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CoVID-19 putting the nail on the coffin of Comic Books Stores?

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59 minutes ago, Ironhold said:

1. Sitterson & Salvo -> 

In November 2017, Sitterson shot his mouth off one final time. 

In an astounding 26-part Twitter rant, he admitted that he made the change because he felt that the canon design had an "alt-right vibe" that needed to be "re-contextualized". 

This time around, Hasbro wasn't playing. They did, indeed, force IDW to fire him and immediately cancel his Joe book, and the entire "Hasbro Shared Universe" it was a part of would be cancelled at the end of 2018; the "Transformers" book has since been re-booted and they have a new ongoing Joe book to replace Sitterson's one, but it's painfully obvious that IDW didn't learn a blessed thing. 

The abruptness of the cancellations coupled with some rumors ostensibly coming out of IDW had people fearing that Hasbro was so furious they were going to void out all of IDW's licenses. This was a particular cause of concern with their then-ongoing "My Little Pony" series, both because it was actually intelligently-written and because it was IDW's best-selling set of books at the time. 

 

2. Cancel Culture -> 

Fast forward to 2018. 

A big issue when it comes to comic books is that sites like Comichron go off of the Diamond Distribution numbers, which only list what ships to retailers; it doesn't cover what people actually buy *from* the retailers. This led to controversy around this time when it was alleged that Marvel was deliberately over-shipping books to retailers, with shops getting anywhere from 110% to 200% of their orders on certain books, something that would lead to Marvel's Diamond numbers being inflated while retailers were left with books they could neither sell nor return. 

In response to feedback from some of his industry insider sources, Meyer launched #movetheneedle on Twitter. The idea is that as people purchase product, they'll take a photo of it, tag in the publishers, and put the hash on it. This way, people can see at a glance who is actually buying what books. 

Many CEOs in many industries would commit war crimes to get free marketing research like this, but the "woke" crowd in comics balked because it was associated with Meyer and therefore toxic as far as they were concerned. 

Enter Alterna Comics CEO Peter SImeti. Simeti made it a point to like and re-tweet anything he got on social media from people who said they'd purchased the company's product, as he felt it essential to show that he was grateful for customer support. This led to him boosting a tweet that had #movetheneedle tagged in despite not knowing what it was about. 

Even though he literally told the internet he hadn't know what the tag meant, the "woke" crowd declared that he had "chosen a side" in the dispute and that he needed to suffer accordingly. He was subjected to an intense cyber-bullying campaign that saw some of his own writers walk out on him and left him in fear that his company would be destroyed. 

Oh, another thing he did wrong according to them? A lot of the "woke" crowd use what are known as "block bots" on social media. If you don't like someone, you can set the bot to not only block that person but also block everyone who follows them. Because this means that a person can wind up blocking hundreds or even thousands of people who had never before interacted with the person using the bot, Simeti made the use of block bots an offense that his creative talents could be fired over, as it meant that the person was single-handedly alienating such a large swath of potential customers. His people could block individuals if they felt the need, but beyond that they were to notify him so that he could take it to the legal department. His prohibition of block bots was taken as him saying his people couldn't block anyone at all, and things got worse for him. 

A slew of people - myself included - responded to this by inserting ourselves between him and the people coming after him. While this was going on, #comicsgate and a lot of affiliated people - also including myself - took advantage of Alterna's direct-ordering system to purchase product after product. 

Within three days' time we'd collectively handed Alterna three months' worth of sales, with Simeti going from apologizing to the "woke" crowd to apologizing to his actual customers because of delays in getting product shipped. 

The massive infusion of cash and popular support has turned Alterna into a juggernaut. Sales literally went up 1,500% in a single year due to that surge of traffic, we all had screen captures and other evidence showing how horrible the "woke" types actually were, Alterna received more than enough submissions from would-be creative talents to compensate for the people who walked, and Simeti has effectively declared war on the people who tried to destroy him. Not only is he building up a distribution system to rival Diamond, he openly called out Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski over Marvel's mishandling of the COVID-19 situation... leading to a Twitter scuffle that saw Simeti make Cebulski look like a chump. 

 

All told, it's looking like Marvel, DC, IDW, and likely Archie won't survive the next decade. Dark Horse is well positioned to become the new top of the heap, Image can take the #2 spot if their editor-in-chief gets his act together, and Alterna will likely become #3. This will leave the surviving B-list, C-list, and vanity presses jockeying for position in the new reality of the industry.

Looks like Alterna found the ONLY way to fight this culture war.  Never apologize to the woke crowd and continue chugging along and fight back cancellations.  Vic Mignona in the world of Anime did just that.

