Image Publisher Eric Stephenson Urges Comics Industry Not To Repeat Past Mistake
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I can't find his CGC meltdown on old posts...were they removed?

I don't think it was an ES meltdown. I think others had a meltdown because he shut down the advanced sales of a convention variant.

 

He went radio silent, while other users set their caps lock to kill. The thread is probably still there, I just don't think it contained any ES meltdown.

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The guy is right on the money regarding what's currently happening in the business today.

 

IMAGE rarely goes multicover and usually that's in the pivotal issues of WALKING DEAD (#100 and #150 being examples). IMAGE and DARK HORSE don't depend upon the gimmick variant covers like MARVEL, DC, DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT, ZENESCOPE and AVATAR do.

 

This, coupled with the ever increasing prices of issues, the rehashed storylines, constant reboots, deaths/rebirths/returns and new #1s create this bubble that will eventually burst.

 

One title that provides a prime example of what the BIG TWO and other publishers can do is the HELLBOY model of publishing. The beauty of HELLBOY is that, for the most part, the title has always been a series of mini-series. There isn't this constant need to put out product, month in / month out to meet the demand. The demand will always be there. There are breaks between series storylines which allow artists and writers to fully realize the world without any kind of economic, publisher or fan pressures thereby maintaining the quality of work the fans have comes to enjoy.

 

And I say all this as a person who is not the biggest fan of the title but I can certainly respect what they do and how they do it.

 

Not taking shots at Hellboy, but have you ever checked the sales? They aren't outstanding.

 

And there it is.

 

So the alternative to low sales is to create a false impression of collectibility, so that more people BUY it - not to read and enjoy but to get a sense of excitement, that they have something, that may be WORTH something - when in reality, they own something, they don't even really want, and that won't be worth anything more to someone who didn't really want it in the first place?

 

And that is the mentality that has nearly destroyed this hobby.

 

(thumbs u - Thank you.

 

The "fans" are as much to blame as the publishers. If you don't buy it, they won't make it.

 

The issue is that there are some who are completists who will collect a title simply because they love a character -- no matter the creative team, the storyline or art. I never understood that mentality of collecting and refuse to give my hard-earned money to . I love Batman, doesn't mean I'm going to collect anything and everything he's involved in -- directly or indirectly.

 

The pricing of books is a turn off to me so I'm much more selective about what I get.

 

I don't buy #1 issues immediately anymore because the novelty has worn off on me and nothing really changes.

 

I like many variant covers publishers produce but that's not the reason I buy books. For that, I can just buy a print, frame it and admire it on my wall.

 

When I see people plunking down serious money for supposed rare modern variant issues, I can't help but think that cash could've gone to a real Key Issue, First Appearance, First Team-up, First work most associated with a creator -- actual collectibles not falsified ones.

 

But that's just me.

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I can't find his CGC meltdown on old posts...were they removed?

I don't think it was an ES meltdown. I think others had a meltdown because he shut down the advanced sales of a convention variant.

 

He went radio silent, while other users set their caps lock to kill. The thread is probably still there, I just don't think it contained any ES meltdown.

 

I know he made some comments about speculators and those who tried to do the presale. Oh well, potential sales under the bridge now.

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I can't find his CGC meltdown on old posts...were they removed?

I don't think it was an ES meltdown. I think others had a meltdown because he shut down the advanced sales of a convention variant.

 

He went radio silent, while other users set their caps lock to kill. The thread is probably still there, I just don't think it contained any ES meltdown.

 

I know he made some comments about speculators and those who tried to do the presale. Oh well, potential sales under the bridge now.

Yeah, he said some unkind things about speculators in an interview a year or so ago.

 

Here is the pre-sale thread that was shut down link

 

His reaction is probably in one of these posts link

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I wonder what Stephenson's more qualified view on speculation is... I agree with him that, on new books, it can often do a lot of damage.

 

I think speculation and collectors of the types found on this board do a great deal to sustain the hobby through the purchase of back stock and forgotten books though. I wonder if he feels the same... I have to think most of what he's talking about is rabid speculation of newly released books, but I honestly don't know his position explicitly... I think at this point, since he keeps talking about it, he should sit down and write something very explicitly detailing his exact views.

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I can't find his CGC meltdown on old posts...were they removed?

I don't think it was an ES meltdown. I think others had a meltdown because he shut down the advanced sales of a convention variant.

 

He went radio silent, while other users set their caps lock to kill. The thread is probably still there, I just don't think it contained any ES meltdown.

 

He was a bit of an arrogant tool on the boards.

