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Author Topic: What is wrong with comics today?  (Read 6973 times)

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Offline Yoc

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2012, 07:56:11 AM »
An interesting blog entry on sales numbers for the 'New 52' sales for DC.  Not so new after all.
http://comiksdebris.blogspot.ca/2012/06/new-52-and-dc-comics-month-to-month.html

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2012, 07:56:11 AM »

Offline John C

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2012, 09:47:07 AM »
An interesting blog entry on sales numbers for the 'New 52' sales for DC.  Not so new after all.

That's pretty much what I'd expect after the issues I read at the beginning.  In my eyes, they made the enormous mistake of making a fresh break...except all of this stuff, and a bunch of history that's probably like what we had before, but eh, we don't actually know.  Batgirl was a prime example, where the premise was that Barbara Gordon's entire history came over intact, and for some secret "miraculous" reason, her legs are healed and she's a costumed hero again.  So, the fresh start still requires you to understand thirty years of history, yet forget everybody else's history.

I think another aspect of the decline might have been the advent of video games.

Funny thing, gamers are starting to gripe about some very unfamiliar problems:  The companies are creating shorter games for more money, then trying to sell add-ons that don't improve the game, the stories are more shallow, and they rely more on high-end graphics than anything else in the experience.

Meanwhile, the game companies are apparently trying to convince the console manufacturers to making gaming a "remote" activity, where you don't actually have the files on your computer.

Hmmm...

Great thoughts. I do think a dollar price point for digital makes sense. It has worked for music.

As a guide, it's probably a good start, yeah.  On the other hand, the exact pricing may depend on the sales pitch.

Speaking for my own spending habits, I'm very unlikely to buy music or movies at a retail price IF it's a corporate project.  If it's on clearance, sure, I'm there.  But my tastes (for better or worse) aren't mainstream.

On the other hand, I surprise myself how much I'm willing to pay for media when it's just some plain old people telling a story.  For example, I donated to support the Pioneer One web-series (highly recommended and free) back when it started and bought a few copies of the season DVD as soon as they went on sale.  Kickstarter has also shown me that I'll drop a surprising amount of money on a reasonable idea, and even more if I get a good feeling from the creator.

So, for "payment," a dollar is probably a fair limit.  If you can convince me it's "patronage," or if the product is extremely novel, a dollar might be very low.

Everyone wants to get rich but how rich. The previous billion dollar company profits are now able to go directly to several individuals pedaling their own products. If you create something good enough that enough people want it you can still get rich.

And that's another problem with the existing economic climate.  It's not enough to "get rich."  If you're a company beholden to shareholders (or a parent company), you're basically required to not stop until you have ALL the money.

I'm not against money, but that sort of short-term thinking isn't healthy for the company, the consumer, or the economy.

When the only cost is your time you can afford to take chances and hope to hit it big.

Or even not so big!  For every "professional" who won't work without a good income, there's a hundred others who'd be happy for people to see their work and maybe get some extra beer money.  From a publishing standpoint, the former deal is less risky overall, so it's better.  But for the customer, I'm not sure that's true at all.

Offline sandmountainslim

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2012, 01:36:50 PM »
Charging normal price of three bucks for a digital comic is ONE thing but charging that amount to "rent" a comic from Comixology is another.  They won't let you download it to your desktop but instead just view it on their site.   It's no wonder the pirated copies are more popular than the legit digital sales.

Offline watson387

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2012, 06:09:50 PM »
I think if you go to wowio or drivethru or graphicly you will find many choices for a buck each.

I buy a lot from Drive-Thru. They are my favorite digital comics retailer, and I think their prices are fair.  Wowio is decent. I haven't checked lately, but graphic.ly used to be one of those sites that made you buy their comics, but you never really owned them, like Comixology. Unless they've changed their ways, they'll never see one red cent from me.

As far as comics these days go, there are a lot of good comics being produced currently, but none of them are being produced by Marvel or DC. All of the new comics I read are independent or webcomics. The artwork and stories are way better than anything the big two does anymore. I stopped reading Marvel after that ridiculous Scarlet Spider bs, and I can't understand anything that goes on in the DC universe(s) anymore (even after reading Infinite Crisis). To be completely honest the big two can suck it. I don't give them any of my money since the 90s 9 different variant covers, buy two issues so you can take one out of the bag and save the other, etc. crap that my teenaged mind was convinced I needed. I bought all that crap, and now you can find all of it it the quarter boxes at the comics shops. lol  The 90s ruined comics for me as far as superhero stuff goes.

