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#478328 - 11/05/01 01:35 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
Ayo Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/01
Posts: 1077
Loc: New York
here's a quick list of quality comics that have strong marketable features(story, art, star power, etc).

I'm keeping this strictly to graphic novels/TPBs, so they're readily availible to the general public at ANY Borders Books/Barns and Nobles.

Jimmy Corrigan: the Smartest Kid on Earth
From Hell
Bone
Hellboy
AKIRA
JINX
Kabuki
Essential Marvel collections
Kingdom Come
Marvels
Ultimate X-MEn
Ultimate Spiderman
Strangers In Paradise
Torso
Fire
Sin City
Elfquest
Ranma1/2
Battle Angel Alita
Lone Wolf and Cub
Blade of the Immortal
Sailor Moon
Gundam
Pokemon
Monkey Vs. Robot
Sketchbook Diaries
Peanutbutter and Jeremy
Understanding Comics
Reinventing Comics
Secret Comics of Japan(or something to that effect)
Dance Till Tomorrow
Banana Fish
Black & White(manga)
Black Jack(manga)
Adolph
Clerks
Jay & Silent Bob
Grrl Scouts(I think its availible)
Skeleton Key
Hellblazer
Preacher
Sandman
The Dreaming
Death
Usagi Yojimbo
Star Wars
DC Collections
Gold/Silver/Bronze Age reprint collections
100 Bullets
Spawn
The Savage Dragon
some Heavy Metal collections
Crying Freeman
Akiko
R. Crumb collections
Tin Tin
Asterix

and that's just off the top of my head.

we've got power, its just about MOVING these units. PERIOD.
_________________________
Don't gotta go rush to Toys'R'Us to get your cabbage patched, kid.

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#478329 - 11/06/01 06:21 AM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
RCRUZ Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/99
Posts: 283
Loc: Guaynabo, P.R.
Zeus:

I disagree, to a degree.
You have a point that some comics being published today are just ... great. Not outstanding like a Dark Knight, Watchmen. Some meet that standard like Powers and others but it isn't a lack of creators or new ideas.
The culprit is the system.
It's not premeditated but has anybody else noted that many of the creators and new ideas come from venues OTHER than the big two?
The biz of comics (as it stands economically) can't take chances now (NEVER really did before) and continues to 'reinvent' the mouse trap by sticking to what they 'know' will work.
In other words, they play it safe.
What would I do to fix it?
The PTB should look and I mean REALLY look at what's out there.
Heck, just check some of these banners on comicon like "Astounding Space Thrills" and others and give them a chance (either the creation or the creator) sponsor a run, find a way to do it cheap just for those 'bean counters' but the purpose would be keep the creative juices flowing, looking for that next Watchmen, or Dark Knight.
I know, it's just a pipe dream. Y'see when you add all those people that will EVENTUALLY screw either you or your creation or creators that can't (or won't) reconcile the realities of the biz (at least try to) and then you're back where you started.
Having new creators and new ideas OUTSIDE of the mainstream. It's almost like a never- ending loop.

Like Dennis Miller says, "Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong."

[This message has been edited by RCRUZ (edited 11-06-2001).]

[This message has been edited by RCRUZ (edited 11-06-2001).]

[This message has been edited by RCRUZ (edited 11-06-2001).]

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#478330 - 11/11/01 01:30 AM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
BaiNst Offline
Member

Registered: 09/28/99
Posts: 39
Loc: Los Angeles,USA
Any killing of the comic industry is not being done by the companies, it's being done by the consumers, the collectors, and their lack of interest in anything new. Marvel's New Universe was one of the most interesting things to be done by the major two companies in the late 80's, and it didn't take, despite their attempt to take the theme of Watchmen (superheroes in a "real-world" setting) into an on-going series of magazines. Zeus, your interest for new ideas and creators is not one that most other buyers seem to share.

There is no lack of ideas and creators in the industry...the industry, due to market demands, is simply promoting the wrong ideas and creators.