 

I called him out on Bedlam having 10+ variants, including retailer incentive, retailer exclusive multiple con exclusives, etc, while he railed against variants and speculators. The only thing he could come up with was along the lines of "well, DC did 50 variants of [some book with state flags I can't remember]."

 

Super hypocritical at the time. Looks like he did actually apply some of it to Image policy, so at least there's that.

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If the WD 150 sketch variant was available as a 1/1, if every Image book was on a strict monthly schedule,if so many series didn't rot in limbo (Bedlam, Todd) if the bulk of their new releases over the last few years weren't complete , if WD didn't have over a dozen covers for #115 and go bi-weekly for a spell...then I'd listen to what he has to say. Calling out your competitors because their model is working for them and you're #3 is just sour grapes

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If the WD 150 sketch variant was available as a 1/1, if every Image book was on a strict monthly schedule,if so many series didn't rot in limbo (Bedlam, Todd) if the bulk of their new releases over the last few years weren't complete , if WD didn't have over a dozen covers for #115 and go bi-weekly for a spell...then I'd listen to what he has to say. Calling out your competitors because their model is working for them and you're #3 is just sour grapes

 

Is the current model DC and Marvel have in place working?

 

Or is it a temporary fix? Only so long the numbers can be propped up by reboots and retailer incentive variants, no?

 

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If the WD 150 sketch variant was available as a 1/1, if every Image book was on a strict monthly schedule,if so many series didn't rot in limbo (Bedlam, Todd) if the bulk of their new releases over the last few years weren't complete , if WD didn't have over a dozen covers for #115 and go bi-weekly for a spell...then I'd listen to what he has to say. Calling out your competitors because their model is working for them and you're #3 is just sour grapes

 

Is the current model DC and Marvel have in place working?

 

Or is it a temporary fix? Only so long the numbers can be propped up by reboots and retailer incentive variants, no?

 

What has worked for Marvel is Star Wars.

Really, this 'relaunch' or whatever you want to call it is, somewhat of a disappointment in some respects. It has gotten some new readers, but many of these books have fallen off so fast... Iron Man was the flagship title of this new relaunch and January numbers are at 49,000!

 

Saga outsold Iron Man in January!

 

Even Amazing Spider-man is at a very mediocre 76,000 copies for January....

 

Everything Marvel has in the top ten is either a specialty title (Secret Wars), a new #1, or Star Wars. All books that had incentive covers and that we'll see in over stock boxes this Spring.

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If the WD 150 sketch variant was available as a 1/1, if every Image book was on a strict monthly schedule,if so many series didn't rot in limbo (Bedlam, Todd) if the bulk of their new releases over the last few years weren't complete , if WD didn't have over a dozen covers for #115 and go bi-weekly for a spell...then I'd listen to what he has to say. Calling out your competitors because their model is working for them and you're #3 is just sour grapes

 

Is the current model DC and Marvel have in place working?

 

Or is it a temporary fix? Only so long the numbers can be propped up by reboots and retailer incentive variants, no?

 

What has worked for Marvel is Star Wars.

Really, this 'relaunch' or whatever you want to call it is, somewhat of a disappointment in some respects. It has gotten some new readers, but many of these books have fallen off so fast... Iron Man was the flagship title of this new relaunch and January numbers are at 49,000!

 

Saga outsold Iron Man in January!

 

Even Amazing Spider-man is at a very mediocre 76,000 copies for January....

 

Everything Marvel has in the top ten is either a specialty title (Secret Wars), a new #1, or Star Wars. All books that had incentive covers and that we'll see in over stock boxes this Spring.

 

good

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Really, if you look at how the publisher's have been doing the last couple of years, other than Marvel with Star Wars, you have to wonder how much this incentive variant thing really is working....

 

Screen%20Shot%202016-02-23%20at%2012.19.58%20PM_zpsbr32ccuc.png

 

Image Comics in both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share has really made the most substantial gains over the last few years.

Without Star Wars, Marvel may have flat lined over that period, and DC is falling hard.

 

Boom, another publisher that has made a commitment to independent artists and creator owned publishing passed up Dynamite Entertainment (heavily using incentive variants) for both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share and in 2015 took over the #6 spot.

 

Dark Horse, slow and steady lost a little ground, and the aggressive IDW picked up some of that.

 

 

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This reminds me of a comic shop I went to recently where the shop had a wall of incentive variants for all the current titles and had dozens and dozens of $2 long boxes filled with Marvel recent titles (last 2 years)

 

He's been ordering to get the variants but not selling any of the books and ending up with all the unsold books

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Really, if you look at how the publisher's have been doing the last couple of years, other than Marvel with Star Wars, you have to wonder how much this incentive variant thing really is working....

