IDW in trouble - How Can the Comic book industry be saved?

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Shockwave
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Re: IDW comic sales

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The term as I am using it isn't intended to comment on the quality of content, just whether or not content is being produced in order to reflect the overall state of a property. Since we're discussing the possible death of the comics industry, Time Magazine's definition is more appropriate. Honestly, if I'm going by your definitions, Star Trek has been in a dark age since the end of Voyager. But it hasn't. I might not like all of the content that has come out, but it has gotten the franchise more attention and more fans and therefore has breathed some new life into it. Comics needs to do the same, but they're not going to do that by soliciting to the same fandom.
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Re: IDW comic sales

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Dominic wrote:
I don't think we're close to another Star Trek "Dark age" anytime soon and we have those movies to thank for that, regardless of what the existing fandom thinks of those movies.
The question is how reliably does the mass audience keep coming back. A fandom provides a predictable "base" for something, which is why many content producers fall into the trap of only playing towards fans.
They kept coming back for the Transformers movies in enough numbers that they made 6 of the damned things. This won't work for every franchise, but companies would be stupid not to try.
Dominic wrote:
1. Ditch the baggage. No one new is going to come into a story that's literally 100 years old (Action Comics #1 came out in I think 1920). Nor is anyone new going to sift through that much content to spin the wheel on hitting a story they might like.
Picking a run or arc to read assumes that the new reader can find a coherent and reliable summary (which many fans are incapable of providing).

Contrary to popular belief,
That popular belief is what needs to be shattered. And the industry is doing nothing to help that.
Dominic wrote:
2. Make comics more available. Sell them everywhere and anywhere that magazines are sold. Diamond is a monopoly that needs to be broken so that there can be competition to get comics to places more accessible to more people.
Diamond is not the problem here. Do you really think that Diamond is making a concerted effort to not sell more comics in more places? Do yo think that publishers would not tell Diamond where to go and what to do with themselves if they could sell more comics without diamond?

The simple fact is that comics are only going to sell so well outside of a comic store. Many stores would not consider comics worth the shelf space.
I have heard numerous complaints from comic shop owners about Diamond's shitty distribution practices. They absolutely are not doing the industry any favors. I have also heard those same owners wish that there was some competition and could order comics through any other company, but Diamond has the monopoly. They have established themselves as the only game in town and if you want your comic distributed, you go through Diamond or you don't get your comic distributed.

Dominic wrote:
3. Advertise everywhere. Seriously. The only places I see ads for comics... are in other comics
Print media is supposed to sell/be advertising, not buy advertising.

Marvel and DC selling car ads (which makes them money) is correct. IDW advertising its own product is incestuous, and model destined for failure.

People know that comics exist. But, they do not see comics are worth buying.
Fair enough, but in the established world of cinematic universes, they should be able to use that as advertising and... they don't. I've barely even ever seen anything in the credits like "Follow the further adventures in ____ comics". I don't even see that anymore. Maybe if they put something showing that it was adapted from certain issues or something like that, but no, no effort at all. Advertising works, it gets people to know stuff exists and how to buy it. I dunno, I just feel like the comic industry doesn't really do much to get the word out to non comic fans. Or to try to draw in new fans. I could be wrong, and this part of the problem probably requires a more complex solution.

Dominic wrote:
The New 52 would have done better if they had gone with the most popular iterations of their characters, advertised it everywhere to get new people reading it and made it more available so that people could easily buy it.
Many of the changes to DC with "New 52" were for the purpose of making the characters screen friendly (less spandex, more armor and such).
Which would have worked better if they had successfully established an existing DCCU (DC Cinematic Universe). They've established one (UNsuccessfully) and are quickly doing everything they can to change it because literally everyone hated it. Besides, they should have just stuck with spandex and tights. The Christopher Reeve Superman movies are still the best superhero movies every made and, in my opinion, the best costuming as well. No one has gotten right since. The Sam Raimi Spiderman movies costume were a close second.