An example of where they're doing it right is with DC and their release of the book that was superhero stories written and illustrated by alternative cartoonists. Top rate entertainment.

Eastman, Laird, McCloud, Moore, Miller, and others like them took the final step with superheroes before outright parody. Parody is the final step, and that was begun in the 90s, and continues through today (with books like DC's, and the Marvel tribute put out by Highwater ).

Anything else that tries to handles superheroes seriously is superfluous, and can't really go anywhere that hasn't been reached. There can be different takes on it, but at that point it's just a Black Belt Hamster instead of a Ninja Turtle.

But for all that, the comic book industry is about as important in this country as the model train industry. There are people that are trying new things, but you won't see them in your typical comic store. If you can't see them there, don't blame the publisher. Heck, don't even blame the store owner, even. Blame the rest of the narrow minded simpletons that keeping buying the same old crap off of the shelves.

And, since you can post on this board, the fact that you don't see it in the store is no excuse. All of the comics mentioned by other posters here (and MORE, so much more) are available online in many different places. Start with Highwater, because Tom bought me dinner once. Then move on from there. Or, if you go to a convention, seek out the Alternative Press area, or Minicomics area. That's where you'll find the good stuff of today.
_________________________
FC Brandt
aka BaiNst
http://www.bainst.com

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#478331 - 11/11/01 10:08 AM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
Louis Bright-Raven Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/99
Posts: 185
BaiNst:

Just what the hell are you blabbering about?

"Any killing of the comic industry is not being done by the companies, it's being done by the consumers, the collectors, and their lack of interest in anything new."

I've rarely (if ever)heard a more ridiculous statement. The fact is the average consumer buys the most readily available product at the most affordable price. Plain and simple. If the publishers decide to produce multiple versions of the same product, and the retailer chooses to carry that and only that, then that is what the consumer will buy. They are generally not going to go out of their way to find something else. Instead they will complain about things being the way they are, or they just won't buy at all.

And this is not limited to comics by any means. The same thing can and does happen to any number of products.

How many times do you find a product you buy regularly at the supermarket only to find suddenly that store no longer carries it, because "it didn't sell"? Happens to me all the time. Turns out every single time that the Buyer for the Supermarket tried the product and didn't like it, so they stopped ordering it, despite the fact the product was selling well.

The same thing happens with the vast majority of comics retailers (or retailers in general - there's no exclusivity to be claimed here). They're either buying and pushing what they themselves like, or they push what they're told to by the publishers / manufacturers of the products they sell.

It has little to nothing to do with consumers, whatsoever- it has to do with the Buyers. (And in the comics industry, in case you didn't know, the Buyers are Diamond and other distribution outlets first, the retailers second.)

Your comments about buying comics online is basically nonsense. Since when is there anyone exactly turning online comics or self-publishers turning their online mail order sales into a cash cow anywhere? None that I've ever heard of. Most of the self-publishers I know regularly tell me to tell my retailer to order it for me, because they simply don't have the time to create their books and distribute them via mail order as well.

Then there's the fact that most online stores want you to buy through cedit cards, which not everyone has, and the price and hassles of money orders (since checks are sometimes not accepted by these outlets) makes the hassle for such a small, pithy item not worth the effort to the average individual.

As for your comments about Marvel's New Universe line and taking the "theme" of Watchmen (FYI, superheroes in the real world is the *concept* of WATCHMEN, not the theme) is completely off. New Universe had a number of horrid titles that were poorly conceived and executed even more poorly. The only title of the lot that was well done was D.P. 7 and it held an audience for about 4, maybe 5 years, including the specials after the series ended. People's interests in books do depend on the quality of said books too, y'know.

I will agree with you that the industry is promoting the wrong ideas and creators, but I hate to tell you it's not because of market demand. It's because corporate companies are going to promote the products they want to promote and you, the consumer, will like it or else. And people aren't liking what's being promoted, so the "else" is an ever-shrinking market as readers leave the industry in droves.

Can the market recover? Sure, if the industry stops with the bullshit attitude of exclusivity deals, creatively limiting genres and other idiocy and actually distribute and market the products that are being produced right now that would create a wider diversity of clientele.

