was the closest option available to what they want. A substitute product they might grumble about, but still buy. And plenty of comic book fans are also manga fans, and those people would make the transition easily.

    Some established fans wouldn't make the transition, at least to colorless manga-style OGN's. Maybe they'd buy a different DC product in another format/genre, like a YA OGN or webtoon or old back issues/trades or whatever the hell fits their tastes best. Maybe they'd buy a different company's product.

    But that's not pertinent to the specific goal of breaking into that new manga market. The goal is to get those fans to start buying, not convince old fans to switch formats. If DC tried to break into the Shonen manga market, and they made a Jon Kent Superboy thing for it, they're not trying to get "us" to buy it, they already get our money at the LCS. They're trying to get Shonen fans to buy it. The kids who are reading My Hero Academia, but not Super Sons. If you and I do buy it? If we also happen to be Shonen fans? Great, DC really wants all our money. But we're icing on the cake if we do, we're extra. There's no point to breaking into a new market if the goal is to just cater to the same small group of people you already sell to.
    "We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

    ~ Black Panther.

  8. #1448
    Extraordinary Member HsssH's Avatar
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    Various black and white projects have done okay. Director Cut's are also a thing and they usually don't have colours. And I think Future State Gotham ongoing is black and white?

    That is not to say that superhero fans would accept if everything was black and white, but I think that turning something like Detective and Action into black/white anthology books for Batman and Superman characters (anchored by Batman and Superman story) could work.

  9. #1449
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    Just to be clear - in my previous post I didn't suggest that all superhero books should necessarily follow the black and white direction. My point was just that - in order to survive - DC should abandon the floppies and convert itself to thicker volumes at an affordable price. HOW they should reach the point is anybody's guess. Just for discussion's sake, and without claiming to understand anything about the industry, I'll just list some possible ideas which DC may adopt.

    1- The "manga" solution: nothing to say here, we all know what a tankobon is and I guess that we all know that black and white art can be excellent and even better than color comics. I realize that longtime fans may have a problem with that, but black and white is quite well accepted by potential new fans - that is, the ones DC should aim at. Anyway, here are some examples of what black and white art can be like:
    Otomo's Akira
    https://www.tomshw.it/images/images/...ira-131224.jpg
    Miura's Berserk
    https://berserkanalysis.files.wordpr...dc99a_1280.png

    Just a couple of examples from Italian comic books published by Bonelli:
    https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-L_OIKbg3D...1508455659.jpg
    https://www.fumettologica.it/wp-cont...nesorabile.jpg

    I realize that there are some characters - for example Green Lantern - for whom the presence of colors is more or less indispensable. There could be some possible alternatives, though. There's one Bonelli comic book, Morgan Lost, which takes place in a parallel universe which adopted a bizarre - but strongly evocative - "black, white and red" approach:
    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RJWeGaTaX...censione-1.jpg

    Most of these Bonelli books are published in monthly 98-page books - the format is a couple of inches smaller than US floppies. Each issue is approximately 4-5 bucks - I think that they can afford it because the paper is a bit rough (the quality is not poor, it's just not glossy) and the books still sell a lot. In more recent years they started releasing limited series in color, too:
    https://insideart.eu/wp-content/uplo...2-768x1024.jpg

    2- The "BD" solution. French and Belgian comics are generally published in oversized hardcover books - a bit larger than some DC Black Label books, just to give you an idea. The quality is excellent, the price is a bit high ($ 10 for 48 pages), but each page is incredibly detailed, so I'd say that each book is more or less the equivalent of, I don't know, 3-4 floppies?
    Valérian et Laureline:
    https://www.bedetheque.com/media/Pla...cheS_57360.jpg
    https://www.bedetheque.com/media/Pla...ncheA_2576.jpg
    http://www.fumettologica.it/wp-conte...e1-670x829.jpg
    The problem is - these books are released very rarely. But I'd say that it shouldn't be a problem for people at DC, who literally have an army of artists and writers at disposal.

