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    Default Tilting at Windmills - Nov 15, 2012

    Brian Hibbs returns with a look at Marvel and DC Comics' lower-selling titles, weighing the likelihood of them losing money on a monthly basis rather than earning and asking why they continue to exist.


    Full article here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBR News View Post
    Brian Hibbs returns with a look at Marvel and DC Comics' lower-selling titles, weighing the likelihood of them losing money on a monthly basis rather than earning and asking why they continue to exist.


    Full article here.
    so Brian, if we are going to use your criteria, you're saying that Marvel should not have been producing the critical darlings Journey Into Mystery, X-Factor, Brian Wood's Ultimate Comics X-Men, and Greg Rucka's Punisher War Zone? Or are you saying that Marvel should not be producing titles that are both below 30K and not critical successes so that these low-selling but outstanding titles would have a better chance in the market?

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    As always very insightful column. Brian.

    The numbers of lower selling titles per store get even more dramatic considering that the per store number is inflated through mail order services and comic book chains with Diamond accounts. So the typically owner run comic book store will have much lower numbers on those titles.

    I wonder how you see the cancellation of Hellblazer? It clearly did not fulfill the number requirements you named. On the other hand it might have been a good book for your store concept due its supposed strong tpb sales and the "broadening the market" aspect (meaning most of its readers wont spend the money on a DC universe title).


    Christian

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    THE SUPERIOR MEMBER! USERNAME TAKEN's Avatar
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    Hi Brian. Interesting article.

    How have the Marvel NOW titles moved in your store thus far?

    Titles like Iron Man and Thor were very much in the 30k selling range and I'm curious to see how the promotion has affected their sales.
    Adults struggle desperately with fiction, demanding constantly that it conform to the rules of everyday life when the answer is obvious to the smallest child: because it's not real. - Grant Morrison

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    There's no doubt that fewer comics selling more is better than many comics selling less. At least for publishers, distributors and retailers.

    (Maybe readers would disagree as such a scenario would almost certainly mean that some books they think fit them perfectly right now will have to go away)

    The question is, how to accomplish such a transformation in practice? Just cancelling the lower selling half will probably not make those who read them flock to the half that remains. Not enough of them at least. And since many stores already operate close to the limit, couldn't such a move then potentially kill off the direct market on the spot?

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    Hm interesting seeing lower selling comics must die according to the writer of that article. From readers POV i rather lose comic stores than good low selling comics. Direkt Market,comics stores market dominated by the biggest superhero is useless to many readers that enjoy the other comics that dont sell 30k.

    For the readers there are many comics stores to choose from offline and online.
    Pull List:
    The Walking Dead,Fatale,Near Death,Storm Dogs,Happy,BPRD,XO-Manowar
    American Vampire,Animal Man,Swamp Thing
    Daredevil, Winter Soldier,Indestructible Hulk

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikbackm View Post
    The question is, how to accomplish such a transformation in practice? Just cancelling the lower selling half will probably not make those who read them flock to the half that remains. Not enough of them at least. And since many stores already operate close to the limit, couldn't such a move then potentially kill off the direct market on the spot?
    Exactly. Marvel and DC both would lose about half of their respective publishing lines, and that includes smaller books, which aren't just the Avengers or Justice League brawling with cosmic baddies or Batman punching Joker in the face for the two millionth time.
    Last edited by BrotherUnitNo_4; 11-16-2012 at 06:30 AM.
    Currently reading She-Hulk, Deadpool, Swamp Thing, Ms. Marvel

    Probation: Ghost Rider, Loki: LoA, Secret Avengers

    Looking forward to All-New Ultimates, Flash Gordon and Doctor Mirage.

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    Default Cbr: Taw/ 11/15/12

    Quote Originally Posted by nikbackm View Post
    There's no doubt that fewer comics selling more is better than many comics selling less. At least for publishers, distributors and retailers.