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Re: IDW comic sales

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Shockwave wrote:The term as I am using it isn't intended to comment on the quality of content, just whether or not content is being produced in order to reflect the overall state of a property.
The quality of the content being produced is a part of the overall state of the property. If what they're producing isn't very good, the property isn't in a healthy state.
Since we're discussing the possible death of the comics industry, Time Magazine's definition is more appropriate.
I'd have to disagree. The comic book industry certainly is on a decline, but we don't know when/if it'll get to the point they aren't producing any new content what-so-ever. It isn't like the industry hasn't gone through rough patches before, but somehow, they've always seemed to manage to hold on and eventually recover.
Honestly, if I'm going by your definitions, Star Trek has been in a dark age since the end of Voyager. But it hasn't.
No, that's right. Star Trek has been in a dark age since Voyager ended.
I might not like all of the content that has come out, but it has gotten the franchise more attention and more fans and therefore has breathed some new life into it. Comics needs to do the same, but they're not going to do that by soliciting to the same fandom.
Simply getting attention is meaningless when they are loosing more and more fans with bad content. Again, as I keep saying, what you suggesting is only good for a temporary boost in sales, but in-practice from what we've seen, hasn't done well for the long term. Breathing new life into something is good and all, but you can't forget about why people loved it in the first place, or else you'll just end up driving everybody away, new and long term fans alike.

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Re: IDW comic sales

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Sparky Prime wrote:
Shockwave wrote:The term as I am using it isn't intended to comment on the quality of content, just whether or not content is being produced in order to reflect the overall state of a property.
The quality of the content being produced is a part of the overall state of the property. If what they're producing isn't very good, the property isn't in a healthy state.
Quality is subjective. You and I might not like it, but I know other Trekkies (who were Trekkies before any of the Abrams movies) that actually like both Discovery and Picard. Discussing quality is the difference between discussing the current state of a franchise vs. there is no longer a current franchise to discuss. And again, since we're discussing the possible end of the comics industry, that definition is more appropriate.
Sparky Prime wrote:
Since we're discussing the possible death of the comics industry, Time Magazine's definition is more appropriate.
I'd have to disagree. The comic book industry certainly is on a decline, but we don't know when/if it'll get to the point they aren't producing any new content what-so-ever. It isn't like the industry hasn't gone through rough patches before, but somehow, they've always seemed to manage to hold on and eventually recover.
Marvel wouldn't be here if they hadn't been bailed out by a rich fan and later by Disney. DC has Warner Brothers to lean on for movie and tv content, but the big two have not done themselves any favors when it comes to the comics themselves. The industry has continued in spite of them, not because of them.
Sparky Prime wrote:
Honestly, if I'm going by your definitions, Star Trek has been in a dark age since the end of Voyager. But it hasn't.
No, that's right. Star Trek has been in a dark age since Voyager ended.
:lol:
Sparky Prime wrote:
I might not like all of the content that has come out, but it has gotten the franchise more attention and more fans and therefore has breathed some new life into it. Comics needs to do the same, but they're not going to do that by soliciting to the same fandom.
Simply getting attention is meaningless when they are loosing more and more fans with bad content. Again, as I keep saying, what you suggesting is only good for a temporary boost in sales, but in-practice from what we've seen, hasn't done well for the long term. Breathing new life into something is good and all, but you can't forget about why people loved it in the first place, or else you'll just end up driving everybody away, new and long term fans alike.
I think that's because they don't try to appeal to both once they've appealed to a larger audience. Transformers has managed to do that. There are the Micheal Bay movies for people that like those and Hasbro has continued to produce new toys, comics and cartoons that appeal to older fans as well. So they've been able to draw in new fans and keep the old ones happy as well. Owners of other properties aren't doing that, which is why they're alienating their core customer bases.

