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View Full Version : Over 10 cancellations within a year??? Were they really that bad.


Eugene Selassie
01-21-2009, 05:29 PM
I loved Blue Beetle, Checkmate, Manhunter and Shadowpact. I thoroughly enjoyed All New Atom, and Firestorm.

Nightwing, Robin and Birds of Prey are story related cancellations, but Dick and Tim appear in other books...we have NO other outlet for Helena, Zinda, Babs (Once her mini is done) and haven't enjoyed Dinah's thorough deconstruction in Green Arrow/Black Canary so couldn't get past issue 6, so won't have BoP anymore.

All of these books at some point have received praise from reviewers and other industry pros. I rarely hear reviews on these books as harsh as books like JLA, New Avengers or Uncanny X-men.

What gives? Were EVERY SINGLE one of these books bad? Did anyone even bother giving these books a chance.

The only reason I state this is because I think it is unfair to have to stomach Marvel and DC shelves full of nothing but Superman/Batman/JLA and Spiderman/X-men/Bendis if you like those universes but dislike those specific characters because the other stuff doesn't get purchased.

Maybe some were not AS good, but ALL of these books weren't bad. I want a legit reason why fans allowed so many of these cancellations in such a short span.

pi0trov
01-21-2009, 05:53 PM
When I heard Manhunter was getting cancelled (again) I thought "oh well, atleast she'll be in BoP." But no, that's gone as well. It'll probably be back after the latest Bat-crisis is over, but....

I'm wondering if DC needs to bring back Showcase or something similar so that these characters will still get some limelight, instead of just being relegated to playing guest star in a half a dozen Bat and Super-titles.

But unfortunately, I don't have an answer to your question.

robbdaman
01-21-2009, 05:54 PM
Simply put they publish too many damn books per month and there isn't enough money to go around to keep them at the sale rate they want.

R~

Eugene Selassie
01-21-2009, 06:58 PM
But the people who like the other hundreds of NON Trinity NON JLA characters have to suffer?

darrell31316
01-21-2009, 07:22 PM
I'm guilty of not supporting those books myself. Of course the nearest comic book shop is 90 minutes away if traffic is light.
There are always great characters that can't seem to hold on to a title of their own, chief among them the Legion, Aquaman, as well as the characters Eugene mentions. What if, for example, you took the regular Batman book...made it 64 pages instead of 32...and priced it competitively, say 5 bucks even. And along with your regular 22 page Batman story, you got a 22 page Birds of Prey story and maybe a 10 or 15 page Robin story...on a regular basis? Okay, sounds like the old Batman Family books from the 70's right? Nothing exactly new but...Have Superman do the same with maybe Supergirl and Superboy (they still have Superboy?)...Adventure Comics could have the Legion as headliner,Firestorm and, Atom as backups. Or whoever. Legion of Super Heroes could have back ups of Black Lightning, Red Tornado, whomever.
So here are my reasons for this:
1. I've heard people say time and again that they don't like to spend three/four dollars to what amounts to a ten minute reading experience. So extend the experience. Give them more to read and more characters to read about under one cover.
2. The price of comics is inching towards 4 bucks anyway. Go ahead and make them an even five and give us more stories.
3. We can stop the endless cycle of premiering a new book with a "name" writer just to have it canceled 24 months later once that "name" writer has left (i.e. the Legion, Doom Patrol, and so forth). The so called B-list or second tier characters can piggyback off the A list characters. Marvel can do the same.
So is this idea workable or just crazy talk?

Paul Sanderson
01-21-2009, 08:04 PM
Eugene, some of those titles were good, some of them weren't. Some started okay and then fell away, others were good the whole way through. But robbdaman is ultimately right. There are just too many titles out there featuring obscure characters that cost too much to buy. Just the reality of the market today, I'm afraid.