 

Screen%20Shot%202016-02-23%20at%2012.19.58%20PM_zpsbr32ccuc.png

 

Image Comics in both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share has really made the most substantial gains over the last few years.

Without Star Wars, Marvel may have flat lined over that period, and DC is falling hard.

 

Boom, another publisher that has made a commitment to independent artists and creator owned publishing passed up Dynamite Entertainment (heavily using incentive variants) for both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share and in 2015 took over the #6 spot.

 

Dark Horse, slow and steady lost a little ground, and the aggressive IDW picked up some of that.

 

 

Chuck you're beginning to sound like a broken record.

 

When a piblishers's overall market share is infinitesimal and it (barely) has exactly 3 titles in the top 50 month to month It doesn't take much of anything to show what superficially looks like a significant percentage movement one way or the other in sales. In other words , it means nothing.

 

You obviously like the "Image Way" so it sounds like the best thing for you to do is to load up on all of their titles and let all the other retailers satisfy the demands of customers by ordering all of the many Star Wars comics and variants that people actually want and buy.

 

Meanwhile the "Image Way" can hopefully keep your doors open with just the Walking Dead and one issue of Saga and/or Paper Girls every three months.

 

Problem solved. (thumbs u

 

-J.

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Really, if you look at how the publisher's have been doing the last couple of years, other than Marvel with Star Wars, you have to wonder how much this incentive variant thing really is working....

 

Screen%20Shot%202016-02-23%20at%2012.19.58%20PM_zpsbr32ccuc.png

 

Image Comics in both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share has really made the most substantial gains over the last few years.

Without Star Wars, Marvel may have flat lined over that period, and DC is falling hard.

 

Boom, another publisher that has made a commitment to independent artists and creator owned publishing passed up Dynamite Entertainment (heavily using incentive variants) for both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share and in 2015 took over the #6 spot.

 

Dark Horse, slow and steady lost a little ground, and the aggressive IDW picked up some of that.

 

 

Chuck you're beginning to sound like a broken record.

 

When a piblishers's overall market share is infinitesimal

 

I'll take 10% of a $388 Million Market any day. If you think that is 'infinitesimal', you're clueless. It's why the people at Boom! Studios work that hard to try and make their 'infinitesimal' $8.84 Million market share into something bigger.

 

and it (barely) has exactly 3 titles in the top 50 month to month

 

You really don't understand 'market share' do you? It includes all products sold by the publishers each month, and that means Graphic Novels, Trade Paperbacks and Hardcovers, of which Image DOMINATES. As the Book Publisher of the Year for Diamond Distribution the last two years they have shown a commitment to expanding their hold on that market over the 'Big Two'.

 

For 2015, the YEAR, Marvel had 2 books in the top 12, and 5 in top 25. Image had 8 in top 12 and 14 of the top 25.

 

:gossip: Book sales are more profitable.

 

It doesn't take much of anything to show what superficially looks like a significant percentage movement one way or the other in sales. In other words , it means nothing.

 

You're not a math guy are ya slugger?

 

Let's see:

2014 $355 Million, 9.23% = $32.76 Million

2015 $388 Million, 9.93% = $38.52 Million

$5.76 Million Increase....

 

A $5.76 MILLION DOLLAR increase 'means nothing'? lol

 

And considering that's up from their 3.32% of $269 Million Dollar Market 4 years ago (meaning they brought in $30 MILLION MORE this year than 4 years ago), it's safe to say that those market share points DO mean something.

 

Duh.

 

You obviously like the "Image Way" so it sounds like the best thing for you to do is to load up on all of their titles and let all the other retailers satisfy the demands of customers by ordering all of the many Star Wars comics and variants that people actually want and buy.

 

That's not the discussion, never was the discussion, and wasn't ever going to BE in the discussion until YOU have decided to put it here.

This is your disingenuous style of posting all because you're butthurt that maybe your precious variant market will collapse if enough readers, or people with just plain common sense figure out that, the isn't going to be worth anything. It's an imaginary market.

 

And maybe people are tired of being taken advantage of by it. They're tired of looking like a fool for buying some $25 variant, only to see it in a dollar box later. They're tired of chasing silly variants that they can't sell later on because no one has any interest. They're tired of being lied to.

 

And hopefully, they love comics enough that rather than LEAVE comics, as many did in the 90's, they learn to find books they enjoy READING and invest themselves in the quality of the art form that IS still out there. It is a another renaissance in comics right now, and I would prefer not see greed tear it all down again.

