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Old November 28 2012, 04:25 AM   #31
Holdfast
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

As someone who read some Marvel as a kid, but stopped around 12 or so, I would come back and read some if:

- there was one title per character (obviously, teams can have their own separate title too)
- understanding storylines did not require me to read multiple titles
- related to that, crossovers should be genuinely rare events (once every couple of years or so)
- sell them in supermarket aisles, at newspaper stands, etc.
- stick more ads in to knock down the cover price significantly.
- new issues every other week. Weekly, preferably. Cut the page count if need be (cutting cover price proportionately of course). Scheduling should be bullet-proof consistent.

You can summarise all my points as "make comic-reading a casual easy past-time, not a collector's hobby/obsession". At the moment, I look at the comic world and see a business model I don't want to engage with as a consumer. As an outsider looking in, it seems like an industry trying to squeeze ever more money out of a shrinking readership, by preying on their completionist neurotic tendencies. That may or may not be an accurate gauge of how they work, but that's what it looks like as a casual would-be reader, and I want no part of that. I'd just like an escapist comic featuring my favourite characters to dip in and out of.

My hunch is that they'd also make more money from a broad (if shallow) readership than from the narrow but deep one they currently seem to have, but I have no experience of their industry to support that hunch.
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Old November 28 2012, 10:34 AM   #32
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

^^ That pretty much nailed it. What they need is a broader market, like they've had in the past-- although that could certainly be supplemented by a direct market that caters to aficionados.
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Old November 28 2012, 02:04 PM   #33
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

I can't tell you how happy I was when Spidey went from multiple titles to ONE title, but 3 issues a month.
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Old November 29 2012, 01:22 AM   #34
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

Forbin wrote: View Post
I can't tell you how happy I was when Spidey went from multiple titles to ONE title, but 3 issues a month.
I don't understand this, what difference does it make?

As someone pointed out there used to be 5 Superman titles but they each had diamond numbers telling you the story order. The net effect was that even though you got, Superman, Action Comics, Adventures of Superman, Man of Steel and Man of Tomorrow, the net result was that you had a weekly comic that told one large story. Batman did the something with cowl numbers across, Batman, Detective Comics, Legends of the Dark Knight, etc.

People actually complained about that set up and demaned that each comic tell a unique story.
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Old November 29 2012, 08:09 AM   #35
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

^^^
It was actually because of that set up that I dropped Amazing Spider-man about eighteen months ago (after 20 years with the title). Marvel had people buying three Spidey books instead of one and I just didn't feel like doing that. Even down it's now down to two books a month, with the price increase for both, it's still keeping me away.
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Old November 29 2012, 09:35 AM   #36
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
As someone pointed out there used to be 5 Superman titles but they each had diamond numbers telling you the story order. The net effect was that even though you got, Superman, Action Comics, Adventures of Superman, Man of Steel and Man of Tomorrow, the net result was that you had a weekly comic that told one large story. Batman did the something with cowl numbers across, Batman, Detective Comics, Legends of the Dark Knight, etc.
That's unnecessarily overcomplicating things, if you tell the same story just get rid of 4 of the 5 titles and slap the same one on all covers.

People actually complained about that set up and demaned that each comic tell a unique story.
In kind of understand that, I want only one book per character but if they do release five, they should tell different stories, otherwise the readers feel like they're forced to buy all Superman books.
If they only release one weekly series the reader pays the same amount of money but at least he's only buying one series, it's probably a psychological thing, like $9.99 being perfectly fine but if you aks someone to pay $10 they're suddenly hesitating.
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Old November 29 2012, 09:39 AM   #37
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

Comic book numbering should be abandoned in favor of year-month. Instead of Superman #678 a comic would be numbered Superman 2012-07, Batman 2012-01, Star Trek 2012-09, etc. That way we can stop the idiocy/gimmick of rebooting the numbering scheme. Annuals could be Ghostbusters 2013-00, just in time for the holiday season and serve as an opportunity for a new creative team to soft-boot the series for the coming year.
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Old November 29 2012, 09:48 AM   #38
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
I don't understand this, what difference does it make?
Not all distribution points carry all titles. I rather have a single Batman series with more issues per year that follows the exploits of Batman that I know will be on the shelf of my local new stand. Then, if I choose, I could also choose to purchase Detective Comics, which would have story arcs involving the rich tapestry of characters from the Batman Universe.

Superman would be all about the blue boyscout, while Action Comics would mine the Superman franchise for other stories and characters.
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Old November 29 2012, 02:51 PM   #39
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

BoxWhatBox wrote: View Post
Comic book numbering should be abandoned in favor of year-month.
Great idea!
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Old November 29 2012, 03:10 PM   #40
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

There's no reason why comics should be periodicals.
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Old November 29 2012, 09:27 PM   #41
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

Gotham Central wrote: View Post
Forbin wrote: View Post
I can't tell you how happy I was when Spidey went from multiple titles to ONE title, but 3 issues a month.
I don't understand this, what difference does it make?
I don't understand why you don't understand what difference it makes.

I didn't WANT to have to buy multiple titles, try to figure out which order to read them in (if any), and try to follow multiple simultaneous continuities and storylines of one character. Like I said, I'm 55, I've been buying comics for almost 5 decades, and I'm TIRED of that. Hence my delight at only having ONE title, with one continuity and one storyline to follow.
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Old November 29 2012, 09:36 PM   #42
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

"This month's Team Marsupial adventure is concluded in Action Wombat #244"
Well, shit, I don't GET Action Wombat - he's mt least favorite of Team marsupial, and I resent being subjected to this blatant sales gimmick.

It happened recently with Thor/Journey into Mystery. I was getting thoroughly bored with the adventures of Young Loki in Journey, so I ditched it. A few months later, a Thor story said it'd be continued in the next Journey. Screw it, I don't care.
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Old November 29 2012, 11:40 PM   #43
Holdfast
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

Forbin wrote: View Post
... I resent being subjected to this blatant sales gimmick.
This. This is exactly why I don't buy comics; the whole doohickie comes off as an industry more interested in forcing sales through various gimmicks rather than getting them through enjoyable stories.

What's an analogy... hmm... well it feels kind of like those shops which are apparently "on sale" 90% of the year. It just feels cheap, tacky and distasteful to me, so I don't want to be part of it.

One title per character, with shorter, cheaper but more frequent issues that are widely distributed simply comes across to me as straighforward and honest in its appeal. It comes across as a title that is brave enough to sink or swim on whether the stories are good (obviously, in reality, a host of other factors will still also affect sales; I'm talking specifically about my impression of the "feel" of buying comics, which directly affects whether I want to buy them or not. Currently I do not, and haven't for decades).
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Old November 30 2012, 03:10 AM   #44
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Re: What changes should be made to comics?

Holdfast wrote: View Post
Forbin wrote: View Post
... I resent being subjected to this blatant sales gimmick.
This. This is exactly why I don't buy comics; the whole doohickie comes off as an industry more interested in forcing sales through various gimmicks rather than getting them through enjoyable stories.
Yeah, this is the reason why I also stopped buying comics regularly twenty years ago. I got sick of chasing a continuing story across several different titles, as well. It was a cheap tactic from the comic book companies that wore very thin.

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