Biofungus
01-21-2009, 08:19 PM
But the people who like the other hundreds of NON Trinity NON JLA characters have to suffer?
Please tell me you're not really this ignorant...

pi0trov
01-21-2009, 08:25 PM
There are just too many titles out there featuring obscure characters that cost too much to buy. Just the reality of the market today, I'm afraid.
However, (as I'm sure you're aware) obscure does not equal bad.

But then we get good series, critically acclaimed series that have devoted fanbases, but aren't supported by the publisher as much as an apparent "easy sell" title, like a 3rd or 4th Superman book (or on the other side, a 5th Wolverine book). That just seems lazy to me.

Yes, it's probably the best thing for the business - the bottom line - to use those resources for the "easy sell". But still lazy.

Moonrider
01-21-2009, 08:37 PM
It all depends on the marketing, I think. While good books like BoP and Checkmate get the ax, other non DC/Marvel books that ceased to be as good as it was since a long time ago (i.e Spawn, etc) last for hundreds of issues. Right now no matter how good a book is I see no sign of DC to raise the popularity of these minor characters to their trinity level. Non Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman titles are merely business deversifications, not their main product.

Paul Sanderson
01-21-2009, 08:42 PM
However, (as I'm sure you're aware) obscure does not equal bad.

I agree. As I said above, some of those titles were good, some weren't.

Phatman
01-22-2009, 03:24 AM
In the next year, I'd expect that any title that is losing money will be gone quickly---no matter of it's artistic merit or quality. The Big Two are corporations and the bean counters are going to be hardlining editorial soon, if it hasn't happened already. I'd be interested to see how an online DC line of these canceled books would do without the printing and distributing costs---perhaps an online subsription fee. Checkmate, Manhunter and BOP could keep an audience IMO---books that are a good read, but don't necessarily light up registers when they hit the shelves in between the 50 Batman and Superman titles DC produces.

Perhaps the results of the economy and Diamond's rearrangement will force more books online. Once jobs are lost and creators are out of work, there could be an incredible emergence of independent and online work that sustain the medium until the economy stabilizes. I think we are in for a paradigm shift that this industry may sorely need.

JamieRoberts
01-22-2009, 04:28 AM
You honestly don't know why? It's incredibly simple. Comic book readers are still stuck in that ridiculous collector mentality, for the most part. 10 cancellations in one year means the majority of readers wouldn't sacrifice one of their pull list, even a book they no longer enjoy, for one of the titles they would probably enjoy more. With the economic downturn, expect this to happen even more next year. Pity the new ongoing series launched in 2009. If there's no tie-in to a major seller, they're fated to an early demise.

Aidy
01-22-2009, 09:30 AM
I'm guilty of not supporting those books myself. Of course the nearest comic book shop is 90 minutes away if traffic is light.
There are always great characters that can't seem to hold on to a title of their own, chief among them the Legion, Aquaman, as well as the characters Eugene mentions. What if, for example, you took the regular Batman book...made it 64 pages instead of 32...and priced it competitively, say 5 bucks even. And along with your regular 22 page Batman story, you got a 22 page Birds of Prey story and maybe a 10 or 15 page Robin story...on a regular basis? Okay, sounds like the old Batman Family books from the 70's right? Nothing exactly new but...Have Superman do the same with maybe Supergirl and Superboy (they still have Superboy?)...Adventure Comics could have the Legion as headliner,Firestorm and, Atom as backups. Or whoever. Legion of Super Heroes could have back ups of Black Lightning, Red Tornado, whomever.
So here are my reasons for this:
1. I've heard people say time and again that they don't like to spend three/four dollars to what amounts to a ten minute reading experience. So extend the experience. Give them more to read and more characters to read about under one cover.
2. The price of comics is inching towards 4 bucks anyway. Go ahead and make them an even five and give us more stories.
3. We can stop the endless cycle of premiering a new book with a "name" writer just to have it canceled 24 months later once that "name" writer has left (i.e. the Legion, Doom Patrol, and so forth). The so called B-list or second tier characters can piggyback off the A list characters. Marvel can do the same.
So is this idea workable or just crazy talk?

