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  1. #1066
    Elder Member king mob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennsim View Post
    Well the kinds of people you'd be pitching the super-hero stuff to would be people who are already into sci-fi and fantasy, which has its own sets of complexities, so it's not a big difference. It's just getting the material out of the ghetto.
    The biggest film of 2012 was about superheroes. Right now the genre has never had so much exposure to a mainstream audience but yet superhero comics are in decline. There's a problem right off in that nobody seems to want to actually bring the mainstream reader in because that might mean the fan will be alienated.


    Quote Originally Posted by glennsim View Post

    And when I referred to new52 and Marvel Now, I'm simply saying that that's as far back as continuity-curiosity needs to go to be satisfied.
    Both wern't ways to bring in new readers. They were ways to draw in more of the current market.
    Quote Originally Posted by glennsim View Post
    There's theoretically a big group of people out there who would enjoy the exact same comics we do, they just haven't been exposed to them.
    Which is where digital comes in. Companies need to be thinking five, ten years ahead in terms of where technology is going, how people's habits will change and how physical media will not die, but it'll become more of a niche item. Marvel and DC are desperately trying to catch up, just like newspapers sat back and thought digital wouldn't hurt them til it did, or record shops thought downloads wouldn't hurt them til it did, and now bookshops are realising downloads are hurting them.

  2. #1067
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by king mob View Post
    The biggest film of 2012 was about superheroes. Right now the genre has never had so much exposure to a mainstream audience but yet superhero comics are in decline. There's a problem right off in that nobody seems to want to actually bring the mainstream reader in because that might mean the fan will be alienated.




    Both wern't ways to bring in new readers. They were ways to draw in more of the current market.


    Which is where digital comes in. Companies need to be thinking five, ten years ahead in terms of where technology is going, how people's habits will change and how physical media will not die, but it'll become more of a niche item. Marvel and DC are desperately trying to catch up, just like newspapers sat back and thought digital wouldn't hurt them til it did, or record shops thought downloads wouldn't hurt them til it did, and now bookshops are realising downloads are hurting them.
    Superhero comics are not in the decline. More superhero comics were sold by the big two in 2012 than in 2011, and more in 2011 than in 2010.

    And the new52 did bring in new readers. And still does by virtue of providing a simple point of continuity starting.

    And I think Marvel and DC are progressing along at a decent speed. Since neither of us is really privy to all of the details, it's not for either of us to really judge. BTW, digital doesn't accomplish squat if people don't know where and how to get them on digital, so digital isn't really a response to the awareness problem. It does address distribution, both of which are far bigger issues than content.
    The DC relaunch was successful and was executed in what was most likely the best way it could given restrictions we wouldn't know about. No, your idea wouldn't have worked. Now move on.

  3. #1068
    Elder Member Mat001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by king mob View Post
    So even trying is pointless because this would affect your status quo?
    This isn't about my status quo. It is the status quo of people who either take an interest in comics, or they don't. It is simplicity itself. If you were really interested, then you would want to read regardless of something like, "Oh it isn't Black Lantern" or "Why is the Hulk gray instead of green?", or "Superman's a television reporter instead of a newspaper man". People make excuses because they're good at it.

    I'm not talking about one British city. I'm talking about a massive bookshop chain, and also, if you go around Europe you'll see the same sort of thing in shops in cities like Stockholm, Paris or Berlin.

    You've made it clear you have a pessimistic view, but if you don't even try then you're seriously looking at a superhero industry the US becoming an even more niche product than it is now.
    The problem is that the industry has tried. No one gives a damn anymore, when they can find a different outlet for what they want.

    And again, you try to create material that will either appeal to the masses as superhero comics should, or are of such a high standard that they cross boundaries. Shrugging your shoulders and accepting things as they are now is fatalistic.
    When the material was great, people didn't turn up in droves. That's why the industry shrank down over time. The world changed around comics, which is why it doesn't matter.

    Which proves a point I've been making about accessibility, and/or quality of the end material.
    Accessibility doesn't stop people in the day of online shopping and online research. If they don't want to look for it, or look into it, then they're lazy and never had a desire to invest in it.

    You have a shrinking market for superhero comics. You need to grow the readership. I'm not reading anything but an argument to keep the status quo.
    I'm not saying that they should keep the status quo. The problem is people aren't willing to invest in something that holds no interest, regardless of quality or accessibility. It's been that way for years, which is why the market shrank. The films and television take away from the comics, because why bother reading when you can watch it?

    The biggest film of 2012 was about superheroes. Right now the genre has never had so much exposure to a mainstream audience but yet superhero comics are in decline. There's a problem right off in that nobody seems to want to actually bring the mainstream reader in because that might mean the fan will be alienated.
    In 1989, "Batman" was the biggest film that year. DC had about six months of strong sales and then the novelty wore off. When "Batman Returns" came out, there were no major story arcs going. The stories were simple and had clear jumping on points. New creative teams were coming onto the books. Sales did not rise again like they had previously. Sales did not spike on all subsequent books with films based on them. That's why DC opted to go ahead with "R.I.P." and "Final Crisis" for Batman, even though "The Dark Knight" had a lot of buzz and was a top grossing film for that year. The 60's Batman series held people's interest for about a year and then sales fell, leading to the big shake up that happened in 69. The mainstream just don't have the interest that they once did. Hell, look at the Golden Age. People stopped reading when the war ended. Comics adapted and that lasted all of four years.

