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  1. #1
    Spectacular Member PoorStudent's Avatar
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    Oct 2018

    Question Do you think the business and publishing model of comics limits its potential?

    As long as I have read comics there has always been this intent to seek some legitimization(if not through sales then as respected form of art/entertainment) but the comic industry has always remained small, compared to music, tv, movies, video games, novels, manga, etc.

    But as long as there has been this frustration, the industry hasn't done anything different to change how they publish and produce comics. In some ways they've even reverted back to their old habits(variant covers, crossover events).

    If I want to read a novel I can just go buy the book, a tv show I can look it up and download it, a movie, a song, etc. It's very easy to get access to a specific product and that product is usually self contained, but with comics the monthly and trade and graphic novels seem to actively make it difficult for new readers.

    If I go to the comic store almost every book is going to be part of a larger piece and not getting an entire story. This is not just main superhero comics, but independents as well. The cover art rarely matches the inside, they are filled with advertisements, and they can be expensive. Anyone who takes a chance and tries out a comic will likely be confused or annoyed at what they bought.

    This is also somewhat true of graphic novels, not just DC and Marvel and their mainline superheroes, but a lot of smaller companies as well. The numbering is inconsistent, the stories seem to require a specific knowledge of events, and in some cases are ongoing.

    I know some smaller publishers (Humanoids, Top Shelf, Fantagraphics) try to sell individual graphic novels and offer those as specific self contained stories, but they are the exception.

    I think part of the appeal of manga was just how clear and convenient they are at publishing and selling. They made their products accessible, identifiable and much cheaper. If the stories are not self contained they have a very clear numbering method to make it easy for new readers.

    Even just looking at a comics rack compared to the manga rack shows a drastic difference in attitude.

    How much of the industries difficulties do you think is related to the publishing and business model? Do you think that will ever change? Do you want them to?

    I wonder if the industry will ever get to the point where comics are only told in complete stories and separated by genre like how so many other forms of stories are read and enjoyed.
    Last edited by PoorStudent; 08-15-2019 at 04:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Mighty Member
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    Jul 2018


    Most of the publishing issues comes from comic stores and Diamond, which is a legitimate monopoly.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Electricmastro's Avatar
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    Jun 2019


    It was suggested to me by YouTube's Strange Brain Parts that the comic industry never fully recovered from the 1990s speculator boom and, despite 2019 being well passed that era and comic book movies being more popular now than they were in the early 2000s, I can understand that. It seems even more sketchy considering manga seems to be more popular in Japan than how comic books are in America, as both countries have an array of TV shows and movies, so I'm not sure if it can be definitively argued such popular medium take attention away from the sequential art mediums.

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