Sunday, March 28, 2010
Baffling Mysteries at DC
Note to Free Comic Downloaders - Feel free to skip my musings if you are looking for today's free comics.
The DC Red Circle Revival
So it looks like I wasn't the only one who thought the Red Circle revival by DC wasn't well thought out, as DC has recently announced they are going to cancel both The Shield and The Web with issues 10.
As of issue 6, both comics were selling at or below 6,000 units. With 4 more issues to go before they get to 10, I think we are going to see some history making low issues sales.
For the past couple of weeks, I was wondering exactly what was the plan with these books, but thanks to a sideways comment from the guys at the Mayo Report Podcast, I think I've figured out what happened here.
I think DC licensed these characters quite some time ago (possibly under Paul Levitz' watch) and the time span of that license was going to expire soon - without DC ever exercising their right to publish some comics with the characters - which would have meant DC paid some money for nothing.
Enter the hastily thought out JMS Red Circle revival. I also suspect the terms of the licensing deal must have guaranteed a certain amount of issues were published (else wise, why would DC continue to put on 4 more issues of books that are already selling at ridiculous levels?)
I don't expect to ever get a verification of this theory, but it strikes me as a likely explanation.
How will DC become number 1 Comics Publisher?
Recently at a ComicsPRO conference in Mephsis, Dan Didio confirmed that DC was going to try and overtake Marvel as the number one publisher of comics by changing some internal policies(?) that will allow them to green light more projects quicker. If find this interesting for two reasons:
One, in the past, it has seemed like SOP for DC to discount sales numbers by proclaiming that their main concern was quality, not sales. What's behind the change in priorities? Is this Diane Nelson acting on Time Warner's desire to heighten the profile of their precious superhero IP?
Two, I wonder how is DC realistically going to achieve this goal. What exactly will more comics really do for them? If they use the same MO they've used over the past year on some new titles, I don't expect to see much of a change. Over the past year, DC launched a couple of revivals of some of their older characters (Nemesis, Azrael, Doom Patrol, Warlord, Human Target) as well as titles with completely new characters (Great Ten, Magog, Red Robin) Of the comics I just mentioned, only 2 are selling above 15K (the statistical break even point for a comic book.) The rest are selling in the 10 - 5K range.
So, if DC add 10 - 20 new mid list titles to their offerings in an attempt to flood the market and push Marvel out of the top spot, are retailers going to reach deep into their coffers and buy equal amounts of the new titles in hopes that they might sell better than the past year's mid listers? Or is DC just going to dilute the sales of their existing mid list titles?
So, unless something major changes, I don't see DC reaching that goal. Which might look bad when you get around to your yearend appraisal.
Anyway - enough of those baffling mysteries - enjoy these!
[ Baffling Mysteries 11 ]
[ Baffling Mysteries 13 ]