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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthh View Post
    For you to say 'people don't have to leave the comfort of their home' or for Brian to say that he doesn't believe 'readers are going to physically come into stores for digital items' misses the point entirely. People like me *WANT* to go to the local comic shop every week, talk to the owners/other patrons, look around the store, and buy comics from them, we just want them in digital format instead of paper. It is that simple.
    Well, that's just awesome.

    I guess I'd bottom line it that I'm not convinced there are ENOUGH people like you.

    I'm not even convinced you're not solely unique.

    Since you indicated you're a local boy -- pop in one afternoon, and let's chat about it face-to-face. Don't worry, I won't expect you to buy anything :)

    -B

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonedeafgeoff View Post
    The other problem that I feel really leads to bad trade sales is the lack of numbering on many Marvel and DC titles. If I have a customer that wants to catch up on Green Lantern via trades, they have to literally look at the back of every book to see what issues are in it, whereas with Walking Dead, every single trade is numbered, so if someone has bought the first 3 books, it is very easy for them to come in and buy book 4. I sell maybe 3 times as many Green Lantern single issues as Walking Dead. But when it comes to trades I sell 10 times as many Walking Dead trades. I'm sure some of this has to do with the clientele that enjoys Walking Dead likes the trade format better, but it would be naive to say it has nothing to do with an easy organization system. Also, take a wild guess at which trades I never run out of because it takes 30 seconds to do inventory, whereas with the other one I have to check it out of chronological order, usually in alphabetical, which mixes Neal Adams books with Geoff Johns books. So my question again, is how do we get Marvel and DC to listen?

    -Geoff
    I know right, thats one think I like about Manga it's numbered so you know which book to buy first.
    Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.
    http://songoftheethereal.blogspot.com/

  3. #33
    Aging Boy of Destiny usroycow's Avatar
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    Default Big 2 Lost my business last year

    I have been a dedicated reader of comics for almost 25 years. Marvel lost me in the 90's and I held on to Batman at DC until last year. With the death of Bruce Wayne and no end in sight of Event-o-Rama, I just said "screw it" and went cold turkey. I now buy the same amount of books all from Dark Horse (Yayy Hellboy!!!), Vertigo (yes I know its DC, but its not Universe books) and many independent publishers. I do rely on trades and I do buy them from Amazon and EBAY. I visit local comic stores when I travel to shoot the breeze and see whats new. Quality gets my money every time. DC and Marvel would have my money still if they had a tight assortment of killer books. Eventually the marketing strategy will implode from the sheer volume of crap that nobody will pay money for anymore.

    I can't see how new readers are going to be attracted by content light, continuity heavy dreck.

  4. #34
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    I agree with all of you. I am a long time comic fan and there was a time when I would spend between $100-$150 a month on comics with a pull list of 30 comics. Now my pull list is down to 4 titles. My reasons are pretty much the same as yours. $4 for a single issue is a lot of money for cookie-cutter plots that are repeated every few years. I do not mind paying $4 for an issue, but it better be good. That is how my pull list fell so far.

    In the past few years the price of many single issues has doubled. When comics crept up for $1.99 to $2.25 then $2.50 that wasn't an issue. When they jumped to $2.99 that was noticed and a few of my pull list comics were dropped. When the jump came to $3.99 I made a lot of cuts because then my pull list got to be expensive and it is just not worth it.

    I think the solution to the problem is that less is more. The Big 2 really need to do three things:
    1. Cut down their titles. Cutting titles will make it easier to manage. Do you really need 20 Batman titles each month? With only a couple of Batman comics, Batman fans will get Batman and Detective. They won't decide between Batman, Detective, The Dark Knight, and all the other Bat-family books.

    2. Change the editorial policies. Changing the attitudes of the editorial staff to allow more artistic freedom in the books. Let's allow for writers to have done-in-one stories and stories that span for twenty issues. Let the story tell itself. I am tired of stories that last 6 issues so it can be a trade paperback. This results in filler issues or truncated stories. For me, the joy of comics in addition to the characters is that it is an on-going story. Let the creators tell a good story and let that sell the comics. That way I won't drop a title because I have buy all the other comics that the story is crossing-over into. Most of my friends do not start reading Gotham City Sirens because the Batman story is continuing in that issue that month.

    3. Stop major ground changing/continuity shifting events from happening every year. This is why I stopped reading most of my pull list. The stories are broken up and delayed because of tie-in issues to major events. Changing continuity every few years and having major events every year has gotten old. Why bother reading the major shake up when it is just going to be switched in a couple of months because the major event that is 6 issues long was delayed a few months, so the next summer event starts in just a couple of issues.

