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  1. #46

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    I think streamlining the universe would have been a great idea, and Marvel could use it, too. But DC didn't streamline several of their major characters. They erased them and replaced them with totally different ones. I don't really get the idea there. They already had a working character, so it seems like more work to scrap it and make something brand new.

    Anyway, starting stuff over for new readers is silly. They'd have to do it like every 3 years since new readers are always coming. They should just write better comics.
    I'm a bumblebee. I'm a bee and I need to get back to the hive.

  2. #47
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coveredinbees View Post
    I think streamlining the universe would have been a great idea, and Marvel could use it, too. But DC didn't streamline several of their major characters. They erased them and replaced them with totally different ones. I don't really get the idea there. They already had a working character, so it seems like more work to scrap it and make something brand new.

    Anyway, starting stuff over for new readers is silly. They'd have to do it like every 3 years since new readers are always coming. They should just write better comics.
    Apparently DC's definition of "working" is different from yours.
    They don't have to reboot as often because now with digital it's actually possible to go back and read every pertinent story for most of their characters. But as others have said, doing about every 10-15 years wouldn't be the end of the world.
    They already write the best comics they know how to. From their perspective, the problem is not quality, it's getting people to try them out.

  3. #48
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shark View Post
    ...I don't see how that proves anything. By that logic, the Nielsen report is accurate and the reboot didn't attract many new readers.
    The Neilsen report is an accurate evaluation of how things stood at the time they did it, which was like the very first week or two of the relaunch. Which just isn't a good measure of the overall results.

  4. #49
    They LAUGHED at my theory SteveGus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coveredinbees View Post
    Anyway, starting stuff over for new readers is silly. They'd have to do it like every 3 years since new readers are always coming. They should just write better comics.
    It does seem that the unfriendliness of comics to new readers has increased. The idea that any issue might be a reader's first issue seems to have been forgotten. If a casual reader picked up a #4 or #5 issue of a nu52 book, they probably wouldn't have a clue what was going on. Being written this way guarantees that #1 always represents the only entry point and the inevitable high point of sales, regardless of how good the rest of the book is. They can't attract readers after their first; hit books don't build on their previous sales, they are judged a success or failure by the slow or fast rate of their decline.

    This should change. Each issue should be an episode complete in itself. Failing to make them so is a decline of editorial and artistic standards. But it would require a change in editorial philosophies.
    Superhero comic books only become art to the extent that their banal, unrealistic fantasy and garish styles go too far and become interesting. Attempts to ground them in reality can only ruin them.

  5. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveGus View Post
    If a casual reader picked up a #4 or #5 issue of a nu52 book, they probably wouldn't have a clue what was going on.
    Do you have an example of what you're outlining here? Something you think a new reader wouldn't be able to understand inside one of those issues?
    Be careful when speaking. You create the world around you with your words.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    Dick Grayson was never a Teen Titan? Wha...? Why? How does that make him a more accessible or interesting character to new readers?
    it doesn't, it makes teen titans more accessible.

  7. #52
    They LAUGHED at my theory SteveGus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Thompson View Post
    Do you have an example of what you're outlining here? Something you think a new reader wouldn't be able to understand inside one of those issues?
    I was thinking specifically of Wonder Woman #4; it would not immediately be obvious to a new reader who some of the new cast members were, and their role in the narrative wouldn't be explained within the pages of that book. Some of the characters were Greek gods; but that wouldn't be obvious from the art, and the names might not be recognized or simply treated as codenames. It would probably baffle someone who hadn't read 1 - 3; and unless it really hooked them and grabbed their interest with both hands, they might not be motivated to research what had gone before.

    I used to leave read comic books I didn't care about collecting in my office for people waiting to read; this was how I read my first comic books after all. Somewhere in the early 2000s, people who had read them stopped asking about stories or artists and started remarking that they couldn't figure out what was going on.
    Superhero comic books only become art to the extent that their banal, unrealistic fantasy and garish styles go too far and become interesting. Attempts to ground them in reality can only ruin them.

  8. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveGus View Post
    I was thinking specifically of Wonder Woman #4; it would not immediately be obvious to a new reader who some of the new cast members were, and their role in the narrative wouldn't be explained within the pages of that book. Some of the characters were Greek gods; but that wouldn't be obvious from the art, and the names might not be recognized or simply treated as codenames. It would probably baffle someone who hadn't read 1 - 3; and unless it really hooked them and grabbed their interest with both hands, they might not be motivated to research what had gone before.

    I used to leave read comic books I didn't care about collecting in my office for people waiting to read; this was how I read my first comic books after all. Somewhere in the early 2000s, people who had read them stopped asking about stories or artists and started remarking that they couldn't figure out what was going on.
    This is a result of the distribution system, if you think about it.

