Thursday, August 25, 2011

Comics are dying, let's start over

oh Stephanie Brown, I'll miss you most of all.

HeroComplex (which has an awful looking website, btw) has a very good article on the DC reboot, or the "New 52", as they're calling it. It's has a lot of quotes from Co-Publisher and fan-least-favorite Dan Didio plus other creative types that are working on the relaunch. It's probably the best article I've read on the subject since it was first announced. It has a some info and opinions that I think DC should have focused on sooner rather than later. As it is, it feels like they had this big idea and ran with it before they got their ducks in a row. Anyhoo, Here's the money quote.

"The truth is people are leaving anyway, they’re just doing it quietly, and we have been papering it over with increased prices,” DiDio said. “We didn’t want to wake up one day and find we had a bunch of $20 books that 10,000 people are buying.”

Amen brother. As a comic fan it sucks to admit this but comic books have become an ultra niche market and so far no crossover success (like the Dark Knight) has changed that. One look at the sales charts and you'll see the pattern, every book is down. All the time. Publishers have tried to fight the momentum by constant renumbering, but for every #1 that sells say 20,000 more copies than the previous Vol, they're stealing 1,000 readers from every other book they publish.

A lot of people think Digital comics will save the day and I hope they're right. The only way for Comic books to recapture the success they had just 15 years ago is to get books, digital or otherwise, into new readers hands. It's clear they've given up on traditional distribution methods, hopefully they can find a way to crack the digital code (which is much harder than say the konami code).




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