So, to answer the initial question of the thread- no, there is no lack of new talent or new ideas, Zeus. Just a lack of common sense when it comes to getting them out to the public.

Louis Bright-Raven

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#478332 - 11/11/01 01:08 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
Ayo Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/01
Posts: 1077
Loc: New York
BLAAAOW!!
_________________________
Don't gotta go rush to Toys'R'Us to get your cabbage patched, kid.

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#478333 - 11/11/01 02:48 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
flaming white Offline
Member

Registered: 10/28/01
Posts: 73
Hey Zeus-yer right and DC's entire vertigo line is proof of that. For king of the burned out creators I nominate Howie Chaykin, he's been re-cycling the same plot ideas and character ciphers for almost 20 years

------------------

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#478334 - 11/12/01 02:12 AM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
BaiNst Offline
Member

Registered: 09/28/99
Posts: 39
Loc: Los Angeles,USA
Mr. Bright-Raven:

"Just what the hell are you blabbering about?"

Well, since you're too dense to figure it out yourself, let me enlighten you...

"The fact is the average consumer buys the most readily available product at the most affordable price."

This is decidedly untrue. Otherwise, when DC released their line of 60 cent comics (maybe it was 75...whatever) in the early nineties, they would have been a hit, right? Your "plain and simple" statement ignores quality and preference for taste. I'm sorry, but I won't buy Coors Light even though it's cheaper than Corona.

"If the publishers decide to produce multiple versions of the same product, and the retailer chooses to carry that and only that, then that is what the consumer will buy."

This sentence (and the rest of the paragraph which I did not quote) pretty much proves my point. You, and consumers like you, are responsible for the lack of choice. You continue to go to stores and buy from their limited choice, rather than seeking out alternatives which (despite your later protestations) do exist, and since you're too lazy to look for them yourself, I'll do you the favor of listing several of them at the end of this "blabbering".

"How many times do you find a product you buy regularly at the supermarket only to find suddenly that store no longer carries it, because "it didn't sell"? Happens to me all the time. Turns out every single time that the Buyer for the Supermarket tried the product and didn't like it, so they stopped ordering it, despite the fact the product was selling well."

Hm...every single time, huh? I doubt it. In fact, I doubt it was the reason even once. Do you know how incredibly low the profit margin is for grocery stores? Fact is, they couldn't afford to take something off of the shelves simply because the "buyer" didn't like it. Fact is, the store owner would probably fire the buyer that would do such a thing...or do you live in a world where owners and managers have no idea what sells in their store?

"The same thing happens with the vast majority of comics retailers (or retailers in general - there's no exclusivity to be claimed here). They're either buying and pushing what they themselves like, or they push what they're told to by the publishers / manufacturers of the products they sell."

I don't doubt that there are many retailers that do just this. I've had the pleasure of meeting perhaps two or three out of the dozens I've had dealings with. In my experience, however, you greatly overstate the case.

"It has little to nothing to do with consumers, whatsoever- it has to do with the Buyers. (And in the comics industry, in case you didn't know, the Buyers are Diamond and other distribution outlets first, the retailers second.)"

Oh, thanks for letting me know how it "works." The sorry fact is, Diamond picks up a great number of independent books, and distributes them. And stores actually buy them, and put them on their shelves. Then, the consumers come in, and most go straight for the superhero shelves, and miss the alternate choices, causing retailers to place lower orders on consecutive issues, until the orders drop to such a low point that Diamond refuses to carry them any longer. This is a fact, and you can add that to your list of "how it works" when you describe it to the next person, okay?

Your comments about buying comics online is basically nonsense.

Oh? Well, why is that? Oh, wait, you explain below:

Since when is there anyone exactly turning online comics or self-publishers turning their online mail order sales into a cash cow anywhere?

I never said people were making great sums of money from mail order sales. Go back and re-read my post if you don't believe me. I said that they're available.

None that I've ever heard of.

That's because you're exactly the sort of consumer that I'm blaming for the problem.

