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hobbes
10-04-2005, 02:21 PM
Do you prefer to grab the singles as they come out, or do you prefer to wait for the trades? Why?

Now, if you are into the indy scene, singles is how they make their bread and butter, and utlimately sees if they will remain on the shelves. I know that is a very simplified reasoning, but knowing this, and if you are one that prefers trades, would you remain a trades kind of person, or would you consider singles?

I prefer singles. Like a great tv show, I like to follow it as it happens. Trades are for things that I've missed.

Scribe
10-04-2005, 04:35 PM
I think there is a time and place for both. I have really given up the hope that I will ever make any money off of anything that I buy so I just really collect series I like to read.

I'm not a big fan of DC so when it comes to their crossovers I'll pick up the trade paperback before I ever buy a single issue. I missed the first issues of Hunter Killer and bought that four issue thing they put out. Unless its a graphic novel I really don't buy many TPB or hardcovers.

dano
10-04-2005, 04:53 PM
I'm too lazy/busy to keep going to the comic shop and keep a schedule of when things come out so i get trades.
Also, I'll be damned before i start dropping $3 a pop to try something that I may not like. I usually wait til i hear some good reviews of X series and then pick up the trades.

I'm also not a devout collector. I just grab things here and there, as convenient.

JudgeJeezor
10-04-2005, 04:55 PM
I like trades mostly because I'm too lazy to keep abreast of what's coming out right now in terms of singles, so I'm usually only aware of a good series to check out after it's already in trade form. I know I should try and support indie books by buying the singles, but there's only a couple of comic stores I know of where I can get indie singles in town, and none of them are particularly close.

Another reason I like trades is that they give me something to read for a few hours. I don't read many novels these days, so sitting down with a new graphic novel is often the highlight of my week. I could follow a series through singles, but it's kind of a stuttered way to read a narrative - twenty minutes or less every month. Like Liquid Realm, I enjoy the episodic nature of comic books, and it's one of the reasons I love the medium, but the time in between reading issues takes away a little from involving myself in the story. I prefer to read trades and appreciate individual issues within the context of the story arc as it's all laid out for me.

That said, I definitely love singles as back issues. There's nothing like coming across back issues of the Invisibles, or Warlock & The Infinity Watch. If I can buy enough consecutive back issues to give me something to read for an hour or so, I will. It's like having a trade, but you get the individual episodes as they were first presented. I think collecting back issues is definitely the best of both worlds.

hobbes
10-05-2005, 04:43 PM
Do you feel that the market is more like a trades kind of market than singles? I've been thinking about this and the how the comic book market still struggles. So imagine if you will, most of the book that you are reading now and those that you would like to read mainly became trades, how would feel about that?

Calloway
10-05-2005, 04:50 PM
trades. Economically it's just smarter.

dano
10-05-2005, 05:06 PM
Personally, I'm fine with all trades. With the high level of artistic quality and print methods, it makes better use of the trade/GN format. Artists can spend a little longer making amazing looking art that fits the high tech new color and printing methods.

Its not as if theres a big kids market where children are going into the shops and spending their allowances anymore on individual issues. And the kids that ARE buying comics already get tpbs in the form of manga at bookstores in the mall.

MrGranger
10-06-2005, 10:27 AM
With all the cross-overs I buy single issues, and series that it doesn't appear that any trade is going to come out. Otherwise I'll wait for a trade if I know it's coming. Often I get both and give the singles away to kids or on my website. I know it's buying it twice, but I think that maybe it is an investment to get kids interested in comics again.

For business, I do both.

Mark Bertolini
10-06-2005, 10:46 AM
I prefer trades for a couple of reasons, the foremost being money. It's cheaper to pay 20-25 bucks for 4-8 issues than pay the 3-4 bucks (and that's Canadian) for the individual issues.
Also, I like to read stuff in arcs, and waiting month to month just doesn't do it for me.
Lastly, this may sound like a stupid reason, but trades look killer on a bookshelf. I often admire mine.

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 10:50 AM
Do you feel that the market is more like a trades kind of market than singles? I've been thinking about this and the how the comic book market still struggles. So imagine if you will, most of the book that you are reading now and those that you would like to read mainly became trades, how would feel about that?I think the industry is headed for the trades market, individual issues just don't offer anything anymore, the trades have sketches, usually all the variant covers and sometimes stories of behind the scenes stuff MORE MORE MORE and most of the time are CHEAPER THAN THE ORIGINALS. It used to be the singles used to have good letters pages at least now they rarely have that.

Also it seems some writers don't write for single issues but have the trades in mind and use "decompression" stretching the stories out over many issues so waiting for the complete story is a pain in the ass.

I think eventually you'll have Graphic Novelists who'll put out a trade once in a while and it'll be like a favorite writer with a new book.

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 10:51 AM
Its not as if theres a big kids market where children are going into the shops and spending their allowances anymore on individual issues. And the kids that ARE buying comics already get tpbs in the form of manga at bookstores in the mall.There isn't a kids market.

Anthony J. Lombard
10-06-2005, 11:25 AM
I perfer waiting for trades on stories i like

JudgeJeezor
10-06-2005, 11:35 AM
Lastly, this may sound like a stupid reason, but trades look killer on a bookshelf. I often admire mine.

I understand perfectly. For awhile my trades have been in a stack on my floor, but just a few days ago I moved them downstairs to the bookshelf. I can turn around behind me right now and see them, and every time I do I giggle.

Well, not giggle, per se. But it's a good feeling.

dano
10-06-2005, 11:48 AM
There isn't a kids market.

Theres a huge kids market; its manga.

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 11:54 AM
Theres a huge kids market; its manga.
No there's a huge manga market, believe or not, alot of kids don't like manga, so if you don't and your a kid there's nothing for you.

dano
10-06-2005, 11:59 AM
:huh:
Preposterous!
Do you have anything to back up your statement?

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 12:03 PM
:huh:
Preposterous!
Do you have anything to back up your statement?
Yeah, kids I know who don't like manga.

dano
10-06-2005, 12:19 PM
There is a huge kids market in manga in that most of the purchasers of manga are considered kids (lets say 10-17 for arguements sake). Naturally, there will be some who dont like manga. Theres a hell of a lot of people who dont like comics in general.
BUT that doesnt mean theres no kids market just because SOME dont like manga.

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 12:29 PM
I allready know where this is going so I'll say it, DC adventures Marvel Age and reprints of old comics that were for everybody.

The mainstream superhero books are for adults and no kids allowed, or if they are they better be mature enough to understand sexual situations and violence and murder, if they can't handle that direct them to the bug eyed pokemon characters.

Back on track

I like trades.

dano
10-06-2005, 12:30 PM
if they dont read comics they arent comics fans. If they DO read comics then obviously they've found their niche and the point is moot.

However, have you ever looked at manga? There is an incredibly broad range of subject. To say someone doesnt like manga is a sweeping statement based on ignorance of available material.

I've found that there are more parents who dont like manga than kids. Probably based on some ignorant (again) notion that manga has dirty sex and inappropriate subject matter.

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 12:37 PM
The kids I'm talking about do like comics but they like Superheros but don't just want DC adventures and Marvel Age. The reprints of old comics that were for everybody is what they wish DC and Marvel still did. There are some trades of old Spiderman stories that are going around at the school I work at, the essentials and stuff too, but these kids tell me that the regular Spiderman book is no fun at all for them, but they still want new stories that are as good as those and the rest of the Superheros on a regualr basis.

dano
10-06-2005, 12:46 PM
are you sure its not YOOUUUU who wants the old reprints??

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 12:54 PM
are you sure its not YOOUUUU who wants the old reprints??
Didn't you read what I wrote, these kids don't want old reprints, they want New stories that are as good and are for everybody. And I work at a school that has grades k4 thru 12th grade so it's pretty diverse.

kdmelrose
10-06-2005, 12:57 PM
There are a lot of "kids comics" -- just not necessarily featuring the superhero characters that so many of us grew up reading.

Courtney Crumrin, Lions, Tigers & Bears, Polly and the Pirates, Herobear and the Kid, Owly, Electric Girl, The Land of Sockmunster, Buzzboy, Shades of Blue, The Dead Boy Detectives, Akiko, Colonia, Leave It to Chance (in trades, at least), Quicken Forbidden, Sidekicks, Zoom's Academy, Monster Allergy ... That's just off the top of my head.

Too many adults tend to overlook those books because they're determined their children read/like the books and characters that they read when they were young.

Lovecraft13
10-06-2005, 01:04 PM
Why pay $60-70 for a 12-issue story and wait a year to finish it when I could just pay $15-20 on the TPB and read it all in one sitting? I believe in practicality, not inconvenience.

hobbes
10-06-2005, 01:04 PM
Okay, we are going off topic a bit here, but let me just say that for what I know, Manga is attracting new readers. More spifically young female readers.

Chapaters (bookstore chain in Canada) has a manga section. There are no section for comic books. When I talked to a friend who works at Chapaters head office, he mentioned that there has been an ever increase in the amount the the buy and sell of manga books.

It's not a huge surprise. Manga does offer a lot of stories that people can relate too, think of it as a soap opera with a dash of fantasy. Even Harlinquin are doing manga books to my understanding.

So how does this relate to singles Vs trades? My belief is that the age of singles is at it's tail end. Trades will be the format choosen in the times to come. This how I feel about it. As I get older and read comics, I feel that I do collect comics, but to read and treasure. As opposed to that weirdo time in the 90's where comic books were like junk bonds.

I created this thread to see how you felt about it all. I'm like many others are trying to break in, get something published, but before I go gung ho over it all, I felt that something has changed amonst many things in the industry, one of which is that the average buyer goes for the trade vs getting the monthly singles that we grew up with.

That's my 2 cents and how I'm feeling currently.

dano
10-06-2005, 01:11 PM
I wonder if its really the format of the books that helps make manga so popular or if its the availability? Do kids like the small paperback particularly, or would they buy single standard sized issues monthly if they were available?

SDulaney
10-06-2005, 01:15 PM
I read mostly singles but the main reason for that is the bulk of the mainstream stuff I buy is from DC. With certain exceptions, they've been very careful in their Trade policy. The upcoming Rann-Thangar War and Villains United trades have (I think) the fastest single-to-trade turnaround ever for a DCU title.

If I were more of a Marvel reader, I might have switch to mainly buying trades since 90% of their projects will be out as a trade within a month of the final issue of a storyline.

What trades I do buy tend to be older collections (The Williamson and Manning STAR WARS trades, Marvel Essentials, etc.) as opposed to recent books that were written with the trade in mind.

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 01:16 PM
There are a lot of "kids comics" -- just not necessarily featuring the superhero characters that so many of us grew up reading.

Courtney Crumrin, Lions, Tigers & Bears, Polly and the Pirates, Herobear and the Kid, Owly, Electric Girl, The Land of Sockmunster, Buzzboy, Shades of Blue, The Dead Boy Detectives, Akiko, Colonia, Leave It to Chance (in trades, at least), Quicken Forbidden, Sidekicks, Zoom's Academy, Monster Allergy ... That's just off the top of my head.

Too many adults tend to overlook those books because they're determined their children read/like the books and characters that they read when they were young.
Never heard of any of them. But my point is made if you do like Superheros and your a kid the only choice you have is DC adventures Marvel Age or reprints, no kids market.

kdmelrose
10-06-2005, 01:20 PM
So how does this relate to singles Vs trades? My belief is that the age of singles is at it's tail end. Trades will be the format choosen in the times to come. This how I feel about it. As I get older and read comics, I feel that I do collect comics, but to read and treasure. As opposed to that weirdo time in the 90's where comic books were like junk bonds.

I don't know that the age of the single (periodical) comic is nearing its end. I think trades will become increasingly popular, but until the major publishers completely rework their business models and the direct market transforms itself into something completely different, the monthlies will remain.

The comics industry was founded on the pulp-magazine model, and more than six decades later, it's still largely tied to that. In the past decade or so it's drifted toward the book-publishing model, but that -- at least for the major players -- is largely limited to reprints/collections/trades.

