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Friday, May 27, 2011 

Business Week suggests comics turn to iOS subscriptions

Business Week tells that as readership declines, the companies should be trying to restart the market with the iPad and other such concepts. While this is an idea, they should also consider moving away from the monthly pamphlet format they're going by and do more comics as a straight-to-trade approach.

They also tell how there's no coverage of readership decline:
The trouble facing the comic book industry may not be getting the same coverage as the decline in print news and magazine readership. Marvel (DIS) and DC (TWX) in particular are making money at the box office and on merchandising that softens the pain of the readership decline. Ultimately, having fewer readers is bad for business, even if the business's foundations have shifted.
That's not the only thing not being covered in the wider press - even the reasons for the decline and its precipitation aren't being discussed, and it can even be because the companies won't discuss how their abuse of their properties has driven away much of the audience, both casual and hardcore. If they don't bring that into focus, there's little chance a shift to iOS technology will ever rebuild Marvel and DC's comics fortunes.

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The casual fan who might buy a comic or TPB in the past now just gets it online (often illegally).

My own reason for cutting back stems in part because of the way the power players at Marvel treated lifelong fans after the One More Day and Brand New Day story lines. I spent thousands of bucks on Marvel over the years, and then genius Joe Quesada takes every opportunity he can to belittle me for disagreeing with him. Great business model, guys. Insult the customer. And they didn't just do it passive aggressively - you can tell he got some sort of sick glee by openly sticking it to a huge block of fans. I went from buying multiple titles a month to...basically one.

The other aspect is the politics. They write comics for an older audience, and then they insult our intelligence (even if it's inadvertently) by cutting out an entire worldview they disagree with. Again...great business model.

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