Hang on here chum...you're talking solutions...and thats just crazy talk. what we want is more bitching.

I like the cut of your jib. a fiver for a main story and two back ups???? seems cool to me.
But also Phatman's solution of online subscriptions to the poor characters who have their printed issues binned....I like that too.

Moonrider
01-22-2009, 09:49 AM
But would online comics 'sell' as much as printed paper distribution? True that comics should continue in any medium, but is it worth the effort?

Phatman
01-22-2009, 10:45 AM
You honestly don't know why? It's incredibly simple. Comic book readers are still stuck in that ridiculous collector mentality, for the most part. 10 cancellations in one year means the majority of readers wouldn't sacrifice one of their pull list, even a book they no longer enjoy, for one of the titles they would probably enjoy more. With the economic downturn, expect this to happen even more next year. Pity the new ongoing series launched in 2009. If there's no tie-in to a major seller, they're fated to an early demise.

My point is that it may end up being online or nothing for everything. Monthly print comics could evaporate and trades collecting the monthlies in bookstores becomes the only print option as LCBs continue to fail. An online option could help promote the trades and sate the monthly addiction mentality. Not only that, but it would be less of an investment by the publisher to promote these secondary titles and grow the storylines in conjuction with the more popular material. I'd like to see a day when footnotes in a printed book refer to an "online only" book as a means to push the continuity-obsessed old timers onto the internet.

The day of the collector is drawing to an end IMO.

Phatman
01-22-2009, 10:51 AM
But would online comics 'sell' as much as printed paper distribution? True that comics should continue in any medium, but is it worth the effort?

They wouldn't have to since there is no printing or material costs. That's why you try it out with some of these lower selling, but well done, lower tier books. Tie them in as an essential part of some of these event comics and you could have a duel promotion/sales model. Even if it isn't much to subscribe or buy individually, you offer a more affordable option to the struggling consumer who wants to try new material, but can't afford to risk their money anymore. Not to mention the fact that with less LCBs to distribute out of, you grow your customer base to anybody with a computer around the world.

Buckyrig
01-22-2009, 11:16 AM
An online option could help promote the trades and sate the monthly addiction mentality.

Part of the monthly (or weekly or bi-weekly, etc) "addiction" is the actual ritual of going to the LCS though.

I don't think it's a bad idea, but if it gets to the point that readers don't really need to make the trip too often, it could start to kill things a bit. I mean, I've seen a lot about how the various LCSes in members' neighborhoods don't stock much indie stuff, but for my experience, the act of already being in the store to pick up Batman is what put me in contact with indies in the first place. I'm starting to feel that maybe my experiences have been atypical as there has always been at least a moderate indie selection at the stores I've gone to over the years. My last guy in Vegas had probably almost a quarter of his monthly rack space dedicated to indie stuff, including local stuff. (He also had no problem telling you if he thought a book wasn't worth picking up as well as recommending things he thought were worth it that his customers may not know about otherwise.)

Phatman
01-22-2009, 11:57 AM
Part of the monthly (or weekly or bi-weekly, etc) "addiction" is the actual ritual of going to the LCS though.

I don't think it's a bad idea, but if it gets to the point that readers don't really need to make the trip too often, it could start to kill things a bit. I mean, I've seen a lot about how the various LCSes in members' neighborhoods don't stock much indie stuff, but for my experience, the act of already being in the store to pick up Batman is what put me in contact with indies in the first place. I'm starting to feel that maybe my experiences have been atypical as there has always been at least a moderate indie selection at the stores I've gone to over the years. My last guy in Vegas had probably almost a quarter of his monthly rack space dedicated to indie stuff, including local stuff. (He also had no problem telling you if he thought a book wasn't worth picking up as well as recommending things he thought were worth it that his customers may not know about otherwise.)

