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Thursday, January 05, 2012 

Chris Claremont goes easy on DC reboot, but does admit what went wrong with marketing

CBR ran an interview with Chris Claremont where he says one thing disappointing but another that's willing to acknowledge how the industry went downhill in marketing. First, he says:
As far as the industry is concerned, it’s clearly in a period of evolution. I think that DC’s revamping of their entire line conceptually has brought them a measure of strong success this year. I think Marvel is taking whatever steps it feels appropriate to respond.
Based upon actual sales and audience reception, I must disagree. If Marvel under the people in charge now decides to do something similar, it won't be good news either, because there's every chance it will only reflect the kind of politically correct visions practically much of the entertainment industry embraces now.

He does get it righter though, when he says:
Comics publishers are used to looking in a very, very narrow focused prism. It’s like when I started writing X-Men. Our “meat and potatoes” money was made of newsstand sales, while anything that came through the Direct Market was considered gravy. In everything we did in those early years up through the ’80s, everything we sold to the Direct Market was pure profit because we’d already paid for the printing with our newsstand sales; we were just cranking out money.

But on the flipside, when DC made the decision to go exclusively to the Direct Market, it made life much easier because they’d have the orders in before they set the print runs and would just print a marginal amount of extra copies. That way you didn’t have to worry about 200,000 excess copies unsold by the newsstand, for example. But the negative to being exclusively aimed at the Direct Market is that you’re selling to a committed audience and not bringing any new kids in the door. When Marvel followed DC’s route for the Direct Market, they were going for guaranteed profit and minimal risk, but newsstands had a much bigger potential for sales and induction of new readers.

Once local comic shops began going away in the ’90s, it put a lot of those readers out because not many people are willing to drive 40 or 50 miles for comics; they’ll simply move on to other things. The fiscal decision in the ’90s to maximize profit at the expense of investment was like cutting our own throats. But on the other hand, the guys making those decisions are now billionaires.
And one can only wonder if they're even sorry for letting down only so many people with their overall bad decision-making. That's the part where he does say something we can more or less agree with. I've often wondered if they decided to go the direct market route as an excuse for the kind of insular event-driven crossovers and continuity contradicting steps that hold much of mainstream comics hostage now. And for all we know, that may well be one answer to why they would go for the direct market at the expense of a wider audience. And now, thanks to the kind of people in charge today, that's why, even if they do seemingly try to get back into the newsstands and bookstores, it's not having much impact.

It's very strange though, that Claremont would say that DC made success last year when if recent returns are any suggestion, far from it.

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Claremont is a mystery to me. He'd write a brilliant story one issue, then the next issue was somebody running around naked or in bed with whoever. I guess he was trying to play to the burgeoning Creepy Comic Guy culture- hippies that grew up on Silver Age and graduated into heaven-knows-what.
Baron and Miller were similar cases.

It worked for awhile, but eventually this approach helped choke off the flow of new young readers (and I suppose females too).

But still, at least in the 80s there was still a remnant of the old comic spirit left, as occasionally shined through in these writers. The new generation sucks almost 100% of the time.

I'd die for some sort of Silver-Bronze fusion comic line now.

chris claremont is post very offensive article..i think its time to accept the direct marketing as claremont says..local seo marketing

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