Most of the self-publishers I know regularly tell me to tell my retailer to order it for me, because they simply don't have the time to create their books and distribute them via mail order as well.

Again, I doubt it. I doubt you've once spoken to a self-publisher. Next time you're at a convention, try talking to a self-publisher. You're wholly incorrect, and your wrongness is only bolstered by the fact that many self-publishers make time to go to conventions and LOSE money doing so. It's true that they'd prefer to be carried by the retailers, and would love if you'd get out of your little consumer bunker, and actually help promote hard-to-find work, but the fact is, most stores won't carry their stuff, because not enough people will buy it, so they're happy to mail you the damn things themselves.

Then there's the fact that most online stores want you to buy through cedit cards, which not everyone has, and the price and hassles of money orders (since checks are sometimes not accepted by these outlets) makes the hassle for such a small, pithy item not worth the effort to the average individual.

Well then the "average individual" (which I can only assume is what you feel yourself to be) will just have to continue putting up with the crap that they get, because they keep mindlessly buying it, instead of seeking out alternate venues. You can keep making excuses, but they only make it clearer that the problem begins and ends with your "average individual" consumer. Don't have a credit card? Use a check. They won't take a check? Unlikely, but if this is the case, find a place where you can buy multiple things at once, and this solves the problem of going through the trouble of getting a money order, because you'll be getting a box load of stuff it that order. Lastly, you can always send cash. Few people have problems getting what they pay for.

Gee, I solved your problem, huh? I'll be sure to look for your order in my mailbox any day now.

"As for your comments about Marvel's New Universe line and taking the "theme" of Watchmen (FYI, superheroes in the real world is the *concept* of WATCHMEN, not the theme) is completely off."

Your appraisal of the quality of the New Universe line is incorrect. It was no better or worse (art, writing or paper quality) than the other superhero stuff Marvel was putting out at the time.

Also, your correction of my use of the word "theme" is incorrect as well. It's quite possible (and perhaps even probable) that Alan Moore did not intend it as a theme, however I could easily defend that "superheroes in the real-world" is in fact a theme of the book, even if unintentional. Theme is not defined by intention, and you're welcome to look it up. In fact, I suggest you look up words before you correct people in their usage.

"I will agree with you that the industry is promoting the wrong ideas and creators, but I hate to tell you it's not because of market demand."

I hate for you to tell me that, too, so don't. We'll go on, and pretend like you didn't, okay?

"It's because corporate companies are going to promote the products they want to promote and you, the consumer, will like it or else."

Um...or else what, exactly? I'm sorry, but when I stopped buying big corporate comicbooks, nobody from Marvel came to my door to threaten me.

"And people aren't liking what's being promoted, so the "else" is an ever-shrinking market as readers leave the industry in droves."

Oh! That's the "else"? Well, boy, that's got me shaking in my boots. Those corporate big shots sure are smart to scare off readers like that. I'll grant you that Marvel and DC made some serious mistakes in catering to the collector's market rather than the readers, and they will probably not be able to recover any time soon, if at all.

"Can the market recover? Sure, if the industry stops with the bullshit attitude of exclusivity deals,..."

Okay.

"...creatively limiting genres..."

In the past year, I've seen them letting up here, and I don't even buy the stuff, so I'm further wary of your knowledge in this regard. I site the new talent that Marvel brought in to work on a few of their titles as an example.

"...and other idiocy and actually distribute and market the products that are being produced right now that would create a wider diversity of clientele."

Too vague. I don't know what you're talking about.

"So, to answer the initial question of the thread- no, there is no lack of new talent or new ideas, Zeus. Just a lack of common sense when it comes to getting them out to the public."

Agreed. Plus, the public could actually stick to buying the good stuff, much of which is listed below.

Thank you. I hope this clarifies my earlier "babble", and if not, I'm available to further educate you.