I agree and I love to go to my LCB as well---great owner, great staff, great customers (well, ...most of them), etc---most of the time I spend in there is just hanging out. In my area, we're lucky that we have two thriving comic book retailers with one primarily focused on promoting indy work---it outnumbers the mainstream books in selection and shop space (don't know if sales volume is equal---heavy graphic novel sales). The other store is heavily mainstream sales, but carries everything--including a monsterous manga section, TPB, collectibles, toys, etc.

However, I know this is the exception and not the rule---most comic book shops really have a hard time surviving with or without a recession and these other issues. I'd prefer that if DC wanted to not print these books anymore, that they at least try another venue as I've suggested. A lot of the work was very good and could garner interest as continueing titles online IMO---at a severely reduced cost to the reader.

Buckyrig
01-22-2009, 12:03 PM
Mail-subscription only? :)

Moonrider
01-22-2009, 01:11 PM
Online distribution is relatively cheaper, but would people really want to subscribe online comics? Forgive me for being pessimistic, but even Marvel's own paid subscriptions to back issues softcopy are met with less than stellar success. There's this mentality that anything online should be free, which I can't really blame them.

Phatman
01-22-2009, 02:03 PM
Online distribution is relatively cheaper, but would people really want to subscribe online comics? Forgive me for being pessimistic, but even Marvel's own paid subscriptions to back issues softcopy are met with less than stellar success. There's this mentality that anything online should be free, which I can't really blame them.

If printed comics aren't affordable or profitable anymore, what would you suggest? I wouldn't go the paid subscription route unless I had to, but that may be the way things go. How will your average LCB be in a year? When the jobless rate hits 10%, how many people are going to be buying comics?

If Dark Horse decided tomorrow to make Hellboy subscription only online would you buy it? How about if Marvel made the Ultimate line exclusive to the internet? What if DC made Detective and Action comics online only? If you tied some of these bigger titles in with the published continuity, you could grow interest in smaller projects, some viral marketing and exclusive books as a bonus---not to mention pushing the envelope a little and use the interent as a testing ground.

Paul Sanderson
01-22-2009, 05:14 PM
I think things will be changing, and fairly soon, due to a variety of conditions. What may not have worked previously may start to be the method of choice, for both publishers and readers. The state of the economy will force this shift on us, at least in part, I feel.

kdmelrose
01-22-2009, 05:47 PM
Serpents introduced into the iron cage
where the seven children of the King are taken:
the old and fathers shall emerge from the depths of hell,
only to see the death and screams of their offspring.

Moonrider
01-22-2009, 09:10 PM
If Dark Horse decided tomorrow to make Hellboy subscription only online would you buy it? How about if Marvel made the Ultimate line exclusive to the internet? What if DC made Detective and Action comics online only? If you tied some of these bigger titles in with the published continuity, you could grow interest in smaller projects, some viral marketing and exclusive books as a bonus---not to mention pushing the envelope a little and use the interent as a testing ground.

Right now, my answers are "I wouldn't." for all your questions above. I'll tell you my reasons in another post.

If printed comics aren't affordable or profitable anymore, what would you suggest? I wouldn't go the paid subscription route unless I had to, but that may be the way things go. How will your average LCB be in a year? When the jobless rate hits 10%, how many people are going to be buying comics?

You're thinking of an extreme situation, while I merely suggest a thought based on current conditions. If you go that route, heck maybe a more pressing question will pop up. When the jobless rate hits 10%, how many people are still thinking of buying comics in any shape or form? It's still to many a tertiary need.