Until the major comics publishers are willing to routinely pay (respectable) advances to creators, as the book-publishing industry does, a complete move away from the periodical format is virtually impossible. How many creators could afford to go four, six or eight months without pay and still maintain deadlines on a series of graphic novels?

The direct market, too, would have to drastically change, with store owners no longer relying on regular weekly sales and pull lists. Books (trades/graphic novels) likely would have to be made returnable, just as they are in the book market.

The shift could occur, but it would take a long, concentrated, and most likely painful effort on every level of the industry.

dano
10-06-2005, 01:29 PM
of course, sales will dictate how fast that transformation happens. If monthly sales steadily decline...

kdmelrose
10-06-2005, 01:37 PM
Never heard of any of them. But my point is made if you do like Superheros and your a kid the only choice you have is DC adventures Marvel Age or reprints, no kids market.

That's not true, either. Buzzboy is a superhero book. So is Shades of Blue and Sidekicks and Zoom's Academy. There are others, too, that are superhero books in a broader sense -- like Jason and the Argobots.

(Oh, and add to my previous list Alison Dare. That's a great all-ages series that slipped my mind.)

Eliseu Gouveia
10-06-2005, 01:47 PM
My only gripe is that I canīt get a TPB to sit straight when Iīm trying to read during meals.

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 01:48 PM
That's not true, either. Buzzboy is a superhero book. So is Shades of Blue and Sidekicks and Zoom's Academy. There are others, too, that are superhero books in a broader sense -- like Jason and the Argobots.

(Oh, and add to my previous list Alison Dare. That's a great all-ages series that slipped my mind.)
Yeah Buzzboy, Shades of Blue, Sidekicks, and Zoom's Academy are really popular. So popular I've never heard of them. Do you think a kid would want to pick up Buzzboy or Superman first?

Ron Phillips
10-06-2005, 02:17 PM
Yeah Buzzboy, Shades of Blue, Sidekicks, and Zoom's Academy are really popular. So popular I've never heard of them. Do you think a kid would want to pick up Buzzboy or Superman first?

Well, the biggest problem is accessability. Because the titles that Kevin listed are from small-press/independent publishers even in the direct market they don't get the exposure they deserve.

Comics went from every newstand to nearly back-alley type comic shops, killing the distribution to the every man. That is one of the reasons manga is booming, you can pick them up in any national bookstore.

If comics weren't hidden from the public, more kids would be reading them, and there would be more kid appropriate comics.

Regardless, because you haven't heard of a comic doesn't mean its not out there, and if you were truly intent on handing down the legacy of comics to your children, you would seek out what is available. Just because they might not have been the ones you enjoyed, doesn't mean your kids or any kids won't enjoy them.

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 02:42 PM
Well, the biggest problem is accessability. Because the titles that Kevin listed are from small-press/independent publishers even in the direct market they don't get the exposure they deserve.Comic stores aren't very accesable to alot of kids, most of what kids get today is at the bookstores and I guess those titles aren't there or at the Kroger or whatever so that's a big negative on those comics being read by kids.

Comics went from every newstand to nearly back-alley type comic shops, killing the distribution to the every man. That is one of the reasons manga is booming, you can pick them up in any national bookstore.Yep, it's a shame too because Manga just doesn't do it for everybody.

If comics weren't hidden from the public, more kids would be reading them, and there would be more kid appropriate comics.True, but I've noticed that the ones that do sell in Kroger or whatever are not very kid appropriate either, and that's my main point, I've been skewered for saying this before but I think the main Icon titles should be accessable to everyone, all it takes is for one parent to pick up an issue of Batman or Superman or Hulk and see that it's not good reading material for their kid and you've lost a potential future fan. The industry is pandering to the fans "preaching to the choir" instead of making their High Profile, Iconic, Mainstream characters and titles accesable to everyone and every age like they used to be. I wouldn't be a fan if the comics I grew up with are written the way they are now, I would've been confused and found another hobby, which is what's happenning.

Regardless, because you haven't heard of a comic doesn't mean its not out there, and if you were truly intent on handing down the legacy of comics to your children, you would seek out what is available. Just because they might not have been the ones you enjoyed, doesn't mean your kids or any kids won't enjoy them.I will seek them out for my kids, I want my kids to enjoy reading comics but I don't think alot of these will be found by their target audience. The comic stores have kindof ruined comics in a way.

hobbes
10-06-2005, 02:59 PM
Regardless, because you haven't heard of a comic doesn't mean its not out there, and if you were truly intent on handing down the legacy of comics to your children, you would seek out what is available. Just because they might not have been the ones you enjoyed, doesn't mean your kids or any kids won't enjoy them.

Well said. Harry Potter gathered many new readers, who have spilled over to other books. Why not do the same for comics?

BTW, There's also Lions, Tigers and Bear and I think Herocamp is all ages as well. Alias puts out all ages books too. There are many comics that are all ages. Kids may not go for them at the start, but that's why we need to encourage them and help them to see what's really out there.

As for Manga--format possibly, but I feel it more about the content. Some of the stories are very realtiable to those who read them.

kdmelrose - True enough, the whole industry would change if trades became the main forte of comics. So how does the independent comic book creator make it? You put out singles that don't make enough sells, cause many people wait for the trade, but then there is no trade, since the sales results on the singles indicate no one wants to buy this story. This has killed many great titles out there. This is something that creeps in the back of my mind as I persue my dream of getting in the industry. It's like a catch 22. Singles...trades...

dano
10-06-2005, 03:08 PM
If you make trades or GNs couldnt you market them on places like Amazon.com as well as regular bookstores?
Big companies can do monthlies because they have the distribution network.

I'd think GNs would be more friendly to indies because you can print the thing and no matter what month or year it is, still sell it afterwards in a variety of venues inside and outside of the comics world.

Ron Phillips
10-06-2005, 03:34 PM
If you make trades or GNs couldnt you market them on places like Amazon.com as well as regular bookstores?
Big companies can do monthlies because they have the distribution network.

I'd think GNs would be more friendly to indies because you can print the thing and no matter what month or year it is, still sell it afterwards in a variety of venues inside and outside of the comics world.

Several of the upper tier indy's do sell thier books on Amazon and at traditional brick and mortar stores. I purchased several books from Books a Million from Oni, Dark Horse, Top Shelf and a few others that I can't remember. Though I do notice that the Manga section is quickly overtaking the GN section. :(

It does give you a broader market to sell on Amazon.com, but you still will face issues of visability. It's not like a brick and mortar store where you goto a section and you might see something that catches your eye. With Amazon you are accessible, but still not accessible.

dano
10-06-2005, 03:40 PM
Yeah I suppose they wouldnt get much 'street traffic' even on amazon. You'd have to be searching them out.

CBG had a greeeat article in #1604 about state by state demographics for shop populations and hi-lo sales. Oddly, the two dont always coorespond. That'd be a great tool for devising sales strategies for indy books.

kdmelrose
10-06-2005, 04:00 PM
Yeah Buzzboy, Shades of Blue, Sidekicks, and Zoom's Academy are really popular. So popular I've never heard of them. Do you think a kid would want to pick up Buzzboy or Superman first?

You're moving the goal post then. You wrote, "There isn't a kids market." There is a kid's market -- it's just not necessarily geared toward the books you (or I) read as a kid.

And that, I think, is part of the problem when many adult comics fans wring their hands over the supposed lack of comics for kids. There are comics for kids -- good comics; my previous posts just scratched the surface. They're just not the books so many 30 and 40-year-olds read when they were young (since, in your posts, you're excluding the Johnny DC/Adventures and Marvel Age lines).

As for whether a kid would rather pick up Buzzboy or Superman, I think that depends a lot on the kid -- and the parent. If you're pushing Superman or Spider-Man out of some sense of nostalgia, then, yes, your kid is probably going to want Superman.

I've handed my 4-year-old nephew some of the DC and Marvel offerings for Free Comic Book Day -- one was a Spider-Man comic, the other I think was the adaptation of The Batman cartoon -- and he flipped through them once and tossed them aside.

Then I gave him one of Jill Thompson's Scary Godmother books, and he asked me to read it to him again and again. And again.

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 04:03 PM
You're moving the goal post then. You wrote, "There isn't a kids market." There is a kid's market -- it's just not necessarily geared toward the books you (or I) read as a kid.
I guess I think a kid's market is better if people actually knew about it.

kdmelrose
10-06-2005, 04:18 PM
I guess I think a kid's market is better if people actually knew about it.

That's one of the unfortunate realities of a comics market dominated by superheroes (primarily those books produced by Marvel and DC).

Just like with horror comics, or Westerns, or crime comics, or slice-of-life comics, you have to seek out all-ages books. Most comics publishers are terrible marketers, so if you want a certain type of book, you're going to have to do a lot of the foot work yourself.

Movie Poop Shoot runs a semi-regular column (http://www.moviepoopshoot.com/allages/archives.html) in which Tracy Edmunds and her two kids review all-ages comics. Scott Robins, who works for Scholastic Canada, has a blog (http://allages.blogspot.com/) about all-ages comics.

A lot of creators of all-ages books have their own blogs or Live Journals, and frequently champion other kids' comics.

Those are all good places to go for recommendations.

JudgeJeezor
10-06-2005, 06:07 PM
I've been skewered for saying this before but I think the main Icon titles should be accessable to everyone, all it takes is for one parent to pick up an issue of Batman or Superman or Hulk and see that it's not good reading material for their kid and you've lost a potential future fan.

I really don't see how they're not accessable to everyone. I'm 19, and I grew up reading comics, so obviously what I was reading as a kid was not the bright and happy fun of the Silver Age, but I still read them. I was ten or eleven and reading Ghost Rider and all those other fun violent Marvel titles. I turned out okay.

How young is too young to be reading today's superhero stories? Because, really, even the Silver Age superhero stories had violence, if not graphic, bloody violence. They were still stories about good guys beating up bad guys and vice versa. Or is that the writing and stories are too complicated? Cause in that case maybe you're just underestimating the kid's intelligence.

If a kid likes superhero comics, he or she will read superhero comics, and I don't see anything wrong with any of the mainstream titles currently available. If they wanna seek out other, specifically kid-geared superhero titles, that's great. But Superman is still Superman. The X-Men are still the X-Men. It's not you're handing them a copy of Watchmen or something.

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 06:26 PM
How young is too young to be reading today's superhero stories? Because, really, even the Silver Age superhero stories had violence, if not graphic, bloody violence. They were still stories about good guys beating up bad guys and vice versa. Or is that the writing and stories are too complicated? Cause in that case maybe you're just underestimating the kid's intelligence.
I had a big debate with this subject in the ASBAR thread, I think showing or implying rape, showing a kids parents brains being blown out with the chunks flying away, all the sexual and violent stuff that's in the mainstream DC and Marvel books is far too extreme for a kid under 12, it has nothing to do with a kids intelligence it has to do with the responsibility of creators to think about a target audience and not dumb down but not make it so adult that kids can't read it.
For the record tho, I'm not talking about censorship, and please don't direct me to DC adventures and Marvel age as a way of saying that's the only solution, it probably is but this is just a concern of me and other parents who want their kids to have cool mainstream books like we had, without having to have them wait until their old enough to read them because most kids will find other interests.

dano
10-06-2005, 06:29 PM
I kinda see where Spirits coming from, although i have a different twist on it.
Not that the comics should be dumbed down, but i have been sending my nephew a subscription to Amazing Spiderman for a while now and on a recent visit, sat down and read a pile of them.

I found nothing offensive or inapropriate but i did notice that the drama and personal story lines have really changed to more adult sensibilities. Peter dealing with him and M.J. splitting up, marriage/divorce, grown up relationship issues, etc.
While this makes sense in his continuity, and may strike a chord with late 20 and 30 somethings I'd be surprised if kids (10-17) would really connect to this.

I think what made PP and Spider Man popular was that he WAS a kid, a smart mouth, and dealing with semi-real stuff like personal journeys of right & wrong.
A lot of flagship comics these days are darker in subject and a bit more complex in storylines and psychology, appealing to adult sensibilities.

kdmelrose
10-06-2005, 06:35 PM
Spirit: What's your objection to the Marvel Age and DC Adventures books? You seem to want all-ages (or at least 12 and under?) mainstream superhero fare, but you balk whenever those lines are brought up.

