I wrote a blog on science and superheroes! Check it out, if you'd like! http://thoughtfulconduit.com/whatdoesthismean/?p=186
Also on Facebook: http://facebook.com/thoughtfulconduit
I may be remembering this wrong so feel free to shoot me down in flames but haven't Marvel used free copies as a sales incentive to retailers before. Something along the lines of matching their orders of a new book to their orders for a previous (usually highly ordered) book and they will receive X% free issues.
Quoted from here an article in CBR written by a retailer.
When people talk about "the death of the Direct Market" I usually groan, because they generally think that outside forces are far more corrosive than they actually are, or that the notion of a specialty store is somehow inherently flawed, but I firmly believe that the DM may in fact die in my lifetime, but that the culprit will actually be murder by the publishers (especially Marvel)I also firmly believe that the publishers (especially Marvel) don't actually know that they're slowly strangling their own base -- oh, sure sure they can see how the national numbers move, but I think they don't actually know what those numbers actually mean in any individual environment. Largely this is because that as a "big business," they tend to only want to listen to the largest volume stores. I mean, duh, right? You probably would too, I'm not actually faulting them for that -- but the issue is that those largest volume stores absorb unsold books very differently than medium or small stores do.Is Marvel leading to Direct Market's death?The other side of this, of course, is that what you do publish should be released in a logical fashion. I frankly believe that my personal nadir of Direct Market behavior was reached on April 27 of this year, when Marvel released two separate issues of "Secret Avengers" (#12, and #12 "point one") on the same day. That is literally unfathomable publishing behavior. Why would you compete with your own product, especially with an iteration intended to serve on a "jumping on point"? How can that possibly make sense?
And, of course, I sold 10% less than usual of those two issues, but who has to pay for that? Certainly not Marvel.
As far as flooding the market - I suppose releasing Secret Avengers 12 and Secret Avengers 12.1 on the same day isn't flooding the market in the least - lol
Last edited by Joe Acro; 11-12-2011 at 11:15 AM.
In the month of January, Marvel is publishing 66 minis or ongoings.
Dividing them into categories of my own making, I've found 13 of them that are separate, and a couple of them only loosely. Battle Scars isn't an Avengers title, for example, but it is tied into other things. Incredible Hulk and Defenders have the Shattered Heroes banner. (Defenders itself may be Avengers-related, given the roster.) FF and Fantastic Four tie into each other.
Combine the categories and the cross-referencing, and you wind up with 8 titles that stand alone: Alpha Flight, Black Panther, Six Guns, Legion of Monsters, the Punisher, Ghost Rider, Villains for Hire, and PunisherMAX.
8/66 is 12% of Marvel's output. And most of those are mini-series.
I see this as a problem, as it makes it really easy to skip sections of Marvel. Not a fan of the direction in Avengers? Spider-Man? X-Men? Skip that section. Don't care about licensed/creator-owned stuff or Ultimates? Skip those.
I think one of Marvel's biggest bad practices is the lack of separate material--almost everything is closely related to something else.
Vote for the The Top 50 Essential Marvel Stories!
Being a new reader this is what I was most surprised about, I was naive enough to believe that many of marvels titles would be self contained adventures about the superheroes involved fighting off unique to his/her world, villains and if you wanted to read about multiple heroes fighting larger foe's you got a team book like Avengers. For me really it does make the stories and MU too convoluted. And to add insult to injury I feel that this is only done to sell more books to existing readers who like certain characters ie Wolverine and Spiderman just like the lackluster Schism was just a ploy to add another book to the X-men line so I stopped reading Uncanny X-men and now only stick to Uncanny X-force as my sole X-men book.
Also as a side note I really don't see why the Mutant world is in the main MU I would love it to be separate as it has a much richer premise for me than standard superhero books but thats a subject for another day.
Looks like Marvels turning up the double-shipping in coming months.
Why aren't you reading Winter Soldier? You should be!
Having dropped Spider-Man at the onset of Big Time I just bought the Carnage mini series and Venom. Unfortunately it didn't take too long for the title to cross over into Spider-Island in a fairly significant way that made the reader have to buy Spider-Man for the ending which really annoyed me. Granted, these things happen but I really dislike it when books tie in and get resolved in other titles rather than having it's own self contained arc and Journey Into Mystery is a title that does this right.
Am I alone in not liking Marvel's double printing practices? I'm in college and have a fairly tight budget, so having to spend an extra $8-16 is really annoying. I'm having trouble bringing my pull list down to within my budget as it is and Marvel is really not helping. All it's doing is forcing me to drop more Marvel books, especially with the $3.99 price tag.
DC: Smallville, Supergirl, Detective Comics
Marvel: Ultimate X-Men, Scarlet Spider, X-Factor, Thor
Other: Saga, Angel & Faith, Buffy