Yours,
FC Brandt

Now, the List. It's by no means complete, but should serve well enough to prove my point that such things exist, despite not being "cash cows". Many of them accept any sort of payment:

If I may be so bold:
www.bainst.com

The aforementioned www.highwaterbooks.com

www.slowwave.com

www.papertheater.com

www.kchronicles.com

http://www.angelfire.com/art/lastwish/
http://www.hi-horse.com/

http://www.indyworld.com/altcomics/

Not currently online,
www.reporter56.com
but email Dylan at reporter56@hotmail.com, and I'm sure he'll send you a price list and take a check.

Or, just go here, and select "alternative"
http://nextplanetover.site.yahoo.net/

www.lastgasp.com offers many self-published titles, even though they continue to ignore me.

www.emptylife.com

www.peterconrad.com

http://www.topshelfcomix.com/topshelf/index.html

http://members.aol.com/cynicalman/

www.astoundingspacethrills.com

Not to mention Slave Labor and Fantagraphics, which don't need my help.

There are many more available, some can be seen here:
http://www.spxpo.com/artists_exhibits.htm

And these guys...
www.insightstudiosgroup.com


(edited to correct my spelling of the word "accept" so that you don't get derailed from the point, and because I forgot a good friend's site)

[This message has been edited by BaiNst (edited 11-12-2001).]
_________________________
FC Brandt
aka BaiNst
http://www.bainst.com

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#478335 - 11/12/01 11:20 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
Louis Bright-Raven Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/99
Posts: 185
I wrote: "If the publishers decide to produce multiple versions of the same product, and the retailer chooses to carry that and only that, then that is what the consumer will buy."

BaiNst: This sentence (and the rest of the paragraph which I did not quote) pretty much proves my point. You, and consumers like you, are responsible for the lack of choice. You continue to go to stores and buy from their limited choice, rather than seeking out alternatives which (despite your later protestations) do exist, and since you're too lazy to look for them yourself, I'll do you the favor of listing several of them at the end of this "blabbering".

"I doubt you've once spoken to a self-publisher. Next time you're at a convention, try talking to a self-publisher. You're wholly incorrect, and your wrongness is only bolstered by the fact that many self-publishers make time to go to conventions and LOSE money doing so. It's true that they'd prefer to be carried by the retailers, and would love if you'd get out of your little consumer bunker, and actually help promote hard-to-find work, but the fact is, most stores won't carry their stuff, because not enough people will buy it, so they're happy to mail you the damn things themselves."

**********

You obviously have no clue who you're talking to.

FYI, I happen to *be* a self-publisher, have been published in the small press with Arrow Comics, been published as a writer of reviews of literally hundreds of various small press titles and about three dozen interviews with small press talent in both paper and online print, and quite possibly have met more professionals who have worked in this industry than you've got comics in your entire collection.

Just off the cuff, here's what *I* have purchased in comics since 1999, asshole:

HECTIC PLANET Vols. I-III TPBS by Evan Dorkin (Slave Labor)

GLOOMCOOKIE by Serena Valentino (Slave Labor)

THE GRIFFIN TPB by Dan Vado / Norman Felchle (Amaze Ink / Slave Labor)

ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE: ONE SHOT, ONE BEER by Larry Young & Charlie Adlard (AIT/PlanetLar)

CHANNEL ZERO by Brian Wood (AIT/PlanetLar)

QUICKEN FORBIDDEN by Dave Roman and John Green (Cryptic Press)

ELECTRIC GIRL by Michael Brennan (Mighty Gremlin)

WAHOO MORRIS by Craig Taileffer (Too Hip Gotta Go Graphics)

WANDERING STAR (conclusion) and DARKLIGHT by Teri Sue Wood (Pen & Ink Comics / Sirius)

FINDER and MYSTERY DATE by Carla Speed McNeil (Lightspeed Press)

RACHEL DANARA, MYSTIC FOR HIRE by Chris Wichtendahl and Jeff Zugale (that's right - the same one here on comicon.com who runs the same character as a digital comic - Pagan City Comics)

OPERATOR 99 and TAXMAN by Doug Miers and various arists (Comics Conspiracy)