I'm just curious ...

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 07:04 PM
Spirit: What's your objection to the Marvel Age and DC Adventures books? You seem to want all-ages (or at least 12 and under?) mainstream superhero fare, but you balk whenever those lines are brought up.

I'm just curious ...
It's just those are always the ones that are brought up when I have this debate. When we were kids the "real" Marvel and DC heros were the ones in the mainstream books and I believe they still are, it's almost like they've made the regular universe just for adults and have these few kids books to pacify them.

I like the way they do Justice League Unlimited cartoons, that's the way the comics should be and were years ago, they have some adult innuendos here and there and violence etc, but just about every age group can enjoy them. I can read some of the older comics of my youth and then hand them to my kids to read without worrying, now I have to get DC or Marvel Lite to give them that has no impact on the universes.

Calloway
10-06-2005, 07:07 PM
I used to love the big fights in comics, the ones that lasted one to two issues. Thing vs Hulk, spidey and green goblin. Comics used to be simpler in their approach. Then the crossovers started like mad, people didn't stay dead and bad guys became good guys. It went pro wrestling. Not to say there are still good things out there. The intial revamp of the hulk was good (though lately it looks like crap).

kdmelrose
10-06-2005, 07:36 PM
It's just those are always the ones that are brought up when I have this debate. When we were kids the "real" Marvel and DC heros were the ones in the mainstream books and I believe they still are, it's almost like they've made the regular universe just for adults and have these few kids books to pacify them.

Sure, the "regular" Marvel and DC universes are aimed at adults; that's primarily who reads those books. Vicious circle and all that, I suppose. But there are no "real" Marvel and DC heroes. Which is the "real" Spider-Man -- the one in Ultimate Spider-Man, the one in The Avengers, the one in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man or the one in Spider-Man Adventures? The same goes for Batman, Superman, et al.

I can read some of the older comics of my youth and then hand them to my kids to read without worrying, now I have to get DC or Marvel Lite to give them that has no impact on the universes.

Why does it matter whether Spider-Man Adventures or Justice League Unlimited or Teen Titans Go have an impact on the main Marvel or DC universes? Can't your kids just enjoy a fun, age-appropriate story? (There was a time when Superman Adventures and Batman Adventures were better written than their "main universe" counterparts.)

JudgeJeezor
10-06-2005, 08:06 PM
I think we can all agree that old Image books are what kids should be reading. Goooo Youngblood.

JudgeJeezor
10-06-2005, 08:07 PM
But seriously, are DC and Marvel books implying rape now? What's up with that? I haven't read anything recent from either of those companies for awhile. Have they really gotten that much more adult?

And Kdmelrose is right when he says it's mostly adults that read them. I mean, you're complaining that comics aren't like they were when you were a kid, but that's because everyone who liked those comics as kids are now adults.

The-Spirit
10-06-2005, 08:08 PM
Sure, the "regular" Marvel and DC universes are aimed at adults; that's primarily who reads those books. Vicious circle and all that, I suppose. But there are no "real" Marvel and DC heroes.
Why does it matter ?
The "regular" Marvel and DC universes used to be for everybody not just adults.

It just matters to me, I think it should've stayed for everybody, because eventually less and less kids being brought in, more adults dying off, and comics die.

dano
10-06-2005, 08:16 PM
And Kdmelrose is right when he says it's mostly adults that read them.

Why is that though? And is it a good thing that mostly adults read them?

Lovecraft13
10-06-2005, 08:19 PM
Why is that though? And is it a good thing that mostly adults read them?

Give a kid a $5 bill and tell him he can buy as much as he wants at a comic book store. Watch what he comes out with. 3 dice? A pack of trading cards? A single comic book? There is little one can buy at a shop with just $5. At least adults can afford to waste money, so they tend to read comics more.

kdmelrose
10-06-2005, 08:43 PM
The "regular" Marvel and DC universes used to be for everybody not just adults.

It just matters to me, I think it should've stayed for everybody, because eventually less and less kids being brought in, more adults dying off, and comics die.

I understand that sentiment -- I really do. I'm just not getting why you're discounting Marvel Adventures and DC Adventures books as viable and appropriate kids' fare ... because they have no impact on those publishers' "regular" comic universes. Nostalgia?

Ron Phillips
10-06-2005, 09:20 PM
Maybe I'm a kid at heart, but I read the books I buy for Kassy. I enjoy the animated stories, which is partly why I wanted that style for my characters.

There were comics for children when I was a kid in the 70's, and in my household they weren't the super-hero ones. I read Richie Rich, Casper, Hot Stuff, Sad Sack, Little Lulu, Little Dot. Only when I was a tween was I allowed to buy super-hero comics, and I was 14 before comicshops openned up in my area. I probably would have never even known about it if it wasn't for my Great-Grandmother living 2 blocks away and I'd see it when we drove to her apartment.

Before I wax nastalgic too much, the point is there is nothing wrong with progressing. It'd be great though if the comics that were for all ages or specifically for pre-teens were available to the mass market. Direct Market is one hell of an outdated Albatrose.

eDuke
10-06-2005, 09:32 PM
The "regular" Marvel and DC universes used to be for everybody not just adults.

It just matters to me, I think it should've stayed for everybody, because eventually less and less kids being brought in, more adults dying off, and comics die.
I think the more "regular" stuff now is the "Ultimate" line of comics. Those are the Marvel Universe now. They can't make the older line the "regular" line because the only people buying those are older readers. They're tied into too many continuity obstacles. Everytime they try to "reboot" them, people complain so the solution was the "ultimate" line.

A kid can buy Ultimate Spider-Man, they're not gonna complain it's not the same Spider-Man we grew up on. The Ultimate Spider-Man is THEIR Spider-Man to grow up reading.

Paul Sanderson
10-06-2005, 09:39 PM
I like both, in their own way, but I prefer the nostalgia of finding/reading a single issue. I recognise though that it's probably a fading market in many ways.

sgm
10-06-2005, 10:03 PM
I like trades, because I don't really buy much anymore and what I usually buy is stuff that I missed during my hiatus (about 10 years!)

pi0trov
10-07-2005, 12:29 AM
Had a couple of thoughts that I don't think anyone's touched on yet....

One thing that stands in the way of your average kid picking up an issue of any mainstream comic nowadays is decompression/writing-for-the-trade/lack of self contained stories. If you can convince a kid to drop their $3 for an issue of Spiderman, he'll probably be coming in mid-storyline and be lucky if he has any idea of what's going on.

This, I believe, also adds to the draw of manga - there is a continuing and developing background and plot, but for $10 they get a complete story.

The Marvel Age and DC Adventures books are good in that regard, but I think the flaw is they're trying to market them to kids. People (those who make these sort of decisions) seem to think that if they make the comic "hip" and flashy and pseudo-manga, the kids will eat it up. But kids are smarter than that, they want the same comics everybody else is reading, not one they know they're "supposed" to be reading.

I'd like Marvel to take the same stories they use for the kid-friendly books and get, say, Brian Vaughn to script them and Jim Lee to draw them. Voila! Self contained, "safe", kid-friendly book that kids will actually enjoy reading. Don't market them as kid books; instead, keep them as "in-continuity", stand alone stories that anyone can read and understand. You can even make references to the other titles (bring back the *footnotes), so readers might want to seek out those other books.

I bet this approach would not only grab more kids, but also older readers who have dropped out of the comic game and feel like they won't ever get caught up (or who just want a "fix" every once in a while, without the weight of collecting a series again).

Just my 2.5 cents....

On Topic: I'll wait for the trade if it's a mini-series or series I know will be collected in a trade (like Ultimate Spiderman or most Vertigo books). Otherwise I like to have the individual issues, and I love the "new comic day" experience of looking for new stuff to buy each week.

The-Spirit
10-07-2005, 07:32 AM
What do Jeanie and Mr freeze have in Common?http://www.codehappy.net/jeannie.jpg
http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/batman/btas/episodes/heartofice/14.jpg


#2 (http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums/showthread.php?p=844285#post844285)

Paul Sanderson
10-07-2005, 07:42 AM
Well said, pi0trov, I agree. the decrease in quality, single issue storyline comics has hurt the single comic market. Manga does indeed offer more self-contained stories for your buck.

MrGranger
10-07-2005, 10:47 AM
Why pay $60-70 for a 12-issue story and wait a year to finish it when I could just pay $15-20 on the TPB and read it all in one sitting? I believe in practicality, not inconvenience.

Wow...I know comics are too expensive if you're spending $60 on 12 issues.

MrGranger
10-07-2005, 10:52 AM
But my point is made if you do like Superheros and your a kid the only choice you have is DC adventures Marvel Age or reprints, no kids market.

Just had to point out that you are confusing many things...including "Market" vs. product. If the kids want the book then there is a "market", it's them. What you are saying is that there isn't enough books for them, not enough product. I'll refrain from repeating what others have said, since there are plenty of titles for kids and popular with kids who read periodicals. I think the product is there, just not the "market".

If you walk into your comic book shop how many people under the age of 18 are there? I almost never see anyone under the drinking age in my shop, unless they are with their parents. And I mean parents who are shopping, not just the ride.

hobbes
10-07-2005, 11:28 AM
Well said, pi0trov, I agree. the decrease in quality, single issue storyline comics has hurt the single comic market. Manga does indeed offer more self-contained stories for your buck.

A very good point. People I've spoken to about the single vs trade question commonly say that they rather buy the entire arch/complete story than buy the singles month after month. So with that in mind I did intorduce to some friends, Warren Ellis' Fell, being that it's a complete story each issue. Most of them loved the idea and will be buying them as they come out.

So let me put this out here, would you be intrested in buying singles if they each contained a complete story? Or, is a trade of X stories still more attrative to you?

kdmelrose
10-07-2005, 11:39 AM
If you walk into your comic book shop how many people under the age of 18 are there? I almost never see anyone under the drinking age in my shop, unless they are with their parents. And I mean parents who are shopping, not just the ride.

But in that case, you're talking about the direct market -- not the book market, or alternate distribution systems. There is a kids' market; it's just that, as you point out, those kids don't typically go to comics shops.

There are many kids/all-ages comics that toil near the bottom of Diamond's Top 300, or lower, but prosper when they're collected in trades and sold through bookstores.

dano
10-07-2005, 11:59 AM
So let me put this out here, would you be intrested in buying singles if they each contained a complete story? Or, is a trade of X stories still more attrative to you?

I would be interested in buying singles if there was anther way to easily get them, besides the comics shop.

Digital Webbing Presents by subscription is great because I dont have to leave my house or hunt it down, or miss an issue due to my negligence or other factors.

Subscriptions rock.

kdmelrose
10-07-2005, 12:05 PM
I subscribe to DWP, and order most everything else through an online service.

The only local comics shop is unbearable, and the next-closest one -- which is actually a pretty nice store -- is more than an hour away. Before I began ordering online, I'd make a monthly pilgrimage to the good store.

Now I just sit back and wait for the delivery guy.

Online ordering has other advantages, too. I can comb through Previews (online, of course), and easily buy the books the local shop would never carry in a million years. Of course, when I shopped there, I couldn't get them to actually order comics for me ...

pi0trov
10-07-2005, 01:31 PM
So with that in mind I did intorduce to some friends, Warren Ellis' Fell, being that it's a complete story each issue. Most of them loved the idea and will be buying them as they come out.
Didn't realize that about Fell; I'll have to take a look at that one. One of the reasons I loved Global Frequency - every issue could be read individually. Thank you Mr. Ellis.

There are many kids/all-ages comics that toil near the bottom of Diamond's Top 300, or lower, but prosper when they're collected in trades and sold through bookstores.
So either we need to get those issues into places where kids (and parents) will see them, or release them as Graphic Novels to begin with, avoiding the direct market all together.

I've gotta agree with the view of comic shops and demographics. Most of the kids who become new comic readers are turned on to them by their parents, while it used to be by our friends or siblings (for me it was my older brother and his friends).