    Both wern't ways to bring in new readers. They were ways to draw in more of the current market.
    Actually, it was for new readers with the reboot. That's why DC had commercials for the New 52, which was an effort to gain new and lapsed readers. People just weren't that interested. Even promoting comics through shows like "The Big Bang Theory", which is one of the highest rated shows on television, hasn't done much to attract new readers. Even with all the product placing.

  4. #1069
    Marquis de carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat001 View Post
    Actually, it was for new readers with the reboot. That's why DC had commercials for the New 52, which was an effort to gain new and lapsed readers. People just weren't that interested. Even promoting comics through shows like "The Big Bang Theory", which is one of the highest rated shows on television, hasn't done much to attract new readers. Even with all the product placing.
    Except it didn't work. DC's reboot brought virtually no new readers, just lots of lapsed readers, Marvel readers... not new comics readers.

    Marvel NOW really isn't a way to bringing new readers. It mostly seems a way to sell multiple copies of new #1s to old readers, with sales dropping off very dramatically with #2 in almost all cases.
    'The marquis. Well, you know, to be honest, he seems a little bit dodgy to me.'
    'Mm,' she agreed. 'He's a little bit dodgy in the same way that rats are a little bit covered in fur."

  5. #1070
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carabas View Post
    Except it didn't work. DC's reboot brought virtually no new readers, just lots of lapsed readers, Marvel readers... not new comics readers.

    Marvel NOW really isn't a way to bringing new readers. It mostly seems a way to sell multiple copies of new #1s to old readers, with sales dropping off very dramatically with #2 in almost all cases.
    We don't really know how many new readers new52 brought in, but the point is that it created a convenient point at which one can declare the current continuity to have started, so when we do get new readers they don't have to feel like they have to go back to 1985 to get all of the pertinent bits. Working backwards, the necessity-of-reading drops sharply once you get past September 2011.

    Marvel NOW didn't really do the same thing to the same degree, certainly.
    The DC relaunch was successful and was executed in what was most likely the best way it could given restrictions we wouldn't know about. No, your idea wouldn't have worked. Now move on.

  6. #1071
    Elder Member Mat001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carabas View Post
    Except it didn't work. DC's reboot brought virtually no new readers, just lots of lapsed readers, Marvel readers... not new comics readers.

    Marvel NOW really isn't a way to bringing new readers. It mostly seems a way to sell multiple copies of new #1s to old readers, with sales dropping off very dramatically with #2 in almost all cases.
    That's why I never said that it worked out that way. People just aren't interested in comics. That's what it comes down to in the end. You can gussy it up with reboots and promoting stories in the vein of "Strangers In Paradise" and "The Walking Dead", but people just don't care. That's why so many got rid of their copies of Superman #75, when they realized it wasn't going to be worth anything than what it cost to buy it off the newsstand. Only a small percentage of the speculators actually read the book and an even smaller number became fans.

  7. #1072
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Sooo, to be clear, there seems to be three points of view floating around here:

    1. B2SHC can never really do any better than they are now.
    2. B2SHC could do better but they need to change the content.
    3. B2SHC could do better but they need to work on awareness and distribution before worrying about content.

    Just wanted to clear that up - Mat001 and I are somewhat on the same side of the fence but in different yards. :)
    The DC relaunch was successful and was executed in what was most likely the best way it could given restrictions we wouldn't know about. No, your idea wouldn't have worked. Now move on.

  8. #1073
    Marquis de carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennsim View Post
    We don't really know how many new readers new52 brought in,
    DC had an extensive Nielsens thing done. Virtually no new readers it came out.

    ...but the point is that it created a convenient point at which one can declare the current continuity to have started, so when we do get new readers they don't have to feel like they have to go back to 1985 to get all of the pertinent bits. Working backwards, the necessity-of-reading drops sharply once you get past September 2011.
    That only works for so ling before the continuity of the new universe gets too big for that. And that's without counting the old bits of continuity that are still around or will undoubtedly be reintroduced over a year or two or so...

    Marvel NOW didn't really do the same thing to the same degree, certainly.
    'The marquis. Well, you know, to be honest, he seems a little bit dodgy to me.'
    'Mm,' she agreed. 'He's a little bit dodgy in the same way that rats are a little bit covered in fur."

  9. #1074
    Marquis de carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennsim View Post
    Sooo, to be clear, there seems to be three points of view floating around here:

    1. B2SHC can never really do any better than they are now.
    2. B2SHC could do better but they need to change the content.
    3. B2SHC could do better but they need to work on awareness and distribution before worrying about content.

    Just wanted to clear that up - Mat001 and I are somewhat on the same side of the fence but in different yards. :)
    I'm firmly in camp 3. And I think that simply saying 'digital' will not magically make people aware of comics.
    'The marquis. Well, you know, to be honest, he seems a little bit dodgy to me.'
    'Mm,' she agreed. 'He's a little bit dodgy in the same way that rats are a little bit covered in fur."