TOHUBOHU: WORLD GONE WILD by David & Seth Bier, Gabe Aberola, and various (New Breed Comics)

PROPHECY OF THE SOUL SORCERER by Seaton, Blaine, and various (Arcane Comics)

NOCTURNALS by Daniel Brereton (Dark Horse / Oni)

THE MARQUIS by Guy Davis (Caliber / Oni)

NEVERMEN by Phil Amara & Guy Davis (Dark Horse)

HELLBOY by Mike Mignola (Dark Horse)

GRENDEL: DEVIL'S LEGACY by Matt Wanger and the Pander Bros. (Dark Horse)

MAGE I & II By Matt Wagner (Image)

A DISTANT SOIL by Colleen Doran (Aria Press / later Image)

LEAVE IT TO CHANCE by James Robinson and Paul Smith (Homage Comics)

THE WIZARD'S TALE by Kurt Busiek & David Wenzel (Homage Comics)

POWERS by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming (Image)

AGE OF BRONZE by Eric Shanower (Image)

ATOMIC TOYBOX #1,2 (of 3, which to my knowledge was never released) by Aaron Lopresti (Image)

TREKKER one shot by Ron Randall (Image)

C.H.I.X. by Studiosaurus (Image)

SECTION ZERO #1-3 (Again a series that wasn't finished) by Karl Kesel & Tom Grummett (Gorilla / Image)

SHOCKROCKETS by Kurt Busiek & Stuart Immonen (Gorilla / Image)

Probably about thirty titles from Arrow Comics by various creators, so I'm not going to bother listing every single one of those...

I could list literally hundreds more books, but someone with even *your* infintestimally small mind should be able to get the point that I read a vast number of creator-owned, mostly self-published titles (even the Image titles I buy are technically self-published.)

As for my Marvel Purchases since 1999, hell that's short:

THUNDERBOLTS through #50
AVENGERS: KREE-SKRULL WAR TPB

That's all? 'Fraid so, Joe.

Dark Horse? Not including the creator-owned books listed above, just their "bread-and- butter" titles (i.e. Manga and Licensed)? Then we have:

BUFFY #1-25
ANGEL #1-12

Yeah, I'm burning a hole in my pocket there.

Image - Depends on what you call an Image book. If you're of the mind set that the Founders are Image and the rest are just self-publishing under the Image banner (which is basically how it works), then no, I don't read any Image books, because I wouldn't touch Top Cow, McFarlane, or Larsen's stuff (Or Liefeld's or the initial Wildstorm line when they were part of the mix.)

Then, you've got DC. I *must* be a DC fanatic, since according to BaiNst all I do is buy the mainstream:

JSA #1-25
LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #132-135
BATMAN: STRANGE APPARITIIONS TPB
STARS & S.T.R.I.P.E. #1-11(??? Whenever it was canceled, anyway)
COUNTDOWN #1-8
CREATURE COMMANDOS #1-8
CAMELOT 3000 TPB
ANIMAL MAN TPB
TOM STRONG #1-6
TOP TEN #1-11 (12 eventually)

So yeah, DC's the breadwinner (if you could call it that). Again, about half or so of these titles were creator-owned or otherwise were outside the DCU and / or the Wildstorm Universe.

Getting the picture? I don't buy the mainstream as a rule of thumb. I'll maybe read through them at the local bookstore that carries them just to keep a base idea of what's going on (when I can stomach it), but purchase? Not even.

Furthermore, I don't go to comics shops on any regular basis, because as everyone has heard me state only about 10 million times on these boards- there AREN'T any within 80 miles of my home. Why not? Because the moronic retailers (all 7 of them) that *were* here were too fucking stupid to carry any of the above or other varied titles, despite my and other customers requests. They limited themselves to Marvel, DC sans Vertigo, Helix, Paradox Press, or any other of their non DCU products, Wildstorm (before the sale to DC), Toddy Mac's books and Top Cow. Period. Oh wait, I almost forgot- they also carried Chaos Comics' titty books for the 6 months they were "hot", too.