Also: The Big Two have a shot at getting kids interested in reading superhero books again with the success of their movies, but if a kid goes to see Batman Begins and then wants to buy a Batman comic at the store on the way home, what does he buy? The main Bat-books - which are all mid-storyline/crossover, or the animated books, which don't look or sound like the Batman he's interested in?

Atleast Marvel has Ultimate Spiderman, which is pretty close to the feel of the movie Spidey. Although they totally dropped the ball when the X-Men movie came out, as far as accessability....

dano
10-07-2005, 01:43 PM
I dont think most kids know that there ARE comics. Or to be more precise, that comics started these property franchises. And I don't think they care if they did. They still get the Batman they know and love from movies and from the cartoons. Why should they bother to actively seek out the comic?

pi0trov
10-07-2005, 02:01 PM
Unfortunately, you're probably right, but the thought's just too damn depressing.

I guess I'm just holding out hope that there are still kids out there who want to read comic books, since those kids who read comics will eventually turn into adults who read comics.

Otherwise, when we kick the bucket, and there's nobody buying the monthlies, the Universes of the Big Two will dissappear. The Icons of the industry will be kept alive to make movies out of, but all of the smaller characters (and all of their stories) will be put into storage. Well, there'll always be reprints....

dano
10-07-2005, 02:10 PM
You know the comics companies dont really care about the comics business when they dont even attempt to tie the blockbuster movies to the comics.

No free giveaways, no minicomics in DVDs, were there pre-movie ads for the comics on the big screen? Hook up with McDoanlds and have Spider Man comics with a kids meal.

Virtually nothing pointed back to the comics. And why should they? Its not a significant source of income for them.

hobbes
10-07-2005, 04:31 PM
Also: The Big Two have a shot at getting kids interested in reading superhero books again with the success of their movies, but if a kid goes to see Batman Begins and then wants to buy a Batman comic at the store on the way home, what does he buy? The main Bat-books - which are all mid-storyline/crossover, or the animated books, which don't look or sound like the Batman he's interested in?

Atleast Marvel has Ultimate Spiderman, which is pretty close to the feel of the movie Spidey. Although they totally dropped the ball when the X-Men movie came out, as far as accessability....

Thus the All Star line at DC. Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder is done by Jim Lee and Frank Miller.

I feel for parents who don't know anything about comics. Imagine taking your kid to a comic shop who's all hyped up to get Spider-man or Batman, but when the parent's ask, can we have a Spider-man or Batman, etc. book, imagine the answer. So perhaps based on the premise of gaining new readers and getting more ocassional readers on board, singles with complete stories would be part of the answer.

dano - you're right that many companies don't market back to comic books. Though for the big two, they really don't need to. Walk into Walmart and you can see everything under the sun licenced with Batman, Hulk, or whatever. Kids can and do relate to this part of the comic book univerise. They know the character, their powers, but not their indepth tales or how many Robins there have been, and er, still to come ;). Comic books can be seen as a jumping board toward the licenced everything and the great goal of film/TV.

How many films are based on comics/GN? Beyond the Superhero flicks, like Road to Perdiction, with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman. So comics are seen as something other than when we rode our bike to the corner store and grab our whatever faves from the spinners.

I don't see what we cannot use this "new" out look on comics to bring people who enjoyed the films into them--or in some cases, back into comics. So I agree with your points Dano, there could be more done. And why not? By getting new readers into comics only means they will be waiting for X-years (heh) for the first X-men film to come true when they grow up--thus building your market up again. This only makes sense.

JasonM
10-07-2005, 07:42 PM
A kid can buy Ultimate Spider-Man, they're not gonna complain it's not the same Spider-Man we grew up on. The Ultimate Spider-Man is THEIR Spider-Man to grow up reading.

That was an excellent point, one i was thinking too. Ultimate line is a lot easier to maintain as "young" and "youthfull" then to reboot the old. Spidey has a wife, you can't go back and forget it ever happened, but the ultimate line was the perfect alternative.

Paul Sanderson
10-09-2005, 06:13 AM
It's basically the same problem we've covered before. Kids do love reading and do want to read quality comics. The growth of the manga market (not to mention the popularity of certain books like Harry Potter) shows that kids want to read. But, the decrease in quality of the single-issue comic and their lack of availability in places that kids actually frequent, are two major factors hurting the industry. So, again, comics have to be better and more enticing to kids, and they have to be more readily available, and at a good price.

JasonM
10-09-2005, 01:04 PM
One thing not to forget is that comics need to be available too. You can make the best product in the world but with few comic shops it's hard to grow an audience.

Paul Sanderson
10-09-2005, 06:23 PM
Agreed, which is why I said they need to be more readily available as well as being of a certain quality. Comics need to get out of comic stores and into the places that kids actually frequent, so that the newest generation of reader can discover the comic and become the adult readers of tomorrow, spawning the next generation and so on.

pi0trov
10-09-2005, 06:31 PM
Agreed, which is why I said they need to be more readily available as well as being of a certain quality. Comics need to get out of comic stores and into the places that kids actually frequent, so that the newest generation of reader can discover the comic and become the adult readers of tomorrow, spawning the next generation and so on.
Back in "the day", those places were the corner grocery stores or 7-11s. Now the only places you find comics (other than comic shops) are big book stores (Borders, Hastings, B&N, etc). They really need to get comics into places kids will actually be - like GameStop/Electronic Boutique, Sam Goody/Camelot, Suncoast, and places like Hot Topic ("alternative" mall outlets).

I see kids coming into Borders here to look for manga, but that's really from word-of-mouth because it's the only place to get comics in town.

Calloway
10-09-2005, 06:39 PM
Wow...I know comics are too expensive if you're spending $60 on 12 issues.
Well at about 4 dollars an issue that's 48. Add your taxes. Now factor in the back issue thing (may have to buy the first issue of the arc if you came in an issue late, which happened to me alot)...that maybe even more. Point is, for 15 to 20 bucks you can get that whole storyline, complete and with extras.

Paul Sanderson
10-10-2005, 04:33 AM
Back in "the day", those places were the corner grocery stores or 7-11s. Now the only places you find comics (other than comic shops) are big book stores (Borders, Hastings, B&N, etc). They really need to get comics into places kids will actually be - like GameStop/Electronic Boutique, Sam Goody/Camelot, Suncoast, and places like Hot Topic ("alternative" mall outlets).

I see kids coming into Borders here to look for manga, but that's really from word-of-mouth because it's the only place to get comics in town.

Yep, agreed.

Lovecraft13
06-21-2006, 10:40 PM
I bought every issue of the Death and Return of Superman storyline from a video rental store. I also got all of the issues of Spider-man's Kraven's Last Hunt from a 7-11.

Lovecraft13
06-22-2006, 12:08 AM
What do Jeanie and Mr freeze have in Common?http://www.codehappy.net/jeannie.jpg
http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/batman/btas/episodes/heartofice/14.jpg


#2 (http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums/showthread.php?p=844285#post844285)

Bother are confined to a bottle.

Erick Cruz
06-22-2006, 04:29 AM
woah, this thread is old, but still this is a topic i love debating.

Myself i would hate it if publishers went TPBs only, why? simple: price.
I think something that wasnt brought up in any of the prevous posts ( i tried reading every one) is that TPBs are cheaper because they're reprints of the originals and have no ads.

If every new Spider-Man arc was collected as an original GN/TPB can you imagine the ammount of ads in it? And if single issues contain (on average) 10 pages of ads and they're priced at $3.00 each, then what would be the price for a OGN that features 8 issues worth of material? The quality of paper and printing would have to be very cheap in order to maintain the tag at $20-$25 bucks, otherwise if you expect quality then expect to pay upwards of $30 - $40 bucks per pop, and theres still the chance that after waiting 6-8 months you end up hating the story, it turns out to be a worse than the "Clone Saga" and now you're complaining you just dumped $40 on a suck ass story

The upside of the single issues is that, if you hate where it's going you can bail at any point before you invest more than you need to, so i'll always prefer single issues if push comes to shove.

hobbes
06-28-2006, 02:59 PM
Eric you made great points there.

Man, it's been a while, heh. I'm a new dad, my little gal is 5 months old, so I've been a little busy to say the least.

Something about singles and the indy publishers that come up in this kind of discussion.

There are those who want to read indy title ABC, but are afraid it will tank, so they wait for the TPB. Only problem is, the only way an indy publisher would make a TPB, is if the singles made good numbers to justify the cost in doing so. So if XYZ decides to wait for the TPB, he/she may end up being the reason (there are others, but to keep things simple) why ABC tanks, because of low numbers.

What are your thoughts about that?

Anathema
07-03-2006, 09:47 AM
Eric you made great points there.

Man, it's been a while, heh. I'm a new dad, my little gal is 5 months old, so I've been a little busy to say the least.

Something about singles and the indy publishers that come up in this kind of discussion.

There are those who want to read indy title ABC, but are afraid it will tank, so they wait for the TPB. Only problem is, the only way an indy publisher would make a TPB, is if the singles made good numbers to justify the cost in doing so. So if XYZ decides to wait for the TPB, he/she may end up being the reason (there are others, but to keep things simple) why ABC tanks, because of low numbers.

What are your thoughts about that?

My thoughts exactly.

Jason Arthur
07-03-2006, 12:57 PM
Eric you made great points there.

Man, it's been a while, heh. I'm a new dad, my little gal is 5 months old, so I've been a little busy to say the least.

Something about singles and the indy publishers that come up in this kind of discussion.

There are those who want to read indy title ABC, but are afraid it will tank, so they wait for the TPB. Only problem is, the only way an indy publisher would make a TPB, is if the singles made good numbers to justify the cost in doing so. So if XYZ decides to wait for the TPB, he/she may end up being the reason (there are others, but to keep things simple) why ABC tanks, because of low numbers.

What are your thoughts about that?

Well, you didn't ask me, but here's my take:

Indies should have realized by now that the market sucks for a three issue book. By the time you're soliciting the third issue your sales have already dropped by 50%. So why not just go straight to trade? You can sell the whole story for less than what it would have cost the reader to buy all three issues.

To me, that seems like an ideal solution.

-- J

eDuke
07-03-2006, 03:18 PM
Well, you didn't ask me, but here's my take:

Indies should have realized by now that the market sucks for a three issue book. By the time you're soliciting the third issue your sales have already dropped by 50%. So why not just go straight to trade? You can sell the whole story for less than what it would have cost the reader to buy all three issues.

To me, that seems like an ideal solution.

-- J
Tell that to all the indy guys that went straight to GN, ask 'em how many copies they still have kicking around. Ask him how much money they're in debt. The indy GN is great looking, but convince someone to plop down the cash for it. Some will eventually make their "printing" investment back after a few years.

Let's take ZOMBIE HIGHWAY and NOTHINGFACE for example, they went straight to graphic novels (because they were most likely listening to everyone's perception of what sells in this market). Both guys were out over a grand after sales (and that's JUST printing expenses, nevermind talent fees). One guy is releasing bi-monthlies so now there's some interest in the graphic novel, but that's 2 years after it's release. If the graphic novel was such a great money maker, I think a second volume would have immediately followed.

Trades and graphic novels are GREAT for mainstream comics.

JasonM
07-03-2006, 04:17 PM
I imagine a solution might be in the middle some where. Something like a 24-48 page one-shot that comes out on a regular basis, even quarterly. Eh! Who knows.

eDuke
07-03-2006, 04:33 PM
I imagine a solution might be in the middle some where. Something like a 24-48 page one-shot that comes out on a regular basis, even quarterly. Eh! Who knows.
That's totally the solution. One of the things my Diamond rep mentioned whenever dealing with unknown properties and creators when the goal is to release a GN or TPB... release a #0 or 1-shot to give buyers something to try at the lower price point so they aren't diving in blind on a $10+ format.

Jason Arthur
07-03-2006, 05:37 PM
Tell that to all the indy guys that went straight to GN, ask 'em how many copies they still have kicking around. Ask him how much money they're in debt. The indy GN is great looking, but convince someone to plop down the cash for it. Some will eventually make their "printing" investment back after a few years.