 

I'll continue to sell Marvel Comics and support Marvel Comics and promote their books, regardless if I think they're well written, or well drawn or properly edited or headed in the 'right' direction (whatever that means), as what someone likes and wants to read is comes down to taste.

 

Marvel has plenty of quality books to read. I'm happy to promote them. If I sell enough of a specific book to get a variant, I'll maybe get it. Occasionally I just pass on some of them as I don't need an extra book that I don't need.

 

What I won't do, is buy extra books I don't need and play into some variant market.

 

Meanwhile the "Image Way" can hopefully keep your doors open with just the Walking Dead and one issue of Saga and/or Paper Girls every three months.

 

As pointed out, Saga out sold Iron Man for the month of January (It's about even with Iron Man in my store), and independents make up about 40% of my sales. Happy to have a diverse selection books. Happy to sell Marvel Comics too. And DC and Boom! and Valiant and Dynamite, etc. Not a whole lot of incentive variants.

 

Problem solved. (thumbs u

-J.

 

Problem isn't solved.

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The numbers seem pretty clear, and they don't lie in this instance.

 

However I'm not sure how you draw a connection between Stephenson's recommended variant practices and the growth as I have to imagine it's bigger than that.

 

I'd be more inclined to point to the creator driven aspect. Different stories, more variety, better themes... just a more general focus on sequential story telling and the medium itself versus a focus on maintaining intellectual property and honoring nostalgia. Note that there isn't anything wrong with the latter, but my personal, fully admittedly anecdotal personal history tend to push me to believe that Image has grown more for these reasons than any others. Granted, you need strong editorial control tossed in there as well - we all remember the early days of the company.

 

Now, maybe you can't have this type of focus in a company that is dead set on using the business tactics Stephenson decries, but I don't know. Anyway, I don't want to get in the way of a good argument.

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Really, if you look at how the publisher's have been doing the last couple of years, other than Marvel with Star Wars, you have to wonder how much this incentive variant thing really is working....

 

Screen%20Shot%202016-02-23%20at%2012.19.58%20PM_zpsbr32ccuc.png

 

Image Comics in both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share has really made the most substantial gains over the last few years.

Without Star Wars, Marvel may have flat lined over that period, and DC is falling hard.

 

Boom, another publisher that has made a commitment to independent artists and creator owned publishing passed up Dynamite Entertainment (heavily using incentive variants) for both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share and in 2015 took over the #6 spot.

 

Dark Horse, slow and steady lost a little ground, and the aggressive IDW picked up some of that.

 

 

Chuck you're beginning to sound like a broken record.

 

When a piblishers's overall market share is infinitesimal

 

I'll take 10% of a $388 Million Market any day. If you think that is 'infinitesimal', you're clueless. It's why the people at Boom! Studios work that hard to try and make their 'infinitesimal' $8.84 Million market share into something bigger.

 

and it (barely) has exactly 3 titles in the top 50 month to month

 

You really don't understand 'market share' do you? It includes all products sold by the publishers each month, and that means Graphic Novels, Trade Paperbacks and Hardcovers, of which Image DOMINATES. As the Book Publisher of the Year for Diamond Distribution the last two years they have shown a commitment to expanding their hold on that market over the 'Big Two'.

 

For 2015, the YEAR, Marvel had 2 books in the top 12, and 5 in top 25. Image had 8 in top 12 and 14 of the top 25.

 

:gossip: Book sales are more profitable.

 

It doesn't take much of anything to show what superficially looks like a significant percentage movement one way or the other in sales. In other words , it means nothing.

 

You're not a math guy are ya slugger?

 

Let's see:

2014 $355 Million, 9.23% = $32.76 Million

2015 $388 Million, 9.93% = $38.52 Million

$5.76 Million Increase....

 

A $5.76 MILLION DOLLAR increase 'means nothing'? lol

 

And considering that's up from their 3.32% of $269 Million Dollar Market 4 years ago (meaning they brought in $30 MILLION MORE this year than 4 years ago), it's safe to say that those market share points DO mean something.

 

Duh.

 

You obviously like the "Image Way" so it sounds like the best thing for you to do is to load up on all of their titles and let all the other retailers satisfy the demands of customers by ordering all of the many Star Wars comics and variants that people actually want and buy.

 

That's not the discussion, never was the discussion, and wasn't ever going to BE in the discussion until YOU have decided to put it here.

This is your disingenuous style of posting all because you're butthurt that maybe your precious variant market will collapse if enough readers, or people with just plain common sense figure out that, the isn't going to be worth anything. It's an imaginary market.

