In this Talk Back, Allen Berrebbi, Director of Business Development for publisher Big Bang Comics, comments on the current state of the Direct Market and offers a couple of suggestions to help save it (see "World According to Griepp: Can Comics Be Saved?", "Brian Hibbs of Comix Experience on 'Can Comics Be Saved?'"), and "Chuck Rozanski of Mile High Comics on 'Can Comics Be Saved?'").

Between The Big Bang Theory and the MCU explosion, the failure to take advantage of both has been an incredible failure.  A lost opportunity.

In the past, before the Direct Market, comics shifted gears often.  Superheroes would fade out and romance or horror comics took center stage.  The DM and the catering to aging fans have eliminated this and the stores, often run by fans themselves, do the same.  There are some good ones who adapt but less than we need.

It doesn't mean superheroes don't have a place, but we need true diversity, diversity of GENRES, like manga does.  And like manga, a focus on entertainment and escapism, like we did in the past.  We are in a long-tail economy and the business needs to reflect that.

The other focus should be re-capturing the younger readers.  In general, business-wise, we need more long-term thinking.  The publishers, specifically the Big Two, need to treat the stores and the other outlets as key partners, and realize the healthier they are, and the more there are for the increase in discovery, the better they will be long-term.  They also need to get rid of exclusive deals and Diamond Comic Distributors needs to allow sub-distributors to minimize the cost for stores.

The opinions expressed in this Talk Back are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of

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