Let's take ZOMBIE HIGHWAY and NOTHINGFACE for example, they went straight to graphic novels (because they were most likely listening to everyone's perception of what sells in this market). Both guys were out over a grand after sales (and that's JUST printing expenses, nevermind talent fees). One guy is releasing bi-monthlies so now there's some interest in the graphic novel, but that's 2 years after it's release. If the graphic novel was such a great money maker, I think a second volume would have immediately followed.

Trades and graphic novels are GREAT for mainstream comics.

I don't doubt a thing you're saying, heck, you should know better than me, for sure, but maybe the price point on the tpbs was a big part of the problem.

Those weren't thick books, but they cost what? $15.00.

I'm not an expert, really, but I think that was too much.

cheers,

-- J

eDuke
07-03-2006, 08:20 PM
I don't doubt a thing you're saying, heck, you should know better than me, for sure, but maybe the price point on the tpbs was a big part of the problem.
Those weren't thick books, but they cost what? $15.00.
I'm not an expert, really, but I think that was too much.
cheers,
-- J
I really wish it were a price point issue. Anyone that's been publishing knows it doesn't make a difference. And the price was $12.95 -- don't know where you're getting $15 -- did you guess? Please research before throwing a number out. Those books were thick enough to get a good story out of them, don't bash on them, dude. If they were $9.95, orders wouldn't increase enough to offset the difference. If anyone thinking price points is it... they really don't know the realities of the indy market. The reality is, indies are pre-sold, not stocked like mainstreams. Most retailers would LOVE to stock all the indies they could, but it's financial suicide. Instead, they'll buy a copy or two and if they sell out, they'll do a reorder if the demand is still there.

Shops overstock mainstreams because they will eventually sell in the back issue market, Spider-man, Batman, Superman all have staying power, not always true with indies unless it gets major buzz or a movie deal.

Both Zombie Highway and Nothingface got better numbers than most indies that were priced at $2.99 which helps enforce pricing isn't the issue.

Jason Arthur
07-04-2006, 12:38 AM
I really wish it were a price point issue. Anyone that's been publishing knows it doesn't make a difference. And the price was $12.95 -- don't know where you're getting $15 -- did you guess? Please research before throwing a number out.

No need for attitude. I ordered mine offline, so I had to pay shipping costs, so that's likely why $15 was in my head, but I phrased it in the form of a question "$15.00?" EDIT: or at least I meant to...but looking back now, I see that I forgot my "?" My apologies.

Those books were thick enough to get a good story out of them, don't bash on them, dude.

Nobody is bashing on them. If anything I'm bashing on the person who decided that a book that size, regardless of the quality of the story, should be priced $3.00 more than many books that are DOUBLE that size by other indies.

For example: Ellium: Sword of the Dragon is TWICE as thick as the first Zombie Highway trade and it's $9.95 whereas the ZH trade is, as you so nicely pointed out, $12.95. Now, you can SAY that listing it for $3.00 less wouldn't have affected orders, but how do you know? A person seeing a choice between ZH and Ellium, wanting a decent read would probably say..."wow, twice as thick as ZH and $3.00 cheaper...I'll go with that."

If they were $9.95, orders wouldn't increase enough to offset the difference.

Ed's psychic hotline?

If anyone thinking price points is it... they really don't know the realities of the indy market. The reality is, indies are pre-sold, not stocked like mainstreams. Most retailers would LOVE to stock all the indies they could, but it's financial suicide. Instead, they'll buy a copy or two and if they sell out, they'll do a reorder if the demand is still there.

Shops overstock mainstreams because they will eventually sell in the back issue market, Spider-man, Batman, Superman all have staying power, not always true with indies unless it gets major buzz or a movie deal.

Both Zombie Highway and Nothingface got better numbers than most indies that were priced at $2.99 which helps enforce pricing isn't the issue.

And they deserve continued success. Thanks for your hard work in getting these books to us Ed. Try not to take any of my words to heart. I'm trying to be involved in this friendly debate and hopefully make indies and the indy market better.

-- J

The Anti-crest
07-04-2006, 01:17 AM
I myself prefer to read TPBs of an entire arc, if possible. I rarely go to the comic book store anymore.

eDuke
07-04-2006, 10:44 AM
Nobody is bashing on them. If anything I'm bashing on the person who decided that a book that size, regardless of the quality of the story, should be priced $3.00 more than many books that are DOUBLE that size by other indies.
You assume it's just me.
Now, you can SAY that listing it for $3.00 less wouldn't have affected orders, but how do you know?
Research. I don't just make shit up. Compare sales figures between your examples and see what the differences are. They speak volumes.
Ed's psychic hotline?
No need to be a piece of shit. And for a guy involved with the mini-series, you really show your support well. Hopefully you won't be involved with the future issues.

Jason Arthur
07-04-2006, 11:04 AM
No need to be a piece of shit. And for a guy involved with the mini-series, you really show your support well. Hopefully you won't be involved with the future issues.

wow.

That was VERY professional of you to say that. I was making a joke (jokes apparently don't translate well online), but if you want to take everything personally and call names then so be it. I bust my ass for Zombie Highway. I promote it everywhere I can. I support it as much as possible.

Having said that, I think that TPBs are the way to go. That's what this discussion is about Ed. My opinion vs. others. It doesn't mean I'm right, but what's the point of the discussion if YOU are going to jump in and say that YOU KNOW EVERYTHING and call anyone that has a different opinion a piece of shit?

-- J

Jason Arthur
07-04-2006, 11:07 AM
EDIT:

And for the record I letter Zombie Highway for FREE as a favor to Pell. He's a great guy with a very good story to tell and I'm honored to be a part of it.

If you want me off the series because of an internet debate on trades vs. singles then you're going to come across as about the biggest jerk around.

-- J

Dexxell
07-04-2006, 12:22 PM
I appreciate you both being so passionate about the book. I couldn't have gotten this far without either of you and I'm eternally in your debts. I hope that this dispute doesn't discourage or cause either one of you to lose any of the enthuiasm to get ZH to the readers that will love it. This is a meaningful endeavor and I know that I need both of you still fighting for it.

Jason Arthur
07-04-2006, 12:55 PM
I don't think either of us is at all discouraged about the book, we just can never seem to see anything eye to eye.

I'm behind you 100% amigo, regardless of whether it's singles or tpbs.

-- J

eDuke
07-04-2006, 01:22 PM
It doesn't mean I'm right, but what's the point of the discussion if YOU are going to jump in and say that YOU KNOW EVERYTHING and call anyone that has a different opinion a piece of shit?
Dude, I didn't call anyone a piece of shit for having a different opinion. I called you that for your witty comeback. I couldn't think of anything at the time because I was eating a sandwich.

Buckyrig
07-04-2006, 01:38 PM
I couldn't think of anything at the time because I was eating a sandwich.

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

...because I was eating a sandwich? :confused:

:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Jason Arthur
07-04-2006, 02:07 PM
Dude, I didn't call anyone a piece of shit for having a different opinion. I called you that for your witty comeback. I couldn't think of anything at the time because I was eating a sandwich.

lol.

:har:

Fair enough.

Wanna hug?

-- J

JasonM
07-05-2006, 12:46 PM
Cool, Ellium got mentioned and I didn't have to pay for it! Niiiiiiice! :laugh:

Price point doesn't matter sadly, I found that out at cons. People will pay $2 or $20 if they really want it, just like those that don't really want it won't pay $20 or even $2. It's the good/bad thing of indy books!

In the end, price is a factor but not THE factor. It helps that my $10 book has to sell SIGNIFICANTLY less then a $3 book to meet minimums which is very nice. In the end, marketing is the answer more then any one piece of a book. Marketing involves everything from items like color vs black and white, to subject matter (ZOMBIES! - very popular at the time), to types of promotion (postcards vs flyers vs press, etc). An indy book sells more on the blood sweat and tears of a creator then a price point.

Jason Arthur
07-05-2006, 03:13 PM
Who said I mentioned Ellium for free?

That'll be $10.00

-- J

JasonM
07-05-2006, 04:00 PM
Dude, dont be a piece of shit :p

(sorry, I too had nothing better to say, but sadly, no sandwhich!)

Ron Phillips
07-05-2006, 04:06 PM
Shytes!

Hanzou
07-05-2006, 04:39 PM
I personally prefer to purchase TPBs over singles. I recently picked up the Danger Girl TPB and I love it. I don't need to dig through boxes to get all the singles anymore. :)

Critters Daddy
07-05-2006, 07:52 PM
Ok Im going to chime in here. I'm no one yet so I do not have personal experience from a publishing point of view, but i have been in the comic business since about 1990 running a shop owning a shop etc. Here is what I have always thought about trades. They are one of the biggest PROBLEMS with comics. Both back in the 90's nad now and heres why.

This point has been discussed a little on this thread an the point is totaly right. trades make it easy for people to NOT go to their local comic shop (if they even have one anymore) because they can go to Borders etc and buy a trade when it eventually hits.

The problem with this is that people do not go to their local shop to buy an issue when it comes out. So the comic shop owner has lower numbers for his ordering. Those lower numbers affect the person publishing the book be it Spider-Man or Zombie Highway. If no one comes to a shop and buys the single issue, there will be no future sales of the book and the book will not last to see a trade.

Trades were great back in the day when they reprinted material that was decades old and very expensive to buy. But now, you wrap up a story arch and the next month its in trade format. What is the incentive to buy those issues singly if you can just wait and get the whole thing at once.

I belive that the back issue market suffers tremendously due to trades and that hurts our comic shops. These guys buy non returnable product only to see it reprinted within six months and if they bought to much, it hits the dollar boxes...or worse!

Trades have a place, and getting trades into borders is great to help with some extra exposure the comic world needs, but what needs to be there are single issues. LIke the magazines. There so many figgin magazines in a borders its ridiculous! But not one single issue of Spider-Man, Batman, Superman. NOTHING! This is the greatest failing of comics. NO advertising outside of the hobby. Video games advertise in comcis all the time and they are comics biggest fight for expendable income!

Back to topic. Trades for things like Superman #1-10 are awsome! Trades for the last story arch of Invincible are ridiculous because if its sucha a good book as i keep hearing, people should be going to comic shops to get the issues as they come out! Our demographic for comics has disposable income and even exists in a world where comics are reentering the mainstream mind with Superman and Batman movies that are actully good, but comics does nothing to get those people into a comic shop.

Trades hurt comic shop owners by driving back issue prices into the dirt. Sure the shop owner will sell copies of the trade, but what about the remaining issues on the rack? hes stuck with them. I saw it in shops i work at and shops i ran. If singles are returnable, its a different story but they arent. I know this rambles and hits a lot of points at once, but I hope you all see my point in all this. Trades BAD! Singles good! Just get them in front of people who will buy them!

<phew> :har:

Buckyrig
07-05-2006, 08:05 PM
If singles are returnable, its a different story but they arent.

There ya go.

The Anti-crest
07-05-2006, 09:33 PM
Ok Im going to chime in here. I'm no one yet so I do not have personal experience from a publishing point of view, but i have been in the comic business since about 1990 running a shop owning a shop etc. Here is what I have always thought about trades. They are one of the biggest PROBLEMS with comics. Both back in the 90's nad now and heres why.

This point has been discussed a little on this thread an the point is totaly right. trades make it easy for people to NOT go to their local comic shop (if they even have one anymore) because they can go to Borders etc and buy a trade when it eventually hits.

The problem with this is that people do not go to their local shop to buy an issue when it comes out. So the comic shop owner has lower numbers for his ordering. Those lower numbers affect the person publishing the book be it Spider-Man or Zombie Highway. If no one comes to a shop and buys the single issue, there will be no future sales of the book and the book will not last to see a trade.

Trades were great back in the day when they reprinted material that was decades old and very expensive to buy. But now, you wrap up a story arch and the next month its in trade format. What is the incentive to buy those issues singly if you can just wait and get the whole thing at once.

I belive that the back issue market suffers tremendously due to trades and that hurts our comic shops. These guys buy non returnable product only to see it reprinted within six months and if they bought to much, it hits the dollar boxes...or worse!