 

And maybe people are tired of being taken advantage of by it. They're tired of looking like a fool for buying some $25 variant, only to see it in a dollar box later. They're tired of chasing silly variants that they can't sell later on because no one has any interest. They're tired of being lied to.

 

And hopefully, they love comics enough that rather than LEAVE comics, as many did in the 90's, they learn to find books they enjoy READING and invest themselves in the quality of the art form that IS still out there. It is a another renaissance in comics right now, and I would prefer not see greed tear it all down again.

 

I'll continue to sell Marvel Comics and support Marvel Comics and promote their books, regardless if I think they're well written, or well drawn or properly edited or headed in the 'right' direction (whatever that means), as what someone likes and wants to read is comes down to taste.

 

Marvel has plenty of quality books to read. I'm happy to promote them. If I sell enough of a specific book to get a variant, I'll maybe get it. Occasionally I just pass on some of them as I don't need an extra book that I don't need.

 

What I won't do, is buy extra books I don't need and play into some variant market.

 

Meanwhile the "Image Way" can hopefully keep your doors open with just the Walking Dead and one issue of Saga and/or Paper Girls every three months.

 

As pointed out, Saga out sold Iron Man for the month of January (It's about even with Iron Man in my store), and independents make up about 40% of my sales. Happy to have a diverse selection books. Happy to sell Marvel Comics too. And DC and Boom! and Valiant and Dynamite, etc. Not a whole lot of incentive variants.

 

Problem solved. (thumbs u

-J.

 

Problem isn't solved.

 

Chuck your arrogance is only exceeded by your stunningly poor read on what collectors actually "want" to buy, and where the market is obviously headed. Your constant histrionics about variants reminds me of what the executives at the corporate headquarters at Blockbuster surely must have been spouting right around the time Netflix started to become a thing.

 

Change is good man. You don't have to go along for the ride, but that doesn't mean the train won't leave the station without you. Which is all very surprising given your stated history in this business and your obvious intelligence.

 

When Marvel or DC start putting out millions of copies of the same book with minor or no difference in the ART, and/or just stick them in a poly bag or stick a hologram on the front cover or make the cover glow in the dark, on a weekly basis, then you "might" have a plausible basis for comparing now to "the nineties".

 

But many, many collectors like variants , like the superior ART on them, which is often by a hot or very talented artist. Many collectors like hunting down these awesome pieces of ART, and/or like the way they look in a slab. Like it or not, slugger, CGC changed the hobby and in the age of the slab beautifully drawn or painted covers can be King.

 

And FYI, it's no real surprise Image outsells the big two in TPB, given their generally pisspoor and erratic publishing schedules that is the only way many collectors can stand reading their stories.

 

But again, this is a board of generally COMIC (and slab) collectors , so good luck trying to convince many people here that they should give two hot damns about Image's fabulous strides in the TPB market, when they usually don't have more than ONE actual COMIC BOOK title cracking the top 50. Maybe if they did, they would have more than a single digit market share and would actually be able to sell enough copies of a book to a retailer such as yourself to even warrant offering an incentive variant in the first place. lol

 

-J.

 

 

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Really, if you look at how the publisher's have been doing the last couple of years, other than Marvel with Star Wars, you have to wonder how much this incentive variant thing really is working....

 

Screen%20Shot%202016-02-23%20at%2012.19.58%20PM_zpsbr32ccuc.png

 

Image Comics in both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share has really made the most substantial gains over the last few years.

Without Star Wars, Marvel may have flat lined over that period, and DC is falling hard.

 

Boom, another publisher that has made a commitment to independent artists and creator owned publishing passed up Dynamite Entertainment (heavily using incentive variants) for both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share and in 2015 took over the #6 spot.

 

Dark Horse, slow and steady lost a little ground, and the aggressive IDW picked up some of that.

 

 

Chuck you're beginning to sound like a broken record.

 

When a piblishers's overall market share is infinitesimal

 

I'll take 10% of a $388 Million Market any day. If you think that is 'infinitesimal', you're clueless. It's why the people at Boom! Studios work that hard to try and make their 'infinitesimal' $8.84 Million market share into something bigger.

 

and it (barely) has exactly 3 titles in the top 50 month to month

 

You really don't understand 'market share' do you? It includes all products sold by the publishers each month, and that means Graphic Novels, Trade Paperbacks and Hardcovers, of which Image DOMINATES. As the Book Publisher of the Year for Diamond Distribution the last two years they have shown a commitment to expanding their hold on that market over the 'Big Two'.

 

For 2015, the YEAR, Marvel had 2 books in the top 12, and 5 in top 25. Image had 8 in top 12 and 14 of the top 25.

