Image Publisher Eric Stephenson Urges Comics Industry Not To Repeat Past Mistake
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1 hour ago, kimik said:

In addition to taking a "do what I say, not what I do" approach on variant front, maybe Image needs to look at sales numbers and think about trimming down the number of books they publish significantly. For every hit, there are several duds. Add in the fact that most Image books are mini-series, it is tough to build up reader/collector demand for them. They publish a lot of drek now.

Why would they care?  Image is just publishing other people's creations.  If it flops, they don't lose anything.  Basically a bunch of creators agree that Image can get some volume discounts on printing and they should work together to share that discount.

Image makes a few cents for every book that sells, but they don't lose money when books don't sell.  Image has a "can't lose" business model.  Work with great creators, profit.  Work with bad creators, still a little profit.  

http://imagecomics.com/about/submissions

Marvel, DC, Valiant... all have skin in the game.

Image puts other people's skin in the game.

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Agreed, but I sense Image fatigue right now. Most of the books are drek which turns people off of trying other properties. At shows the only books that people as for are WD and Saga, with the odd Monstress 1 or Seven to Eternity 1 request. Talking with a couple of LCS owners, the only new Image titles they order are ones that their file customers want plus maybe one for the shelf. They are sitting on too many dead overstock copies from the 2012 - 2014 Image hype peak to keep chasing the latest and greatest new Image offering. I expect more to follow suit over time.

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Now they have secret pink variants too.

STEPHENSON is full of poo poo.

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On ‎9‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 11:44 PM, kimik said:

Agreed, but I sense Image fatigue right now. Most of the books are drek which turns people off of trying other properties. At shows the only books that people as for are WD and Saga, with the odd Monstress 1 or Seven to Eternity 1 request. Talking with a couple of LCS owners, the only new Image titles they order are ones that their file customers want plus maybe one for the shelf. They are sitting on too many dead overstock copies from the 2012 - 2014 Image hype peak to keep chasing the latest and greatest new Image offering. I expect more to follow suit over time.

That's because they have fallen victim to the mentality in our hobby currently. Issue 1 sells like gang busters and then sales fall of the cliff after issue 1 because of massive speculation.

You must see it at shows as well. What worries me is when the movie bubble burst can you imagine how much the industry will have to contract? The economic repercussions in a couple
of years are going to be drastic.

Quality books maintains your comic business during the lean times. Some publishers better start thinking about that.  I agree Image has the best model, but they just aren't financed as well 
as DC or Marvel who really doesn't care if they make good books or bad anymore.

 

Edited by fastballspecial

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4 hours ago, fastballspecial said:

That's because they have fallen victim to the mentality in our hobby currently. Issue 1 sells like gang busters and then sales fall of the cliff after issue 1 because of massive speculation.

You must see it at shows as well. What worries me is when the movie bubble burst can you imagine how much the industry will have to contract? The economic repercussions in a couple
of years are going to be drastic.

Quality books maintains your comic business during the lean times. Some publishers better start thinking about that.  I agree Image has the best model, but they just aren't financed as well 
as DC or Marvel who really doesn't care if they make good books or bad anymore.

 

I was listening to an Off Panel podcast interview with Jonathan Hickman. It was interesting to note that he mentioned Wicked+Divine, Sex Criminals, etc. sell a hundred thousand copies as trades. Perhaps that's where the actual (new) readership is coming from.

DC's made some very interesting moves of late. They're going aggressively after the young readers' market and I think they're probably trying to find some new evergreens. They also seem to be experimenting with formats. I'm definitely looking forward to Enrico Marini's Batman: The Dark Prince Charming.

Edited by aerischan

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37 minutes ago, aerischan said:

 

5 hours ago, fastballspecial said:

That's because they have fallen victim to the mentality in our hobby currently. Issue 1 sells like gang busters and then sales fall of the cliff after issue 1 because of massive speculation.

You must see it at shows as well. What worries me is when the movie bubble burst can you imagine how much the industry will have to contract? The economic repercussions in a couple
of years are going to be drastic.

Quality books maintains your comic business during the lean times. Some publishers better start thinking about that.  I agree Image has the best model, but they just aren't financed as well 
as DC or Marvel who really doesn't care if they make good books or bad anymore.

 

I was listening to an Off Panel podcast interview with Jonathan Hickman. It was interesting to note that he mentioned Wicked+Divine, Sex Criminals, etc. sell a hundred thousand copies as trades. Perhaps that's where the actual (new) readership is coming from.

DC's made some very interesting moves of late. They're going aggressively after the young readers' market and I think they're probably trying to find some new evergreens. They also seem to be experimenting with formats. I'm definitely looking forward to Enrico Marini's Batman: The Dark Prince Charming.

