Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Will Super-Hero Comics Die in the New Depression?

There is an interesting article on CHUD, that espouses the idea that superhero comic may soon die. It also is pretty harsh to fans of super hero comics but makes some good points.

That led to a discussion on the Mark Waid forum on BOOM Studio’s website. Which in turn led to my sounding off on the subject and I decided to share it as a quick commentary.

Super hero comics may or may not die, but I believe they will survive in some form. Will comics survive is another question.

The direct market was a saving grace at one point and now it is a detriment to the survival of comics. Diamond has become a problem. They are essentially a monopoly and many stores only buy from them (always a bad business model).

New fans are not going to comic stores and graphic story telling needs to reach that wider market.

In a comic store Wolverine and Batman crush books like Left on Mission or Talent. In a Barnes and Nobel I say that Left on Mission or Talent crush Wolverine and Batman. We have so many terrific books on the low end of sales. Scalped has crappy sales numbers, but many "comic fans" refuse to buy it. Give Scalped to a crime story fan and the book will sell like gang busters.

In order to survive comics need to find a new distribution method. It may be a mix of digital, print on demand, comic store sales, book store sales, Amazon, motion comics or setting up there own stores on their webpages, but the system today is dying just as the newstand distribution died 30 years ago. You need to market to the printheads (like me) as well as the digital reader and need to deliver it on ebooks, kindle, iphones, myspace, comic stores and anywhere else and almost at the same time.

We have to find the buyers as it has been proven the new buyers we need are not coming to the local comic shops.

BOOM, IDW and Dark Horse help themselves to survive with all the great licensed material they do which has a built in fanbase not tied to comic stores.

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