Thursday, September 23, 2010

I hate the Comic Book Industry

I was reaing a thread on on something or other, and someone was commented that you don't get more mainstream than Batman. It's true I mean think about it. Think back to the 90's tv show, you know the good one... actually don't think watch. No logos, no words, nothings to indicate what the hell is going on until the very end of the openining sequence and yet it is undeniably understood as Batman. Even before the movies the person who didn't know who batman is was pretty rare. The same goes for Spiderman, Wolverine, and Superman. People know who these charecters are even though they have never picked up a comic book, never been near a comic book store, and in some cases they have beaten up people who read comics.

So how the hell is it that the charecters themselves are mainsteam but not the medium? I think that the problem is three fold and I am not going to go into it in minute detail because it really isn't all that nessisary.

One- Lack of Availability. My first comic was the first book of the Infinity Gauntlet series. Man oh man I loved the Infinity Gauntlet story. Right now in Books a Million there is a beautiful hardback book collecting the whole thing. Want. After that it was the punisher. The point is that whole my mom wrapped up grocery shopping I would look at comic books and I would end up with some. As I was talking to the owner of my FLGS she was talking to be about how comics used to be everywhere. She talked about how she used to drive to different gas stations and grocery stores picking up issues for her customers if her order was short. She'd loose money sure but keeping her customers happy was a bit more important to her. Now that option no longer excists. This is starting to change somewhat, you can get some books in the larger chain bookstores but everone goes grocery shopping, books stores are a culture all their own. A culture who drinks to much coffee.

Still the point remains.

Two- Lack of Advirtising. No seriously, look at all the comic book movies. The movies have multi million dollar advertising budgets including increadbily successful viral advirsements. You would think that somewhere SOMEHOW this would translate into comic book sales. Yet the comic books weren't ever really mentioned. After the Watchmen movie came out DC made a half hearted attempt to boost sales of some its trades by reprinting a bunch of trades with an "After you read watchmen try this" banner on top but good heavens that just ended up confusing lots of people who were trying to figgure out how Preacher was the sequel to Watchmen. There is more to say here but it ties directly into my third point and that is

Three- Comic book companies are poorly run. Good god they just are. I go to the marvel site and the two things I should be able to easily find are a way to subscribe to their comics, and their releases for at least a month in advance. THe subscription is easy. Getting this weeks releases isn't so hard, but good god damn I am not sure that there is a way to get a release schedual for longer than a week in advance. This is just nit picking though. I am talking about both of the big two suffering from release scheduals problems that are so bad that their side books end up spoiling the main event (civil war). That they will release events that are impossible to read in any sort of chronological order. I'm not talking a couple of things either I am talking about how the event will literally make NO sense unless you read at least two other books (blackest night). Hell even collected in trades the Blackest Night event doesn't even make sense unless you just with the fact that you are going to find out what the hell is going on in the next book or two. And there is absolutly no advirtising anywhere about any of this. And that is retarded.

Marvel comics should be advitised on the cartoon god damned network...or you know the Disney channel cause you know how they ended up owning Marvel. A halfway decent advitising campain combined with some events that provide good jumping on points for new readers, and make them more widely availble. Yet these are companies that STILL have scheduling and distribution problems.

I don't know the whole story. There could be all sorts of things I am missing. However, I am acutely aware of the power of advirtising. I am also acutely aware that some of these charecters are, at their core, mainstream. Now all that needs to happen is that all these things need to come together. I love comics and while I find most mainstream super hero comics to be boring as hell they do support the other comics that I want to read. I need one for the othe. I won't have either if both of the big two continue to fail at making their products superficially availble.

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