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Old July 20 2013, 01:08 PM   #1
TheMasterOfOrion
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Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

I've gone back to the comic world recently and noticed 5 incredible things with DC.

DC is no longer a comics company, DC is nothing about comics anymore since DC's parent company do not depend on comics as a revenue stream. Time Warner and Warner Bros today are focused on HBO, the Internet, computers, commercials, Harry Potter, Hobbit movies and all their other big entertainment products. Yes they do make great movies like Batman but Nolan's Bat trilogy is finished, ManofSteel got very mixed reaction and DC launched a number of box office flops like Jonah Hex and flops like Green Lantern. Time Warner and Warner Bros can generate money from far less expensive far less risky projects.

The comicbook market has changed, comic book works that are more gritty, social and edgier sell today, you have stuff like Walking Dead, Red Sonja, Preacher, Watchmen, 30 Days of Night that attracted fans. If you don't know these comics they are very different to Superman and Wonder Woman, a very different feel and sometimes have overboard violence and sometimes sex. Marvel is ahead of DC and might survive competition from the independent world maybe because they had a perception of always been grittier or more social....its like Joss Whedon says once you take out Batman DC has no people left, all DC are "Gods". DC are from the era when they were creating modern mythical overpowered gods. "And the thing that made rival publisher Marvel Comics "extraordinary was that they created people"

DC comics did a very ambitious re-imagining or New 52 revamp with all its characters, all its universe got a galaxy spanning timeline reboot. Such remakes can make money, marketing gimmicks like this can bring cash but instead of revitalizing the brand it has caused many loyal readers to flee. DC sales have dropped massively.

The comic world was once dominated by DC in the 30s, 40s, 50s and early 60s, it is not anymore. DC is like a really old athlete ready for retirement, it is not just facing competition from rival Marvel but new studios from Image comics, Dynamite comics, IDW comics, European comics, Japanese comics and other publishers are coming into conventions and comic shops and owning 32% of an industry DC once owned.

Politics and in-fighting, there's a hell of a lot of it today. Creative disasters due to silly decisions by management and poor editorial moves DC comics is bleeding out writers like never before. Those of us familar with the industry remember times when the like of Alan Moore or Frank Miller used to throw hissy fits and swear never to work the entertainment and comic industry ever again. However today its even worse - Gail Simone Wonder Woman writer, Simpsons writer and Deadpool writer has gone independent will probably never write for DC ever again. J Michael Straczynski Babylon-5 writer, Thor writer is finished with DC, finished with the big companies will probably stay Independent or work on tv shows. Mark Waid, writer of one of DC most classic works Kingdom Come is done with DC, he will probably be a writer for Marvel or Independents. Joss Whedon famously had his idea for bringing Wonder Woman to the big screen rejected, he will now work on Marvel blockbusters and tv shows like SHIELD.

DC risks not just getting beat by Marvel but beat by Image, Dynamite and many other independents .
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Old July 20 2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

I think creators increasingly wanting to own their products also contributes to their downfall.
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Old July 20 2013, 03:31 PM   #3
Out Of My Vulcan Mind
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

While DC's sales didn't stay at the level set by the initial launch of the New 52, they're still higher than in the decade or so preceding the New 52, and DC is no danger whatsoever of falling behind Image, Dynamite or any of the other independents. Here's the market share for comic book publishers in June 2013:

Marvel - 32.77%
DC - 29.57%
Image - 8.77%
IDW - 6.55%
Dark Horse - 5.51%
Dynamite - 2.40%
Boom - 1.93%
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Old July 20 2013, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

Out Of My Vulcan Mind wrote: View Post
While DC's sales didn't stay at the level set by the initial launch of the New 52, they're still higher than in the decade or so preceding the New 52, and DC is no danger whatsoever of falling behind Image, Dynamite or any of the other independents. Here's the market share for comic book publishers in June 2013:

Marvel - 32.77%
DC - 29.57%
Image - 8.77%
IDW - 6.55%
Dark Horse - 5.51%
Dynamite - 2.40%
Boom - 1.93%
I wonder how big Dark Horse's share is if you subtract their Star Wars books from the equation? I wonder how damaging it will be if those rights go to Marvel at somepoint in the near future?
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Old July 20 2013, 04:01 PM   #5
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

