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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derrick Richardson View Post
    Digital is a freight train that's run over every physical medium it's come in contact with. Why some people think that comics are going to be any different, is amazing to me in the face of the data, and precedent.
    The "why" is because comics-industry-specific data is showing that it ISN'T the case, regardless of "precedent" -- the current audience appears to prefer print, and the "new" audience has shown only the vaguest interest in comics as a medium in the first place.

    -B

  2. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    The "why" is because comics-industry-specific data is showing that it ISN'T the case, regardless of "precedent" -- the current audience appears to prefer print, and the "new" audience has shown only the vaguest interest in comics as a medium in the first place.

    -B
    Of course comics-industry-specific data is showing that it isn't the case, and of course the current audience appears to prefer print. Because it's the same people by and large
    buying that have been buying print for decades, and will continue to do so. I've already stated this before. And the small amount of new people coming into stores at present isn't
    going to change the attrition rates for the DM in it's current form, as this hardcore group moves on in various ways over time, anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

    The article you quote from the most excellent Todd Allen points this out:

    Here's the sales bands for Marvel books.
    100K+: 1
    50-59K: 8
    40-49K: 4
    30-39K: 23
    20-29K: 24
    10-19K: 14

    And for DC

    100K+: 2
    80-89K: 2
    70-79K: 2
    60-69K: 5
    50-59K: 8
    40-49K: 8
    30-39K: 11
    20-29K: 12
    10-19K: 22

    So most of these books are selling 30,000 copies and below. And the main thing to always remember is that the industry has no numbers on how many
    of these "sales" are actually being bought by customers week to week. Book ordering has always been an arcane, occult art. As has been stated, these are
    estimates. Comics are definitely in need of more detailed analytics.

    According to Comichron, In September of 1996, Marvel had 23 titles selling an estimated 100,000 copies or more, with the top six selling over 200,000 copies. 16 years
    later, and we're looking at a very different world for them.

    Also, who says the "new" readers in digital are new? More than a few may be lapsed readers from years gone by, that are trying to get back into reading comics again. Of course, at
    present this falls under speculation, without a survey or study being done.

    And of course, they're not going to be coming into comics shops as a whole. Digital is a new form factor and delivery method for comics, in the same way the direct market
    was a new form factor and delivery method taking over from newsstand. Technology is always about more efficient ways of doing things. And it's always moving forward.
    The trick is learning to utilize it, and not get trampled by it.

    Of course what I've said isn't going to happen overnight. But it is going to occur much sooner than some people realize. As I've said, I would just like people to be prepared
    for what's happening, so they don't get taken by surprise in the coming years, and can prepare to continue to survive, and thrive.

    Obviously, we'll all see how this plays out over time. Happy holidays.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derrick Richardson View Post
    Of course comics-industry-specific data is showing that it isn't the case, and of course the current audience appears to prefer print. Because it's the same people by and large
    buying that have been buying print for decades, and will continue to do so.
    I'm *not* talking about DM data -- I'm talking about all other print markets. 20 years ago people said "If only we could get into the book market, all of our problems would be solved!". So, we're in the book market, and all of the problems aren't solved.

    The people said "Digital will change everything!", and, over the last 14 months digital, expressed as a percentage-of-sales of print has apparently NOT moved significantly -- strongly suggesting that digital is selling primarily to people without access to a store, rather than properly "new" customers.

    I submit that we now have enough data between the multiple markets to suggest that this bold new world of digital users... much like the bold new world of bookstores before it!... actually isn't especially natively interested in comics in the first place.

    Comics require hand-selling, and readers (both existing ones as well as "civilians" -- remember I actually sell comics to these people directly, not just discussing THEORY here) want the form factor of COMICS. People actually seem to prefer print, by about 9:1.

    The mistake that a lot of people seem to be making is mistaking access for demand -- I submit that there's virtually no evidence that says anyone who doesn't already read comics is interested in the overwhelming majority of the content our industry produces.

    Both the last 20 years of history AND the last fourteen months of full-digital availability are telling us something. My take on it may be wrong, but I'm sure not seeing any evidence whatsoever suggesting that your take is at all correct.

    Happy Holidays to you, as well!

    -B

  4. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    I'm *not* talking about DM data -- I'm talking about all other print markets. 20 years ago people said "If only we could get into the book market, all of our problems would be solved!". So, we're in the book market, and all of the problems aren't solved.

    The people said "Digital will change everything!", and, over the last 14 months digital, expressed as a percentage-of-sales of print has apparently NOT moved significantly -- strongly suggesting that digital is selling primarily to people without access to a store, rather than properly "new" customers.

    I submit that we now have enough data between the multiple markets to suggest that this bold new world of digital users... much like the bold new world of bookstores before it!... actually isn't especially natively interested in comics in the first place.

    Comics require hand-selling, and readers (both existing ones as well as "civilians" -- remember I actually sell comics to these people directly, not just discussing THEORY here) want the form factor of COMICS. People actually seem to prefer print, by about 9:1.

    The mistake that a lot of people seem to be making is mistaking access for demand -- I submit that there's virtually no evidence that says anyone who doesn't already read comics is interested in the overwhelming majority of the content our industry produces.

    Both the last 20 years of history AND the last fourteen months of full-digital availability are telling us something. My take on it may be wrong, but I'm sure not seeing any evidence whatsoever suggesting that your take is at all correct.

    Happy Holidays to you, as well!

    -B
    Let me begin with an apology. You were correct in a previous post quoting from an icv2 article. Comics' quantity and dollar amounts are currently greater than graphic novels.

    I still stand by my viewpoint that comics' share of the market will shrink drastically over time, with people eventually just buying trades or OGNs.
    Will people pay $4.99 for a 22 page comic book? $5.99? $9.99? I guess we'll both find out.

    And as I've stated previously, I've managed a store, and done the retail side of the business for a number of years, in addition to having friends that currently own one of the largest stores in our area, so neither am I discussing theory. I've done it.

    Be that as it may, I actually agree in general with everything you said in this post. And I should have been clearer. I'm not talking about the current mainstream comics landscape
    when I'm talking about the digital future of comics. A new form factor requires new content. There are many in the field that understand this, and are putting together content
    to take advantage of a market the likes of which has never been witnessed before in all the various incarnations of this medium.

    In addition, I'm referencing many other data points than the 14 months of sales of digital for the direct market you're quoting from. It really comes down to this:

    Digital will "change everything", just not in the way most people think, and not for the current market for reasons you yourself pointed out very accurately in your previous post.
    Stores that understand this and prepare accordingly will survive. The ones who don't, won't.

    "Comic's" future is very bright indeed. Thanks for your time and a lively discussion. I look forward to your next column. Take care.
    Last edited by Derrick Richardson; 11-23-2012 at 07:44 PM.

  5. #80
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    This was a great piece (as Brian's often are). I did wonder what titles he would get rid of, though.

    I made my own list, based not on what I'd actually like to read from DC, but on what I think would do well financially.

    http://comicscapers.wordpress.com/20...new-30-part-1/

  6. #81

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    An interesting perspective and it makes sense from a retailers needs, but as a consumer who doesn't want only the top selling material it drives me away from the store. I spend about $100.00-200.00 a month on comics and graphic novels.

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