Offline Yoc

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2012, 06:22:30 PM »
Random thoughts here -

Isn't it funny how your description of gamer complaints mirror those of comics?
Funny thing, gamers are starting to gripe about some very unfamiliar problems:  The companies are creating shorter games for more money, then trying to sell add-ons that don't improve the game, the stories are more shallow, and they rely more on high-end graphics than anything else in the experience.

Meanwhile, the game companies are apparently trying to convince the console manufacturers to making gaming a "remote" activity, where you don't actually have the files on your computer.

Hmmm...

Wow, how the times have changed.  I dabbled in PC games for a while in the early 90s after leaving comics.  (Got very hooked on 'X-Com', 'Civilization' and 'Freedom Force'.)  Then drifted away from games when I went online and discovered GA comic scans.  Anyways, it sure sounds like the game industry is trying to push the cloud as much as anyone which wouldn't impress me as a buyer (renter) of games.  One shouldn't be dependent on a net connection to play a game unless it was designed for head to head human competition that is.  I guess I'm just old fashioned.  I like to 'own' something that I can use where and when I want.  Be it in a city with a connection or on a mountain with say an iPad.  And of course whatever product was being read or played, a quality piece of work would be a must for the cost of things these days.

Which leads into what John said about piracy -

Quote
...sampling, in that you might buy the comic (or album or whatever), but digital and legally means buying sight unseen, unlike a storefront where you can page through, whereas you can pirate it and figure out if it's worth paying.

[Soapbox Time]
It's true about almost all consumer products.  As a buyer you've got prices spiralling higher and higher for everything - food, gas, housing, electricity - and all your entertainment costs are going up as well.  Meanwhile you're worried about finding or keeping your job which you likely haven't gotten a raise from in quite a long time while being afraid to take a holiday for fear of having no job when you get back home.
So your buying power is smaller, your choices are more and you are expected to believe all the P.R. crap about each movie, record, comic or tv show being 'must see' and 'must buy.'  How many times have  you seeing a preview of a movie and thought - 'crap, that was better than the movie itself'?  How many comics have you bought for that great cover and gotten sub-par art inside and a worse story?  As a consumer it drives me nuts feeling like we're getting ripped-off coming and going.  And this 'cloud' idea of never owning anything while giving them access to ALL our personal information really upsets the heck out of me.  Remember the first time a store checkout asked for you postal code and later phone number?  I've never given them out.  If forced I make one up.  That's my information and I don't give it away lightly.  From what I hear today's youth are quickly and willingly abandoning the idea of privacy.  It's a terrible thing and who knows where it will lead?
Piracy for some is giving the finger to those big brother corporations so determined to own us.  And for those that do find something they really enjoy I agree many will then go out and buy it to show that support.  IF they can find it in the case of comics.
[off soapbox]

Sorry about that, some of these really push my buttons...
 :-\  

Offline Yoc

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2012, 06:25:43 PM »
Hey watson387,
what are you reading your scans on?  Just curious.

Offline narfstar

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2012, 06:50:48 PM »
Just look at the fan fiction that has been around for ages. People write it just to share it. Just look at how much we spend here in time and money just to share. I did not play games for the story. I always skipped over to get to shooting things. I always hated the pauses in the middle to tell the story I just wanted to shoot things. If I want a story I will read a book or watch tv if I play a game I just want to play the darn game.

I primarily read comic scans on an ipad that all the math teachers were given for adopting Prentice Hall books. I hate wasting tax dollars even if they go to me but it would not have mattered, the ipad would have gone to someone else so I took it. I hate hate hate APPLE. With everything proprietary and no USB or SD I hate em. But it makes a good comic book reader which is all I use it for but would never waste the money to buy one.

Offline Yoc

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2012, 06:58:54 PM »
I thought one of the new iPAD2 version had an SD slot no?  The last of a USB slot is also one of my major misgivings about buying one but after trying several of the Android pads at Staples there was no comparison for quality.

Offline watson387

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2012, 08:13:56 PM »
Hey watson387,
what are you reading your scans on?  Just curious.

At the moment I read them on a Kindle Fire using Perfect Viewer (which I sideloaded onto it). I've used other various readers to read digital comics before, but this is the first one I've ever had that I didn't have to convert them to other formats to use. I've been reading digital comics for quite some time now.

