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  1. #46

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    The hardest thing for me when I gave up buying DC floppies a little over a year ago wasn't giving up the mainstream comics (all of the titles that I was buying were cancelled, so that was pretty easy in fact), it was giving up the Johnny DC comics. But there were so few of these titles that it didn't seem worth it to keep buying them and DC tends to collect everything in TPBs eventually.

    I had been buying various Johnny DC titles for some twenty years by then. I think they're just as attractive to older readers as younger readers, perhaps because they remind a person of the fun comics they read as a child.

    I was really bummed out when the Superman & Batman Magazine got cancelled after only eight issues in the 90s. These were published quarterly by Welsh Publishing--featured some nice art by Mike Parobeck. My understanding is (correct me if I'm wrong) these were doing just fine in sales, but DC didn't want to continue letting Welsh use their animated characters.

    I never understood why DC had never done this kind of magazine on its own. When Jenette Kahn came to DC this was the kind of magazine I expected her to launch. Maybe not tied into animation necessarily (although there were a few DC properties on Saturday morning TV in the late 70s), but some kid magazine in the tradition of Kids, Dynamite, or Smash--the magazines that she had published and probably the very reason she was hired as DC's publisher in the first place.

    The company that Kahn helped reach the kid market, just before she came to DC, Scholastic is now an industry leader in publications for young readers. It confounds me that Kahn never used her expertise to give DC a comparable profile.

  2. #47
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    I was sure Dan was going to somehow draw a "Brother Power, the Geek" reference out of that description.
    Clearly, I have failed this community.

    *hangs head in shame"

    *more shame than usual, even*

    I'm not sure about the thread's question. Trying to think back to when I was a 10-year old, a lot of the things that were obviously aimed at my age were starting to feel bland and dull to me. Not everything, of course, but a lot. I was just starting to get into books that weren't aimed at 10-year olds - mostly science fiction, but also things like Agatha Christie and Alistair MacLean (British thriller writer, very popular at the time) and found all that pretty stimulating, even when I didn't fully understand what was going on.

    The comics I liked back then gave me something closer to that kind of stimulation than a comic specifically aimed at a 10 year old would have, I think.
    Good point. As it happens, that's the age at which my first hiatus from comics began, though it wasn't nearly as complete or as lengthy as the one that held sway from 19 to 45 or thereabouts. I've noted before that my Batman ended around 1969, as did my Superman & my Spider-Man, etc. etc. etc. ... & by god, that happens to be the year I turned 10. Not entirely sure what I was reading in comics' stead -- lots of sports, I guess, & lots of humor, & my interest in UFOs, the paranormal & the like kicked in around that time, too.

    Of course, I started getting back into the field about 4 years later, shortly after I turned 14 -- mostly sf & horror, with the superheroes coming later after the sf/horror titles started dying out.

    I guess the Bronze Age stuff appealed to mid-teens me more than the era's beginnings had my younger self. It probably helped that I didn't encounter most of those characters till then, as opposed to Batman, Superman, Spidey, etc., whom I'd started reading at around 8.
    Last edited by Dan B. in the Underworld; 11-20-2012 at 07:48 PM.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

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  3. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    Which raises the question of how much disposable cash kids at various socioeconomic levels have these days. I grew up poor as well, but even so my weekly allowance of 50 cents in grade school allowed me to buy two or three 12-cent comics or a 25-cent giant & one regular comic, plus the requisite coke (10 cents) &/or candy/ice cream cone/chips (5 to 10 cents). And memory (not necessarily reliable, of course) tells me that for every comic I bought, I read four of five others while sitting at my drugstore of choice & consuming the above-cited snackage. (The three grocery stores that also sold comics weren't nearly as conducive for sitting & reading, of course.)
    At the same time you were getting 50c a week, I was getting 25c a week. Credit to my parents, I didn't know we were poor at the time (only later when I look back do I realize what an effort they made to give us a rich life just the same).

    My sister and I would go to Mrs. Ryan's drugstore every Saturday. Mrs. Ryan didn't let you read the comics without paying for them. My sister would usually buy the junk food. I would buy the comics--I'd have to choose between two regular comics or one Giant. If I bought the regular comics, I'd have a penny left over for a Mojo. On the other hand, a 25c Giant offered triple the value of a regular 12c comic.

    Sometimes my sister and I would make a deal that I'd let her read my comics, if she let me drink some of her pop or eat some of her chips. Although her taste in super-heroes was limited--Dream Girl was her favourite Legionnaire. She much preferred Archie Comics.

    There was also the second hand bookstore across the street from Mrs. Ryan's where you could get a comic with the cover on for 5 cents (mind you these would have the new price writ large on the cover in grease pencil). They also had the paperback books like Man from UNCLE or Girl from UNCLE that my sister was collecting. Or Ripley's Believe It Or Not, which was always a good read.

  4. #49

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    It's also true with me that around my tenth birthday my interest in DC comics began to peter out and by my eleventh birthday it was virtually gone. As a consequence I missed most of the DC comics from 1969 and 1970. I saved up some of my allowance for a chemistry set. I occasionally would buy comics, but more often Harvey or Archie rather than DC. But in 1971, I rediscovered my love for DC comics and my comic purchases really picked up (I also had a bigger allowance and money saved up during my hiatus--followed by income from my paper route).

