Thursday, October 2, 2008

Paper Comics DeathWatch: Inflation vs Comics

I'm going to start this Paper Comics DeathWatch with a simple statement that preceded the August Marvel Sales Numbers from the Beat DM periodical sales have now been sliding for seven straight months.

Now that's seven months where we had:

  • Secret Invasion
  • Final Crisis
  • Trinity <-anybody reading this? Is it any good?
  • Ultimates vol 3 <-- why is anybody reading this?
  • Batman RIP
  • All Star Superman
  • All Star Batman

    Now the NEXT seven months will be sorely lacking some of the big titles mentioned above.

Now, the hype for Secret Invasion was what, a year in the making? Longer than that maybe? And Final Crisis had a entire year of weekly comics building up to it.

So, yeah, DC and Marvel might find *another* mega crossover to pay the bills, but so far, they are going to have to sell that mega crossover without the year long hype that Final Crisis and Secret Invasion got.

Bottom line, I don't think 2009 is going to be a good year at either company. I just don't see either one of them producing anything that breaks 5 digits in sales...maybe New Avengers will do it. Maybe Ultimates vol 4. Maybe *BIG Maybe* that Green Lantern event Pierre is so fired up about. ;)

Bottom line: I think the comics industry is headed for a Subprime Megastory Meltdown.

PCDW Points: 50,000

Chart's from Kirkman

From the Beat is this bit of news coverage(?) on the Bendis/Kirkman debate on comics and the state of the industry (or something like that. Hard to tell from the transcripts exactly WHAT was the thrust of this debate. At least no one said Preconcessions over and over again...)

Anyway...Robert Kirkman presented this chart that apparently caused much gnashing of teeth because it dared say that the monthly numbers that appear on the Beat (which are often dismissed by industry pros...) might actually be more accurate than said Pros would care to admit...

I don't know - I think the most dooming thing said during the debate was Bendis' recounting of the night he won and Eisner Award...

“I remember very, very clearly winning an Eisner and leaving San Diego that night because I had to get to a gig doing a Bat Mitzvah that night.”

Now, granted, Brian is making huge Hollywood money now, but reading that is sort of discouraging. I don't think he meant it to be, but the reality is, making money in comics industry is probably damn tough on all sides.

A friend of mine once remarked that it is sad that in this day and age, when it is easiest for a independent comic creator to *produce* a comic, that the marketplace is perhaps the most hostile it has ever been for such new comics. I don't see that changing anytime soon for paper comics.

Anyway...seeing Kirkman's charts made want to show you a chart of my own...

Not really sure what to score that Kirkman/Bendis debate, but I really like Randy Rhodes, so...

PCDW Points: 666

Big City Newspapers Dying?

Over in BusinessWeek Media report Jon Fine has a nice article about the impending demise of Big City Newspapers and what might replace them (short answer: nothing...) - well one of the things I haven't seen anyone say is WHEN all these newspapers dry up, a lot of ancilliary paper and printing related companies are going to suffer. (I suspect they are already in major cutback mode.)

For the Love of Pete Jim! What does this have to do with how JMS' slow ass Thor run is destroying comics?! you ask?

Well, I'm thinking some paper companies are going to just close down. And as prices on paper and production are helped by volume of demand, a lessing of demand is just going to drive those prices up even higher than they already are. So the poor Canadian government, with their newly refinanced Quebecor is probably going to raise prices on printing again, which means that comic prices are gonna go up again.

As a matter of fact, they may have already done so, suggest Rich Johnston...

Lying in the Gutters had an interesting bit about the lack of advertising in some current Marvel comics and how it might be affecting prices. At the end of the bit, Rich asked...

Anyone care to do a general inflation rate/inflation in the cost of a monthly comic comparison chart?

Well, I'm not sure this is what he wanted, but I did the legwork and came up with this chart.

It's an image because blogger hates tables.

Now before you send me a kajillion emails telling me that Flash 230 only cost .35 in 1979, I had to base my numbers on Amazing Spider-Man for the most part up until the 90's when the title got discontinued, then I sort of had to just pick titles at random (Captain America and Avengers were the fill ins) I avoided anniversary issues and gimmick covers, trying to stay with what I considered average issues.

What's interesting about this chart it the amount of increase in the last 3 years.

Lying in the Gutters suggest that $2.99 has been the comic shop price while most newstand versions of comics have already gone to $3.99. However, recently, Marvel has been soliciting comic shop versions at $3.99.

Rich ends article in a manner I can appreciate, saying...

Will this be a turning point that sees a number of fans go digital?

It's hard to say what *go digital* means in this context (Marvel's Digital Comics Universe or Torrents) but I think that what you are going to see is a definite drop off an all but the core titles as people migrate to illegal downloads or the TPB collected editions.

PCDW Points: 20,000

That's all for this week. Join me next week when I bitch and moan about how you can only code applications for iPods and iPhones on a Mac! :(((

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm reading Trinity. It's been enjoyable. It's better than Ultimates 3 for sure.


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