  5. #35
    Elder Member Blade X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    I don't think it's Carey -- I think it is the TITLE. "Legacy" sounds like a reprint/flashback/non-continuity title.
    I think that it has more to do with the direction of the book (which may or may not be Carey's fault) than the title of the book. I find it both strange and messed up that Marvel quickly fired Claremont during his 2nd and 3rd runs on the 2 core X-Men books due to low sales, but they continue to keep Carey on the books even though sales of XML have dropped lower than either of Claremont's previous 2 runs on the core titles.



    The "problem" with the new adjective-less-X-Men title was they started with a story about stupid fucking vampires -- what does that have to do with the X-Men?
    That, and the fact that there are just way too many X-titles for the current market to support. The X-Men are no longer as popular as they used to be due to (IMO) dumb/stupid/bad stories/creative decisions made with the franchise and characters over the last decade.


    The "problem" with Astonishing is the only reason it existed in the first place was to be WHEDON'S book. Replacing him with Ellis is one thing, but after that there's only 4 or 5 other writers that sell on the basis of their name alone. Marvel constantly mistakes "writer starting to get a buzz" for "writer therefore sells comics automatically, irrespective of the specific characters/content"

    -B
    I agree. Hell, I'll even go so far as to say that even the more popular writers like Bendis,Ellis,and Millar are no t guaranteed to sell a comic based on their name alone. I said it before, and I'll say it again, Marvel (and DC) needs to spend less time selling and promoting/marketing the creators and spend more time on selling and promoting/marketing the characters and concepts within the comics regardless of who the creative team is and regardless of how popular/unpopular or known/well known they are. I mean seriously, no one cares or know who Nick Spencer is or how critically acclaime his low selling books are.

  6. #36
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    Quick shots-

    Brian - The title change would explain the initial drop to be certain, but the continuing and now near total collapse took place over time. There's been only one constant on X-Men Legacy since that title change.

    As to TPBs, it's funny how the numbered volumes that come out consistently seem to weaken monthly sales, but the haphazard ones don't as much. TPBs have done a great deal of damage to the monthlies, both due to the idiotic write for a TPB mandate and ease of access.

    As to the reasons why things are what they are, you can look at almost any non-zombie post and see people say the same things over and over BUT the publishers up in their ivory towers don't get the message. Go figure. I will argue that the incentive stunts mask the problems in some cases since there are so many stunts that force/bribe retailers to over-order and, as I love to point out, publishers don't sell to consumers, they sell to shops. Selling out at Diamond does not mean every shop in the world sold through. One of the most damaging things that happened to the DM was when Marvel (especially, but not exclusively) simply decided to sell to us (retailers) not you.

  7. #37
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    I'm 36, got back into comics about 5 years ago and naturally got all the stuff I loved as a kid. Sure enough titles like Captain America and Immortal Iron Fist grasped my attention enough for me to seek out more good stuff. I went from buying anything I wanted, which was quite a lot, to where I'm at now which is a handful of titles only one of which is Marvel (Sorry there's just something about Way's Deadpool I just can't give it up). I guess my point is that once I became savvy to the gimmicks I rebelled against the Top 2 and it was easy cuz the other shit was waaaay better anyway! They keep saying comics aren't for kids but adults are way fussier when it comes to shelling out money so I would recommend less gimmick, more substance and if not that they may as well pay less for their talent and actually cater to kids.

    As a side note I've seen Walking Dead tpb's mentioned a few times as selling well and I know why. It's cuz people like me buy every issue then buy trades for re-reading purposes then buy them again as gifts for friends and it's all cuz it's so damn good. No way in hell do I do that for Super Secret Skrull Avengers #3.14!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by QCCBob View Post
    Quick shots-

    Brian - The title change would explain the initial drop to be certain, but the continuing and now near total collapse took place over time. There's been only one constant on X-Men Legacy since that title change.
    Hey Bob, here's Brevoort's BS response to a fan on twitter about XML.

    "her friends are the X-Men, I think it's legitimate that they star in X-MEN LEGACY." The book was solo Xavier for at least a dozen issues, maintained the title. Not trying to attack you, just saying that something like a title change can garner exposure.

    X-MEN LEGACy is one of our best-selling titles; why would I want to change the title in an attempt to get more exposure/ That'd be more likely to lead to weaker sales.

  9. #39
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    Default poor trade publishing

    There's an even bigger issue when it comes to trade publishing: they publish seemingly anything and everything, but don't act like a real publisher when something actually takes.