 

:gossip: Book sales are more profitable.

 

It doesn't take much of anything to show what superficially looks like a significant percentage movement one way or the other in sales. In other words , it means nothing.

 

You're not a math guy are ya slugger?

 

Let's see:

2014 $355 Million, 9.23% = $32.76 Million

2015 $388 Million, 9.93% = $38.52 Million

$5.76 Million Increase....

 

A $5.76 MILLION DOLLAR increase 'means nothing'? lol

 

And considering that's up from their 3.32% of $269 Million Dollar Market 4 years ago (meaning they brought in $30 MILLION MORE this year than 4 years ago), it's safe to say that those market share points DO mean something.

 

Duh.

 

You obviously like the "Image Way" so it sounds like the best thing for you to do is to load up on all of their titles and let all the other retailers satisfy the demands of customers by ordering all of the many Star Wars comics and variants that people actually want and buy.

 

That's not the discussion, never was the discussion, and wasn't ever going to BE in the discussion until YOU have decided to put it here.

This is your disingenuous style of posting all because you're butthurt that maybe your precious variant market will collapse if enough readers, or people with just plain common sense figure out that, the isn't going to be worth anything. It's an imaginary market.

 

And maybe people are tired of being taken advantage of by it. They're tired of looking like a fool for buying some $25 variant, only to see it in a dollar box later. They're tired of chasing silly variants that they can't sell later on because no one has any interest. They're tired of being lied to.

 

And hopefully, they love comics enough that rather than LEAVE comics, as many did in the 90's, they learn to find books they enjoy READING and invest themselves in the quality of the art form that IS still out there. It is a another renaissance in comics right now, and I would prefer not see greed tear it all down again.

 

I'll continue to sell Marvel Comics and support Marvel Comics and promote their books, regardless if I think they're well written, or well drawn or properly edited or headed in the 'right' direction (whatever that means), as what someone likes and wants to read is comes down to taste.

 

Marvel has plenty of quality books to read. I'm happy to promote them. If I sell enough of a specific book to get a variant, I'll maybe get it. Occasionally I just pass on some of them as I don't need an extra book that I don't need.

 

What I won't do, is buy extra books I don't need and play into some variant market.

 

Meanwhile the "Image Way" can hopefully keep your doors open with just the Walking Dead and one issue of Saga and/or Paper Girls every three months.

 

As pointed out, Saga out sold Iron Man for the month of January (It's about even with Iron Man in my store), and independents make up about 40% of my sales. Happy to have a diverse selection books. Happy to sell Marvel Comics too. And DC and Boom! and Valiant and Dynamite, etc. Not a whole lot of incentive variants.

 

Problem solved. (thumbs u

-J.

 

Problem isn't solved.

 

Chuck your arrogance is only exceeded by your stunningly poor read on what collectors actually "want" to buy, and where the market is obviously headed.

 

My arrogance isn't exceeded by anything. And the price of the average variant keeps going down, so, not sure how you think the 'market' is headed that way.

 

And personally, I have no issue with 'variants', just incentive variants. But don't let that get in the way of your misinformed rant. It's kinda funny.

 

Your constant histrionics about variants reminds me of what the executives at the corporate headquarters at Blockbuster surely must have been spouting right around the time Netflix started to become a thing.

 

Uh... no. Very weird comparison.

 

Change is good man.

 

lol

 

When Marvel or DC start putting out millions of copies of the same book with minor or no difference in the ART, and/or just stick them in a poly bag or stick a hologram on the front cover or make the cover glow in the dark, then you "might" have a plausible basis for comparing now to "the nineties".

 

A gimmick is a gimmick. And incentive variants are a gimmick to get retailers to buy copies of books they don't need.

 

But many, many collectors like variants , like the superior ART on them, which is often by a hot or very talented artist. Many collectors like hunting down these awesome pieces of ART, and/or like the way they look in a slab.

 

Sure. I see that. Got no problem with that.

 

Spending $1500 for one? Insane. But I still have no problem with that.

 

Collect whatever you want. Pogs were big once.

 

Like it or not, slugger, CGC changed the hobby and in the age of the slab beautifully drawn or painted covers can be King.

 

Not the same thing.

 

And FYI, it's no real surprise Image outsells the big two in TPB, given their generally pisspoor and erratic publishing schedules that is the only way many collectors can stand reading their stories.

 

Jim Steranko and Dave Stevens are two of the most popular artists of my lifetime. They've never been known for being a 'monthly' artist. In fact, their output would be considered 'minimal'

 

As I believe in the 'art form' more than I do the 'sales techniques', I think their place in history speaks for itself as to what has a lasting impact.

