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Saturday, May 04, 2013 

It's "easier" today for comic stores to market to adults than children

While reporting about Free Comic Book Day, the Brooklyn Daily acknowledged the biggest problem the medium isn't even trying to shed:
...it’s easy for shops to cater to adults, since the industry is going their way, too, according to Park Slope comic book artist and Bergen Street Comics employee Mike Cavallaro. Most of the books that DC, Marvel, and other companies are publishing are aimed at adults, he said, whether they’ve stayed with comics all these years or have just returned. And a recent wave of title relaunches makes it easier for lapsed readers to jump on board.
Uh uh, it hasn't been easier for lapsed readers at all. At best, they just don't care because it's all the same writers and editors as before.

Also in relation to FCBD, the AP Wire quoted Dan DiDio saying:
"We haven't seen a pendulum swing between print and digital," said Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC Comics.

"Since the launch of the New 52, we've made a very strong effort to embrace the digital market as well as the print market," he said of DC's relaunched universe of characters, including Batman, Katana and Animal Man, among others. "Both of those markets have shown a level of growth and that's helped us let retailers know that (digital) is supplementing the print. It brings readers to the stores."
Of course they haven't seen any swing, because nobody's buying their products! And what effort did they make? Sure, they did try to advertise on television and radio 2 years ago, but even before they petered out, the prices could already make some consumers hesitant.
That, he said, is a reflection of how digital comics are often downloaded by new readers who may have seen a comic-inspired film or TV show, and then they want more and head to a comic shop.

It's a sentiment shared by Dan Buckley, publisher and president of Marvel Worldwide Inc.'s Print, Animation and Digital Division.

He called the relationship between digital and print "symbiotic" to the core and indicative of demand for pop culture entertainment in a variety of media.

"The ultimate mobile device is a comic, not just your mobile device," he said adding that comics that have become movies — Iron Man, Batman and others — help drive interest in the books in digital and print. "It's feeding into each other."
For the millionth time, we're told this without being given statistics or a willingness to acknowledge that interest by moviegoers wears off pretty quickly. Especially when the comics are not even comprehensive enough to latch onto. This is exactly why I've argued that monthly serial formats are no longer helping, and have to be shifted to paperbacks instead.

The Baltimore Sun says:
Andy Bridges, general manager at Cosmic Comix, said the books that come out on the day of the event attract, "people who might not ordinarily come to the store.

"Those are designed to be good jumping off points," Bridges said.
"Off"? I thought it was "on". But even if that was a typo, it's still got some meat to it: the stories the big two are foisting today only guarantee loss of interest.
Bridges said industry mainstays Marvel and DC are still the leaders, thanks to the popularity of superheroes such as Spiderman, Batman, the X-Men and Superman.

But the rivalry between fans of each is not so pronounced, he said.

"It's more about quality titles, the best writers, the best artists, major storylines," he said.
Sorry, but, it's not. It's more about aimless collection addiction, which peaked in the early 90s and is still prevalent today. I see he mentions "major" storylines, and that's hinting at the crossovers. How can there be good writing and quality books if they keep getting in the way of a writer's independence with those? That's why the popularity of superheroes, sadly, has been greatly diminished despite their claims to the contrary. When nobody can get into a story because of both lack of quality writing and stand-alone storytelling, it only leads to discouragement.

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No kidding. I haven't bought contemporary comics for years now because of the leftist political pandering, too many ridiculous crossovers that halt any form of character development or self-contained storytelling, publicity gimmicks such as deaths and resurrections, etc. I stick to the classics, and the occasional modern indie comic, but that's about it.

The Cosmic Comix Manager's "jumping off" statement may have been a typo or a Freudian slip, but then, many a true word has been spoken in jest. The retcons and reboots have not made it easier for new or lapsed fans to jump on board. The new series quickly build up their own complicated continuity, and everything gets just as confusing as it was before. Then you add the emphasis on serials instead of complete-in-one-issue stories, and line-wide crossovers, so that every series has to tie in with all of the others. You would have to buy six consecutive issues of ten different titles just to know what the story is about. And for every new fan jumping on, there are probably more jumping off. You can't stay interested when all of your favorites have been either killed off or changed beyond recognition. Finally, the remarks about digital supplementing the print medium, rather than killing it off, sound like whistling in the dark.

Along the same lines, this:

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/05/07/marvels-huge-iron-man-3-mistake.aspx

Marvel didn't bother to get an Iron Man comic out for FCBD. They went with their latest targeted-at-30somethings mega-crossover tie-in.

It's certainly "easier" to market to adults when you don't bother tailoring your approach to kids.

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