Brian Hibbs of Comix Experience in San Francisco, California read Ilan Strasser's recent Talk Back about the current state of the comic book market (see "Ilan Strasser of Fat Moose Comics and Games on the State of the Comic Industry") and provides some additional thoughts on the subject.
While it is certainly true that the wheel goes round and round and yesterday's sins are today's sins are tomorrow's sins (I've certainly toyed with the idea, once or twice, of submitting a 20-year old column with a few
specifics changed, just to see if anyone notices! I bet they wouldn't! -- But, then, that would be unethical to get paid for that), I do want to distance myself from the idea that the "pamphlet" (UGH!) "is dead."
I certainly don't believe any such thing, and if I did, I'd be closing down of my own violation.
The larger issue, I think, is, as it has always been, one of short-term thinking. I mean, Joe Brancetelli was talking about how adding titles to a franchise yielded disproportionately lower sales way back in the 70s--there
shouldn't be any real surprise that ridiculous line expansions like multiple titles for b-list books like Hulk and JSA end up selling fewer copies of EVERY book in the franchise.
The $3.99 price point wasn't one of economic necessity, but rather one of avarice, and, wow, who would have thunk that the readership wouldn't appreciate that?
I think all of our problems with periodical comics in 2010 can be solved fairly easily--I'm just not convinced that our publisher partners have enough willpower to put it back into their pants.
I'll say this to every retailer in the sound of my voice: IF the periodical dies, it will have been our own fault for not only supporting but actually rewarding publishers for their behavior. Take variant covers, for example--the only reason they get produced in the absurd numbers they do is because YOU are ordering them. If you stopped, so would they.
And so on and so forth.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
'Rewarding Publishers for their Behavior'
Posted by ICv2 on January 6, 2010 @ 12:00 am CT
MORE TALK BACK
Michael Tierney of Collector's Edition & The Comic Book Store on Closing His Brick and Mortar Stores - Open 38 and 31 Years
'I'm Not Closing Down--I'm Just Changing the Way I Do Business.'
June 12, 2020
Comic book retailer Michael Tierney, of the Comic Book Store and Collector's Edition, has announced a big change in how he'll be doing business in the future.
'The Changes Are Going to be Profound and Permanent'
May 28, 2020
Tom Skulan of publisher FantaCo sent in this post, formatted as a Q&A, to share his thoughts on coronavirus crisis and its impact on the comics business from a historical perspective.