The result: They all pretty much canceled each other out and there hasn't been a comic shop here since early 1999.

I do mail order through a retailer in Michigan (I'm in Nevada), and even *he* has trouble getting the titles I want from time to time. (Particularly in the case of FINDER and QUICKEN FORBIDDEN for some reason... and with FINDER, which is a very successful small press title, I've had no less than 12 retailers tell me that they've had to deal directly with creator Carla McNeil, because why? Diamond can't be bothered to fill their orders. Go figure.)

BaiNst writes:

*******

"The sorry fact is, Diamond picks up a great number of independent books, and distributes them. And stores actually buy them, and put them on their shelves. Then, the consumers come in, and most go straight for the superhero shelves, and miss the alternate choices, causing retailers to place lower orders on consecutive issues, until the orders drop to such a low point that Diamond refuses to carry them any longer. This is a fact, and you can add that to your list of 'how it works' when you describe it to the next person, okay?"

*****

Acutally, asshole, that's NOT fact. That is what Diamond would have you to believe to be fact.

The FACT is, Diamond is known to undercut their orders so that retailers who have ordered the independents don't get them, which makes the retailers think the publisher screwed up, thus causing a lower order in consecutive issues and thus allowing Diamond "cause" for them to cancel a title, citing "low sales". This is why so many retailers who *really* want to carry independents have to order direct from the publisher, because Diamond is fucking over both the small press and the retailers who want to support them. (Like FINDER, see above. Like Arrow Comics' LAND OF OZ, which shipped on time from Day One 11 months straight and showed slow but progressively improving sales figures, but was cut by Dimaond, who informed Arrow that they could only do minis and not a regular monthly. Who the fuck is Diamond to tell *any* publisher what format and with what frequency they can publish? Meanwhile, DAREDEVIL can ship 4-8 months late with little to no reprimand from Diamond. Go figure.)

Another additional FACT is that many retailers see independent publishers at comic conventions and buy up their backstock at the con, build up a clientele for the series back home, and then when they order from Diamond, they can't seem to get the new issues. Why? Because Diamond isn't fulfilling their end of the deal, and most retailers don't want the "hassles and headaches" of going to Cold Cut, FM International, or other small press distributors. Retailers want things "simplified" for them - so they're lazy. That's not my problem; it's theirs.

If the indpendents could afford fiscally and time-wise to traipse around the country to all of the conventions and get their wares out where retailers and consumers could see them, they'd probably sell about triple the orders that they get from Diamond.

But Diamond, with their exclusivity clauses, are going to support who's signed on with them and give them the most capital. And that means Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse (not even Image *really* gets the support, given the wide number of Image Central titles that "bomb" due to Diamond's lack of support towards diversity.)

Now, as for your so-called "fact" that consumers race to superheroes and avoid everything else - that, mister, is the RETAILER'S fault. That's right. The retailer's job is in part to be a salesman for anything and everything they carry in their store.

The *FACT* is, a good retailer who believes in their product can sell it to their customers. I've proven this time and time again by betting various retailers throughout the country that I could pick any self-published or creator-owned title I believed in, have them order the same number of copies as they would X-MEN (Or BATMAN, or SUPERMAN, whichever was their best selling book), and I would sell out of my book before they did that bestseller book, or I would buy the remainder of the copies myself.

Titles I've chosen over the years:

AKIKO
SCARY GODMOTHER
WANDERING STAR
DARKLIGHT
LEAVE IT TO CHANCE
THE WIZARD'S TALE
JOHN BYRNE'S NEXT MEN
HELLBOY
NOCTURNALS
ELECTRIC GIRL
BONE
STRANGERS IN PARADISE
QUICKEN FORBIDDEN

Just to name a few.

I have NEVER once lost that bet. NEVER. Every time "my" book arrived in the store, I would sit in the shop and I listened to the customers bitch and complain about crossovers, having to buy multiple titles featuring the same characters, how they hated what the publishers had done to their chaarcters. How they were going to quit comics altogether.

My reply: "Hey, you're sick of that? Try this instead...."