Trades have a place, and getting trades into borders is great to help with some extra exposure the comic world needs, but what needs to be there are single issues. LIke the magazines. There so many figgin magazines in a borders its ridiculous! But not one single issue of Spider-Man, Batman, Superman. NOTHING! This is the greatest failing of comics. NO advertising outside of the hobby. Video games advertise in comcis all the time and they are comics biggest fight for expendable income!

Back to topic. Trades for things like Superman #1-10 are awsome! Trades for the last story arch of Invincible are ridiculous because if its sucha a good book as i keep hearing, people should be going to comic shops to get the issues as they come out! Our demographic for comics has disposable income and even exists in a world where comics are reentering the mainstream mind with Superman and Batman movies that are actully good, but comics does nothing to get those people into a comic shop.

Trades hurt comic shop owners by driving back issue prices into the dirt. Sure the shop owner will sell copies of the trade, but what about the remaining issues on the rack? hes stuck with them. I saw it in shops i work at and shops i ran. If singles are returnable, its a different story but they arent. I know this rambles and hits a lot of points at once, but I hope you all see my point in all this. Trades BAD! Singles good! Just get them in front of people who will buy them!

<phew> :har:


I have a completely different perspective. The way I see it, the closest comic book store around is about a 45 minute drive. I am not going to go there, sift through cardboard boxes for back issues of what ever story I want to read and then walk away with only a 24 page comic at what ever price.

If it werent for trades, the only comics I would read would be downloaded(I know, I'm evil.)

The problem is, people dont collect as much and major companies are pressing so many different things at once, rarities are lost to us. I was never a comic collector, the only issues I have are a couple sporadic Fables", "Scratch", "The Maxx", and a Punisher issue I bought from a book store that sold comics for 50 cents.

What hurts comic book stores buisness more than Trades though is how they operate. The last time I went to the one closest to me it took me 20 minutes to find because it was in a buisness district rather than in a store front. The big books were alphabatized, but the smaller ones - even the trades - were in boxes under the tables and you had to look for them. People dont have time to do this for casual reading.

Critters Daddy
07-06-2006, 11:51 AM
I have a completely different perspective. The way I see it, the closest comic book store around is about a 45 minute drive. I am not going to go there, sift through cardboard boxes for back issues of what ever story I want to read and then walk away with only a 24 page comic at what ever price.

If it werent for trades, the only comics I would read would be downloaded(I know, I'm evil.)

The problem is, people dont collect as much and major companies are pressing so many different things at once, rarities are lost to us. I was never a comic collector, the only issues I have are a couple sporadic Fables", "Scratch", "The Maxx", and a Punisher issue I bought from a book store that sold comics for 50 cents.

What hurts comic book stores buisness more than Trades though is how they operate. The last time I went to the one closest to me it took me 20 minutes to find because it was in a buisness district rather than in a store front. The big books were alphabatized, but the smaller ones - even the trades - were in boxes under the tables and you had to look for them. People dont have time to do this for casual reading.


You are very right about the way stores do business. No question about it. However, your talk about a 45 minute drive to sift through boxes isnt quite what im talking about. Its more a matter of the books being printed now. Not The Maxx. Thats ages old. Im talking about a perfect example.

Invincible. Incredible reviews and hype and every time they get through 6 issues they reprint it. Thats the problem. If a company wants to reprint a story arch after say at least a year of the last book being released i would have less of a problem with it. But the fact that the trades hit the Borders etc with such regularity, they companies use that as an excuse to reprint somehting that shouldnt be simply to try and get some sales from an alternate source than the hobby. They need to be concentrating on how to get those single issues in front of an audience that will buy it as it comes out. And if those books are being seen in more mainstream areas (like Hot Topic someone suggested) then advertisers are going to be willing to pay een more for the space and everyone makes more money right up front.

I buy trades. I wont lie. But I buy trades of books that are years old and honestly even when i buy a trade, I buy it at a show from a guy whos dumping them at half off. Even the trades lose value because they are printed in amounst that exceed ridiculous.

Just some thoughts.

Hanzou
07-06-2006, 11:56 AM
Part of the reason Mangas are doing so much better than American comics among young people is because Mangas are usually TPBs, or combined into large phonebook-like collections (i.e. Shonen Jump). Purchasers feel that they get more bang for the buck.

Critters Daddy
07-06-2006, 12:10 PM
Part of the reason Mangas are doing so much better than American comics among young people is because Mangas are usually TPBs, or combined into large phonebook-like collections (i.e. Shonen Jump). Purchasers feel that they get more bang for the buck.

Another valid point, but if those buyers were to see an issue every month in that same location...your telling me they would not buy it then? I bet they would. And that would increase circulation for a book tremendously! Maybe even to a point where cover prices could come back down to 1.95

If more circulation, more advertiser dollars less cover price needed. It all goes together. The key is getting monthly issues in front of a larger audience.

hobbes
07-06-2006, 12:48 PM
And that's a great question, how do you gain a larger audience? What would make you buy singles vs a trade (if there's even a possiblity of that happening in the first place)?

Critters Daddy
07-06-2006, 01:05 PM
And that's a great question, how do you gain a larger audience? What would make you buy singles vs a trade (if there's even a possiblity of that happening in the first place)?

I truly believe that if Marvel or DC could get their books into a borders or something similar people would buy them as they came out. It might take al ittle while to get people used to the fact that the series is amonthly deal but at some point, you get excited about the next issue coming out. You get excited about Wednesdays! Thats the feeling we have to develop OUTSIDE of the pure hobby market.

I for one am going to do my damndest to get my book in places where people with disposable income will be able to see it and take it home. Once they get it home they can check out the website that is advertised in the book and hopefully..away I go! Im not saying it truly that easy, but it is the first step in the right direction for this business.

Hanzou
07-06-2006, 01:59 PM
Another valid point, but if those buyers were to see an issue every month in that same location...your telling me they would not buy it then? I bet they would. And that would increase circulation for a book tremendously! Maybe even to a point where cover prices could come back down to 1.95

If more circulation, more advertiser dollars less cover price needed. It all goes together. The key is getting monthly issues in front of a larger audience.

Well its a complex issue. Part of the problem is that there's 3-5 Spider-Man, Batman, X-Men, and Superman books. When this occurs, it tends to crowd out space on the shelf for other titles and newer titles. If I'm a new comic reader and I wanted to read X-Men because I just saw the movie, I'd be completely confused. Hell, I've been reading X-Men for almost 20 years, and I'm confused.

Meanwhile with Manga you know exactly what you're getting into. There's no spin-offs, no revolving artists/writers, and the story tends to actually be cohesive with little continunity issues. I purchased the entire collection of Full Metal Alchemist because the story actually had a point (and characters stayed dead). Meanwhile X-Men has been dragging its tires in the mud since the mid-90s. I really can't care about a group of mutants who can die and be ressurected seemingly at will.

BTW, bringing Psylocke and Colossus back to life was simply laughable.

Also comic book prices are rather high. Just the other day I spent $10 on 3 comics because I wanted to get up to date on one of the X-Men titles, and because I'm a fan of Chris Bachelo's work. I spent $10 on roughly 60 pages of comic, 1 of the said comics had a fill-in artist that I didn't realize until I got the book home. :( Meanwhile I could pick up a TPB of Full Metal Alchemist with over 150 pages of comic (no advertisements), a more cohesive storyline, and consistent artwork for the same price.

Then there's the distribution issue, which is completely Diamond's fault. Diamond, DC, and Marvel's stranglehold on the industry has stagnated the market, and that's part of the reason that Manga has exploded, and will only continue to explode in the foreseeable future.

Consumers buy what they want to buy, that's the bottom line. There's millions of kids and teens that would LOVE to read American comics, but no one is giving it to them. American comics are giving kids pages and pages of talking heads yakking about convulted backstories that make no sense to kids born in the heyday of Image comics. Then there's American creators who can't get their innovative products into the market because of the distribution issues, and thus have to settle for webcomics or extremely limited print runs.

Meanwhile, independent Japanese creators are constantly cranking out brilliant products which flourish in the Japanese market because that market allows independent creators to flourish in the first place. The best of the bunch get turned into cartoons, and end up in America where millions of American kids are waiting to lap them up. We'd all be in a better spot if the American comic market was like that.

Anyways, I've gone off topic.... :blink: Like I said its a complex issue.

Critters Daddy
07-06-2006, 02:14 PM
I dont mean to simply take the entire Marvel or DC library and slam it on the Borders bookshelves. Just a very simple plain old Batman on the shelf. Wonder Woman on the shelf. Amazinf Spider-man on the shelf. Simple easy to catch up on titles.

Plus if they can generate a following in an area that is not a hobby store, maybe they will be a little more responsible when it comes to starting and stopping a book just for the sake of a new number 1 (i can hope! Leave me alone!)

Nut basicly all im looking for is a simple starting point in a borders that could lead a person to a real comic shop. Now when they get to a real comic shop, lets just hope the experience is a good one!

Jason Arthur
07-06-2006, 02:29 PM
Another valid point, but if those buyers were to see an issue every month in that same location...your telling me they would not buy it then? I bet they would. And that would increase circulation for a book tremendously! Maybe even to a point where cover prices could come back down to 1.95

If more circulation, more advertiser dollars less cover price needed. It all goes together. The key is getting monthly issues in front of a larger audience.

One of my good friends used to go the local comic shop regularly and would buy manga mostly. Now he orders nothing but trades (even though the local shop can order single issues) and he gets them all off the internet and not through ordering at the local shop (even though he drives past it nearly every day).

He saves A LOT of money that way. THAT is why many consumers prefer trades.

-- J

Critters Daddy
07-06-2006, 03:07 PM
One of my good friends used to go the local comic shop regularly and would buy manga mostly. Now he orders nothing but trades (even though the local shop can order single issues) and he gets them all off the internet and not through ordering at the local shop (even though he drives past it nearly every day).

He saves A LOT of money that way. THAT is why many consumers prefer trades.

-- J

You just proved my point. Thats one less customer buying the single issue which means one less ordered through a comic shop which means less produced by the company which means possible cancelation in future which means no more trades.

Anyone get it yet?

Buckyrig
07-06-2006, 03:15 PM
You just proved my point. Thats one less customer buying the single issue which means one less ordered through a comic shop which means less produced by the company which means possible cancelation in future which means no more trades.

Anyone get it yet?

Yes, sounds like "supply" is blaming "demand".

This is why people with business degrees laugh at the industry.

I know this is not your intent, but a big part of the read I get from the industry is that I owe it this or that as a patron.

Go fuck yourself. I don't owe you shit. I am a consumer. Produce something I want and you will have my business. Don't and you won't. BUT...produce something I like AND tell me how I am not supporting your (unnecessary) industry...again, go fuck yourself.

Critters Daddy
07-06-2006, 03:23 PM
Yes, sounds like "supply" is blaming "demand".

This is why people with business degrees laugh at the industry.

I know this is not your intent, but a big part of the read I get from the industry is that I owe it this or that as a patron.

Go fuck yourself. I don't owe you shit. I am a consumer. Produce something I want and you will have my business. Don't and you won't. BUT...produce something I like AND tell me how I am not supporting your (unnecessary) industry...again, go fuck yourself.

No no no. Your missing the point AGAIN. You CANNOT have a TPB of a book that does not exist. Agreed? So if you guys stop buying singles, the book will not be produced and so there will be no TPB.

If you guys just want a story in that format, fine, go for it. But you will get ads in it and it will be more expensive and then you will cry about it again. Manga is just reprints and thats why it can exist as it does here. But we are reprinting things that are mere months old. Why? If you want to make a TPB of new material Im all for it! But it will not be the format you guys are used to nor will the price be.

Buckyrig
07-06-2006, 03:41 PM
No no no. Your missing the point AGAIN. You CANNOT have a TPB of a book that does not exist. Agreed? So if you guys stop buying singles, the book will not be produced and so there will be no TPB.

Wasn't what you actually said so much as it reiterated to me a feeling of "readers need to" that is out there a bit too much.