Gail Simone Wonder Woman writer, Simpsons writer and Deadpool writer has gone independent will probably never write for DC ever again.
Simone currently writes Batgirl and the Movement for DC Comics. I'm sure Waid and JMS will work for DC again someday. DC Comics had little or nothing to do with the decision not to go ahead with Whedon's take on WW. Whedon's been in Hollywood for a while and understands how it works. I doubt he holds the DC Comics responsible for the decisions of the Warner Bros movie division.
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Old July 20 2013, 04:18 PM   #6
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

TheMasterOfOrion wrote: View Post
DC is no longer a comics company, DC is nothing about comics anymore since DC's parent company do not depend on comics as a revenue stream.
Time Warner never depended on DC Comics as a revenue stream. The thing that's different now than five years ago is that DC Comics doesn't operate independently of Time Warner any more. Before Marvel's acquisition by Disney, DC Comics was, even though it was owned by Time Warner, considered its own thing and operated on its own. Now, Time Warner views DC Comics as an IP farm and there are people at DC who report to people at Time Warner.

My perception of the current DC Comics situation is that they are achieving the goals that Time Warner has for them. I don't think DC is trying to be the top selling publisher. And DC will never fall far enough in the marketplace that it will be the number three publisher; they have the money and resources of Time Warner behind them, resources that the the publishers behind them (who can't even break 10% of the market) simply don't have.

BillJ wrote: View Post
I wonder how big Dark Horse's share is if you subtract their Star Wars books from the equation? I wonder how damaging it will be if those rights go to Marvel at somepoint in the near future?
I probably have spent more time thinking about Dark Horse's market share than anyone outside of Dark Horse Comics. No, seriously.

Losing the Star Wars license would be a hit, no doubt. I don't expect the hit would be more than half a percentage point, though. The question would be whether or not Dark Horse would be able to continue to sell their Star Wars backlist titles. If they are, that would minimize the damage, because that's where they're making the market share on Star Wars. Yes, they publish five or six series each month, and each sells decently well, but they also have a backlist of a hundred trade paperbacks that may not sell in quantities individually each month but when taken in aggregate add up to a lot of money.

If I were Mike Richardson at Dark Horse, I would make a bid for the Doctor Who license since IDW is losing it at the end of the year. It would be a consistent seller like the Star Wars titles (IDW pulls in 10k per issue, and the numbers stay very stable), and as they amassed material they would build a backlist that would sell for them in the way the Star Wars backlist has sold. That would minimize the damage were they to lose the Star Wars license, and it would be a boon to them if they didn't.
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Old July 20 2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

TheMasterOfOrion wrote: View Post
However today its even worse - Gail Simone Wonder Woman writer, Simpsons writer and Deadpool writer has gone independent will probably never write for DC ever again.
I just wish this was true, she was terrible on every book since the reboot. She really should go independent and allow someone else on Batgirl instead of staying and turning into a parody of what she once was.

DC risks not just getting beat by Marvel but beat by Image, Dynamite and many other independents .
Image maybe but that is more because of WB corporate policies.

Dynamite. Nope their artists are terrible.
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Old July 20 2013, 04:59 PM   #8
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

Hound of UIster wrote: View Post
Dynamite. Nope their artists are terrible.
Look what they're spending the budget on, though. Those Alex Ross, J. Scott Campbell, and Jae Lee covers don't come cheap!
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Old July 20 2013, 05:36 PM   #9
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

Thanks for the info on Dark Horse. I don't know much about them outside of their Star Wars stuff.

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post

I probably have spent more time thinking about Dark Horse's market share than anyone outside of Dark Horse Comics. No, seriously.

Losing the Star Wars license would be a hit, no doubt. I don't expect the hit would be more than half a percentage point, though. The question would be whether or not Dark Horse would be able to continue to sell their Star Wars backlist titles. If they are, that would minimize the damage, because that's where they're making the market share on Star Wars. Yes, they publish five or six series each month, and each sells decently well, but they also have a backlist of a hundred trade paperbacks that may not sell in quantities individually each month but when taken in aggregate add up to a lot of money.

