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  1. #1
    Mild-Mannered Reporter
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    Default CBR: Tilting at Windmills - Oct 14, 2010

    Brian Hibbs weighs in on the recent price rollbacks announced by Marvel and DC Comics while also delving deep into the issue of shipping schedules, accurate solicitation information and more.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    Junior Member LUNI_TUNZ's Avatar
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    Goddamn, people bitched about the prices, they roll them back, and peple are still bitching?

    a flagship book like Superman shouldn't ever be late. Ever. Retailers depend on having twelve salable issues of Superman (or any other core monthly periodical title, for that matter) a year, shipping on their original shipdate. Anything less than 100% compliance on that means the publisher isn't doing their single most important job.
    well, that's obviously never gonna happen. ever.

    These things happen.

  3. #3
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    Two comments about the spot on article Brian:

    The Batman: The Return one shot was always meant to come out after the 8 ROBW ones.

    And the reason the 4 ROBW one shots came out the same time this week was Cliff Richards had snuck in the original art a dirty word that DC didn't catch until the last minute causing them to delay the release to correct it.

  4. #4
    Web Guru Brian Garside's Avatar
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    Well done Mr Hibbs, only you could take an overall positive like an across the board price cut, and chicken little it into "ohhh nooooo, stores are going to go out of business!!!".

    I submit to you that stores hanging on the fourty cent profit margin from 3.99-2.99 weren't going to make it anyway, and if they can't turn those saved dollars into new sales then they don't DESERVE to stay in business.
    Brian Garside
    brian.garsideweb.com

  5. #5
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    Price points and timing of them aside, you don't have to like Brian or his past opinions to realize he is calling out publishers on something we as fans should be absolutely sick of. I have been collecting for over 30 years and I am so sick of the state of things now, I ponder quitting everyday. I can't stand the delays in stories. It makes me drop titles and never go back. I can find other stuff to spend my money on and to read instead of waiting on something that is late. It is just amazing to me that we as fans just keep buying poor quality and late titles when they finally get around to publishing them. Ultimates/Siege/Civil War/Return of Bruce Wayne are tentpole moments for publishers that have no business being delayed. Whatever happened to starting work on stuff with enough lead time to give yourselves plenty of cushion for problems when they come up. DC/Marvel should stop soliciting anything until they have at least half of a mini-series in the bag already and should be 6 months ahead at all times on monthly titles. Why is it so easy for monthly magazines to publish on time like clockwork when they have to deal with a ton more complications in getting something to printers on time? There are dozens of artists/authors/contributors working on your average monthly magazine like Men's Health while your average comic book has about 6-8 people doing most of the work on it. Yet rarely are there delays in the magazine industry? Can you imagine the drop in subcriptions if a magaine was perpetually two months late or like in the case of some Kevin Smith works or Lee/Miller works, just never ship.

  6. #6
    aka izzatrix LewisH's Avatar
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    Default The high prices were just the final straw

    There is nothing either company is doing that makes me want to return to my old weekly buying pattern. With the top selling books now selling under 100K, you would think they would take a harder look at some of the issues that Mr. Hibbs is talking about.

    Unfortunately, both companies are flush at the moment with movie money. It will take a few more flops and the exit of Hollywood cash before we see any real reform.

  7. #7
    I like good comics. ScotsScribbler's Avatar
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    I've always dreamed of opening a comic book store and you can bet I won't be stocking Marvel and DC comic books when I do.

  8. #8
    Kirby is still king ColonelLee's Avatar
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    Good overview of the business problems comics are currently undergoing .. Brian is simply telling it how it is from a retailers point of view. If you are not a retailer you might not relate.

    As a fan .. the many problems are why I am out of DC and MARVEL.. after decades of being a strong customer. I admit that the price increase was the kick that got me out. Don't know if the price decrease will get me back in. I was already dissatisfied. Due to the problems Brian addresses and others that has to do with content I can't care about.

    Mainly though, I have found content I can care about from all the small publishers. For example, would I drop a Kirkman book to pick up a $2.99 DC or MARVEL?

    Nope.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUNI_TUNZ View Post
    Goddamn, people bitched about the prices, they roll them back, and people are still bitching?
    It wasn't a price rollback as much as it was a price shift. Do the math sometime.



    well, that's obviously never gonna happen. ever.

    These things happen.
    They didn't happen so frequently before, so you're wrong. The publishers are making 'these things happen' by looking the other way instead of 'minding the store'.

  10. #10

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    I agree with what Brian is talking about. He mentions that one problem has been fixed (pricing), but the other two need to be addressed. Specifically the lateness of certain books.

    If a book is running too late, I drop it. I can't tell you the last time I finished a Brian Hitch series. I refuse to support these publishers that don't know how to plan and solicit a series.

    As for content, whenever I picked up a $3.99 book and it wasn't that good, I felt ripped off and I dropped the book. I'm a little more willing to deal with a sub-par issue of a $2.99 series, as long as it has a good track record.

    I'm down to very few series these days. Hopefully Marvel & DC can fix these problems and entice me to buy more books.

  11. #11
    Werewolfling goof's Avatar
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    With prices being that high the back issues of new books are even marked up ridiculously. $6 for a number one issue that I missed is too much for me. I'll wait for the trades.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUNI_TUNZ View Post
    Goddamn, people bitched about the prices, they roll them back, and peple are still bitching?
    Who is bitching? I'm merely stating that as a matter of pure timing, doing it at the beginning of the first quarter is going to have some unintended consequences. That doesn't mean "don't do it".


    Quote Originally Posted by LUNI_TUNZ View Post
    well, that's obviously never gonna happen. ever.
    Why? That's how comics operated for the first 50-ish years of their existence. Longer maybe.

    If you are an editor and you hire a creative team member with a KNOWN and LONG-STANDING problem with lateness, you either 1) work far enough ahead that when they get late you still have options, or 2) you put them on a mini-series or some other project that doesn't utterly depend on actually hitting your deadlines because it is separate from the ongoing monthlies.

    That's just common sense.

    -B

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMeadow View Post
    And the reason the 4 ROBW one shots came out the same time this week was Cliff Richards had snuck in the original art a dirty word that DC didn't catch until the last minute causing them to delay the release to correct it.
    "Snuck"? Rich Johnston reported on that weeks ago -- it doesn't take that long to photoshop out the background.

    And, even if it does, at that point someone needs to make the decision to delay the release of the other books so you're not shipping 4 of them in week #1. It would have been a lot more sensible to, say, ship 2-3-3, than 4-2-2.

    -B

  14. #14
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    The dollar drop affected relatively few DC titles. Any store that runs into problems from a price drop likely isn't a very good one.

    I believe Morrison is the root of these delays. He had quite the workload. A extra sized mini, a bunch of side Bat stories (Return, 700-702), and Batman and Robin to write. And he had to launch Batman Inc in addition to finishing Joe the Barbarian and whatever else he's doing (Multiversity?).

    It's not quite Bendis' workload though, so I'm guessing nobody saw this coming, hence the rushed Jeanty issue which in retrospect, totally could have been a gorgeous Stewart book. Sometimes it happens.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScotsScribbler View Post
    I've always dreamed of opening a comic book store and you can bet I won't be stocking Marvel and DC comic books when I do.
    That shop will stay open long then...

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