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Tuesday, March 05, 2019 

IDW's still sinking financially

Cosmic Book News reports that IDW's financial woes are still eating away at the company, resulting in heavy losses of money, and one of the reasons was because they sought to emulate a disastrous direction by Marvel:
More evidence suggests the comic book market is indeed in shambles, as following the news of trouble within DC Comics and Marvel, now the fifth largest comic book publisher, IDW Publishing, reveals a heap of trouble for its own company with the release of its annual financial report that sees a whopping $36 million loss (in Disney's own financial report, it showed a loss for its Consumer Products Division, which includes Marvel Comics and Star Wars merchandise). [...]

ICv2 notes publishing sales declined to $21.9 million in 2018 from $24.5 million in 2017 and $27.9 million in 2016, which is an 11% one-year decline and 22% two-year drop. IDW's financial report blames the sales decline on the continued “industry cyclical downward pressure driven by market leaders,” which means since Marvel Comics sales are dropping (market leader) so, too, is the overall comic book market dropping, as, in essence, it is a domino effect.

While IDW basically points the blame at Marvel for their comic book sales dropping, they are too to take the blame as IDW has been littered in controversy for the past couple of years which has been driving fans away from their product. Similar to Marvel Comics, IDW also replaced popular characters with characters no one wanted to read about in order to further an agenda. Back in 2017 saw controversy surround the GI Joe character, Salvo, who was changed from a muscular male character to an overweight lesbian African-American female. The writer of the comic book responsible for the change was later fired over comments surrounding 9/11.
Yep, the Aubrey Sitterson fiasco. We know. It'd do IDW's staff a lot better to admit they made mistakes in imitating Marvel's direction under Axel Alonso (which hasn't changed much under C.B. Cebulski either), and even before that, Joe Quesada already sowed the seeds of destruction with Avengers: Disassembled and One More Day. The biggest mistake by far was how a company lacked confidence in their own direction, assuming they ever had one to start with. All that aside, a company that relied too much on licensed merchandise in adaptations just showed why their success was bound to wear out sooner or later.

And this isn't the only bad news IDW's experiencing now. There's also the following:
In addition to the G.I. Joe and 9/11 controversy, IDW has seen a number of replacements at the executive level, and a prominent board member is facing legal trouble with an investigation underway by the Attorney General of New York about alleged fraud charges (not related to IDW). IDW blaming "industry cyclical downward pressure driven by market leaders" seems to be right on the money, as we see IDW following the Marvel Comics approach has completely backfired, just has it has for Marvel and the rest of the comic book industry.
I wonder who it is, and if any staffers at the Big Two are guilty of the same? I'm sure we'll eventually find out, though maybe not from the specialty press sources who're biased in favor of these fools. The lesson to be learned here is that it pays to make distinctions between what works and what doesn't if you're trying to mimic another company's approach, and you should have faith in your ability to market according to what you already are, not by what another company does.

If IDW's lost this much money, they're not bound to last much longer.

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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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