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  1. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by DownInAHole View Post
    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.
    I completely agree. Luckily, the X-books have a new editor in Nick Lowe, and they're giving Carey a team again on Legacy. I expect good things.

  2. #47
    I like good comics. ScotsScribbler's Avatar
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    I don't really buy into all the doom and gloom, there's never been a better time to be a comic book fan.

    So Marvel and DC sales are plummeting? Good.

    I haven't enjoyed the vast majority of their stuff in a very long time. I only buy Vertigo, Dark Horse, Image and other independents, of which there is more than ever. I browse and I love picking up good art.

    I love comic books and there has never been more variety or choice for the reader.

    There has never been a better time to make your mark.

    The industry will get by. Marvel and DC won't, but that's ok.

  3. #48
    Elder Member Blade X's Avatar
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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.
    Axel Alonso is definitely the problem. This is the same editor who over saw and backed crappy stories in ASM like SINS PAST,THE OTHER,and OMD. It is even rumored that he doesn't even like superhero comics, yet Marvel made him the new EIC. Quesada was bad, Alonso will be worse.

    OMT, notice how XML has basically the same premise as Claremont's underwhelming Genoshian EXCALIBUR series from several years ago (and we all know how that all turned out).

  4. #49
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    Default Regarding trade paperbacks

    Regarding the TPBs and Hardcovers that apparently don't sell - I suspect a lot of people get them online from amazon etc, given the (large?) price difference.

    I certainly do that as the price for especially the more expensive items e.g. The large marvel HCs is up to 30% lower on amazon.

    I'm sorry to say so but the difference is just too big to ignore - for a long time I bought all my trades from my local comic shop but the cost was significantly higher and eventually I switched to online.

    Also TPB buyers are likely to be older and busier making it near impossible for us to go to a comic shop. Sometimes on a boring Sunday I go my local shop but usually, I just have zero time for comics shopping - getting them online takes 15 mins off a busy day once a month, so I can easily manage.

    I wonder if we might find the trades do well via this channel - that would make them a sensible alternative for publishers since the DM simply does not address my segment's needs. Even if I had the time to walk into a store I certainly don't have the time to figure out what one shot I need to buy to follow the latest x-over or what new mini series ties in to my regular series.

    Of course I agree with the premise that a smaller simpler publishing schedule would be better for all. Even me since I'd know what trades to order without wondering for example, if I need "war of kings" to follow Nova...

  5. #50
    Spy Guy Ultraist's Avatar
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    Hi Brian - I've been getting the feeling that the direct market has become a stagnant pond for some time now... I am buying less mainstream comics off the shelf than I ever have before (since I first started buying comics long ago as a wee lad). A couple months ago, Amazing Spider-Man (Big Time) was the only Marvel comic I was purchasing, and that stopped after the FF crossover which didn't interest me in the slightest (we'll see if Spider Island gets me back). So that means Savage Dragon is the only other superhero book on my "pull list".

    Part of the problem I face is that my local shop just doesn't have the wide selection of alternative and indie comics that I find exciting. It takes a trip to The Beguiling or shopping online to find the exciting stuff that interests me (and there's a LOT of exciting stuff out there I'm spending money on).

    Which brings me to my question for you: Given that it's hard for a store to make money ordering low numbers on books, what sorts of suggestions could there be for small publishers and self-publishers to accomodate the comic store's needs? How can a comic store owner order a wide selection with minimal financial risk? What can an indie comic creator do to make it easy for a comic book store to put that comic on their shelf?

    Because as a comic book shopper, I crave that large eclectic selection and as a comic book creator, I obviously want to get my comic up on the shelf and make the comic book store owner some money.

    How do the little guys beat the stagnant pond and start breathing life and vitality back into the direct market?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts.
    Mike Kitchen - Ultraist Studios

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScotsScribbler View Post
    The industry will get by. Marvel and DC won't, but that's ok.
    Erm, you do recognize there's an eco-system in play here, right? Without the dollars coming in from "mainstream" fare, DM stores will collapse. Without DM stores providing that dependable non-returnable sale, virtually every publisher that isn't Marvel or DC collapses.

    There's very little comics material being published that doesn't require the stable base of the DM in order to be published AT ALL.

    -B

  7. #52

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    Brian: Okay, I agree agree agree with most of this -- nicely said. A few nitpicks:

    • Aren't you cherrypicking your figures a little by quoting 2008 vs. 2011? I haven't counted, but it looks to me as though there are fewer individual titles offered this summer than there were last year. I think Marvel IS responding to this glut, just not as strongly as you'd like, or as maybe they should. Or am I wrong here?