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Re: IDW comic sales

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Discussing quality is the difference between discussing the current state of a franchise vs. there is no longer a current franchise to discuss. And again, since we're discussing the possible end of the comics industry, that definition is more appropriate.
Exactly.

think that's because they don't try to appeal to both once they've appealed to a larger audience. Transformers has managed to do that. There are the Micheal Bay movies for people that like those and Hasbro has continued to produce new toys, comics and cartoons that appeal to older fans as well. So they've been able to draw in new fans and keep the old ones happy as well. Owners of other properties aren't doing that, which is why they're alienating their core customer bases.
Not sure about that. The sales of TF comics are trending downward. Target (at least locally) is giving TF less shelf-space (and thus a lower priority).

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Re: IDW comic sales

Post by Shockwave »

They have the same shelf space here that they've always had and they always seem to sell product pretty regularly.

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Re: IDW comic sales

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Shockwave wrote:Quality is subjective.
No, not entirely. There is also an objective quality to how well something is made.
You and I might not like it, but I know other Trekkies (who were Trekkies before any of the Abrams movies) that actually like both Discovery and Picard. Discussing quality is the difference between discussing the current state of a franchise vs. there is no longer a current franchise to discuss.
I don't deny that there are fans of it. But, consider how much more popular and healthier the franchise would be if the quality was better overall. And no, quality is not the difference between the current state and there no longer being a current franchise. The franchise doesn't go away just because there is no new content currently being produced. As andersonh1 pointed out earlier, Star Trek actually became MORE POPULAR after it got cancelled and went into syndication.
And again, since we're discussing the possible end of the comics industry, that definition is more appropriate.
And again, it isn't. We don't know that the comics industry will come to an end of producing new content here.
Marvel wouldn't be here if they hadn't been bailed out by a rich fan and later by Disney. DC has Warner Brothers to lean on for movie and tv content, but the big two have not done themselves any favors when it comes to the comics themselves. The industry has continued in spite of them, not because of them.
The financial problems Marvel got themselves into in the 90's is not indicative of the industry as a whole. Nor is DC "leaning" on Warner Brothers for tv and movie content. That has nothing to do with comic books as an industry. It's the different Age's of comic books that I'm talking about here. Comic books as an industry fell into a huge decline around the 1940's, ending the Golden Age of comics. They later saw a resurgence in the late 1950's - beginning the Silver Age. They went into another decline (although not as drastic) before the Bronze Age came about in the 70's. They're in another decline. But who's to say we might not see an "Iron Age"?
:lol:
Laugh all you want, it's still true.
I think that's because they don't try to appeal to both once they've appealed to a larger audience. Transformers has managed to do that. There are the Micheal Bay movies for people that like those and Hasbro has continued to produce new toys, comics and cartoons that appeal to older fans as well. So they've been able to draw in new fans and keep the old ones happy as well. Owners of other properties aren't doing that, which is why they're alienating their core customer bases.
You do realize the Bay films were widely criticized and The Last Knight was a flop, right? Bumblebee (the first Transformers film not directed by Bay), which was somewhat more true to the source material was actually the best critically received of the Transformers live action franchise (by a HUGE margin I'd also point out). Imagine that. Something that appeals to BOTH, new and old fans alike, actually does better and something that is only intended to appeal to one or the other. I'd also say other properties try to do the same thing, but the reason why they are alienating their core customer base is because they tend to do it at the expense of the old characters and canon, so it doesn't come off satisfying.
Last edited by Sparky Prime on Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How Can the Comic book industry be saved?

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Thread split off from IDW sales since the conversation has taken on a life of its own.

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Re: How Can the Comic book industry be saved?

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I saw this thread and was confused.

