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Old 05-25-2006, 12:20 PM   #1
wohoo19m
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Solution to Diamond?

I've been away from the scene for a bit, so I have no idea if a solution to counter the effect of Diamond's rules change had poped up.

If there are any, mind sharing?

I'm asking not because I plan on releasing comics, but because I've been pretty active in the marketing scene lately and I just had a brainstorm today about a possible solution.

So while your at it, tell me any problems that you have concerning getting your books, into customers hands.
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:02 PM   #2
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While I have issues with Diamond essentially having a monopoly on the distribution market. I don't think finding a solution FOR DIAMOND is going to work as a magic bullet and infuse the industry.

There simply aren't enough people reading comics. With the exception of the Superhero Genre, the numbers across the board are woefully low. From what I gather on these boards, and from people I talk to at Conventions, pretty much the people creating the comics are also the majority of comic book consumers.

This of course is untrue in any of the other successful entertainment media. While we'd all love to be action stars, the only people going to the movies aren't aspiring actors. And most of the book readers in the world have no ambition to become novelists.

So, marketing is probably a larger problem than the distribution methods (which is an issue), because we aren't bringing in enough new readers. But, this is also a cultural thing. It's the US market that hurts the most. Asia and Europe have much healthier sales. So, what are they doing that is different?
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:14 PM   #3
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Hmm, true that the image of a person who reads comic books isn't exactly the image of the coolest guy/girl in school. While movie goers are normal/cool and book readers are "intellectual".

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Old 05-25-2006, 01:27 PM   #4
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1) make comics an exceptable art form / entertainment form

2) make comics available to the average shopper

3) advertise

If a company with money focused on those things, hell if marvel and DC focused on those things just to increase their own profits, the industry would grow. As it stands, superheros still haf a stigma of being just for kids and the successful non-super hero movies don't advertise their origins in comics (then you get crap like ultraviolet that pretends to be a comic thus hammering one more nail in the coffin!)
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:43 PM   #5
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Maybe if you all told us how you were introduced to comics and how you took interest in them. Then that would help in brainstorming ideas.
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wohoo19m
Hmm, true that the image of a person who reads comic books isn't exactly the image of the coolest guy/girl in school. While movie goers are normal/cool and book readers are "intellectual".
Hey! I'm cool! Just ask my kids. I make them tell me all the time!
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Old 05-25-2006, 02:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JasonM
1) make comics an exceptable art form / entertainment form

2) make comics available to the average shopper

3) advertise

If a company with money focused on those things, hell if marvel and DC focused on those things just to increase their own profits, the industry would grow. As it stands, superheros still haf a stigma of being just for kids and the successful non-super hero movies don't advertise their origins in comics (then you get crap like ultraviolet that pretends to be a comic thus hammering one more nail in the coffin!)
Good point Jason. I finally got to see History of Violence over the weekend. the movie for the most part stayed true to the book. Except for some liberties taken with the son's character and the ending. And Perdition. But neither one of them touted their graphic novel origins. It's one small problem totaling many that has stifled the independent as well as mainstream markets.
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Panel continuity and storytelling should be the primary objective of all GOOD comic book art.
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Old 05-25-2006, 03:37 PM   #8
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My *favorite* comment is when I read a review that says "______ was a great COMIC BOOK movie". No one said that about a history of violence.

I'm just going to start screwing with people and saying even non comic book movies were based on comics!
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Old 05-25-2006, 03:48 PM   #9
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I like that Marvel is starting to tag some of their promotional items with the phrase "Graphic Fiction".

They're doing it with ETERNALS and THE DARK TOWER, and I think it means they are shifting their focus from the direct market to the mainstream. And why shouldn't they? They pretty much own the shelves at my local comic shop.

It's something that we should do as small pressers. I've written about it at COMIC BOOK HUSTLE already. Why do we try to steal readers from Marvel and DC when there is an audience out there that isn't into either?

Books like BLANKETS and BLACK HOLE have found a huge audience OUTSIDE of comics. That's what we should be doing.
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Old 05-25-2006, 04:29 PM   #10
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Graphic fiction sounds like a gory version of a romance novel. "It's like romance novels only with killing!".

I think a new name would help but again, without have easy access for the consumer, comics will never break out. The web is a huge leveler in those terms but still, it's a question of advertising to the proper audience - Who doesn't currently buy comics but if given the chance, would? Follow that up with a solution as to how to get them to actually try it and you'll have a winner.

I think we need the following steps:

1) A group effort to bring non comic fans to Indy comics.

2) a central hub for those people to go to where they will be able to make purchases easily and see reviews and samples easily.

3) a new name for the medium.

It needs to be a targeted group effort not only to soften the blow of advertising costs but to offer a variety. They cant show up and only find a comedy and a horror book, they need variety. Personally I'd love to see a group like small press association or indyplanet do something like this. It could work off donations like CBLDF for the betterment and expansion of the independent comic book scene.

Such a group would set goals in advertising in several print magazines as well as on the web. None of this advertising should be directed to current comic fans, but instead directed to new potential customers. Eventually radio and tv commercials should be a goal. The group could function as a non profit with a set donation getting viewers free downloads, a larger donation gets publishers listed thus providing incentive to donate.

Ok, I'll stop rambling now... ideas like these require small ego's in management and cooperation amongst independent thinkers... In essence, we need to unionize! Which is why it likely won't happen, but it is a solution!
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Old 05-25-2006, 04:34 PM   #11
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Why does the medium need a new name?
Milk didn't change it's name when they started it's ad campaign.

The name is fine, the medium just need more of the the right type of exposure and better outlets for purchases.
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Old 05-25-2006, 04:35 PM   #12
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Right. I don't really like the phrase "graphic fiction" either, but I love the idea behind it.

People have a preconceived notion that comic books are for little kids. That you have Spiderman, Superman and Batman - and nothing else. Somehow, you have to convince people on a whole that our medium is like any other form of literature.
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Old 05-25-2006, 04:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I'm just going to start screwing with people and saying even non comic book movies were based on comics!
Pretty much all movies are. They just call 'em storyboards.
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Right. I don't really like the phrase "graphic fiction" either, but I love the idea behind it.

People have a preconceived notion that comic books are for little kids. That you have Spiderman, Superman and Batman - and nothing else. Somehow, you have to convince people on a whole that our medium is like any other form of literature.
Even with a name change people will think the medium is about Superheroes. The only way to change that is to present books that are not about superheroes.
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Old 05-25-2006, 06:17 PM   #15
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It's a Catch-22. Getting someone to try a graphic novel can be hard if they feel they are above a "comic book". Sadly, that's what a lot of people think. Our biggest hurdle is finding a way to get a mainstream audience to respect our medium.

Most people do not understand that comics can cover a wide range of subject matters. Like Jason said, tell someone that ROAD TO PERDITION was based on a comic book and they're shocked. They shouldn't be!!

You guys are grasping onto this "name change" thing. I pointed it out because it is an attempt on Marvel's part to find new readers. It might not be a good attempt. That's debatable. But it is an attempt and it is something us small pressers should take note of. That's all.
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