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#462124 - 04/04/01 11:00 AM Pat O'Neill: Please Explain
Heidi MacDonald Offline
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Registered: 04/18/99
Posts: 1465
Loc: New York, New York
Pat:

Honestly, not trying to bait you, but in another thread Steve Conley mentions the New York Times article on Chris Ware to be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/04/arts/04WARE.html.

I so think that it doesn't get more mainstream than the New York Times...so doesn't this prove that it IS possible for this material to be of interest to the general public?
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#462125 - 04/04/01 11:35 AM Re: Pat O'Neill: Please Explain
NatGertler Offline
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Registered: 07/10/99
Posts: 4618
But Heidi, the Times is clearly aimed at comic book fans.

After all, most papers have a funnies page so that the typical reader will have some comics around. But the comic book fan already has lots of comics around, so he doesn't need a funnies page, hence the New York Times.

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#462126 - 04/04/01 11:38 AM Re: Pat O'Neill: Please Explain
The OC Offline
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Registered: 03/27/02
Posts: 1985
Nah. The "explanation" will be that the NYT featured the write-up only to create the illusion of trendiness, because its readers like to appear trendy (or literary, or whatever), as opposed to having any real interest in the material itself.

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#462127 - 04/04/01 12:22 PM Re: Pat O'Neill: Please Explain
Rick Veitch Administrator Offline
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I think the TIMES is covering graphic novels because they are finally actually beginning to sell in bookstores. Let's hope and pray Marvel and DC don't rush to flood the new channels with ook (right, Heidi?)

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#462128 - 04/04/01 01:05 PM Re: Pat O'Neill: Please Explain
Robert Boyd Offline
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Registered: 12/09/99
Posts: 82
Loc: Milford, CT, USA
Marvel and DC already sell to the book trade. Although we lack a single distributor that allows us to make precise market share charts (as can be done for the direct market), I estimate that in the book trade, the largest publishers of graphic novels are:

DC
Dark Horse
Marvel
Tokyopop
Viz

While I think these rankings will shift around a bit, and I think Image will probably creep up there in time, I am confident in saying that in the near term, the average graphic novel that one finds in a book store will either be a superhero collection, a media tie-in, or a manga book. I don't think Marvel and DC are deliberately flooding the market, but they're big publishers and in their normal course of business, they are going to put out more graphic novels in a month than Fantagraphics or Drawn & Quarterly put out in a year.

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#462129 - 04/04/01 03:23 PM Re: Pat O'Neill: Please Explain
Pat ONeill Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 3064
Loc: PA, USA
Quote:
Honestly, not trying to bait you, but in another thread Steve Conley mentions the New York Times article on Chris Ware to be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/04/arts/04WARE.html.

I so think that it doesn't get more mainstream than the New York Times...so doesn't this prove that it IS possible for this material to be of interest to the general public?


No, I think it proves this material is of interest to book critics. If the NYTimes article results in increased sales of Ware's work, then you might have a point.

But I doubt it will...for one thing, as I note in that thread, calling something "literature" and thus comparing it to the stuff forced on kids in high school is unlikely to generate interest among the general public.
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#462130 - 04/04/01 03:33 PM Re: Pat O'Neill: Please Explain
NatGertler Offline
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Registered: 07/10/99
Posts: 4618
Oh, yeah, positive coverage in the New York Times is not going to help sales. Rriiiiiight....

Pat, some day you may learn that the public is not made up solely of folks who celebrate ignorance and are against anything that is not actively ignorant.

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#462131 - 04/04/01 04:10 PM Re: Pat O'Neill: Please Explain
Peter David Offline
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Registered: 04/04/01
Posts: 855
Loc: NY, NY
Quote:
Originally posted by NatGertler:
Oh, yeah, positive coverage in the New York Times is not going to help sales. Rriiiiiight....

Pat, some day you may learn that the public is not made up solely of folks who celebrate ignorance and are against anything that is not actively ignorant.



Maybe not solely, but certainly enough to result in "Tomcats" being the number 4 movie in America...

The difference between, say, a novel getting written up in the NYT and Chris Ware's work is that people may read a novel review and, if the material interests them, buy the book. But if they read a review of a comic book, their reaction may well be, "Oh, but *I don't read comics.*" And they will not buy it for that reason and that reason alone. It doesn't matter whether the material is adult or not. They wouldn't want to read it because the format itself is associated with juveniles and idiots, and they wouldn't want to be thought of as either one.

PAD

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#462132 - 04/04/01 04:24 PM Re: Pat O'Neill: Please Explain
ATKokmen Offline
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Registered: 05/22/00
Posts: 1170
Loc: New York, NY
Quote:
Originally posted by Pat ONeill:
No, I think it proves this material is of interest to book critics. If the NYTimes article results in increased sales of Ware's work, then you might have a point.

But I doubt it will...


Online booksellers' sales rankings are notoriously ineffable, but are nonetheless sometimes interesting.

At this moment, about a quarter after 4:00 p.m Eastern time, on the very day this New York Times article appeared, Amazon.com's sales ranking for Jimmy Corrigan : The Smartest Kid on Earth is 256 and bn.com's sales ranking is 1461.

For a book of this type, these are incredibly high rankings (While I don't know where the book ranked yesterday, I'll bet anything it was much, much, much lower on both scales.) Moreover, given the way these on-line booksellers calculate their rankings, these high placements are almost doubtlessly due to an increased number of very recent sales, most likely in response to some bit of publicity, the most likely bit being the New York Times piece.

(It's a long-established tradition for authors and publishers to watch on-line booksellers' ratings for fluctuations shortly after--and therefore attributable to--publicity like New York Times mentions, or National Public Radio reviews.)

Now, it's impossible (unless you're Amazon.com or bn.com) to know exactly how many actual copies sold these newly-high rankings represent, but it's easy to conclude that such a dramatic rise is directly due to the New York Times article.

Ergo, the New York Times article is resulting in increased sales for Chris Ware's book, in at least some identifiable venues.

Q.E.D.

[This message has been edited by ATKokmen (edited 04-04-2001).]
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#462133 - 04/04/01 04:53 PM Re: Pat O'Neill: Please Explain
Gary Groth Offline
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Registered: 03/07/99
Posts: 100
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Robert Boyd wrote:

"I don't think Marvel and DC are deliberately flooding the market,
but they're big publishers and in their normal course of business, they are going to put out more graphic novels in a
month than Fantagraphics or Drawn & Quarterly put out in a year."

That's a bitof an exaggeration. Fantagraphics publishes three graphic novels a month; I doubt DC publishes 36 graphic novels a month.

Contra Peter David, a review or profile in the NY Times will help sales. Period. End of discussion.

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