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr chimp View Post
    someone posted up some figures tom defalco had of print run vs issues sold of some dc comics in spinner racks in 1970s and they were truly horrendous. Massive print runs vs really low sales. Now i never did check tom defalco's blog or what has you to find the context for these (or if they did even come from tom's blog - this is the internet after all) but i am sure someone here knows what i am referring to.

    The ones i saw showed Fury of Firestorm selling about 18k off a print run of about 100k and a number of other books selling only 1:5 or so of the print run. They seemed pretty unbelievable and totally unsustainable if that was really the case.
    It is really the case, and it was indeed unsustainable. Something had to change, starting with the artificially low cover prices.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    According to industry insiders, the paper quality doesn't make a difference in cost anymore. The TPBs that use the newsprint do so for aesthetic reasons.
    Correct. The cost of producing and distributing comics is far higher these days than it used to be, but the actual paper used is not a significant part of the cost.

  6. #51
    DC Comics Forum Moderator The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony ingram View Post
    I see no point in aiming comics at ten year olds who no longer have any interest in buying them, while alienating older fans who actually do.
    What would you specifically be missing in a story if DC and Marvel went after an all-ages audience again, Tony?
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  7. #52
    Senior Member Castel's Avatar
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    Comics are going to be eaten by manga.

    That's what the current young generation is reading, way more than comics. And they are the future.

  8. #53
    Loose mongoose Venomous Mask's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about this. I don't like grittiness for the sake of grittiness, but I do like how comics have been more explicit about certain issues in weaving them into storylines. Ultimately, the most important thing is that a good story is told; everything else is secondary.
    Empty winds scrape on the soul never stop to realize/Animal whisperings intoxicate the night
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  9. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by destro View Post
    Yeah this is what I have never understood. I keep hearing that grocery stores and convenience stores won't stock comics, it isn't viable, etc...and yet I see multiple Archie Digests at these places every time I'm there. Somebody is buying these things. And I still maintain that if a kid sees an Archie Digest next to a Batman or Spiderman digest...well the kid is likely to go for the superhero.
    My understanding is that a/ Archie got grandfathered into an existing distribution deal and b/ the financials for their distribution in these channels aren't too exciting.
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  10. #55
    Ex-Cheeks Reptisaurus!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castel View Post
    Comics are going to be eaten by manga.

    That's what the current young generation is reading, way more than comics. And they are the future.
    Probably not. While Manga is certainly more accessable and readable to new (read: Younger) audiences Manga sales have still tanked over the last half-decade or so... Basically there's a lot less Anime on TV then their was in the early aughts, and without the network TV "gateway drug" there are fewer Manga readers and translated American Manga is selling far, far less than it used too.

    It's still the dominant focus in the bookstore comics market (Which is considerably smaller than the direct sales market) but my a much lesser degree than it was.
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  11. #56
    Senior Member MDG's Avatar
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    I agree that the ship has probably sailed on growing the comics audience, but 15 or so years ago, one stopgap might have been to stop publishing 20 floppies a month and instead publish 3 or 4 larger magazines, each anchored by a main character: superman, batman, Spider-Man, hulk, etc. the per-issue price would've been more, but production/ distribution costs would have been greatly reduced, per issue circulation increased, and make it easier to get into non-comics store. Of course, it would've totally alienated the fan base.
    "It's just lines on paper, folks!"

  12. #57
    Senior Member dr chimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDG View Post
    I agree that the ship has probably sailed on growing the comics audience, but 15 or so years ago, one stopgap might have been to stop publishing 20 floppies a month and instead publish 3 or 4 larger magazines, each anchored by a main character: superman, batman, Spider-Man, hulk, etc. the per-issue price would've been more, but production/ distribution costs would have been greatly reduced, per issue circulation increased, and make it easier to get into non-comics store. Of course, it would've totally alienated the fan base.
    Panini do exactly that here in the UK with their Marvel license. 3 US issues in one comic with a nice heavy stock cover for 3 something an issue (a single $2.99 US ssue is about 2.20 here)
    "...so Hitler sends Iron Jaw's son to America to get revenge on Crimebuster." S.H.

  13. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reptisaurus! View Post
    It's still the dominant focus in the bookstore comics market (Which is considerably smaller than the direct sales market) but my a much lesser degree than it was.
    Yep. The impression that manga would completely overtake US-style super-hero comics has now considerably receded. AFAIK it is also true in Europe, where US super-heroes are now growing (presumably thanks to a/ the movies and b/ countries such as France not seeing comics as a has-been medium, unlike much of the US public).


    Quote Originally Posted by MDG View Post
    I agree that the ship has probably sailed on growing the comics audience, but 15 or so years ago, one stopgap might have been to stop publishing 20 floppies a month and instead publish 3 or 4 larger magazines, each anchored by a main character.
    I doubt I'm breaking new ground by noting that there's almost certainly a future for these stories in digital format, especially if tablets do end up replacing desktop and laptop computers for people who don't type much.
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