Offline misappear

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2012, 08:20:08 PM »
Narf,

I love Apple. Much better against virus programs, and much, much ,much better than Microsoft on everything.  I do agree that the proprietary nature of the company is a pain in the tukas.  I gave this a lot of thought before selecting Apple.  I knew that I was being lulled into buying sh@tty products, microsoft based, because they kept getting cheaper.  Problem is, that cheap means cut corners, and eventually total junk.  Remember when Dell was tremendous?  It's only been a couple of years since they went from premier to poo.  

I do not like the cost of Apple products.  But overall, my experience is that they really are better.  I just accept that i'll have to pay more for something better.  I hate it, but it's truth, justice, and the American way

--Dave

Offline misappear

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2012, 08:33:18 PM »
As a corollary to Yoc's comments, it strikes me that we treat ourselves pretty well.  Comics, pulps, magazines, books, yadda yadda.  Sometimes I have to stop myself from thinking that I somehow should have everything I want.  I'm spoiled. 

I've got to process this.

Offline John C

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2012, 06:30:40 AM »
Yoc, there are three forces "conspiring" behind the big cloud push.  None of them involve the consumer, unfortunately.

The first and biggest is that the software people (Microsoft especially) did such a good job of getting people onto the same kinds of computers that the PC is a commodity item--you can't compete in the market except on price, because the software makes them indistinguishable.  In other words, when you spend four hundred dollars on a computer, you're getting four hundred dollars of computer.  Since no company wants to be in a position of selling like that, they'd much rather convince you to spend that same money on a hundred dollar phone or tablet and convince you it's "better."

Second is market saturation, which many companies predicted fifteen years ago.  When it comes to application software, useful new features are in rare supply, so there's not much to sell you on for a new version of Photoshop or Excel, and the number of new computer owners is dropping fast as people, y'know, buy them.  The "exit strategy" they see is subscription-based service.  If you can be convinced to pay ten bucks a month to use Microsoft Office, that's a more predictable revenue stream and probably more money in the long run for them.

Third and the loudest is piracy.  If the "only place" you can edit images is "PhotoshopWeb," there's no worries about torrents, counterfeit DVD manufacture in Hong Kong, or much of anything else.  I guarantee it's not an important financial impact, but it's a good way to pitch it without whining directly about money.

For some companies (Google), there's also presumably a secret fourth reason of data mining, using your "private" files to build a more comprehensive dossier on you and your habits to better sell to you.

Yes, they'll sell it as never crashing, perpetual backups, and perpetual updates, and that may be true and is valuable.  But that's more the bait than the premise, the gilding on the cage, if you will.

(There's a wildcard factor involved that a lab has just made nearly the smallest-possible transistor.  This means that the end of the semiconductor industry is in sight, and we may be looking at a complete restart of the computer industry on a new technology like quantum computing soon-ish.)

Narf, I think part of the objection (even if it's not voiced), from what I can tell, is that the "integration" of the story with the game has been lost.  I remember starting out where playing the game elaborated the story.  Today, as you suggest, you shoot some stuff and are "treated" to a mediocre movie.  And the story has become more generic.

I don't know, myself.  When the big game companies shifted into action games, they mostly lost me.  Though I have been buying the "Humble Indie Bundles" (humblebundle.com) when they come out.  It's a choose-your-price deal, the games work on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and money goes to developers and charity, so even if I don't get around to playing some of them, the money's not exactly wasted.

By the way, as a counter to the "piracy is killing everything" story, the current "Bundle" (four games, eight if you pay more than the current average payment, but two of those are from previous Bundles) has had half a million customers and raked in over four million dollars.  In less than a week.

Yes, the money's split between about about ten people/organizations, but it shows that there's a fair amount of money to be had in making a good product convenient to customers, rather than pushing the customers around like criminals.

Offline narfstar

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2012, 07:42:02 AM »
Thanks for the tip I will look at humblebundle even though I am not miuch of a gamer

Offline John C

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2012, 04:02:56 PM »
Gah!

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=39127

All origins, all the time!  Issue number zero!  Variant covers!

Oh, no.  They're reading this thread looking for ideas!

Offline Roygbiv666

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Re: What is wrong with comics today?
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2012, 04:19:23 PM »
"Issue number zero!" I've also seen issue 1/2. What about "-1"? That would be amazing!!!!

Talented writers + talented artists = good stories

good stories -direct market + price point + digital download =  sales.

Why is this hard?

Gah!

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=39127

All origins, all the time!  Issue number zero!  Variant covers!

Oh, no.  They're reading this thread looking for ideas!