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Re: IDW comic sales

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Sparky Prime wrote:No, not entirely. There is also an objective quality to how well something is made.
Not when you're talking about your opinion of whether or not you like something. At no point were we talking about the technical side of anything like special effects, editing, sound, etc... we've only been talking about whether or not we like the current content, which is opinion, which is subjective.
Sparky Prime wrote:I don't deny that there are fans of it. But, consider how much more popular and healthier the franchise would be if the quality was better overall. And no, quality is not the difference between the current state and there no longer being a current franchise. The franchise doesn't go away just because there is no new content currently being produced. As andersonh1 pointed out earlier, Star Trek actually became MORE POPULAR after it got cancelled and went into syndication.
"Proper" Star Trek has always been considered too cerebral for a mass audience. That's why it had low ratings in the original series and why most Trek films haven't had the same success as a lot of other big budget movies. Appealing to a mass audience is a double edged sword, on the one hand, you gain new fans, but then you alienate (or at least risk alienating) existing fans. Again, now that they have new fans, they should start producing content that can appeal to or reference both. I think that's what they're trying with Picard, but the problem there is they have Kurtzman running it and he could write his way out of a paper sack.
Sparky Prime wrote:
And again, since we're discussing the possible end of the comics industry, that definition is more appropriate.
And again, it isn't. We don't know that the comics industry will come to an end of producing new content here.
Alright, fine, then what term do you want to use for an industry or franchise that has completely stopped producing any new content and is effectively dead? I thought "Dark Age" worked fine, but you go ahead and suggest something better. We're discussing the possible death of an industry by referencing franchises and properties that have had periods where they were dead. I don't care what we call that period, just pick a term and we can stick with it. And remember, we're discussing periods of NO content, good or bad.
Sparky Prime wrote:
Marvel wouldn't be here if they hadn't been bailed out by a rich fan and later by Disney. DC has Warner Brothers to lean on for movie and tv content, but the big two have not done themselves any favors when it comes to the comics themselves. The industry has continued in spite of them, not because of them.
The financial problems Marvel got themselves into in the 90's is not indicative of the industry as a whole. Nor is DC "leaning" on Warner Brothers for tv and movie content. That has nothing to do with comic books as an industry. It's the different Age's of comic books that I'm talking about here. Comic books as an industry fell into a huge decline around the 1940's, ending the Golden Age of comics. They later saw a resurgence in the late 1950's - beginning the Silver Age. They went into another decline (although not as drastic) before the Bronze Age came about in the 70's. They're in another decline. But who's to say we might not see an "Iron Age"?
These are all good points, and I hope you're right, but I just don't see that happening if things continue the way they are.
Sparky Prime wrote:
:lol:
Laugh all you want, it's still true.
LOL yeah, that's why I was laughing. It wasn't sarcastic. I mean, I said it, so obviously I agree with you :D
Sparky Prime wrote:
I think that's because they don't try to appeal to both once they've appealed to a larger audience. Transformers has managed to do that. There are the Micheal Bay movies for people that like those and Hasbro has continued to produce new toys, comics and cartoons that appeal to older fans as well. So they've been able to draw in new fans and keep the old ones happy as well. Owners of other properties aren't doing that, which is why they're alienating their core customer bases.
You do realize the Bay films were widely criticized and The Last Knight was a flop, right? Bumblebee (the first Transformers film not directed by Bay), which was somewhat more true to the source material was actually the best critically received of the Transformers live action franchise (by a HUGE margin I'd also point out). Imagine that. Something that appeals to BOTH, new and old fans alike, actually does better and something that is only intended to appeal to one or the other. I'd also say other properties try to do the same thing, but the reason why they are alienating their core customer base is because they tend to do it at the expense of the old characters and canon, so it doesn't come off satisfying.
There is often a disparity between critics and audiences. Critics tend to hate mass appeal movies while audiences tend to like them. Look at almost any movie's Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes scores and there's usually a difference. The Transformers movies were pretty universally hated by existing fans and critics alike, but they kept making so much money that they... kept making more of them. But, thanks to that we know have a franchise that can reference the old and the new in the same content. We have Barricade in IDW's current comic and toy line along with classic fan favorites. That's the way to do mass appeal right.

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