If you guys just want a story in that format, fine, go for it. But you will get ads in it and it will be more expensive and then you will cry about it again. Manga is just reprints and thats why it can exist as it does here. But we are reprinting things that are mere months old. Why? If you want to make a TPB of new material Im all for it! But it will not be the format you guys are used to nor will the price be.

Obviously (or hopefully, as I said I don't trust the business acumen of the comic industry) they are making more money this way. But I did agree with you earlier the distribution system needs to be overhauled. The business needs to operate like the rest of the periodicals out there.

I am going to get killed now...but the talent is overpaid. That is not a value judgement on their work. But the industry numbers do not justify what even the top creators make. It is a problem in many entertainment industries that will eventually come to a head in each one I believe. Movies, sports, music, etc. Take sports. Hockey has the lowest salaries of the four major sports in the US. BUT (at least before the missed season) they had the highest percentage of team assets applied to salaries in the four major sports. And look what happened. It would be a goddamn shame for hockey fans to lose their teams because the players and owners are looking to basketball and football for their expectations. Just the same, comics cannot look at other industries (even if scaled) for their expectations.

Yes there are other things. Paper costs are up...what ever happened to the FBI investigation into that years ago? Distribution is necessary, but is by nature parasitic (in all industries. Why do you think organized crime so easily attaches itself to this industry?) Middle men suck, period. But are necessary.

Other things to consider are the industry is insular to its detriment. Moreso than other industries today it is an insiders club and anemic from incest. Payola and casting couches were (and are) problems, but have been weeded out substantially from what they once were. Comics are still mired in the fledgling days of leaving that behind.

There is more I am sure, but I am out of steam for now.

Bottom line, readers cannot commit huge chunks of their income to the books...and the industry needs to figure out how to fix that.

Phatman
07-06-2006, 03:42 PM
Yes, sounds like "supply" is blaming "demand".

This is why people with business degrees laugh at the industry.

I know this is not your intent, but a big part of the read I get from the industry is that I owe it this or that as a patron.

Go fuck yourself. I don't owe you shit. I am a consumer. Produce something I want and you will have my business. Don't and you won't. BUT...produce something I like AND tell me how I am not supporting your (unnecessary) industry...again, go fuck yourself.

Well said.

Jason Arthur
07-06-2006, 04:05 PM
You just proved my point. Thats one less customer buying the single issue which means one less ordered through a comic shop which means less produced by the company which means possible cancelation in future which means no more trades.

Anyone get it yet?

I get it...what you're saying is that if all we want to do is save money by buying trades then comics will cease to exist.

Yeah, right.

-- J

Buckyrig
07-06-2006, 04:57 PM
I want to clarify that my "Go f*** yourself"s were not directed at Critters Daddy, but at elements in the comic industry that act they way I describe.

I re read and it looked liked it could be read as if I were cursing out Critter Daddy. Not my intent.

Thank you for reading. ;)

MrGranger
07-06-2006, 05:02 PM
Another valid point, but if those buyers were to see an issue every month in that same location...your telling me they would not buy it then? I bet they would. .

I don't think many of our younger audience is willing to spend time in the comic shop month after month. They buy almost all their manga from online shops. Singles just don't sell well online...shipping a $3 comic is too much.

MrGranger
07-06-2006, 05:05 PM
You just proved my point. Thats one less customer buying the single issue which means one less ordered through a comic shop which means less produced by the company which means possible cancelation in future which means no more trades.

Anyone get it yet?

Yeah, people don't buy singles anymore. But no singles does not equal no trades. After the first of this year I'll be going exclusively to trades, and I'm a small fry.

Critters Daddy
07-06-2006, 05:22 PM
Yeah, people don't buy singles anymore. But no singles does not equal no trades. After the first of this year I'll be going exclusively to trades, and I'm a small fry.

How do you figure that? If you do not buy singles, circulation goes down. If a book does not make numbers that the company deems worthy of producing the book, its canceled. This is basic stuff here guys.

If Hawkman sells 10,000 copies (just picking anumber here at random) and half of those people do as you say you do, then circulationdrops to 5,000 books. That book is canceled baby! No two ways about it and then you dont get to have trades because Hawkman will have been looked as as un unmarketable character and dropped.

If people do not buy singles anymore, then circulation will reacha point where it wil no longer be viable to stay in business. Now the good part about all of this is that it is forcing the companies to loook at what they do in a very different light. But producing an original TPB size comci that only exists in that format and is not a reprint of any kind will be alot more expensive than the trades you buy now. Again im not saying this is not a way to try. Heck Ive even considered it with my book im working on. But at least from an independant publishing point of view, that would be WAY out of the realm of possibility for us.

And the singles vs. trades issue is even more important for indy creators. If you dont put in orders at the comic shop for their books because you want to wait for the trade, they wont get orders enough to make it worth while to go to print and may even get booted out of a distributors catalog and given the opportunity to show off their talent.

If you do not support something...ANYTHING..it will not survive. Do not think that just because you dont buy singles anymore that comcis will keep right on trucking. They wont. Im not saying buy Hawkman simply because its there. Screw that. BUt if you like Batman. BUY IT! If you like X-Men BUY IT! The more people belive that TPB's are the only way to buy, the worse it will become for publishers. Especially Independants who dont have all kinds of advertising and ancillary revenue.

Hopefully a lot of you will be in San Diego supporting the vendors and their efforts. It takes a great deal of physical effort as well as money and time to do what they do. No one will ever understand it unless they do it themselves. All im hearing in this thread is "cheap cheap cheap" and "manga manga manga" There is a lot of talent and great stories to be seen and read out there. Stop waiting for it.

Buckyrig
07-06-2006, 06:04 PM
If you do not support something...ANYTHING..it will not survive. Do not think that just because you dont buy singles anymore that comcis will keep right on trucking. They wont. Im not saying buy Hawkman simply because its there. Screw that. BUt if you like Batman. BUY IT! If you like X-Men BUY IT! The more people belive that TPB's are the only way to buy, the worse it will become for publishers. Especially Independants who dont have all kinds of advertising and ancillary revenue.

This is only because it is the way it has always been. It is probably not something that can be simply changed over, but - with some exceptions - a novelist releases a novel, not a serialized story in a monthly. The cost issue may be a concern...but there is no way in hell a 128 page paperback should cost more than four 32 page issues. I realize that it will cost more than if it had the original issues' sales behind it...but the overall printing cost drops and the new price shoule be higher than a trade after singles, but less than a series of singles.

Hopefully a lot of you will be in San Diego supporting the vendors and their efforts. It takes a great deal of physical effort as well as money and time to do what they do. No one will ever understand it unless they do it themselves. All im hearing in this thread is "cheap cheap cheap" and "manga manga manga" There is a lot of talent and great stories to be seen and read out there. Stop waiting for it.

Not. My. Problem. Sorry guys. I wish you all well...but most of your potential audience is not me. The industry in general is taxing my patience. And I am the guy who would drive an hour to the People With AIDS Caolition to pay $15 to see six bands I've never heard of. If I am getting tired, imagine all the people out there who might read...but don't give half a shit about your personal financial situation or hardships.

I hope you all find a way to fall ass backwards into a truckload of cash...but let's get real.

I'm all for supporting people in the underground...but if you rely on that underground, you will only be underground. And that's cool. That's all I would ever look for. But most people are not looking for you. You need to meet them 90% of the way. Sorry.

Critters Daddy
07-06-2006, 06:15 PM
But most people are not looking for you. You need to meet them 90% of the way. Sorry.[/QUOTE]

This is what i have been saying all along. We have to put those issues out to people who arent necesaarliy looking for them and a TPB is only the beginning not the end.

MrGranger
07-06-2006, 06:25 PM
How do you figure that? If you do not buy singles, circulation goes down. If a book does not make numbers that the company deems worthy of producing the book, its canceled. This is basic stuff here guys.

You have to change your way of thinking. Your model is true if the trades are just collections of popular singles. But that model is dying, and I believe that trades will be the push and singles abandoned. So it's not about the singles at all.

Most don't make much money off singles already. Killing the singles won't kill comics, or the companies that produce them.

Buckyrig
07-06-2006, 06:26 PM
This is what i have been saying all along. We have to put those issues out to people who arent necesaarliy looking for them and a TPB is only the beginning not the end.

I don't claim to know what needs to be done for people to stay in business. I am mainly stating that as a reader I have no responsibility. If the industry goes belly up (I don't believe that would happen), that's got nothing to do with me. The business needs to adapt to the needs of the customer. I am paying five times what I was when I started reading...per book. I wonder if anyone has figures to compare actual gross dollars to issues sold between now and the early 90s boom. That would be interesting.

I don't know all the implications, but I have thought a hybrid is not a bad idea. Keep monthlies going to keep regular visits to the shops up, but reduce them significantly. One Spider-Man book, one Superman, one Batman, etc. And not every little character. All other stories come out in trades. The trades would need to be self-contained for the most part and mostly free of continuity heavy stories. The remaining monthlies can keep the continuity heavy stories going for the fans who appreciate that.

MrGranger
07-06-2006, 06:33 PM
The internet market is killing the boutique shops. Craft stores, hobby shops, local used record stores and comic shops are hurting. The walk-in traffic is dying. The market has changed. I think this, along with the new love for Manga, is part of what is hurting the singles market. Business is all about change or die.

I love going to the comic shops, but I think the ones that survive will be the ones that move away from the magazine rack model and become more of an internet + brick & mortar bookstore.

Buckyrig
07-06-2006, 06:36 PM
I love going to the comic shops, but I think the ones that survive will be the ones that move away from the magazine rack model and become more of an internet + brick & mortar bookstore.

Mile High and Midtown, etc...yeah probably. Hadn't thought of that. I prefer to make the trip, so I'd like them to stay open. But I see what you're saying.

The Anti-crest
07-06-2006, 08:11 PM
You are very right about the way stores do business. No question about it. However, your talk about a 45 minute drive to sift through boxes isnt quite what im talking about. Its more a matter of the books being printed now. Not The Maxx. Thats ages old. Im talking about a perfect example.

Invincible. Incredible reviews and hype and every time they get through 6 issues they reprint it. Thats the problem. If a company wants to reprint a story arch after say at least a year of the last book being released i would have less of a problem with it. But the fact that the trades hit the Borders etc with such regularity, they companies use that as an excuse to reprint somehting that shouldnt be simply to try and get some sales from an alternate source than the hobby. They need to be concentrating on how to get those single issues in front of an audience that will buy it as it comes out. And if those books are being seen in more mainstream areas (like Hot Topic someone suggested) then advertisers are going to be willing to pay een more for the space and everyone makes more money right up front.

I buy trades. I wont lie. But I buy trades of books that are years old and honestly even when i buy a trade, I buy it at a show from a guy whos dumping them at half off. Even the trades lose value because they are printed in amounst that exceed ridiculous.

Just some thoughts.


To be honest, when I buy a TPB its of a book I havent read, and I varely rarely read current comics. I haven't been "looking forward" to a comic book in ages because I go to borders and I wander through the fiction sections and if that fails I head to the graphic novels and I look at the TPBs, I look for a book that I figure might strike interest and then I buy it, if I can find it. They usually tend to be older ones.

But some books I've wanted to read and havent yet because I dont feel like going all the way to the closest comic book shop are the adaptation of Neverwhere that came out a while ago(and dont get me started on how ugly Door is in it) and now the Eternals. I haven't even read the original eternals, but I love Neils writing so I will check this out when its available in TPB.

Why wait? Lazyness. Its easier, and I prefer to sit and read an entire story in one shot if possible. I'm not a collecter as previously stated so the flimsy ones really dont mean very much to me.

The Anti-crest
07-06-2006, 08:14 PM
No no no. Your missing the point AGAIN. You CANNOT have a TPB of a book that does not exist. Agreed? So if you guys stop buying singles, the book will not be produced and so there will be no TPB.