    In the days of newsstand distribution, comics were more impulse buys; you also could not count on reliably getting the second part of a two parter. The market selected for stories done in one, which meant everything was explained, in a self contained issue.

    In the current time of the direct market, the market selects for longer works and no longer demands that everything is explained in discrete issues---why should it when distribution is reliable and back issues/trades are available?

  9. #54
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveGus View Post
    It does seem that the unfriendliness of comics to new readers has increased. The idea that any issue might be a reader's first issue seems to have been forgotten. If a casual reader picked up a #4 or #5 issue of a nu52 book, they probably wouldn't have a clue what was going on. Being written this way guarantees that #1 always represents the only entry point and the inevitable high point of sales, regardless of how good the rest of the book is. They can't attract readers after their first; hit books don't build on their previous sales, they are judged a success or failure by the slow or fast rate of their decline.

    This should change. Each issue should be an episode complete in itself. Failing to make them so is a decline of editorial and artistic standards. But it would require a change in editorial philosophies.
    But with the reboot, digital, and trades, all of the issues required to get caught up are readily available.

  10. #55
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petesake View Post
    it doesn't, it makes teen titans more accessible.
    Or to put it another way, if you look at 99% of the Nightwing stories from the last 10 years or more, they don't depend on him having been in the Titans. "Was Robin, now Nightwing" is all you really need.

  11. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennsim View Post
    But with the reboot, digital, and trades, all of the issues required to get caught up are readily available.
    Except that the 4th issue or what have you has to be interesting and comprehensible enough to make someone WANT to seek out those back issues, trades and digital comics. If someone picks up a random issue and has trouble understanding it and you tell them, "oh, you got to spend x-amount of dollars and buy these comics if you want the one you're holding to make sense", then they are just going to walk away. It's why very few of the "new" readers are actually new to comics or the characters, most are lapsed readers who are already pre-programmed to think that way.

    And, since it is a reboot, most of the back issues and trades have nothing to do with the current characters and will be practically unrecognizable. Don't think I've seen any trades yet of post-reboot titles.

  12. #57
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Love View Post
    Except that the 4th issue or what have you has to be interesting and comprehensible enough to make someone WANT to seek out those back issues, trades and digital comics. If someone picks up a random issue and has trouble understanding it and you tell them, "oh, you got to spend x-amount of dollars and buy these comics if you want the one you're holding to make sense", then they are just going to walk away. It's why very few of the "new" readers are actually new to comics or the characters, most are lapsed readers who are already pre-programmed to think that way.

    And, since it is a reboot, most of the back issues and trades have nothing to do with the current characters and will be practically unrecognizable. Don't think I've seen any trades yet of post-reboot titles.
    The new52 trades start coming out this month.

    I'm not saying that there's not a problem with the current issue feeling like it's worth it, but at least there are more options now than there would have been without the relaunch.

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Love View Post
    Except that the 4th issue or what have you has to be interesting and comprehensible enough to make someone WANT to seek out those back issues, trades and digital comics. If someone picks up a random issue and has trouble understanding it and you tell them, "oh, you got to spend x-amount of dollars and buy these comics if you want the one you're holding to make sense", then they are just going to walk away. It's why very few of the "new" readers are actually new to comics or the characters, most are lapsed readers who are already pre-programmed to think that way.

    And, since it is a reboot, most of the back issues and trades have nothing to do with the current characters and will be practically unrecognizable. Don't think I've seen any trades yet of post-reboot titles.
    Maybe I'm spoiled by having a couple of places that actually carry a fair amount of back issues plus a small local chain of comic shops but it seems to me that any new reader going into a comic shop has the ability to not only check out the current issue of something but also the back issues of same volume of that comic if they are confused and without having to spend a dime if they didn't want to. I've done so myself in the past and I don't understand why other people wouldn't do the same. Seems like a simple solution to me anyway.
    Characters come and go, revamped and revisited. But as long as you enjoyed them, remember them and continue to appreciate them, then that character, your hero or heroine, will always exist.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonTodd428 View Post
    Maybe I'm spoiled by having a couple of places that actually carry a fair amount of back issues plus a small local chain of comic shops....
    I put the issues in an office waiting room. Most of the people who were reading them probably had never been in a comic store before. Unless they were so moved or gripped by the story fragment they were reading that they wished to seek it out, it's unlikely to lure them into one. They generally found the books confusing rather than intriguing.
    Superhero comic books only become art to the extent that their banal, unrealistic fantasy and garish styles go too far and become interesting. Attempts to ground them in reality can only ruin them.

  15. #60
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    Here's the problem I have when people think that continuity has to be erased for readers to understand comics, you don't have to erase it, just don't bring it up. With the exception of being dead, very few plot points are that important to the overall story. We don't need a recap of Knightfall every time Bane fights Batman or Death of Superman whenever Doomsday shows up.

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