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9 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Maybe that's why my grandson wants me to buy the Trade Paperback comic books in the future.  I don't know.  Most of the ones he wants I think are collections of comics that came out in the 70s, 80s, and 90s which are a good deal before his time and during the time his parents were children.  I was buying him the ones (normal comic books that were coming out monthly) that were available at Walmart though, which I thought already had some of the older comics, but I'm not sure.

I would think that a better idea is simply do not purchase the comic books if people don't like them.  IF the take a well known brand (I'll say superman or batman since I know a tiny bit about them, maybe not like many of the people who read the comicbooks, but a little about them) and they make them so that they change everything about them (for example, perhaps they made Superman into Super Tiger Alien and Batman into a Chinese Mafioso) everyone just drops the comic and no one buys it.  If they have no sales at all, they'd probably stop selling them within half a year and then when they find there is no market for their characters, either stop publishing them all together, or revert back to what sells.

Once the characters are unprofitable, they may be tempted to sell them off to people or things that would make them profitable. 

Just ignore the company and no one buys it making it a loss.  I suppose the company could shelve it instead, but if there is interest in the old way it was, and polls show it that way, I don't know why they wouldn't sell it for money or remake it like the market should unless they are so stubborn they'd rather lose money (and I'd imagine if they did that enough, they'd go bankrupt which would cause the license or rights to be sold that way) than make it.

Just re-read everything and saw something I missed.

Which titles are you picking up at Wal-Mart? 

The DC Giant books are compilations of older stories, with perhaps one "new" bit done quickly and cheaply. 

The bargain bundles, both DC and Marvel, are actually books from within the past 5 years. In at least one instance there was a book in those bundles that was less than six months old. 

At one point they had DC bundles that were literally "One unsold DC Giant plus three unsold DC random grab bag bundles from the last time we did the DC grab bags". No joke. 

The Breitweisers, a husband and wife team of creatives, supposedly inked a deal by which Wal-Mart stores will carry their indie company's books on a store-by-store basis, but my local store hasn't had any in stock. 

Also, some individual Wal-Mart stores have manga and trade paperbacks as well. 

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9 hours ago, Ironhold said:

Just re-read everything and saw something I missed.

Which titles are you picking up at Wal-Mart? 

The DC Giant books are compilations of older stories, with perhaps one "new" bit done quickly and cheaply. 

The bargain bundles, both DC and Marvel, are actually books from within the past 5 years. In at least one instance there was a book in those bundles that was less than six months old. 

At one point they had DC bundles that were literally "One unsold DC Giant plus three unsold DC random grab bag bundles from the last time we did the DC grab bags". No joke. 

The Breitweisers, a husband and wife team of creatives, supposedly inked a deal by which Wal-Mart stores will carry their indie company's books on a store-by-store basis, but my local store hasn't had any in stock. 

Also, some individual Wal-Mart stores have manga and trade paperbacks as well. 

They were the one's with 100 pages normally.  They came out monthly with #1 onwards.  I also picked picked up some of those which had three comic books in them wrapped in plastic. 

I remember being able to pick comic books up when I was younger for pennies (probably more like a nickel or dime, it's been a long time, maybe a bit more.  It wasn't anything like what they cost now though) and occasionally browsed through them.  I knew he liked all those comic book characters, cartoons and movies.  As they were being released in the stores again (they stopped showing up in stores for a while, I'm not sure why all the comic books disappeared as I thought kids still liked them and were reading them) and he liked them I started picking them up and collecting them for him to give him on birthdays and Christmas.

This past birthday I gave him a bunch in a small file chest that was just the right size to store them.  One thing he mentioned is that they kept on stopping and starting them back up (I had noticed this, I'm not sure why they'd go up to a small number and then go back to #1 again, even though it was a different #1 than before, it is strange.  I'm not sure if they think by rebooting the comic that often boosts sales or not or what is going on with that) and that some of the stories would end on a cliff hanger rather than being finished.

I picked up Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and I think for a while Justice League (they stopped that one).  Whatever was on the racks and I recognized.  Some of the characters and such I did not recognize so I didn't pick those up.  The smaller packs with the three comics each I think I picked up batman and spiderman ones for him.

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4 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

They were the one's with 100 pages normally.  They came out monthly with #1 onwards.  I also picked picked up some of those which had three comic books in them wrapped in plastic. 

I remember being able to pick comic books up when I was younger for pennies (probably more like a nickel or dime, it's been a long time, maybe a bit more.  It wasn't anything like what they cost now though) and occasionally browsed through them.  I knew he liked all those comic book characters, cartoons and movies.  As they were being released in the stores again (they stopped showing up in stores for a while, I'm not sure why all the comic books disappeared as I thought kids still liked them and were reading them) and he liked them I started picking them up and collecting them for him to give him on birthdays and Christmas.