    I ignored the new Batgirl series at first, as I haven't been interested in the Bat-shenanigans out of that editorial office in a while now. But I was reading good reviews, and I always liked Stephanie as a character, so I decided I would try the first trade paperback, with the idea that if I liked it, I would add it to my pull list.

    But the first Batgirl TPB has been out of print and unavailable, apparently from just a few weeks after it first came out. So apparently DC has a trade paperback that was released just because, and it actually sold quite well - sold out in fact. So do they go back to press? No - it just stays unavailable. They've since solicited the second trade - I figured that would be a logical time to announce a new printing, if they felt it had to be done through the DM for some reason. But nope. It's still unavailable.

    A very wise person once told me: "Don't look for conspiracy when it's most likely just incompetence driving the bus." The Big Two simply don't know how to function as real publishers, and haven't for a while.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blade X View Post
    Hey Bob, here's Brevoort's BS response to a fan on twitter about XML.
    But that's where the whole problem is, isn't it? The book IS one of the better selling titles in a sea of crappy selling books that USED to sell much better and not that long ago either. Marvel's inept editorial staff doesn't think they have ANYTHING to do with sales dropping. It's pretty sad.

  11. #41
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    Have to say I agree with most of the posts here. Here's my view as a consumer.

    I pretty gave up with buying comics in the 90's due to zero hour reboot so soon after COIE, rising prices and low quality books. I recently started buying last year but now I'm ready to stop again. This what I feels wrong :-

    1. Price, you used to be able to buy a comic for the price of MacDonalds hamburger now there the price of a meal. I bought Spiderman for the first time ever with Big Time now I'm dropping it because I'm not going to pay $4 3 times a month for a 22 page book.

    2. Availabilty. 2 months ago for the first time ever I set up a standing order because I kept missing issues. I have a job which mean I can only go shopping on a weekend but with comics being released on Wednesday and retailers ordering so little I often missed issues. How do retailers expect to get new readers if they have no product on the shelves? I wonder how many new readers actually managed to buy a copy of the death issue of FF4. I shop in London(with lots of stores), every reatiler had sold out on the Saturday I went after it came out. As a regular reader this p***ed me off and almost stopped buying it.

    3. Reboots. I thought I had missed all those but no it looks like DC are having another one this most probably will be another jumping off point for me.
    Don't mind it once in a generation but every few years!!

    4. New reader friendliness. I think I'm fairly intelligent but some books I bought were totally impossible to follow unless you had read previous issues or other books. At least Marvel has a one page re-cap but DC books just don't seem to care. I recently read some of my old comics and they were easy to follow reprising previous events through the storytelling and editor boxes.

    5. Crossovers. I like crossovers but some crossovers seem to make you have to buy every book to understand whats going on and there ar too many. I bought the Blackest night collection, this seemed to be missing pages. It was only after reading other collections it mad sense. Likewise daredevil and shadowland. It was only after buying the other collections that it made sense. Last year I bought around 20 titles with all the crossovers and double shipping my I bought 60 titles last month. Enoughs enough and I'm thinking of dropping most of the books I buy it's getting just too damm expensive. The trouble with not buying the titles with crossovers is that the become very hard to follow when the crossover ends.

    6. Title changes. I started reading daredevil, 4 issues later its Black Panther!! I wanted to read Daredevil not Blank Panther, oh course I stopped buying this and I wont be reading the relaunched one when it comes out.

    7. Variant covers/too many similar titles. I pity the the new reader who's never entered a comic book before. They face with a bewildering choice of titles. I seem to remember reading somewhere consumers don't buy anything when faced with too much choice.
    For example if you want to buy Batman what book do you buy? If you want to start collecting Marvel whats the difference between 616 or Ultimate and don't get me started on Variant covers.(I almost bought the same book twice and I was aware of them).

    8. TPB notice how Marvel as well as upping the price have dropped the number of issue included and in some cases are now bundling old issues I have no interest in (UXF guily as charged). I'm probably going to give up buying these as well.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by kozmo View Post
    There's an even bigger issue when it comes to trade publishing: they publish seemingly anything and everything, but don't act like a real publisher when something actually takes.

    I ignored the new Batgirl series at first, as I haven't been interested in the Bat-shenanigans out of that editorial office in a while now. But I was reading good reviews, and I always liked Stephanie as a character, so I decided I would try the first trade paperback, with the idea that if I liked it, I would add it to my pull list.

    But the first Batgirl TPB has been out of print and unavailable, apparently from just a few weeks after it first came out. So apparently DC has a trade paperback that was released just because, and it actually sold quite well - sold out in fact. So do they go back to press? No - it just stays unavailable. They've since solicited the second trade -.
    I find this bizzare was the first one so bad selling. I jumped on around issue 16. I would love to buy the TPB as I can't find back issues. No problem getting the likes of Booster gold, supergirl etc.