 

Turok #1 sold a lot of copies, and came out monthly on time!

 

'Nuff said.

 

But again, this is a board of generally COMIC (and slab) collectors , so good luck trying to convince many people here that they should give two hot damns about Image's fabulous strides in the TPB market, when they usually don't have more than ONE actual COMIC BOOK title cracking the top 50. Maybe if they did, they would have more than a single digit market share and would actually be able to sell enough copies of a book to a retailer such as yourself to even warrant offering an incentive variant in the first place. lol

-J.

 

It's a double digit market share now, champ.

 

I don't have to convince anyone of anything. All I have to do is wait it out as I did in the 90's and most of you will get frustrated and leave when you realize you've been duped and you have a bunch of worthless paper.

People who loved the stories will always have that to fall back on.

But feel free to collect as you wish, I could really care less as, once again, that wasn't my point.

 

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Really, if you look at how the publisher's have been doing the last couple of years, other than Marvel with Star Wars, you have to wonder how much this incentive variant thing really is working....

 

Screen%20Shot%202016-02-23%20at%2012.19.58%20PM_zpsbr32ccuc.png

 

Image Comics in both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share has really made the most substantial gains over the last few years.

Without Star Wars, Marvel may have flat lined over that period, and DC is falling hard.

 

Boom, another publisher that has made a commitment to independent artists and creator owned publishing passed up Dynamite Entertainment (heavily using incentive variants) for both Retail Market Share and Unit Market Share and in 2015 took over the #6 spot.

 

Dark Horse, slow and steady lost a little ground, and the aggressive IDW picked up some of that.

 

 

Chuck you're beginning to sound like a broken record.

 

When a piblishers's overall market share is infinitesimal

 

I'll take 10% of a $388 Million Market any day. If you think that is 'infinitesimal', you're clueless. It's why the people at Boom! Studios work that hard to try and make their 'infinitesimal' $8.84 Million market share into something bigger.

 

and it (barely) has exactly 3 titles in the top 50 month to month

 

You really don't understand 'market share' do you? It includes all products sold by the publishers each month, and that means Graphic Novels, Trade Paperbacks and Hardcovers, of which Image DOMINATES. As the Book Publisher of the Year for Diamond Distribution the last two years they have shown a commitment to expanding their hold on that market over the 'Big Two'.

 

For 2015, the YEAR, Marvel had 2 books in the top 12, and 5 in top 25. Image had 8 in top 12 and 14 of the top 25.

 

:gossip: Book sales are more profitable.

 

It doesn't take much of anything to show what superficially looks like a significant percentage movement one way or the other in sales. In other words , it means nothing.

 

You're not a math guy are ya slugger?

 

Let's see:

2014 $355 Million, 9.23% = $32.76 Million

2015 $388 Million, 9.93% = $38.52 Million

$5.76 Million Increase....

 

A $5.76 MILLION DOLLAR increase 'means nothing'? lol

 

And considering that's up from their 3.32% of $269 Million Dollar Market 4 years ago (meaning they brought in $30 MILLION MORE this year than 4 years ago), it's safe to say that those market share points DO mean something.

 

Duh.

 

You obviously like the "Image Way" so it sounds like the best thing for you to do is to load up on all of their titles and let all the other retailers satisfy the demands of customers by ordering all of the many Star Wars comics and variants that people actually want and buy.

 

That's not the discussion, never was the discussion, and wasn't ever going to BE in the discussion until YOU have decided to put it here.

This is your disingenuous style of posting all because you're butthurt that maybe your precious variant market will collapse if enough readers, or people with just plain common sense figure out that, the isn't going to be worth anything. It's an imaginary market.

 

And maybe people are tired of being taken advantage of by it. They're tired of looking like a fool for buying some $25 variant, only to see it in a dollar box later. They're tired of chasing silly variants that they can't sell later on because no one has any interest. They're tired of being lied to.

 

And hopefully, they love comics enough that rather than LEAVE comics, as many did in the 90's, they learn to find books they enjoy READING and invest themselves in the quality of the art form that IS still out there. It is a another renaissance in comics right now, and I would prefer not see greed tear it all down again.

 

I'll continue to sell Marvel Comics and support Marvel Comics and promote their books, regardless if I think they're well written, or well drawn or properly edited or headed in the 'right' direction (whatever that means), as what someone likes and wants to read is comes down to taste.