    3- The "format" solution. This was adopted by an Italian publisher some years ago. Basically they started releasing some HC and SC collections of US books (Savage Dragon, Image comics' Saga, etc.) in a format which was slightly smaller than the original one - more or less one inch smaller for Softcovers collecting 6 issues or so of the series. Glossy paper and definitely more expensive than other solutions ($ 14 for 152 pages), but still more affordable than current floppies. It is likely that they were forced to follow this direction because at the beginning the publisher was very small and without many resources - in later years, they started publishing HCs and SCs in the same format used in the US. However, the "small" format was surprisingly well-accepted by the readers; some series - Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, for example - were released in two different formats, the "regular" one and the "small" one for the collectors, at the same price.
    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

  10. #1450
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Maybe our's are closer to that page count too then. It's a much better value than what I pay for my floppies, I know that. I'm not much of a manga guy, my daughter loves them and we get some for her, and I've followed a couple, but it's not an industry or fandom I know that much about. Like, I have no idea what these "classic mangakas" you mention are; Otomo? Is that a specific title or a subgenre or....?
    Nope, when I talk about "classic mangakas" I am just referring to classic artists/writers of mangas which have become the artistic pillars of Japanese comic books. Basically the Japanese equivalent of Jack Kirby or Stan Lee.
    Osamu Tezuka, for example, is more or less the most prolific mangaka ever - he wrote and drew more than 700 works (including series AND single volumes). Some of them were basically "ransacked" by US companies - his Kimba the White Lion is more or less the inspiration behind Disney's The Lion King. This guy wrote and drew EVERYTHING, from mangas for children to serious commentaries to groundbreaking sci-fi works.
    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/4b/79/fa/4...ga-phoenix.jpg

    Other examples - Leiji Matsumoto's Galaxy Express 999 and Captain Harlock
    https://www.affaritaliani.it/static/...moto-ape10.jpg

    Koine's Lone Wolf and Cub
    https://www.lospaziobianco.it/wp-con...guraintera.jpg

    Go Nagai's Devilman
    http://www.fumettologica.it/wp-conte...n1-670x502.jpg

    Of course, people like Otomo have changed EVERYTHING about the industry, so I consider him more or less a modern classic mangaka, together with people like Yukito Kishiro (even if his contribution is not comparable to Otomo's IMHO) and Satoshi Kon or Hayao Miyazaki (in the field of animes rather than mangas). But I'd say that even Miura (Berserk) can be considered a modern classic writer/artist for his influence and importance. There are even more notable people, like Jiro Taniguchi (with very introspective, minimalist works), Tsutomu Nihei (Blame! is more or less a super-cyberpunk classic) and Naoki Urasawa (he creates very complex thrillers/sci-fi stories, with a vaguely "David Lynch" quality), and of course there modern groundbreaking works like Attack on Titan or Chainsaw Man or One Piece - I don't know much about them and I am not in their target audience, but whose quality I can recognize.

    I am not exactly a mangophile - there are too many Japanese comics, and I have too little time to read them.

    One thing's for sure though - the variety and the range are breathtaking. If you explore the field long enough, you will find something you like. It is also interesting that many animes are VERY faithful to the comics, so whenever I am too lazy to read a manga, I watch the serie (try Dorohedoro - it's on Netflix and VERY original - it would make Morrison proud).
    Last edited by Myskin; 08-16-2022 at 02:13 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

  11. #1451
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Osamu tezuka from what i read was really into superman.His stories can be readapted..For example,dororo series.
    "People’s Dreams... Have No Ends"

  12. #1452
    Extraordinary Member HsssH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    I realize that there are some characters - for example Green Lantern - for whom the presence of colors is more or less indispensable. There could be some possible alternatives, though. There's one Bonelli comic book, Morgan Lost, which takes place in a parallel universe which adopted a bizarre - but strongly evocative - "black, white and red" approach:
    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RJWeGaTaX...censione-1.jpg
    DC has done "three colours" anthologies for Superman, WW and Harley. I remember at the time many GL fans wanted Black, White, Green to happen as well. I think that if DC did one regular GL ongoing and Green Lantern Corps Quarterly style anthology in three colours then GL fanbase would have zero problems with it, in fact we'd probably praise such decision. Regular ongoing could be continuity heavy for the nerds and anthology more suitable for new readers.

  13. #1453
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myskin View Post
    Nope, when I talk about "classic mangakas" I am just referring to classic artists/writers of mangas which have become the artistic pillars of Japanese comic books. Basically the Japanese equivalent of Jack Kirby or Stan Lee.
    Ah okay. I gotcha; like I said I know so little about manga I might as well have never heard of the term.