    (Maybe readers would disagree as such a scenario would almost certainly mean that some books they think fit them perfectly right now will have to go away)

    The question is, how to accomplish such a transformation in practice? Just cancelling the lower selling half will probably not make those who read them flock to the half that remains. Not enough of them at least. And since many stores already operate close to the limit, couldn't such a move then potentially kill off the direct market on the spot?
    You raised some good points but I wonder if oversaturation is working any better for DC/Marvel? Cutting back on some multiple titles within a given franchise might sound a little crazy at first,but what we don't see from these numbers is whether every freaking Batbook or X-Men title is at the top of sales or at the bottom. With all the complaining going on over at the CBR Green Arrow thread why titles that aren't selling as well (I'm still curious where that book ranks) are continued, regardless of whether it may be an Iconic character or not, when others have been cancelled outright.As far as what strategy would work if any, none will move fans as conservative as they are these days to something outside of their established comfort zone.I try to advocate on occasion but it's all about the Iconics these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by erwinrafael View Post
    so Brian, if we are going to use your criteria, you're saying that Marvel should not have been producing the critical darlings Journey Into Mystery, X-Factor, Brian Wood's Ultimate Comics X-Men, and Greg Rucka's Punisher War Zone? Or are you saying that Marvel should not be producing titles that are both below 30K and not critical successes so that these low-selling but outstanding titles would have a better chance in the market?
    The latter, though every editor is clearly going to say that of course their books are critical darlings!

    Quote Originally Posted by Abrafax View Post
    I wonder how you see the cancellation of Hellblazer? It clearly did not fulfill the number requirements you named. On the other hand it might have been a good book for your store concept due its supposed strong tpb sales and the "broadening the market" aspect (meaning most of its readers wont spend the money on a DC universe title).
    Honestly, it's time for HELLBLAZER to end -- we DO do (very) well with the trades, and expect that to continue, but we're down to selling like 8-9 copies a month. We used to sell 60! Realistically, JLDark sells 2x that HELLBLAZER does, so this is a "wise" move. BUT... I suspect CONSTANTINE will end down below 30k tout suite, probably closer to 20k, and then what point is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by USERNAME TAKEN View Post
    How have the Marvel NOW titles moved in your store thus far?
    Reply hazy, ask again later.

    I *may* have a MarvelNOW! column next month, but I'm not sure I'll yet have enough data.... or even "any data" on a lot of potential titles.

    Quote Originally Posted by nikbackm View Post
    The question is, how to accomplish such a transformation in practice? Just cancelling the lower selling half will probably not make those who read them flock to the half that remains. Not enough of them at least. And since many stores already operate close to the limit, couldn't such a move then potentially kill off the direct market on the spot?
    I think the removal of the risk of those titles will have a net positive impact on profitability, even if gross dollars decline a little.

    Clearly, though, we'll never have, in a real-world situation, have Marvel and DC *both* cut half of their line at the same time.

    -B

  10. #10

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    DC is launching a Vibe series because someone at Warner hopes that they can turn it into a TV series or movie. It used to be that the anthology series were market research for DC and Marvel's publishing plans... now DC and Marvel's publishing divisions are market research for the TV and film divisions of Warner and Disney.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason A. Quest View Post
    DC is launching a Vibe series because someone at Warner hopes that they can turn it into a TV series or movie.
    Ok, here is why I don't buy this, no matter how many times people love to bring it up:

    What is it about Vibe that would make someone at WB, who we know is no expert about comics since then he would no doubt hate Vibe just as much as the rest of us, say "Hey, this Vibe guy would be perfect for a movie. Someone get on the horn with DC and tell them to make Vibe popular." Why would he say that, and how would he even KNOW who Vibe is? This idea that the respective parent companies have a direct hand in the attempts to raise the profile of lesser known characters to groom them for the big or small screen implies that any of these people have a fucking clue who any of these character are AND have reason to believe they could be popular.

    No one who actually knows Vibe has ANY reason to believe he could be popular. Even if WB pushed them to raise the profile of a Hispanic character, only through unnatural actual affection for the character would Geoff Johns choose to go with Vibe. Any sane person would tell them they're better off trying with a brand new character than going with Vibe. But for whatever reason Johns wants to do Vibe, and that kind of dedication to turd does not come from a parent company's desire to make movies. It's done in spite of the fact that it will NEVER be a movie.

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