 

Marvel has plenty of quality books to read. I'm happy to promote them. If I sell enough of a specific book to get a variant, I'll maybe get it. Occasionally I just pass on some of them as I don't need an extra book that I don't need.

 

What I won't do, is buy extra books I don't need and play into some variant market.

 

Meanwhile the "Image Way" can hopefully keep your doors open with just the Walking Dead and one issue of Saga and/or Paper Girls every three months.

 

As pointed out, Saga out sold Iron Man for the month of January (It's about even with Iron Man in my store), and independents make up about 40% of my sales. Happy to have a diverse selection books. Happy to sell Marvel Comics too. And DC and Boom! and Valiant and Dynamite, etc. Not a whole lot of incentive variants.

 

Problem solved. (thumbs u

-J.

 

Problem isn't solved.

 

Chuck your arrogance is only exceeded by your stunningly poor read on what collectors actually "want" to buy, and where the market is obviously headed.

 

My arrogance isn't exceeded by anything. And the price of the average variant keeps going down, so, not sure how you think the 'market' is headed that way.

 

And personally, I have no issue with 'variants', just incentive variants. But don't let that get in the way of your misinformed rant. It's kinda funny.

 

Your constant histrionics about variants reminds me of what the executives at the corporate headquarters at Blockbuster surely must have been spouting right around the time Netflix started to become a thing.

 

Uh... no. Very weird comparison.

 

Change is good man.

 

lol

 

When Marvel or DC start putting out millions of copies of the same book with minor or no difference in the ART, and/or just stick them in a poly bag or stick a hologram on the front cover or make the cover glow in the dark, then you "might" have a plausible basis for comparing now to "the nineties".

 

A gimmick is a gimmick. And incentive variants are a gimmick to get retailers to buy copies of books they don't need.

 

But many, many collectors like variants , like the superior ART on them, which is often by a hot or very talented artist. Many collectors like hunting down these awesome pieces of ART, and/or like the way they look in a slab.

 

Sure. I see that. Got no problem with that.

 

Spending $1500 for one? Insane. But I still have no problem with that.

 

Collect whatever you want. Pogs were big once.

 

Like it or not, slugger, CGC changed the hobby and in the age of the slab beautifully drawn or painted covers can be King.

 

Not the same thing.

 

And FYI, it's no real surprise Image outsells the big two in TPB, given their generally pisspoor and erratic publishing schedules that is the only way many collectors can stand reading their stories.

 

Jim Steranko and Dave Stevens are two of the most popular artists of my lifetime. They've never been known for being a 'monthly' artist. In fact, their output would be considered 'minimal'

 

As I believe in the 'art form' more than I do the 'sales techniques', I think their place in history speaks for itself as to what has a lasting impact.

 

Turok #1 sold a lot of copies, and came out monthly on time!

 

'Nuff said.

 

But again, this is a board of generally COMIC (and slab) collectors , so good luck trying to convince many people here that they should give two hot damns about Image's fabulous strides in the TPB market, when they usually don't have more than ONE actual COMIC BOOK title cracking the top 50. Maybe if they did, they would have more than a single digit market share and would actually be able to sell enough copies of a book to a retailer such as yourself to even warrant offering an incentive variant in the first place. lol

-J.

 

It's a double digit market share now, champ.

 

I don't have to convince anyone of anything. All I have to do is wait it out as I did in the 90's and most of you will get frustrated and leave when you realize you've been duped and you have a bunch of worthless paper.

People who loved the stories will always have that to fall back on.

But feel free to collect as you wish, I could really care less as, once again, that wasn't my point.

 

I actually agree with you on returnability. Even if that would obviously undermine the incentive variant program. That is a battle worth fighting.

 

But I remain genuinely baffled at some of your statements. It's as if you are operating inside of a bubble that does not extend beyond the front door of your own store.

 

I've said before that some of the covers I have seen I liken to limited edition lithographic prints. Fine ART, produced in limited quantities , for the discriminating collector with slightly deeper pockets who doesn't mind paying for that ART. I think this comparison is much more appropriate than yours. Pogs? Really? Come on man.

 

Because that's what comic books ultimately are, right ? I have seen some covers by some EXTREMELY gifted artists that simply blow my mind. Obviously having 50 variants for Spider -Gwen 1 is ludicrous. Fortunately that is the exception and not the rule, and usually only happens with a heavily anticipated and promoted "#1".

But that's business. The publishers are doing what they need to do, and what obviously works, to keep putting out this material. Now both of them are subsidiaries of much larger conglomerates so advancing the notion that they are "putting themselves out of business because of variants" is a little like Chicken Little running around in the rain telling everyone that the sky is falling.

 

-J.

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