    And I didn't think you were suggesting a complete shift to the black-white manga field. But I do think that's arguably the best place for DC to go. Lots of subgenres to play in, as you say, and from what little I know, some of the most popular manga subgenres would fit DC quite well. Or rather, DC would fit those genres quite well.

    But comics made the mistake of putting all their eggs in one basket when they created the direct market, and that's a mistake I'd rather not see them make again. Ideally, there should be DC content for virtually everyone. Like Shonen manga? Super Sons should be on that rack next to MHA and One Punch Man. Like "slice of life" manga? Let's see if Steph Brown, Aqualad, or Ted Kord and Booster can carry one. Like Western flavored YA OGN's? DC's already making a ton of good ones. Kid books? Again, DC's already got stuff on the shelf and just needs more advertising/marketing. Digital webtoon? DC needs to build on what it's got.

    Only thing I disagree with is the idea of "abandoning" the direct market. It's still profitable, still a super big, major part of their revenue stream. No reason to leave it early, just stop treating it like the most important market, stop putting the majority of effort into it, and stop trying to bring new fans into it. Just make comics that us established direct market readers will buy, put the other characters in other genres and formats where they'll find audiences, and make what you can until the last LCS closes its doors.

    And maybe that's what you meant in the first place, but that's how I think DC needs to transition.

    whenever I am too lazy to read a manga, I watch the serie (try Dorohedoro - it's on Netflix and VERY original - it would make Morrison proud).
    You said that knowing it would absolutely *force* me to check it out, didn't you?
    "We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

    ~ Black Panther.

  14. #1454
    Jax City/Kill The FIremen
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Osamu tezuka from what i read was really into superman.His stories can be readapted..For example,dororo series.
    Tezuka was apparently elected the honorary president of the Superman fan club, in Japan, back in 1983.

  15. #1455
    The Man Who Cannot Die manwhohaseverything's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    Ah okay. I gotcha; like I said I know so little about manga I might as well have never heard of the term.

    And I didn't think you were suggesting a complete shift to the black-white manga field. But I do think that's arguably the best place for DC to go. Lots of subgenres to play in, as you say, and from what little I know, some of the most popular manga subgenres would fit DC quite well. Or rather, DC would fit those genres quite well.
    It's not that manga have sub genres persay...They are a medium..A visual story telling medium and japanese comics.ofcourse comics might be a bad naming convention.. since unlike american comics it didn't evolve from satirical comedy episodic storytelling with pictures.
    Anyways,besides the point.

    Mangas aren't just a genre like say superheroes =american comics (for the most part).Manga's tell different stories belonging to different genres altogether.They are classified into groups based on whom they are aimed at, primarily with age,gender..etc being the factor.

    Comics before superman weren't just superheroes either.The pulp magazine stuff were really diverse with creativity,stories and ideas.why was superman so cool? because you pick up an issue of action comics and read something else.And they were dirt cheap.They weren't for "collectors".( although they can be collected).they were for reading...they were stories first and foremost..Not soap opera with sideworlds,elseworlds,backworlds that pretend to different but at the end of the day does the same shtick with superficial differences.

    Anyways,the people @myskin mentioned are old school.really old school. He mentioned kirby..Unlike kirby though the things these manga artists made aren't copied and milked till they are shell of their selves.People get inspired by what these guys did and make up their own stuff.So,each manga is the authors voice.Comics?the voice i here are from echoes(emphasis) hand full of people like a kirby(whom i adore),ditko,shuster,..etc and some editors .i would also say that donner and byrne has remade superman as their own(more empasis on donner than byrne).So their voices are very loud in modern adaptation and stories with some flavours of mort weisinger.

    I remember reading a book that was " stan lee's superman".i for one think it's great idea.if an artist wants to have fun with the concept superman than be tied to "mythos" or " continuity" or some nonsense.Take some aspects of the palimpsest that is superman..They should give it a chance.i would say the industry is more on collector culture or habit based than story oriented.where people just read something and decide well this is good.This is bad.But,never bored..If get burned out by goku punching i would read hinata playing volleyball or love story of violet evergarden....
    "People’s Dreams... Have No Ends"

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