    • "Can you imagine a TV show succeeding with the kind of stop-and-start, constant change-in-scheduling kind of production that we have in comics?" Actually, that happens all the time, especially around the holidays. Thought I'm not sure it does those shows any favors, either. It seems to me FRINGE had a particularly scattered schedule this year, and a bit of a ratings drop too.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkazaz View Post
    Regarding the TPBs and Hardcovers that apparently don't sell - I suspect a lot of people get them online from amazon etc, given the (large?) price difference.
    While, certainly, a portion of sales have migrated over to Amazon for price/convenience reasons, your premise is clearly wrong because the DM sells tons of "good"/Popular TPs and HCs -- what doesn't sell is, generally, stuff that people don't want to actually buy (or aren't aware of in the flood of merchandise)... the same stuff that doesn't sell in the DM.

    If significant numbers of consumers were "switching markets", you'd see that drop in the TOP of the charts, and you flatly don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by dkazaz View Post
    I wonder if we might find the trades do well via this channel - that would make them a sensible alternative for publishers since the DM simply does not address my segment's needs.
    Every year I do an annual report about BookScan for this very site -- BookScan includes all of Amazon's sales, we are told. There is no detectable general "leeching" impact that I can see in that that channel is growing at the expense of others. Nor do we see any disproportionate impact of Amazon's always available/always cheaper on poor-selling material -- if people don't want something, they don't want it for 40% off with free shipping, either.

    -B

  9. #54
    Spy Guy Ultraist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    -- if people don't want something, they don't want it for 40% off with free shipping, either.
    That's a really good point.
    Mike Kitchen - Ultraist Studios

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Moore View Post
    Aren't you cherrypicking your figures a little by quoting 2008 vs. 2011?
    Dunno, I didn't look specifically at 2010. It was an arbitrary number-out-of-a-hat, though, and *not* Cherry-picking. The five year comparison was way way worse, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Moore View Post
    "Can you imagine a TV show succeeding with the kind of stop-and-start, constant change-in-scheduling kind of production that we have in comics?" Actually, that happens all the time, especially around the holidays. Thought I'm not sure it does those shows any favors, either. It seems to me FRINGE had a particularly scattered schedule this year, and a bit of a ratings drop too.
    Right, which is why I said "succeeding"?

    I also thought of Every Science Fiction Show On Fox, Ever.

    -B

  11. #56
    Spy Guy Ultraist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    Erm, you do recognize there's an eco-system in play here, right?
    This is the part I'm most interested in... how do we ("we" being store owners, and alternative comic creators, and comic aficianados) create a healthy thriving eco-system?

    There have to be some things we can do...

    ... but what?
    Mike Kitchen - Ultraist Studios

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultraist View Post
    This is the part I'm most interested in... how do we ("we" being store owners, and alternative comic creators, and comic aficianados) create a healthy thriving eco-system?

    There have to be some things we can do...

    ... but what?
    Consumers should buy only what they actually truly enjoy, and not buy for "completion's sake" or things like that.

    Creators should only create exceptional material.

    Publishers should show restraint in what they bring to market.

    Retailers should properly curate their racks and support with dollars things that the consumers want, and shun the rest.

    But at the end of the day it comes down entirely to the work, and whether it provides the "right" amount of entertainment value for the cost asked.

    -B

  13. #58
    Spy Guy Ultraist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    Consumers should buy only what they actually truly enjoy, and not buy for "completion's sake" or things like that.

    Creators should only create exceptional material.

    Publishers should show restraint in what they bring to market.

    Retailers should properly curate their racks and support with dollars things that the consumers want, and shun the rest.

    But at the end of the day it comes down entirely to the work, and whether it provides the "right" amount of entertainment value for the cost asked.

    -B
    It really does sound simple when you put it that way.
    Mike Kitchen - Ultraist Studios

  14. #59

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    double post.
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  15. #60

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    The elephant in the room is the business model. Comic shops are run exactly..and I mean exactly like they were 30 years ago. Times have changed and they never did. Like Automobile manufacturers still selling gigantic gas hogs.

    Book stores are closing due to exchange and sell book stores. they allow exchanges of gently read books in exchange for store credit. They also sale books online through Amazon.

    These stores are flourishing..ok maybe not that strong of a word, but they are doing solid business.

    Comics are being strangled by niche thinking and catering. No discount cards for loyal patrons..maybe knocking off 10 to 20 percent on purchases.

    What Am I saying?? this. The Comic Industry is being ran into the ground. The Good news is..this forces everyone involved to innovate. The old way will not work anymore.
    My webcomic Updated weekly
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    BEBOP--"Roland = pinnacle of objectivity"

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