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starfighter

Are Comics a thing of the past

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Ok i can`t be the only one out there who collects comics in fact i know i`m not as i saw a few at a local mart on saturday, but is it me or is the back issue market in decline. in a 9 mile radius from where i live i have 4 comic shops to go to. None stock back issues more than 3 month old. If i`m lucky i may find a box stuck in a corner that is gathering dust to look through.

 

Anybody else finding the same problem.

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Comics are a thing of the past!

 

 

 

 

But also a thing of the present and the future!

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With the increase and success of comic book/graphic novel character based movies like X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman Begins, Sin City, 300, 30 Days of Night and V For Vendetta etc I'd have thought comics were on the up.

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With the increase and success of comic book/graphic novel character based movies like X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman Begins, Sin City, 300, 30 Days of Night and V For Vendetta etc I'd have thought comics were on the up.

 

 

i think thats were the problem lies. people see the film read the trade paperback. Not read the comic then watch the film. I not saying everyone does that, but my local shops are stocking more and more trades. If you don`t put in a standing order or advanced order you have a great chance on missing out on the wider world of comics.

 

Film like the above have no doubt brought in more custom, but not the right type. They don`t want to spend a year to get a couple of stories when they can get it in one hit.

 

jusy my view anyway.

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odd thread...

no.

comics are not a thing of the past.

it's a medium,just the same as any other... it'll change,for sure... but the art-form of comics can be traced back to cave paintings done by early man,across all continents.

not bad,really...

like i said,what an odd thread.

Edited by jamie1138

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I think the likes of ebay have a lot to do with comic shops no longer stocking back issues. It's no longer cost effective to keep a selection of back issues taking up room in their shop when they are availlable online for half the price.

 

Andrea

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It is becoming harder to track down back issues, but there are underlying reasons to this. Andrea quite rightly states that eBay hampers some shops stocking them too deeply. However, you will find more and more comic book shops trading on eBay. You also have the comic buyers who do no fit into the harcore collectors sector who choose to offload older issues that they no longer want.

 

Another major problem is business dynamics and structure. Comic Book chain stores like Forbidden Planet are becoming more and more commercial and moving away from their fanboy/girl roots. One branch in Bristol used to be run by fans and it did very well as fellow fans could go in there unhassled and do their shopping. Since the branch expanded and temporarily moved due to the shopping centre development, it has become your average book store where the staff jump on you as soon as you enter the store. I used to work in another shop which was going great guns until the owners - it was a privately owned comic book store - got cocky and bought out a gaming shop's stock near it's Plymouth Branch (they had two branches) and hired the owner in said Plymouth shop. He came to the Bristol shop once a month to work there, but never trained the 4 members of staff - me included - on the basics of gaming (D&D, Warhammer etc). He was given an open cheque book, but the products didn't sell well as no one knew which ones went with which. They eventually had to close one store, or lose both. This is just one example of a comic book shop having bad management/ownership and business structure in the Bristol area. An area that has so many comic book fans and stages the UK Comic Book event every year. It is a very sad state, and I now find it increasingly hard to track down back issues.

 

I am in the process of trying to fund the opening of a comic book store in time for next Christmas, and it will be an old style fan boy/girl shop. Including BACK ISSUES. So, although in general decline, the back issue dilema will not kill the comic book. The comic book will be around for a long time yet as true fanboys/girls prefer the printed comics.

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Ok i can`t be the only one out there who collects comics in fact i know i`m not as i saw a few at a local mart on saturday, but is it me or is the back issue market in decline. in a 9 mile radius from where i live i have 4 comic shops to go to. None stock back issues more than 3 month old. If i`m lucky i may find a box stuck in a corner that is gathering dust to look through.

 

Anybody else finding the same problem.

 

Hello starfighter: 9 Jan. 2008

I happened to see your comment about back issues as I was searching how to go about opening a comic book store for a university degree assignment. I felt that I had to respond. I have just finished, actually gave it in today, a 7,000 research project on the sustainability of the comic book and graphic novel industry (manga are included in it as well). What I found out is that the industry in general is heading to no longer be a niche industry. I contacted UK independent comic publishers and UK comic retailers. In addition, I contacted US publishers. I did not have access to the major players, but it was quite interesting the responses. Most of the UK retailers were very positive and with mainstream stores stocking graphic novels/manga now, they felt that even more, people would be coming to them, because they stock back issues, take better care of the books, and of course are more knowledgeable.

 

Anyway to your question. Incognito Comics has an extensive back issue selection on their website and at shows. And I am sure by now you have heard that Marvel Comics now offer an online subscription to back issues for a monthly and yearly subscription.

