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Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

50 comics stores closed in a year, and so did Bleeding Cool's reader comment fields?

Here's something Bleeding Cool had the audacity to let us know - as many as fifty comics specialty stores closed since January 2017, both in the USA and Canada, and it obviously had what to do with Marvel's social justice machinations.

But not only that, there's another interesting matter I noticed on the article pages at BC: the Disqus comments program they were last using is not only gone, it hasn't even been replaced by any other comments program setup. It appears to be the case for about a week so far, and when I load the article pages, no comment forms turn up, though there is a mailing form that does. No Facebook comments, no nothing. I guess the controversies they led to finally backfired on them so badly, drawing such criticism from even the most hardcore liberals, they finally decided to drop them altogether.

There's also not much in ways of advertising, if at all. What ads do turn up are Taboola Corp sets at the bottom, along with a small ad frame for a Dark Horse product on some pages, and even some in-house ads for BC video tapes as well, in both a large top frame and the instertitial frame turning up at the bottom of the screen. The latter, if that's all they're advertising now, is especially telling. Presumably, BC got some companies so mad because of their biases and clickbait culture, they withdrew? I don't know if that's the case, but if it is, they've done what to deserve it.

They might restore the comment fields and more ads in time, but so far, what I've seen of a reduced setting on their site leaves what to think about.

And, since we're still on the subject of stores, the Detroit Metro Times announced that a local specialty store in the Ferndale district is closing too. The manager had an interesting theory why it got to that point, along with Marvel's disasters:
It might seem a counterintuitive move, given the fact that these days comic book superheroes like The Avengers and Wonder Woman are arguably more popular than they've ever been, with a steady stream of blockbuster movies based on Marvel and D.C. characters released in the past few years — and showing no sign of slowing down. But Kelly says it could be a case of video killed the comic book star, and the popularity of the films might actually be syphoning attention from the comic books.

"I've been trying to figure it," he says. "Marvel put out a lot of crappy product last year. There's a lot of competition for superhero [stuff], as opposed to comics. There's movies and video games. And I don't think younger people are coming into the hobby so much."
Now that's an interesting idea in the first paragraph highlighted why comics are collapsing - the movies drew away audience from the comics. But that's mainly because Marvel and DC both were turning out dreadful stuff that didn't appeal to anybody, and either shoved social justice down the readers' throats, or modified the comics to serve as a means for movies to build on without offering any good substance, or both. Combined with the unfortunate pricing at 3-4 dollars, as well as likely reduction of page counts (in recent years they were cutting the story length back to 20 or less pages, and even trying to put ads on the same pages as the stories, much like some comics of the early 60s), and you can understand why many potential readers wouldn't want to buy their books, because not only are the stories trash, there's not even enough story to justify the price.

I do think some comics readers who're willing to see the Marvel movies might want to consider though, that if Marvel cares more about the movies - which they usually produce now - more important than the comics, maybe it's not such a good idea to pay money for a ticket, because why do what Joe Quesada surely wants, even as he took every step possible behind the scenes to drive people away from the comics? I've thought about this, and just don't see the point of bothering today.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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