The business is actually in a much more profitable position than it has been in many years (certainly more profitable than in the 90's) so from that perspective TPTB are running the businesses well ....
Mike, I'm often with you but I have to disagree here. I actually agree very much with Byrne on the dismal state of comics. We're living in an unprecedented age when a decent selling comic is one that sells fifty thousand copies. DC is currently undergoing a massive restructuring and signs of the future aren't good... at least not for DC as a seller of comic books!
...(otherwise why would Disney have paid 4Bilion for marvel).
The rights to the characters. Iron Man might not sell many comic books but his movies make a lot of money. Disney is interested in Marvel's properties. It's not interested much at all in Marvel's publishing arm. In the late 90's when things were looking bad, the suits up at Time-Warner took a hard look at DC and asked, "Why the Hell are we still publishing these things?" The idea was floated to end the publishing of comic books. I don't remember if they were going to end the publishing of all new books and keep putting out reprint material or if they were going to end everything all together. In the end, they decided to continue putting out the comics even if some were only breaking even as a relatively cheap outlet to keep all their character copyrights alive.
Honestly I am happy for you that you like byrnes work (i also think he has talent as an artist, but not as a writer) but that work is no longer what the majority of comic fans want to see, this is evidenced by his sales figures.
Byrne's art was good back in the day and on occasion he's still capable of a home run here and there but he's gotten lazy, sloppy, and he kicks his own legs out from under himself by insisting on inking himself.
Byrne as a writer I don't want to see at all... unless you're writing some boring period piece where the characters speak in overly formal, stilted speech ...much like Byrne actually does by the way!
...maybe byrnes style will be in again one day
I can see Byrne getting work from the Big Two much if there's ever a desire to do an intentionally dated "retro" project much as Darwyn Cooke does. Byrne's simplistic cartoony style best suits that these days.