This past birthday I gave him a bunch in a small file chest that was just the right size to store them.  One thing he mentioned is that they kept on stopping and starting them back up (I had noticed this, I'm not sure why they'd go up to a small number and then go back to #1 again, even though it was a different #1 than before, it is strange.  I'm not sure if they think by rebooting the comic that often boosts sales or not or what is going on with that) and that some of the stories would end on a cliff hanger rather than being finished.

I picked up Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and I think for a while Justice League (they stopped that one).  Whatever was on the racks and I recognized.  Some of the characters and such I did not recognize so I didn't pick those up.  The smaller packs with the three comics each I think I picked up batman and spiderman ones for him.

Check your local retail listings to see if you have a dedicated comic book shop or book retailer. 

Diamond (et al) largely pulled comics away from mass retail, so for the most part you'll have to go to these specialty retailers. 

The Archie digests are often still in stock at registers, Alterna is trying to get into mass retail, and Dollar Tree had a limited run of Disney-licensed titles. 

But yeah... comics are still in print. Just harder to find. 

Failing that, Alterna's retail website is Alterna Access [dot] Com. You can order their comics straight from them. 

 

As far as the re-numbering goes: 

This is a trick used by Marvel and DC. Whenever a book fails, they won't officially cancel it unless they're forced to. Instead, they'll re-launch it back to issue #1 in the hopes of getting the sales bump that usually comes with a #1 issue. 

The Carol Danvers character hasn't been able to carry a solo book in almost a decade now, and that's how Marvel keeps justifying her having one: constant re-numbering to make it seem like it's all one string of mini-series that have concluded. 

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This came up in my Twitter feed again, so now I have a good condition version of the image. 

This is an actual panel from an actual issue of a Bat-family comic book. 

It's supposed to be Batwoman in her bathroom after a mission. 

...But it instead comes off as a kids" "What's wrong with this picture?" puzzle. 

This is what passes for a top-tier mainstream book these days. 

EUyDNnQXgAAPpyo.jpg

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1 hour ago, Ironhold said:

This came up in my Twitter feed again, so now I have a good condition version of the image. 

This is an actual panel from an actual issue of a Bat-family comic book. 

It's supposed to be Batwoman in her bathroom after a mission. 

...But it instead comes off as a kids" "What's wrong with this picture?" puzzle. 

This is what passes for a top-tier mainstream book these days. 

One could argue that this was a bathroom only the bat-family could access. :) 

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1 hour ago, Ironhold said:

This came up in my Twitter feed again, so now I have a good condition version of the image. 

This is an actual panel from an actual issue of a Bat-family comic book. 

It's supposed to be Batwoman in her bathroom after a mission. 

...But it instead comes off as a kids" "What's wrong with this picture?" puzzle. 

This is what passes for a top-tier mainstream book these days. 

EUyDNnQXgAAPpyo.jpg

She uses the batdoor up near the ceiling.

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Well, the door may open outwards from the bathroom.  You still are going to get leaks of water under the door and through the cracks.  Perhaps batgirl lives in the slums?

Edit: I said batgirl, but realized that someone mentioned Batwoman.  Has Batgirl grown up and now called Batwoman instead?

Edited by JohnsonJones

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2 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Well, the door may open outwards from the bathroom.  You still are going to get leaks of water under the door and through the cracks.  Perhaps batgirl lives in the slums?

Edit: I said batgirl, but realized that someone mentioned Batwoman.  Has Batgirl grown up and now called Batwoman instead?

There's a Batgirl and a Batwoman. 

They're two separate characters. 

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3 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Batwoman on CW is a dumpster fire.

I hear talk that the network is going to use the COVID-19 work stoppage as a quiet way of cancelling it. 

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53 minutes ago, Ironhold said:

There's a Batgirl and a Batwoman. 

They're two separate characters. 

Ah, my mistake then.  Batgirl was one of the characters of that 1960s Batman show...I don't think Batwoman was ever on it in that case.

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21 hours ago, Ironhold said:

EUyDNnQXgAAPpyo.jpg

You know, several years ago we had one of those toilets with a flush button on top instead of a handle. It worked just fine, but I hated it. Ended up returning it to Home Depot after I managed to fix the previous, much nicer toilet.

And for the record, that is not a toilet plunger beside the toilet and in front of the useless door. It's a plumber's helper, used primarily to work out clogged drains. A toilet plunger typically has a conical end on the bell that draws water in and then forces it through the neck of the toilet. If Batwoman is having problems with a clogging toilet, she should probably get a toilet plunger, and maybe reduce the fiber in her diet.

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