Eugene Selassie
01-23-2009, 12:08 PM
I'm guilty of not supporting those books myself. Of course the nearest comic book shop is 90 minutes away if traffic is light.
There are always great characters that can't seem to hold on to a title of their own, chief among them the Legion, Aquaman, as well as the characters Eugene mentions. What if, for example, you took the regular Batman book...made it 64 pages instead of 32...and priced it competitively, say 5 bucks even. And along with your regular 22 page Batman story, you got a 22 page Birds of Prey story and maybe a 10 or 15 page Robin story...on a regular basis? Okay, sounds like the old Batman Family books from the 70's right? Nothing exactly new but...Have Superman do the same with maybe Supergirl and Superboy (they still have Superboy?)...Adventure Comics could have the Legion as headliner,Firestorm and, Atom as backups. Or whoever. Legion of Super Heroes could have back ups of Black Lightning, Red Tornado, whomever.
So here are my reasons for this:
1. I've heard people say time and again that they don't like to spend three/four dollars to what amounts to a ten minute reading experience. So extend the experience. Give them more to read and more characters to read about under one cover.
2. The price of comics is inching towards 4 bucks anyway. Go ahead and make them an even five and give us more stories.
3. We can stop the endless cycle of premiering a new book with a "name" writer just to have it canceled 24 months later once that "name" writer has left (i.e. the Legion, Doom Patrol, and so forth). The so called B-list or second tier characters can piggyback off the A list characters. Marvel can do the same.
So is this idea workable or just crazy talk?

You're a gentleman and a scholar sir.

I think those ideas are steps in the right direction.

Eugene Selassie
01-23-2009, 12:11 PM
In the next year, I'd expect that any title that is losing money will be gone quickly---no matter of it's artistic merit or quality. The Big Two are corporations and the bean counters are going to be hardlining editorial soon, if it hasn't happened already. I'd be interested to see how an online DC line of these canceled books would do without the printing and distributing costs---perhaps an online subsription fee. Checkmate, Manhunter and BOP could keep an audience IMO---books that are a good read, but don't necessarily light up registers when they hit the shelves in between the 50 Batman and Superman titles DC produces.

Perhaps the results of the economy and Diamond's rearrangement will force more books online. Once jobs are lost and creators are out of work, there could be an incredible emergence of independent and online work that sustain the medium until the economy stabilizes. I think we are in for a paradigm shift that this industry may sorely need.

Wow...very insightful.

Maybe someone in one of these companies would visit and read these posts from time to time.

One can only hope.

Eugene Selassie
01-23-2009, 12:14 PM
They wouldn't have to since there is no printing or material costs. That's why you try it out with some of these lower selling, but well done, lower tier books. Tie them in as an essential part of some of these event comics and you could have a duel promotion/sales model. Even if it isn't much to subscribe or buy individually, you offer a more affordable option to the struggling consumer who wants to try new material, but can't afford to risk their money anymore. Not to mention the fact that with less LCBs to distribute out of, you grow your customer base to anybody with a computer around the world.

SOMEONE AT MARVEL OR DC NEEDS TO HIRE THIS GUY FOR THEIR MARKETING DEPT!!!!!

Eugene Selassie
01-23-2009, 12:16 PM
Part of the monthly (or weekly or bi-weekly, etc) "addiction" is the actual ritual of going to the LCS though.

I don't think it's a bad idea, but if it gets to the point that readers don't really need to make the trip too often, it could start to kill things a bit. I mean, I've seen a lot about how the various LCSes in members' neighborhoods don't stock much indie stuff, but for my experience, the act of already being in the store to pick up Batman is what put me in contact with indies in the first place. I'm starting to feel that maybe my experiences have been atypical as there has always been at least a moderate indie selection at the stores I've gone to over the years. My last guy in Vegas had probably almost a quarter of his monthly rack space dedicated to indie stuff, including local stuff. (He also had no problem telling you if he thought a book wasn't worth picking up as well as recommending things he thought were worth it that his customers may not know about otherwise.)

It would be nice if ALL LCS owners would be as helpful and as honest.

Eugene Selassie
01-26-2009, 01:55 PM
And...Captain Britain and MI:13, with the recent controversy, might not be long for this world.

Too bad...a great read.

I've never liked Spitfire til now, and normally don't want anyone writing Pete Wisdom except for Warren Ellis...I now take that back.