The problem is, whenever you promote these (or other) independent titles and get people interested in them, they invariably drop the superhero titles. Which these (and dare I say most?) retailers seemingly do NOT want. They want the "easy" sell of X / Bats / Supes / Spidey / Spawn / fill in the blank with whatever else has 5-10 titles a month, because the publishers generally produce them in such fashion that if you buy one, you gotta buy them all.

Now are *all* retailers like this? Of course not. But taking into account the number of retailers in the country v. the population of this country, and where the few intelligent retailers are located, the FACT is that the average person is SOL. (READ: AVERAGE PERSON - the guy who ISN'T READING comics, and you have no chance to bring into your market because of the stupidity that is this nonsense of exclusive distribution. It's high time you people figured out that the comics market is too small a niche for everybody and we're going to have to find a means to reach wider audiences. The Mainstream isn't interested in achieving that, except maybe for themselves through licensing.)


I wrote: "...creatively limiting genres..."

BaiNst:

******

"In the past year, I've seen them letting up here, and I don't even buy the stuff, so I'm further wary of your knowledge in this regard. I site the new talent that Marvel brought in to work on a few of their titles as an example."

********

And what "new" talent would that be, exactly? Please, "site" (sic) me a few, so that I can tell you who they are, what they've done, and that they are most certainly NOT "new" talent. Oh, I imagine there *may* be two or three names, but the vast majority are veteran talents from the small press and / or talents who have seen some success in other entertainment fields.

DC and Image would be more likely places to find "new" talent, quite frankly.

And just how does talent have anything whatsoever with the genres being produced (or more accurately, not being produced)? I'd say it has nothing to do with it whatsoever.

Next time you want to try "enlightening" someone, how about you try yourself?

Louis Bright-Raven

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#478336 - 11/12/01 11:45 PM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
Ayo Offline
Member

Registered: 10/22/01
Posts: 1077
Loc: New York
you're mean! [img]/resources/ubb/frown.gif[/img]
_________________________
Don't gotta go rush to Toys'R'Us to get your cabbage patched, kid.

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#478337 - 11/13/01 02:33 AM Re: Is a lack of new ideas and new creators killing the comic's industry?
Louis Bright-Raven Offline
Member

Registered: 08/24/99
Posts: 185
Cannibal Dee:

I'm mean, eh?

No, I just have little tolerance for ignorance or accusations cast upon me as the likes of BaiNst's. Meanness doesn't even enter the equation, friend.

BaiNst (or any other self-presser) who has the audacity to blame the readers for a lack of interest in their titles is either incredibly naive, incredibly stupid, or incredibly untalented. Usually a combination thereof. Since I've not taken the time to look at BaiNst's comics work, I choose to say he's simply naive.

The extremely limited fashion in which comics are distributed (and the politics which curtail a fair portion thereof) does not allow the majority of works published to reach a wide enough audience. You do not blame the audience for not purchasing something which they've never had an opportunity to try. Nor do you blame an audience for a "lack of interest" in seeking your work out. Depsite that annoying line in FIELD OF DREAMS, just because you built it, DOESN'T mean they will come. You have to take the work to them.

Are there alternative means of distribution? Certainly. Are they effective? To a degree, obviously so. Enough to reach the widest potential audience? Most definitely not. Not even Diamond reaches the widest potential audience.

And that is truly the issue at hand in this thread. There is no lack of new ideas or new talent; it's simply that said ideas and talent are unable to get their wares put forth before the public at large for consideration.

Allow me to reiterate that last - Public At Large. *NOT* just comics readers. The Comics Community is at best a base audience on which we can (theoretically) rest some sales on, but given the fractured economy of the industry as it stands today, I would argue that it's best to seek a means to produce a product that can be geared towards a larger audience base. And that is a goal that publishers and retailers alike are going to have to join forces and work together towards in order to achieve within the comics industry, or publishers are just going to have to start looking outside the comics industry to reach those audiences.

I'd really like to see the former, but sadly I think we have to expect the latter as we move towards the future.

Louis Bright-Raven

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