Discussion in 'Literature' started by IG_2000, Apr 22, 2013.
I hope not
Courtesy of Grand Moff Stradley:
Agent of the Empire is now toast! And very crispy toast at that!
Chances of resurrection? Probably unlikely as DHC will likely not still have the SW licence in 15 year's time!
Oh come on it was such great fun.
Agent of the Empire is easily my favorite Star Wars comic of recent time. Such a shame it has to end before it's really even begun. Plus I feel bad, since I haven't yet bought the second arc
And this is what frustrates me with the comic industry's metrics: they don't factor in people like you who prefer to buy the TPB.
And are Dark Horse really surprised? By switching to standalone mini-series that lack the immediacy of ongoing monthlies, it has made trade waiting much more accommodating, especially with the rotating series having six month delays in between arcs, meaning that you can still jump in and out of monthlies if you chose your mind between arcs.
So axing AOTE "because of poor sales" demonstrates an inherent failure of the comic industry to quantify the way consumers today are choosing to spend their money, and it's a problem that won't be fixed by getting rid of AOTE and trying something else, because the exact same problem will happen, with the sales figurees still appearing weak because of more consumers having become perfectly happy to wait for the TPB.
Comics are almost non-existent in my country (and what there is, is pretty damn poor) so I don't even have a place to buy them monthly. Sure I can get the digital version (and have) but I prefer having a solid copy in my hands (one of the reasons I despise the Kindle). I don't have a large salary either so TPBs and the Omnibus' are my only way (and I'm pretty certain I come out cheaper if I wait for the Omnibus).
AoTE is going away...
I was still waiting for Lord Blackhole and Nas Ghent to appear...
To be fair, we don't know that trade sales weren't taken into account and weren't correspondingly weak. I agree that the new model is rough on issue sales, and that companies need to take trade sales into account as well as issue sales -- it's just too far to jump to claim that AOTE's cancellation is the result of DH not taking trades into account.
I have to wonder how many people are like me - now that the Omnibus program is around, I'm actually now waiting for those instead of just the trades...
(If Dark Horse priced their digital backlist cheaper - say a buck an issue - then I might be willing to go that route. But the Omnibui are just too good of a value price-wise.)
I hope that even if DH loses the license, they are allowed to continue publishing the Omnibui until they are done collecting all their series. We are getting into KOTR era of Omnibui, so we don't have long. Maybe around 12 or so more.
Woah woah woah...wait! Agent of the Empire is dead!?
@son_of_skywalker03 Canceled as in nothing planed for now. Who knows, maybe if TPB sales are good enough, they'll revisit it later. Besides, Dark Horse has said before they seem to get the best sales with four series. Maybe after the current Darth Vader book they'll talk about Agent some more.
So when DH might lose the licence they are the best publisher ever who did so much for SW, and when they cancel one book, they are "the comic industry"?
Read the rest of my post.
My point was how it is an inherent flaw in the way the comic book industry operates that sales figures are quantified through issue sales more than trade sales. I've heard all the explanations for "why" it must be that way in the past, but the music industry went through the exact same problem ten years ago. And where are we today? Record stores are dead. The whole industry has changed. Digital downloads are all people do.
And that is exactly what will happen to the comic book industry if it doesn't discover its equivalent of iTunes fast. Even back when Legacy was being released, I knew more people who pirated it and downloaded illegal scans than I knew who actually bought the thing. Which is why every time I see a comic book axed based on issue sales, I fear for the future of entire publishers, because whoever makes the "iComics" breakthrough first will be the only publisher anyone uses in a decade's time.
But right now, nobody has had a "Kindle" or "iTunes" moment.
@Zorrixor There is the Comixology app and Dark Horse has their own app with a healthy selection of both new and old comics, but for me digital will never replace having the actual comic or trade in your hands. Music works well digitally because that's what it is. Despite some people's assertions, there is nothing fundamentally different between listening to an album from a CD or vinyl recording. Books are the same way, there is a difference in having the actual book, but all the actual subject matter is just text and that's easy to transfer to a purely digital medium. Comics on the other hand require high resolution, large screen display to be appreciated properly on a computer. Until we have large screen, high quality, color e-ink, I don't think comics can be truly appreciated except in an ink and paper environment. People made the same claims before about music and books, I'm sure, but there's something special still about holding the comic in your hands.
I don't deny that's true for our generation, no, but if you see something like, say, the Kids React series of videos on YouTube, or the mobile phone novels that are presently becoming huge in Asia, it's clear that in another ten, fifteen years time that anything you -- or me, as I refuse to buy a Kindle for the same reason -- may feel, when today's kids grow up, they won't know anything but digital screens, and the appeal of holding a book or comic in your hands won't even be a consideration for them.
I might love my novels and consider mobile phone novels ridiculous, but when things like that cross over from Japan to the West, attitudes will change very, very quickly, especially amongst the young, whose entire world is inside a screen.
And in the right hands, there are some things those screens can do that paper can't, and it'll be when that happens that they'll suddenly go mainstream, as when someone starts producing, for lack of a better term, "interactive comics", which aren't just about clicking a button to turn the page, but which take full advantage of the new medium's capabilities. And that's happening in Japan already, so it's a lot nearer than it might seem here in the West. But the moment you get a publisher who starts producing those, suddenly the things we're reading currently will feel "old" and all the next generation will want to read are those new age stories that are more than just static pictures and dialogue balloons.
Some of the Dark Horse digitals are already experimenting with stuff like that, but whether or not they'll be the publisher who make the breakthrough... who knows.
Just teasing, Zor.
I fully understand where you're coming from with this but your train of thought is, sorry, so fundamentally wrong. There's nothing special about comic books that requires the physical product at hand. Yes, there will always be people (not unlike you) who think about printing quality and resolution and colours and the fundamental technical novelty of using an apparatus to look at something that was a physical object in itself before, and suddenly has different properties of interaction. But this is exactly the argument that people who don't want e-books or prefer CDs to MP3s, or vinyl to all of it, or who want to watch TV on a TV and not on a tablet make. Yes, music and written word are far easier to handle than larger pages and therefore the first to get lost in virtuality, but if you're not in it to appreciate "the art" but for kickpants entertainment and an ongoing story, three bucks for 20 pages that you easily flip through in the quarter of an hour (especally if it includes the average "artsy" Duurseema saber duel page) starts to be pretty much at some point.
And even if we assume for a moment that current tablet high resolution screens and everything weren't good enough to reproduce comic book imagery, why would readers and producers care? Artists and connoisseurs would obviously care, but they also lovingly hold a vinyl sleeve in their hands and take an old book out of their shelf to feel and smell the paper. It's been years since comic books like Tintin were compressed into a kind of digest format, and it isn't a huge stretch to attribute that to the same factor Zor's mentioning above: the influence of the avantgarde of the far eastern comic industry, who have proven that even adults like cheap books that, to be honest, look disposable. Not just kids getting their weekly Disney fix. For the connoisseur, there'll always be the collector's limited leather bound omnibus complete life work collection special edition with gold printing on the cover that looks good on the shelf. And on what kind of shelf? My girlfriend's huge Lost Girls comic-book-in-an-artsy-slipcase sits pretty close to my collector's artwork-and-vinyl-and-all-kinds-of-bonus Radiohead and Peter Gabriel boxed records.