Amph Are Comic Books Dead?

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by whisperjedi, Apr 8, 2008.

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  1. whisperjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2005
    star 2
    I haven't read comics in a while...and I wonder now that Hollywood has invaded the "three-color" past-time that perhaps some people have left comics behind. If so...is this because other distractions...internet..PS2..etc.

    The last thing remotely comic book was this "comic book" section on 28weeks later dvd. And I understand that "I am Legend" has something similar.

    What's your thoughts?
  2. chiss_man Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2002
    star 6
    Comics are in better shape now than they were in the mid to late 90's when the collector bubble burst. However, if comic prices rise much higher than they are now, then I believe the genre is in major trouble. In this age of rising prices on nearly everything in life, it becomes harder and harder to justify spending more and more on 22 colored pages. Which is really, really sad, IMO.
  3. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    If anything I'd say the invasion of Hollywood has helped comics. I don't think there's very many people who thought "Oh, they're making Spider-Man movies now so I can quit reading the books." But there were people who saw the movie and wanted to learn more about the characters and looked into comics. I knew a girl in college who had never read a comic book in her life but started reading Ultimate Spider-Man after seeing the movies. As chiss_man said, comics have come a long way in the past 10 years.
  4. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    Comics are doing OK, but it's more like they're suffering from a long term illness than that they're healthy or dying. They're in no immediate danger of dying, could take decades. Or they could recover completely. No certainty either way.
  5. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 10
    First, it's four color. Not three. Not for a long while at least. If ever.

    Second, while Raven is right, the industry's future is uncertain. But it is not dead thanks to some good comic book films, celebrities revealing their passion and the abundence of TPB's and original Graphic Novels in bookstores. The industry has gained more acceptence. There are still those who take potshots or think they're just for kids. But there's a more diverse market out there. Stories like "Sandman", "Y: The Last Man", "Preacher", "Strangers In Paradise", "Bone", "Wanted" and "100 Bullets" which are all adult in nature and have a strong appeal.
  6. r8hitman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2004
    star 4
    The internet/technology is slowly but surely destroying comic books.

    The comic companies need to figure out a way to make technology work for them instead of against them.

    And yeah the prices do need to go down.
    I remember riding my bike to the 7-Eleven or the comic shop and pulling out a few quarters and buying a comic....nowadays the only people who can afford the books are hardcore collectors (adults) and that's not the way to keep the industry alive.[face_shame_on_you]
  7. chiss_man Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2002
    star 6
    I think they need to find a way to do more things like Free Comic Book Day and specials like DC Universe #0 (for fifty cents). It kind of defeats the purpose when they do one shot deals at little or no cost to entice a new reader, then immediately expect them to begin forking out $3.00 each issue. Joe Casual Fan probably won't go for that. It's economically impossible to lower prices much, I admit that, but there has to be some way to at least get more of these cheaper "special events" going.
  8. Indyman Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2008
    I agree. If they wanted to get comics back up and gong again then they should really push them out there more. I mean, if you want everyone to buy ur comics then you should have some time when you really advertise them or, (like you said above), have a big sale day or something. OR you could have an opening for donations... idk.
  9. Sith_Sensei__Prime Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2000
    star 5
    I don't think comic books are dead or are the verge of being dead. However, I really don't see much kids in comic book stores. Mostly adults my age. Even the comic conventions I attend, adults vastly out number the children. The life essence of comic books has greatly depended on new generation of fans. As pointed out above, the industry may move to an electronic verison of the comic books usually the technology to their benefits. Additionally, the industry sees graphic novels as a way to get into large bookstores like Borders and Barnes and Noble.

    Moreover, a show like Heroes has allowed for a cross-over of the multi-media with it's online comic book and featured tv show. And Buffy the Vampire Slayer has made a wonderful transition from movie, to tv show to comic book.

    As long as the industry continues to have new generations of fans it will live on.

  10. PerfectCell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 4
    Comic books as a monthly serial are in danger, not right now mind you, but in teh future. More and more people are realizing that it is more economically feasible to wait for the issues to be collected in a GN or TPB and released at a B&N or Borders for cheaper than when they were in single issue form. It works out better money wise, space wise, and reading experience wise.
  11. Blur Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    I don't think comics are dead. At least, not yet. Though the industry may not be thriving like it once was, there still seems like there is some interest in collecting. However, I agree with the observation that most collectors are adults, who may be getting the comics for nostalgic reasons (like me).
    I also completely agree that the future of comics is primarily in TPB's. I usually wait for those rather than buying the individual comics, but I will buy issues every month if it's something I really want (which at this time is "SW: Legacy" and "SW: Dark Times").

    Also, just an aside - though comics are much more expensive now than they were back in the day (which for me was the '80's), you have to take into account that they LOOK a lot better than older comics did. Ever since the early '90's, comics have, overall, been printed on high quality paper with vibrant colors and excellent color separation. Though there are exceptions, most newer comics from Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse do look much better than any comic from 20 years ago (and before).
    Also, I think that the higher printing quality will ensure that the comics will age better and yellow less easily.
  12. Jedimarine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 5
    QFT

    When one comic cost what could be half the cost of 300 page paperback, a quarter of a cd, or even a significant portion of a dvd or cheap game...yeah.

    And that's the other thing...who buys one title? The comic book fans I know drop 40-50 dollars a month just on their subscriptions, not to mention stuff they try or TPB or whatever.