If you guys just want a story in that format, fine, go for it. But you will get ads in it and it will be more expensive and then you will cry about it again. Manga is just reprints and thats why it can exist as it does here. But we are reprinting things that are mere months old. Why? If you want to make a TPB of new material Im all for it! But it will not be the format you guys are used to nor will the price be.


we'll probably start seeing more adds in TPBs and the price could go up but look at Marjane satrapi's books. I'm pretty sure hers werent bogged down with adds and the price was reasonable. Good book too.

pi0trov
07-06-2006, 09:33 PM
I dont mean to simply take the entire Marvel or DC library and slam it on the Borders bookshelves. Just a very simple plain old Batman on the shelf. Wonder Woman on the shelf. Amazinf Spider-man on the shelf. Simple easy to catch up on titles.
Just as an FYI, Borders does carry monthly titles by Marvel, DC, Archie, and even a few Image and Dark Horse (mainly Star Wars), depending on the location. Prior to moving to Spokane, I worked at a Borders in the neighboring city of Coeur d'Alene, ID, which has a population of about 40,000 and no comic shop at all. Borders is the place to buy comics in that town, and I'm sure it's not the only place like that in the country.

Unfortunately, with a place like Borders, corporate just sends the comics to the stores. If the employees don't know anything about the books, the comic rack just goes to crap, nothing's in order, and there's always old issues that don't get pulled and sit on the rack forever. If you're lucky, the store will have a few comic fans who know their stuff and make sure that section is kept up (like myself and the two other managers at the place I worked at, including the store manager), but most stores aren't that fortunate.

ithireeul
07-06-2006, 10:22 PM
I've been slowly making the switch to trades over the last year and it's been one of the most gratifying things I've ever done. I'm saving a helluva lot of coin, not dealing with lateness of books, getting a solid complete read and basically just enjoying comics again.

I will also point out tho that there is no store around me here. Closest one is 45mins-1hr away and I don't have the time or patience.

Besides, I like the access to the books that I have with trades. They get to sit all nice on my bookshelf whereas my singles are hidden away in boxes that I'm too lazy to dig threw and find a particular thing.

Hands down it's won me over. And now I'm obsessed. Even so much that I'm working on some of my own ogns and such. I just love the package altogether. Feels like a special edition deluxe dvd ya know?

eDuke
07-06-2006, 11:25 PM
Most don't make much money off singles already. Killing the singles won't kill comics, or the companies that produce them.
You're right, it won't kill off the mainstream comics because everyone knows what to expect from well-known characters. If the industry goes to just GNs and TPBs, it's only going to hurt the independent market. That's what Critter is trying to tell you guys.

I understand how you guys don't see it because you mostly buy mainstream trades to begin with... yes, Vertigo trades are mainstream. There will also be some Image trades that won't ever get made because the singles didn't sell well enough. All titles aren't automatically released as trades. Is it because some people figure they'll just wait for the trade? You bet'cha.

Here's an example of independent... we're talking independent here, who gives a bloody fuck about mainstream? They already take 80% of market share. Zombie Highway is being published in singles, chances are it won't be reprinted in trades because it'll be guaranteed loss money.

Let's talk Mangas... aren't they digest size for the most part? Consist of what? 2 to 3 panels which can be equivilent to half a standard comic page? So buying 3 comics to get 66 pages of sequentials (singles usually offer 22 pages), so the manga which was used as an example consisted of 150 pages for a ten spot. If they represent half the typical american comic page, wouldn't that translate to 75 pages? That's pretty close in value. Isn't manga black and white?

Buckyrig
07-06-2006, 11:42 PM
You're right, it won't kill off the mainstream comics because everyone knows what to expect from well-known characters. If the industry goes to just GNs and TPBs, it's only going to hurt the independent market. That's what Critter is trying to tell you guys.

I do understand that...it's just that all the damn book prices just jumped...again. I really do wish indies well...it just cannot be my concern. Most indies are "try outs" for me...after I've filled my regular order. But now I just keep cutting books. If Marvel and DC move primarily to trades, it would open up some cash to throw your way I believe. It also might help if bigger names "work for scale" once in a while like $20 mil a pic actors will make a movie for 30 grand once in a while or such. (Maybe that already goes on, I don't know.)

I understand how you guys don't see it because you mostly buy mainstream trades to begin with... yes, Vertigo trades are mainstream. There will also be some Image trades that won't ever get made because the singles didn't sell well enough. All titles aren't automatically released as trades. Is it because some people figure they'll just wait for the trade? You bet'cha.

I don't know how the numbers will crunch. You have more experience there, but the idea of the thicker books - 80 pages or what not - at 5.99. Still an acceptable price for an unknown property. At least it seems to me. Market research may show differently, what do I know. Either way, prices need to come down somewhere...even if some comics end up looking like an issue of Details magazine with half the book filled with ads...so long as there is the same amount of original content.

Here's an example of independent... we're talking independent here, who gives a bloody fuck about mainstream? They already take 80% of market share. Zombie Highway is being published in singles, chances are it won't be reprinted in trades because it'll be guaranteed loss money.

Can't really comment. I still think that the mainstreams coming down in overall price would help smaller books.

Let's talk Mangas... aren't they digest size for the most part? Consist of what? 2 to 3 panels which can be equivilent to half a standard comic page? So buying 3 comics to get 66 pages of sequentials (singles usually offer 22 pages), so the manga which was used as an example consisted of 150 pages for a ten spot. If they represent half the typical american comic page, wouldn't that translate to 75 pages? That's pretty close in value. Isn't manga black and white?

I'm not convinced people buy manga instead of American books. I think it is taste.

eDuke
07-07-2006, 12:10 AM
I still think that the mainstreams coming down in overall price would help smaller books.
Never happen, dude. What incentive do the mainstreams have in helping out their competition? Doesn't make business sense.

But I do see the market eventually shifting towards just graphic novels and trades. They won't be lower prices, they'll probably increase since they have to skip the monthlies and the rising paper costs. The monthlies are what feeds the creative talent right now. The trade collections are almost pure profit for the publisher. The industry is shifting towards novelists and screen writers so the graphic novel format is ideal.

Buckyrig
07-07-2006, 12:40 AM
Never happen, dude. What incentive do the mainstreams have in helping out their competition? Doesn't make business sense.

They help themselves by coming down in price. $2.99 per issue is a definite factor in lower sales. I'm pretty much an addict...like most regular readers to be honest. But comics are cocaine, not heroine. I want to read them, but if I have to go without, I'll adjust real quick. I'm not saying there are not other things, but a lot of them (video games competition etc) sound like excuses for lack of an aggressive business strategy.

The top sellers can pull up indies just by making the industry perform better...assuming they don't suffocate everyone else.

They also need to find their new talent somewhere. ;) Hollywood would die without its indie scene. They may be in competition for the bucks, but they need the little guys.

eDuke
07-07-2006, 11:21 AM
I dunno. Compare the amount of indies in film to comics, the numbers are much different.

The big boys don't raise their prices to cut out indies, paper prices are expensive. For the typical indy, it costs about a buck to print a book. On a book retailed at $2.99, you get $1.19 from the distributor. For mainstreams, the discount offered to retailers is much more, thus the discount to the distributor is more, estimates for a $2.99 Marvel or DC goes off to the distributor at around $1.04 to 0.89. Their vast amount of sales help generate more money, no question. But I'll bet it doesn't cost them 0.10 per book in printing fees. Then there's the realities of paying the talent. Contrary to what some people think, working in the comics industry doesn't make you rich.

One of the reasons why comics lost newstand distribution is because of how cheaply they were price. Look at newstands now... if you were in business, would you prefer to rack an issue of a typical magazine with a cover price of what.... what do magazines cost now? $6? Or would you rather rack a comic book for $2.99? What do you think makes you more money?

JasonM
07-07-2006, 11:29 AM
I can deffinitely see prestige one shots being the singles of the future. If you want to test something to build that audience, throw out a moderately prices 48-60 pager. You get it out there for a good price, allowing people to dip there foot in without the plunge and if the word on the street is solid, you follow up with a trade.

eDuke
07-07-2006, 11:36 AM
I can deffinitely see prestige one shots being the singles of the future. If you want to test something to build that audience, throw out a moderately prices 48-60 pager. You get it out there for a good price, allowing people to dip there foot in without the plunge and if the word on the street is solid, you follow up with a trade.
I agree... this may be where indy comics may end up. But they may also have to compliment it with a lower priced #0 or preview to temp the retailer/reader into buying the prestige book.

Anyone notice the vast amount of 0.25 comics lately? Sure, they're mosty a joke since they contain like 8 pages of story or are mostly pinups, but it is kinda cool there are 0.25 comics.

Buckyrig
07-07-2006, 11:55 AM
The big boys don't raise their prices to cut out indies, paper prices are expensive.

I know. But this is where it gets into "not my problem". Find a way to fix it, or find a way to replace my business. Companies that find a way to solve these problems are the ones that lead industries...or revolutionize them.


Then there's the realities of paying the talent. Contrary to what some people think, working in the comics industry doesn't make you rich.

I know this. Partly, I think people who want to make comics need to understand this. It will not be a career itself. However, some of the top people do make six figures. Their contributions may justify that in a meritorious sense, but not in a business sense.

One of the reasons why comics lost newstand distribution is because of how cheaply they were price. Look at newstands now... if you were in business, would you prefer to rack an issue of a typical magazine with a cover price of what.... what do magazines cost now? $6? Or would you rather rack a comic book for $2.99? What do you think makes you more money?

Well, I don't claim to know this situation. But if it can be shown that stocking comics helps sell other items, it could be done. Milk is a loss for pretty much all businesses...but no grocery store would not stock it. They would lose all their business. Now comics and milk are not even close to comparable, but if there is some way to demonstrate that comics create buyer traffic that increases profits, even if tangentally, then you have something. Business to business sales. Just need to get some good guys on that.

JasonM
07-07-2006, 12:11 PM
I agree... this may be where indy comics may end up. But they may also have to compliment it with a lower priced #0 or preview to temp the retailer/reader into buying the prestige book.

Anyone notice the vast amount of 0.25 comics lately? Sure, they're mosty a joke since they contain like 8 pages of story or are mostly pinups, but it is kinda cool there are 0.25 comics.


Very true. It'll be interesting to see how many indy's might be willing and able to take a chance and try a 0 book. It's a bit of a risk I would imagine, unless you really skimped on the pages like you mentioned. Interesting idea...

eDuke
07-07-2006, 12:53 PM
Very true. It'll be interesting to see how many indy's might be willing and able to take a chance and try a 0 book. It's a bit of a risk I would imagine, unless you really skimped on the pages like you mentioned. Interesting idea...
No doubt it's a risk. Not only a risk, but a definate financial loss. It needs to be looked at as advertising and promotion.

A while back I was working for a publisher who was contributing to FCBD. Their orders rolled in at around 40-50 thousand units but FCBD books are sold to retailers for like a quarter each or someshit. The cost to Diamond may be lower... I'm foggy on it at the moment, but to make a long story short, the publisher was in debt around 10 grand just in printing expenses (ie; each book printed was loss money).

Back to the above; there's also the risk that if the #0/Preview doesn't generate enough sales, Diamond won't fill those orders. As you know, a lower priced item needs to sell many thousands more to hit purchase order quota.

Buckyrig
07-07-2006, 01:17 PM
Here's a question. Printing costs have gone up in the last 20 years. Some of the increase also has to do with paper stock etc. (Shouldn't computer color seps drop cost by the way?)

BUT...

Has the cost of business increased in the same proportions for Diamond operations? Since Diamond takes a percentage, they take in an increased gross. Has their inflation-adjusted dollar profit/book increased? Might a flat rate/book by weight be a reasonable alternative. Yes, I know they wouldn't want to cut their profit...but if something revitalized the industry, it would help everyone, including Diamond. I know people argue back and forth about all the reasons books don't sell, but I have to think price and the non-returnability issue are the biggest problems.

Speaking on non-returnability, aren't companies able to offer returnable items? If that is the case...again, Marvel and DC working that way could get the place moving again.

Everything will result in short-term losses...but seriously it seems like the biggest problem is that the industry is run by pussies who don't have the balls to put some real capital behind the venture.

Marvel is publicly traded, so I don't see why they are not far more aggressive in trying to grow. DC unfortunately is a "bottom bitch" for Warner to exploit for alternative media and ancillaries.