 

It is not a dying industry. As you may know already, DC Comics are using in Spring 2008 distributor Random House to get their graphic novels into independent mainstream bookstores, for they feel that even though the UK and US mega book stores are stocking their, products, the indies have not been addressed. They are still using Diamond distributors for their comics. DC comics had an article that was business like that I was able to use for the project, but at the moment when I went on the website I was not able to find. However, their news advert of the deal is in DC Comics Random House Ink Distribution pact 9/5/2007

 

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA...p;rid=246085817 -

 

There is a long commentary actually on newsarama on the subject if you want to read it.

 

Marvel Comics - when you go on their website and look at their corporate stuff they are doing some interesting things.

 

Does that help starfighter? I am quite excited because of what I found out, I will always be able to get my comics. And as this planet keeps putting out new generations of humans, comics will always be around. In my research some of the industry experts, McCloud and Sabin for example, have the vision that todays young comic fans and young movie goers who love superhero movies, are tomorrow's media and business professionals. In fact I interviewed a university student who was never into comics. Yet after watching the X-men movies, wanted to purchase all the issues - we're talking about the back issues know. However, she did not know where to go - which says something of course and I would love to believe that the marketing departments of the comic industry are listening. Hint! Hint! However, I steered her in the right direction. I also had to tell her that Heroes, which she loves, is actually a comic. You should have seen her gaping mouth when I told her of all the other non-superhero movies and television shows that originated from comics. Should not this new audience be targeted better?

 

 

 

comicmania

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i for one, have been collecting for over 19 years and have amassed over 16500 US comics, i go regular to my local comic book shop in Birmingham and visit marts to pick up back issues

 

i have seen many highs and lows in the comic book sales, mad times in the early 90's when sales were in the millons, and lows in the early 2000's when prices were increasing every month and a new comic could be read in 5 minutes

 

i have travelled the world and been to comic book shops in NYC and Paris, comic shows in Barcelona and manga shalls in Toyko - i think internet and the like have changed the way many people can read stories, but on seeing the passion that still remains in those stores and marts across the world, the comic book will never be a thing of the past entirely

 

the dude :whistling:

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Yeah, comics are a thing of the past. That's why The Dark Knight grossed $1,001,921,825 worldwide.

 

Think about what you are saying.

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A lot of the little independent comic shops that use to be around are no longer with us, and I am sure the impact of ebay has had a big part to play here.

 

However, there seems to be a big interest still in comic related characters for films, Batman, Spiderman, Watchmen etc which will help fuel the industry and judging by LFCC a big interest in manga comics as well.

 

Also in times of recession comic buying tends to drop off as well, as I guess it can be classed as a luxury item , rather than an essential.

 

So on this basis, I think comics still have a pretty good future, and early issues of some of the main characters are still likely to fetch mega bucks at auction in the future.

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Yeah, comics are a thing of the past. That's why The Dark Knight grossed $1,001,921,825 worldwide.

 

Think about what you are saying.

 

 

yes, but unfortunately - Film revenue figures have no relation to comic sales

 

the top 10 comic sales in the US in April 2009 was

 

Comic-book Title Issue sales

1 Detective Comics 853 - 104,099

2 Flash Rebirth 1 - 102,421

3 Wolverine Weapon X 1 - 97,888

4 Dark Avengers 4 - 95,846

5 New Avengers 52 - 93,967

6 Batman Battle For The Cowl 2 - 89,113

7 Hulk 11 - 82,719

8 Justice Society of America 26 - 81,193

9 Green Lantern 39 - 79,785

10 Thor 601 - 79,620

 

compared to US sales figures in MAY 1997 (prior to the release of all the recent movies including x-men etc)

 

1 Spawn 62 - 167,373

2 Uncanny X-Men -1 - 162,890

3 X-Men -1 - 160,365

4 Fantastic Four 9 - 142,321

5 Curse of the Spawn 9 - 133,934

6 Wolverine -1 - 127,428

7 Iron Man 9 - 122,436

8 Captain America 9 - 107,765

9 Avengers -1 - 107,567

10 Generation X -1 - 104,059

 

going even further back will show sales in the 250,000 to 1 million per issue range

 

The sad fact is that the comic book format is dying, and it seems that less and less of fans are picking up a copy of the latest issues, perhaps there are many reasons for this including:

 

Increased cost per issue

less places to purchase (not easy to find issues outside of specialised stores)

more hip and new ways to read the adventures i.e Internet

Kids more interested in xbox and Wii then marvel and DC comics

 

it is a shame as there is not much better way of escaping reality then reading the latest adventures of the colourful heroes and villians that have been around for ages like Spiderman, Superman, Batman and the Fantastic four.