    Make it a dollar an issue...and put them everywhere...and you might have a shot.
  13. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6

    The Internet may be the salvation of comics. Look at things like Penny Arcane and Looking For Group. My guess is that they have far more regular readers than Grant Morrison's Batman.

    Still, paper comics should still have a place. What will kill Marvel and DC is keeping an eye on short term gains without looking at bigger pictures. Take Miller and Hitch on the Ultimates. In my opinion, the Ultimates and Ultimates 2 are the best superhero comics of the last decade. Great art, great story, and that led to great sales. Then came Joe Mad and Jeph Loeb for Ultimates 3. The sales have stayed. But most of the fans of the story of Ultimates and Ultimates 2 have moved on. When Ultimates 3 ends, I expect a large drop of sales for Ultimates 4, barring another bigname artist.

    Basically, Marvel and DC change the target audience or go for some major shocking plotline, and the book never quite recovers. Until Marvel and DC can commit to long storylines, consistant storylines, refrain from throwing on hot writers and artists onto books that are outside their stylistic zone, and try to tell stories that go somewhere with a beginning, middle and end... sales will drop. And they'll continue to pull down the whole of the North American market.
  14. WormieSaber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2000
    star 5
    I tried to get into comics again about a year ago, and wasn't impressed. However, just this past month I have noticed a surge of great stories, especially with DC. The whole new crisis storyline has really got me hooked, and that evil Superman from a parallel universe is far more interesting than Doomsday. I think Superman/Batman is also worth buying and reading; for the most part, I have not been disappointed with any of the Superman/Batman comics. The new Supergirl comic with the Legion as guest stars is a great read, and I just finally finished the Superman/Legion team-up into the future where the Earth's sun is red because of the Legion-rejects, well, Earth-Man used Sunboy to absord the sun's yellow light to transform it into red light, so Superman had no powers in the future. There is also a new TRON series of comic books that have hit the shelves; I have #3 and #4, but I have to find the previous ones. So far, comics are a good read. And if you like Jim Lee from the '90s, WildCats is back and so is Jim Lee. WildCats was one of my favorites from the '90s. Too bad the cartoon went off the air.
  15. whisperjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2005
    star 2
    Here's a thought....why doesn't MArvel/Dc go back & print comics in those small digest formats ie...Archie Digests? Those things still sell 2 pubescent girls? why not pubescent boys? I can picture those in Walmarts...etc.
  16. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 10
    It involves changing the format of each comic to fit the size of the digest book. As well as printing them in black & white, which will just turn off new readers more and more. Trade paperbacks, which are in color and are essentially the monthly book, minus the ads, are more profitable. And appealing to the eye. Plus, you can cram six issues in Superman or Spider-Man, as opposed to two or three issues in a digest sized book.
  17. Darth-Lando Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    It's possible. Runaways doesn't do trades and instead shrinks the monthly books down to digest sized. In full color too.
  18. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 10
    Along with Spider-Girl. True. But I don't know if the sales on those trades are as good as they are with the regular size.
  19. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    I think that the internet will be the eventual future of comics. If comic companies were smart they'd stop having 15 multibook, multi storyline "Events" every year.

    I find it hard to believe that newspapers can press as many coloured copies of a daily edition, and the comic companies can not.

    BTW, I've seen at least three local comic shops shut down in the last year or two. So yeah, I'd say it's say to say the industry is suffering as it currently is.
  20. Withim Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2008
    star 1
    Only the prices suffer, the artwork and story lines have only improved through the years.
  21. Dinkus_Mayhem Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2006
    star 3
    That sounds more like a problem of too many comic stores in an area, and there is no surprise that some of them failed.
  22. chiss_man Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2002
    star 6
    I have to agree, my hometown has about 45,000 people, and two comic shops located basically across town from each other. Both do relatively well, as far as I can tell anyway.
  23. Spiderfan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2004
    star 6
    I would say that since Watchmen is (apparently) selling ten times better than it ever has previously, based entirely on people's reactions to the Trailer (not even the movie mind you...just the trailer) that the medium is not dead. The Industry may be in trouble but I don't see the medium dying out any time soon. I do see a lot of people getting fed up with the antics of the Big Two and drifting off to find other reading material more suitable to their tastes from other comics companies, but thats just a shifting of interests not people abandoning comics altogether.
  24. LordNyax113 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2007
    star 3
    Here is my personal experience with comic books...

    A couple of years ago, I purchased a direct, 12-month subscription from Marvel using a coupon I found in a magazine. Dropped quite a bit of money on it, but not full price, thankfully.

    The comic book was Ultimate Spiderman. I started getting the monthly issues, and was dissapointed. The actual Spiderman, in costume, didn't show up for two issues. Then, they dragged out the Hobgoblin intro forever. By the time my subscription ended, prematurely (you'll see why), the Hobgoblin had yet to fight Spidey.

    My subscription ended, not on my accord, but for no apparent reason. The final three issues never came. I called, asking them to send them to me. I gave them my information, and the lady said I wasn't in the system! I was angry because I lost part of the money I paid, and the whole subscription wasn't making it worth it anyway. Because I wasn't in the system, they refused to accept I had paid and wouldn't send me the issues or reimburse me.

    Pretty much soured by the whole experience.

    Maybe that was an exception to the rule, but I rarely buy Marvel comic books now, and certainly will never purchase a subscription again from them.
  25. Soontir-Fel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 18, 2001
    star 5
    Well you main problem was you got a Bendis comic who is in capable of telling a story unless he drags it out to about 4 times as many issues as it would tell the story. See Secret Invasion for more.
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