    Also strange is why they don't publish any of the Alan Grant era Batman.

  13. #43
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    See, this is what I don't get at all. Why are you surprised that people would still want to go to a comic shop to buy (digital) comics? The comic shop is where I can find out the latest comics coming out every week and talk about what's good, etc. Retail/in person is always going to be a better browsing experience than online. So give me that retail experience but with the comics in digital form.

    Anyway, I'll pop in again soon...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    Well, that's just awesome.

    I guess I'd bottom line it that I'm not convinced there are ENOUGH people like you.

    I'm not even convinced you're not solely unique.

    Since you indicated you're a local boy -- pop in one afternoon, and let's chat about it face-to-face. Don't worry, I won't expect you to buy anything :)

    -B

  14. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by QCCBob View Post
    But that's where the whole problem is, isn't it? The book IS one of the better selling titles in a sea of crappy selling books that USED to sell much better and not that long ago either. Marvel's inept editorial staff doesn't think they have ANYTHING to do with sales dropping. It's pretty sad.
    The problem with the X-books is indeed the editorial staff. Let me just say that X-men: Legacy is one of my favorite titles BECAUSE of Mike Carey, but (up until recently) it's been in a strangelhold by fiat. When Carey took over X-men, there was no flagship title. Whedon's Astonishing was high-profile but never came out, and Brubaker's Uncanny and Carey's X-men each had their own characters and told their own stories, until theMessiah Complex crossover. That was when Axel Alonso came on board, and made Uncanny the "flagship" book, basically telegraphing that all important X-events would happen only in this book. Carey was forced to do other things with his book, now subtitled Legacy, like focus on Professor X, or Rogue teaching the X-kids (lame, imo, as I'm a Rogue fan). Thus, Uncanny's sales shot up to the top, and Legacy's fell. Great job, Mr. Alonso.

    As an X-fan, I USED to get every book, big and peripheral, in my attempts to follow the line. But with the price increases and the terrible quality of 90% of the books, I was forced to choose between abandoning the hobby altogether or learning to live with not caring about what was happening in bad books (like Fraction's Uncanny). So now I choose a few titles a month that I like.

    I agree with the above. Even though digital will be cheaper, it WON'T make the books better, and if the lower production costs make Marvel think they can pump out even more frivolous crap that stretches and weakens their main characters, then they'll still suffer.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handsome One View Post
    The problem with the X-books is indeed the editorial staff. Let me just say that X-men: Legacy is one of my favorite titles BECAUSE of Mike Carey, but (up until recently) it's been in a strangelhold by fiat. When Carey took over X-men, there was no flagship title. Whedon's Astonishing was high-profile but never came out, and Brubaker's Uncanny and Carey's X-men each had their own characters and told their own stories, until theMessiah Complex crossover. That was when Axel Alonso came on board, and made Uncanny the "flagship" book, basically telegraphing that all important X-events would happen only in this book. Carey was forced to do other things with his book, now subtitled Legacy, like focus on Professor X, or Rogue teaching the X-kids (lame, imo, as I'm a Rogue fan). Thus, Uncanny's sales shot up to the top, and Legacy's fell. Great job, Mr. Alonso.

    As an X-fan, I USED to get every book, big and peripheral, in my attempts to follow the line. But with the price increases and the terrible quality of 90% of the books, I was forced to choose between abandoning the hobby altogether or learning to live with not caring about what was happening in bad books (like Fraction's Uncanny). So now I choose a few titles a month that I like.

    I agree with the above. Even though digital will be cheaper, it WON'T make the books better, and if the lower production costs make Marvel think they can pump out even more frivolous crap that stretches and weakens their main characters, then they'll still suffer.
    For me Mike Carey's X-Men was the best x-book but for whatever reason Marvel only let him run with it for about a year. Then he got sucked into the Messiah Complex crossover and afterwards the book completely changed. Instead of a team book it became a Professor X solo title. If you look at where Professor X is now and how often he is being used it almost seems like Marvel are deliberately handcuffing Carey and they want his book to fail. I thought that it was pointless when the new X-Men book written by Victor Gischler was launched. Marvel already had a perfectly good writer, if they had just given Carey an actual team to work with I am sure that he could have delivered compelling stories that readers want. Instead Marvel focused on Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction, both of whom delivered fairly mediocre runs on Uncanny X-Men. Had Marvel just given Uncanny to Mike Carey I feel like the line would be in a much better/stronger place today but for some reason they keep limiting what he can do with X-Men Legacy. I find the whole situation very confusing.

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