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George Massou
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Joined: 19 February 2008
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 2:32pm | IP Logged | 1  

Paulo - apples and oranges - the OTHER was a crossover between 3 titles so like the recent Xmen crossover you expect different artists for different chapters. But the Titans story was a self contained tale in one title. No excuse for so many artists in one arc.

(but the OTHER did indeed suck and blow at the same time:)

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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 2:39pm | IP Logged | 2  

I agree with what Eric said - readers& retailers vote with their wallets and they do not care if books are late. Most high profile late books still sell very well. So if publishers have no financial incentive to get books out on time they wont do it.

••

Books that "sell very well" are a myth created by the current depressed market. Most of the top selling books would have been canceled 20 years ago.

And if we have a "top seller" that does, say, 150,000, but only comes out four times a year, when it was supposed to be a monthly, how is that to be considered something that "sell(s) very well?" By my reckoning it made 1/3rd of what it could have -- and that is the only number retailers should be concerned with.

We've surrendered all this power to the retailers. Why don't they use it?

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Paulo Pereira
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 2:40pm | IP Logged | 3  


 QUOTE:
Paulo - apples and oranges - the OTHER was a crossover between 3 titles so like the recent Xmen crossover you expect different artists for different chapters. But the Titans story was a self contained tale in one title. No excuse for so many artists in one arc.

I agree, though I wasn't using "THE OTHER" to disprove your statement, simply that the disparate styles in that trade didn't work too well for what was already a tragically lame story (I particularly disliked the art from FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN).


 QUOTE:
(but the OTHER did indeed suck and blow at the same time:)

And bite.  Man did that thing ever bite (especially when Peter Parker ate part of a guy's head).

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George Massou
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 2:56pm | IP Logged | 4  

JB said:

Books that "sell very well" are a myth created by the current depressed market. Most of the top selling books would have been canceled 20 years ago.

And if we have a "top seller" that does, say, 150,000, but only comes out four times a year, when it was supposed to be a monthly, how is that to be considered something that "sell(s) very well?" By my reckoning it made 1/3rd of what it could have -- and that is the only number retailers should be concerned with.

We've surrendered all this power to the retailers. Why don't they use it?

******

Either your being deliberatly obtuse or you dont understand some basic business principles.

For starters sales from 20 years ago were crap compared to sales from 20 years prior - no one cares. In business people look at profits and/or quarterly sales. No one cares what a product sold ages ago.

The whole notion of "supposed to be monthly" is outdated. If a book does not come out monthly then there is no expense. No one looks at hypothetical slaes and profits. They look at ACTUAL profits and loss. So if we get a comic that comes out 6 times a year as long as it brings in a profit then the publishers are happy.

And retailers wont do anything because they dont care. Most late books still sell if the right creative team is onboard. if timelyness was at the forefront of retailers or readers thoughts then your Doom Patrol series would not have been cancelled.

 

 

 

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George Massou
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 3:07pm | IP Logged | 5  

Paulo - i agree with ya 110%!
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Martin Redmond
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 3:13pm | IP Logged | 6  

I think lateness encourages self indulgence which leads to people gaining weight and not being so hot as they're hyped up to be.
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Trevor Giberson
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 3:14pm | IP Logged | 7  

 George Massou wrote:
And retailers wont do anything because they dont care. Most late books still sell if the right creative team is onboard.


Brian Hibb's class action lawsuit against Marvel says retailers care.  http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/4054.html
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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 3:16pm | IP Logged | 8  

…sales from 20 years ago were crap compared to sales from 20 years
prior - no one cares.

••

People cared quite a lot, actually. People were genuines worried
about the shrinking marketplace, when I joined the industry. They were
not making excuses, holding up books with crap sales as "hits".

The industry today is possessed by the specter of diminished
expectations, and so we get the Sages offering up pronouncements like
"Fans don't really expect the books to come out monthly" and "Eight year
olds don't read comics, and probably never did." Translation: We can't
get the books out monthly, and we've driven away that part of the
audience and don't know how to get them back.


++

…retailers wont do anything because they dont care

••

Yo, retailers! This true? You're all independently wealthy, so you don't
care that you're making a third or a quarter of what you could be if the
books came out when they were supposed to? You'd rather sell six
issues at 100,000 each than 12 issues at 100,000 each?
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Knut Robert Knutsen
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 3:20pm | IP Logged | 9  

"The whole notion of "supposed to be monthly" is outdated. If a book does not come out monthly then there is no expense. No one looks at hypothetical sales and profits. They look at ACTUAL profits and loss. So if we get a comic that comes out 6 times a year as long as it brings in a profit then the publishers are happy."

First of all, every part of the business from publisher to distributor to retailer needs to pay their expenses every month. The profit margins for retailers are very slim.

And hypotheticals do enter into it. In the real world, goals are set for annual earnings and executives are expected to meet them. However "hypothetical" those goals may be.

In real terms, a publisher that produces periodicals will project earnings based on the number of books, what they sell and how often they're published. The bean counters going over DC and Marvel's books don't just look at how many copies of each issue Ultimates sell. Somewhere, some executive is looking at Marvel's books going "Ultimate Shtick sells 100 thousand copies and is supposed to be monthly, but it's been published only 3 times the last year. That's a loss of 900 thousand sales."  And that's what we're talking about. Not 300 thousand sold, but a loss of 900 thousand sales.

The regular monthlies are the backbone of the industry. They may not be the top sellers, but they're what keeps the customers coming in every week when their favorite comics are so delayed they may as well wait for the trade (in which case it's easier to put in a pre-order at Amazon than it is to take that fruitless trip to your LCS every week or month.)

The dichotomy isn't here between fantastic sellers that come out every 3 or 4 months versus substitutes that barely scrape by. It's well known in publishing elsewhere in the world that if you alternate between top talent and dependable workhorses at decent intervals in a periodical, you can sustain the sales BETWEEN top talent at a level only slightly below what the top talent can guarantee but well above what the less popular talent can bring in on their own.

That is, as long as the periodical is published on time in intervals no longer than, say, a month. (Weeklies can get by for more issues with average talent, for instance).

Regular publication is good for the industry. If one team can't produce monthly, scheduled fill ins gives the fans something that month to tide them over and it's "jobs for the boys". Win-win.

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Paulo Pereira
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 3:22pm | IP Logged | 10  


 QUOTE:
Yo, retailers! This true? You're all independently wealthy, so you don't
care that you're making a third or a quarter of what you could be if the
books came out when they were supposed to? You'd rather sell six
issues at 100,000 each than 12 issues at 100,000 each?

Yeah, I'd be interested in Matt Hawes' opinion on that (as well as any other retailers we have here).



Edited by Paulo Pereira on 22 February 2008 at 3:22pm
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George Massou
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 3:26pm | IP Logged | 11  

JB - you just seem to rail on and on about this point..and yet..retailers still order late books...readers still buy late books..even people on this very board (check out the weekly comics haul threads)...no one listens or cares about this particular crusade of yours..why the righteous indignation? is it because your books are out on time but dont get the sales you feel they deserve?

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Greg Woronchak
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Posted: 22 February 2008 at 3:26pm | IP Logged | 12  

I always thought that consistency (solid creative team and no blown deadlines) leads to the creation of a devoted fan base.

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