If I were Mike Richardson at Dark Horse, I would make a bid for the Doctor Who license since IDW is losing it at the end of the year. It would be a consistent seller like the Star Wars titles (IDW pulls in 10k per issue, and the numbers stay very stable), and as they amassed material they would build a backlist that would sell for them in the way the Star Wars backlist has sold. That would minimize the damage were they to lose the Star Wars license, and it would be a boon to them if they didn't.
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Old July 20 2013, 05:55 PM   #10
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

I've read around blogs and got a few personal messages from friends and what I get is DC is getting a lot of negative buzz in the world of fan feed back. You go to the film conventions, the DragonCons, Comic-Con International San Diego, the indie film and cartoon meetings. DC comics is nowhere to be seen today at these conventions, even WB has slowed a little. There's lots of buzz about a timetravel Patrick Stewart as Xavier, Bishop, Wolverine. There is buzz from Dynamite buying Robocop, Red Sonja, Green Hornet and Dynamite hiring new writers and artists but DC is very silent.
Surprised to see Gail Simone is still with DC, I applaud her professionalism but I see a lot of writers of her level leaving the company in the near future.

Last edited by TheMasterOfOrion; July 20 2013 at 06:43 PM.
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Old July 20 2013, 06:04 PM   #11
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

There are no shortage of people expressing negative views of DC's current output, although that's been the case for Marvel and DC for a very long time, but sales are going well. To say that DC is nowhere to be seen at Comic-Con is as accurate as saying there's a risk of them being beaten in sales by Dynamite, which is to say not accurate at all.
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Old July 20 2013, 06:30 PM   #12
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

Yeah, I'm looking at the SDCC coverage online and there seems to be several panels about DC Comics with Executives, Editors, Artists and Writers from DC present and speaking. Not sure where TheMasterOfOrion is getting his info. All the other cons I've read about are the same.

Writers and artists come and go from Marvel and DC all of the time. The only difference in the internet age is we know about it and they have a forum to air their grievances.
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Old July 20 2013, 06:30 PM   #13
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

I don't know OutOfMyVulcanMind, usually I see all kinds of buzz from events like Comic-Con and other conventions. I'm nowhere near Comic-Con but friends will usually pass on message or usually you can see the buzz online anyways. You always hear something, you see something about a new Justice League tv show, buzz about an indie film District 9, buzz about a tv series like LOST, buzz about a new Ironman writer. I'm just not seeing any buzz this year. Usually May, June, July the major comics and studios are buzzing with news. I have heard nothing on Superman-II, nothing on a Justice League movie. Is anyone from trekbbs at the Comic-Con this year?
I'm talking about real buzz not just fans rubbing elbows with writers or actors signing photographs, actually announcements. Next May’s X-Men Days Of Future Past with Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page....that's making buzz, new characters from Image comics or Dynamite that's making buzz. I just don't see the announcements or new artistic stuff from DC this year.
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Old July 20 2013, 06:34 PM   #14
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

TheMasterOfOrion wrote: View Post
I don't know OutOfMyVulcanMind, usually I see all kinds of buzz from events like Comic-Con and other conventions. I'm nowhere near Comic-Con but friends will usually pass on message or usually you can see the buzz online anyways. You always hear something, you see something about a new Justice League tv show, buzz about an indie film District 9, buzz about a tv series like LOST, buzz about a new Ironman writer. I'm just not seeing any buzz this year. Usually May, June, July the major comics and studios are buzzing with news. I have heard nothing on Superman-II, nothing on a Justice League movie. Is anyone from trekbbs at the Comic-Con this year?
The thread right below this one ( as I write this) is about the rumor of a Superman/Batman movie to follow MOS.
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Old July 20 2013, 06:35 PM   #15
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Re: Is DC going to be relegated as a comicbook company?

TMoO needs to stop listening or reading the fan press. They distort what is actually happening to get hits to their website.
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