 

long live the comic book

 

the dude B)

Edited by the dude

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Dude, you can't compare those figures, because they're not for the same books. Show me the figures from 1997 - 2009 for the same book - "Batman" for example. I'd be interested in seeing that.

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this topic is not about one title but in comic books in general, sales figures are down across the board

 

 

as a matter of interest for "Batman" in september 1996 the figure was 73700, in June 2006 (release of batman begins) the figure was 76500, in 2008/2009 the figure increased to 90000 mark but was helped by the batman RIP storyline,

 

But when you think that comic sales in the late eighties and early 90's was in the 200,000's it does not look good

 

and remember these are sales figures in a country of over 300million people, these figures are low, if a movie only had 90,000 ticket sales it would make less than a $1million (flop)

 

so somehow I don't think that many of the people who went to see dark knight at the pics have recently purchased a copy of the latest comic book?????

 

the dude :thumbup:

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this topic is not about one title but in comic books in general, sales figures are down across the board

 

Granted, but comparing the sales of "Detective Comics" to those of "Spawn" is like comparing the record sales of Frank Sintra to those of the Spice Girls. They're two different things.

 

as a matter of interest for "Batman" in september 1996 the figure was 73700, in June 2006 (release of batman begins) the figure was 76500, in 2008/2009 the figure increased to 90000 mark but was helped by the batman RIP storyline

 

Thank you.

 

But when you think that comic sales in the late eighties and early 90's was in the 200,000's it does not look good

 

You can say that for almost anything though. Recession, economy, whatever, sales for most non-essential items are down.

 

and remember these are sales figures in a country of over 300million people, these figures are low, if a movie only had 90,000 ticket sales it would make less than a $1million (flop)

 

You're forgetting about DVD sales. Many movies have flopped in theatres but gone on to make their money back and more on DVD.

 

so somehow I don't think that many of the people who went to see dark knight at the pics have recently purchased a copy of the latest comic book?????

 

Sigh.

 

What you're forgetting is the fact that in the mid to late 80s people weren't buying comics to read them. They were buying them in hopes that one day they'd be worth a ton of money. This is known as the "Speculator Boom." Stuff like "The Dark Knight Returns," "Crisis on Infinate Earths" and "Secret Wars" made people buy comics (any comics) and store them, hoping to make a tidy profit. It was around this time that many trade magazines and price guides - most notably Wizard - first went on sale, making comics an even more interesting collector's item. What people did not realise - despite veteran collectors pointing it out - was that any old POS comic wasn't gonna be worth spit. Unless it was a Golden Age first apperance or something like "Incredible Hulk #181" it really wasn't gonna be worth anything, despite it's variant holographic die-cut cover.

 

Around the mid to late 90s, this boom period went bye-bye - hell, even Marvel had to file for bankrupcy in the late nineties (a fact many people don't know or conveniantly forget.) Stuff like the "Marvel UK" and "Marvel 2099" and DC's flooding of the market with it's "Death Of Superman" and "Knightfall" arcs caused intrest in comics to wane until the early 00s when many titles were selling as little as 90% of their peak sales.

 

However, interest in films such as "The Dark Knight" and "Wolverine" and "Watchmen" (all of which sucked, by the way) have sparked interest in comics again. Thanks to better pricing guides and companies like PGX and CGC, grading has improved and people are again starting to buy comics as an investment. Perhaps we're going back to the days of speculation > story, but either way people are buying comics again. It's a fact. And it's in part due to the sucess of comic book movies.

 

If you read all that, then I applaud you, sir.

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We both bring up valid points.

 

It is great to see other people that are as interested in the comic book media as I am.

 

I have been collecting for many (too long) years and for the most part have rarely purchased a comic because of it potential future value - i just like collecting and reading them, i regular visit marts to pick up as many issues as possible to fill in the gaps of my collection.

 

the biggest shame in recent years is the decline of the places to purchase comics - i remember going in to my local corner shop newsagent back in 1991 and picking up Incredible Hulk 383 which started me on the road to collecting. you just do not find original US style DC, Marvel etc in newsagents anymore (it is similar in the US as I have discovered in recent visits to NYC and chicago)

 

many specialist shops have also closed down. leaving the choice of outlets to a select few

 

We need to do more to get the younger generation back in to reading the comics and start new people collecting.

 

the dude :D

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