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#601812 - 01/24/13 03:05 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Monthly sales for the BEFORE WATCHMEN titles leveled off around 50,000, which is far less than initial orders but still good for a modern DC comic. The average DC comic sells somewhere in the low 30,000 range, even after the nu52 reboot. It doesn't take much to top the charts these days.

The trade collections probably will sell OK, too.

So, financially, DC is likely to turn a profit on the project, unless it promised the candy store to Darwyn Cooke, Len Wein and the other creative sellouts who whored themselves for it.

Will there be any repercussions for the publisher from the controversy? Or any repercussions for the participants?

I'm inclined to say no, not for the publisher, anyway.

Most people likely to be angry about the flogging of WATCHMEN's corpse over Alan Moore's objections probably stopped buying much from DC Comics a while ago.

The guys who still run down to the comics shop every Wednesday for their pull list full of Batman and Green Lantern comics -- they didn't give a shit about Alan Moore or creators' rights. And that's the paying customer for DC today. Keep those guys content and you can manage decline for another few years.

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#601817 - 01/24/13 05:03 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7071
Is that 50K sell-through? One serious problem mini-series have always had is that the first issue comes out around the same time the shops have to order the final issue. The retailer has no idea how the product is going to sell and he's already bought the whole thing. But BW has been released over a slightly less compressed time span, so maybe that's not applicable.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#601818 - 01/24/13 05:26 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
No, the 50,000 figure is retailer orders through Diamond -- direct market orders, in other words -- but as you say, BEFORE WATCHMEN has been coming out for about six months now, so what we're seeing by November is a reflection of demand in stores.

That's why orders dropped from the initial (and ridiculous) 100,000-plus level to something half that. My guess would be, four or five months in, retailers had a decent idea of what they actually could sell.

Now -- having said that -- the two comics shops I've been in lately, I've seen a fair stack of unsold BEFORE WATCHMEN. Even now, I think, retailers probably are ordering too much. But that is purely anecdotal.

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#601827 - 01/28/13 11:26 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: Lawson

The guys who still run down to the comics shop every Wednesday for their pull list full of Batman and Green Lantern comics -- they didn't give a shit about Alan Moore or creators' rights. And that's the paying customer for DC today.


1. Why should any consumer care about Alan Moore's hurt feelings, because that's what this whole thing is about more than any reasonable concept of "creators' rights"?

2. The folks buying BW aren't just the paying customers for DC. Many of them are also probably paying customers for Marvel, Dark Horse and various Indy publishers. But even if all they did was buy DC, take them away and the whole Direct Market would collapse. So, those guys are actually fairly important to everyone who's still trying to make ink-n-paper comics.

Mike

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#601828 - 01/28/13 12:20 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Originally Posted By: MBunge
Why should any consumer care about Alan Moore's hurt feelings, because that's what this whole thing is about more than any reasonable concept of "creators' rights"?


On a surely unrelated matter, I for one look forward to the next twenty years of Batman, Batman, Batman, a little Superman, and more Batman.

Quote:
But even if all they did was buy DC, take them away and the whole Direct Market would collapse.


NO! MY PRECIOUS BATMAN!
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#601829 - 01/28/13 05:17 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Ceci always makes me larf! laugh

I'm actually not too concerned about Alan Moore's hurt feelings. He's a big boy. And a warlock.

I am concerned about Alan Moore's rights as a creator. I am concerned about publishers who treat writers and artists and their original ideas like interchangeable widgets. I am concerned about talented guys like Darwyn Cooke -- that is where Allen and I disagree -- who seem content to crank out reproductions of other guy's ideas, rather than create something new in the world, and who sleep like babies after they cash paychecks bastardizing the work of a writer who begged them to please leave his story the hell alone.

I am concerned that all of this has produced a comic book industry dominated, as Ceci says, by Batman, Batman, little Superman and Batman. And across town at Marvel, there are now literally three dozen titles on the stands between the X-Men and the Avengers.

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#601846 - 02/03/13 11:07 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
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Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: Lawson
I am concerned about Alan Moore's rights as a creator.


We reached the point a long time ago where we're just repeating the same points, but...

1. Alan Moore signed a contract.
2. There is no evidence that Moore didn't understand what he was signing.
3. There's no evidence that DC has done anything to violate that contract.

Alan Moore's "rights" as a creator have not been trampled upon. His preferences and desires surely have but his "rights" as a creator are not and never really have had anything to do with any of this.

And what has concerned me for a long time is that as comics has become a more and more ghettoized industry with a smaller and smaller audience, the discourse about comics becomes more and more dominated by people who insist the business reflect their ideological/aesthetic preferences without any regard for the business, you know, actually functioning as a business.

Oh, and Lawson? Do you know why a lot of the talented folks you so disdain are working in comics instead of other mediums? It's because they think comics are giving them the best deal they can get. How much creative freedom and integrity do you think exists in TV or movies? How much money do you think flows through the world of theatre?

Mike

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#601847 - 02/03/13 11:13 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7071
What did Alan Moore sign?
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
Bob Kane

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#601853 - 02/04/13 11:36 AM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: MBunge
Oh, and Lawson? Do you know why a lot of the talented folks you so disdain are working in comics instead of other mediums? It's because they think comics are giving them the best deal they can get.


Heh.

If you say so.

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#601854 - 02/04/13 12:59 PM Re: So, how bad can BEFORE WATCHMEN get? [Re: MBunge]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Originally Posted By: MBunge
And what has concerned me for a long time is that as comics has become a more and more ghettoized industry with a smaller and smaller audience, the discourse about comics becomes more and more dominated by people who insist the business reflect their ideological/aesthetic preferences without any regard for the business, you know, actually functioning as a business.


After being profitable enough to stay in print for over 20 years, Watchmen sold 1,000,000 copies in 2008. Obviously, the wisest business decision DC could make is: alienate Alan Moore.

Even if you assume Moore is being unreasonable,* it still makes financial sense to keep him happy. People don't put up with Kanye West's tantrums because of their ideological preferences. They put up with him because then you get to sell another Kanye West album.

---
*Because, y'know... you're dumb.
_________________________
"When one says 'Africa,' it refers to Africa in the Euro-colonized sense, not the damn bush country or whatever."
- Ed Gauthier, DCP

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