  10. #1075
    Veteran Member glennsim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carabas View Post
    DC had an extensive Nielsens thing done. Virtually no new readers it came out.
    Which revealed that there was what, 5% new readers? Whether that is "a lot" is subject to expectations. And that was only measured at the time of the launch itself - we don't know what has happened since then.

    Quote Originally Posted by carabas View Post
    That only works for so ling before the continuity of the new universe gets too big for that. And that's without counting the old bits of continuity that are still around or will undoubtedly be reintroduced over a year or two or so...
    But still, better than going back to 1985.
    The DC relaunch was successful and was executed in what was most likely the best way it could given restrictions we wouldn't know about. No, your idea wouldn't have worked. Now move on.

  11. #1076

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennsim View Post
    Superhero comics are not in the decline. More superhero comics were sold by the big two in 2012 than in 2011, and more in 2011 than in 2010.

    And the new52 did bring in new readers. And still does by virtue of providing a simple point of continuity starting.

    And I think Marvel and DC are progressing along at a decent speed. Since neither of us is really privy to all of the details, it's not for either of us to really judge. BTW, digital doesn't accomplish squat if people don't know where and how to get them on digital, so digital isn't really a response to the awareness problem. It does address distribution, both of which are far bigger issues than content.
    Well, they are getting better, but they are generally lower than past decades.
    Characters: Elongated Man, Batman, Satellite JLA, Super Buddies, Sandman, Swamp Thing
    Writers: Moore, Gaiman, Cooke, Giffen/DeMatteis, Miller, Dini, Morrison, Waid, Meltzer, McDuffie, Barr, Englehart

  12. #1077

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    Quote Originally Posted by carabas View Post
    I'm firmly in camp 3. And I think that simply saying 'digital' will not magically make people aware of comics.
    Interesting, I'm firmly in 2.5. Not in complete disagreement with 3, but I think change in content is also correlated with the decline, simply by virtue of both having progressed at the same time and pace. However, from experience, I think it twice before challenging your position. I'd rather just ask where does it come from, what lead you to it?
    Characters: Elongated Man, Batman, Satellite JLA, Super Buddies, Sandman, Swamp Thing
    Writers: Moore, Gaiman, Cooke, Giffen/DeMatteis, Miller, Dini, Morrison, Waid, Meltzer, McDuffie, Barr, Englehart

  13. #1078
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    Quote Originally Posted by carabas View Post
    I'm firmly in camp 3. And I think that simply saying 'digital' will not magically make people aware of comics.
    I think one thing that could help (especially at Marvel) is if the advertised either an prologue comic book to the movies or stand alone comicbook featuring the film version of the characters during the regular adds for the films.

  14. #1079
    Lazer Faced Goggindowner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennsim View Post
    No, it really doesn't. For DC you only have to go back to September 2011. For Marvel you could easily start at the Marvel NOW books.
    I just recently attempted to get into Marvel NOW, and was more lost than ever. I consider myself something of an X-Men fan since back in the day, and I had NO CLUE where to even start with the current series. Marvel is more continuity heavy than ever, IMO. Imagine someone who knows nothing trying to figure that mess out.

    As far as DC goes, yeah, for right now its only back a little over a year. But what happens with interested potential new readers in 2016, or even 2026, who now have to go ALL THE WAY BACK TO 2011 and wade through 5 or 15 years of history.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mat001 View Post
    Accessibility doesn't stop people in the day of online shopping and online research. If they don't want to look for it, or look into it, then they're lazy and never had a desire to invest in it.
    Average, non-comic readers, the people who you need to draw in to save this dying industry, don't always want to "invest" in their entertainment. You have to create something that they can enjoy on their own terms. Expecting the average entertainment consumer to change to your mode of thinking is flawed. You have to change your product to tailor to their wants, and the current state of super hero comics doesn't offer that in any way at all.

    Which is why I still say that Marvel and DC need to start publishing things that don't involve capes or tights and don't tie in to their shared universe at all. Business professionals, stay at home moms, college students, and retired people have already proven that they aren't interested in reading about the current material being published my mainstream comic publishers (DC and Marvel). At least not in any kind of significant number. But put your fantasy comic next to the Game of Thrones DVDs and novels, and put Walking Dead next to World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide, things that masses of people are already reading, and then make those comics something that doesn't require an investment and is of a great quality, and then you can start having a conversation about growing the market.

    Stuffing your power fantasy story into a corner, or worse, into a specialized store, is NOT working, and will NEVER work. As is, the industry is doomed, and arguing that modifying the current form can save it is wrong. The only way to ACTUALLY fix the problem is to change the way publishers do business.
    Writers before artists.
    Artists before concepts.
    Concepts before characters.

  15. #1080
    Lazer Faced Goggindowner's Avatar
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    .....aaaaaaaannnnnnnnddddddd double post
    Writers before artists.
    Artists before concepts.
    Concepts before characters.

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