 

Oh I agree they have been moving toward trades for a long time. Some writers basically write to that format now and it works fine for me. 

 

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On 10/1/2017 at 4:11 PM, fastballspecial said:

That's because they have fallen victim to the mentality in our hobby currently. Issue 1 sells like gang busters and then sales fall of the cliff after issue 1 because of massive speculation.

You must see it at shows as well. What worries me is when the movie bubble burst can you imagine how much the industry will have to contract? The economic repercussions in a couple
of years are going to be drastic.

Quality books maintains your comic business during the lean times. Some publishers better start thinking about that.  I agree Image has the best model, but they just aren't financed as well 
as DC or Marvel who really doesn't care if they make good books or bad anymore.

 

I am seeing fatigue on Image back issues across the board. Even WD and Saga are basically dead outside of the harder to find #1 and other key or early issues. The only Image title that has decent demand across the run (i.e. not just #1 or the odd key) is Spawn, which is interesting as I have seen this trend building for the past three years now with no real reason why. I think Image (and to a lesser extent other Indie publishers) jumped the shark in 2013 with too many bad new titles being released to capitalize on mass speculation and that trend has continued. As a result, there is little to no demand for their books. I actually cringe when I see any Image titles in collections I buy now. lol

The movie bubble burst will hurt the hot modern market, but SA and GA books will be relatively stable. They may pull back a smidge or plateau for a bit, but I am seeing more demand for keys as "investment collectibles" now which bodes well for them in the future. Hot TV/movie driven moderns are a different market and I can see that area taking a steep drop, just like we are seeing with any number of those books now as the hype dies down (6th Gun anyone?).

Being totally honest, DC and Marvel need to publish just to keep copyright/control of their IP for movies and TV going forward. I guess comics are an okay way to test concepts as  well for now, but in the future when it is all digital that will not matter.

 

 

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Schedule can be frustrating for me with Image so I don't even bother with floppies now for new series. At least when you get a complete story arc each time, the wait isn't as bad.

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I stopped collecting Spawn because the variant game was getting out of control. I just couldn't handle it anymore.

It's a shame because Spawn went against the grain in the mid 90s by not releasing any sort of gimmick cover. Now they have 3 or 4 variants per issue...EVERY issue. Some of them aren't even announced in advance. I can't even begin to express my disgust.

I'm done, done, done with the variant chase. :sumo:

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1 hour ago, newshane said:

I stopped collecting Spawn because the variant game was getting out of control. I just couldn't handle it anymore.

It's a shame because Spawn went against the grain in the mid 90s by not releasing any sort of gimmick cover. Now they have 3 or 4 variants per issue...EVERY issue. Some of them aren't even announced in advance. I can't even begin to express my disgust.

I'm done, done, done with the variant chase. :sumo:

Yes, they have 2-3, but they are cover price, not incentives.

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Just now, ygogolak said:

Yes, they have 2-3, but they are cover price, not incentives.

Lately, yes...but for over a year, during the "homage" cover run, they released incentives...LOTS of them.

I guess my ultimate point is...I would like to deal with one cover per month.

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7 minutes ago, newshane said:

Lately, yes...but for over a year, during the "homage" cover run, they released incentives...LOTS of them.

I guess my ultimate point is...I would like to deal with one cover per month.

Why not just buy one a month then? Variants have been a thing for a while. Doesn't look like they are going anywhere, even if they aren't  tied to incentives.

Edited by ygogolak

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On 2017-10-03 at 8:24 PM, newshane said:

Lately, yes...but for over a year, during the "homage" cover run, they released incentives...LOTS of them.

I guess my ultimate point is...I would like to deal with one cover per month.

But buying like 3 comics a month which will cost about $20 after tax isn't that bad. Not only that, but your Spawn set is practically complete!! You can't quit now!

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12 minutes ago, Spawn1709 said:

But buying like 3 comics a month which will cost about $20 after tax isn't that bad. Not only that, but your Spawn set is practically complete!! You can't quit now!

The problem is that anything less than a 9.8 just isn't good enough...and that's gonna cost me more than $20 a month.

I just can't afford it and with over 400 slabs I'm almost out of room. The total expense of the set is already beyond embarrassing. Thanks for the kind words on the set! :tink:

 

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1 hour ago, newshane said:

The problem is that anything less than a 9.8 just isn't good enough...and that's gonna cost me more than $20 a month.

I just can't afford it and with over 400 slabs I'm almost out of room. The total expense of the set is already beyond embarrassing. Thanks for the kind words on the set! :tink:

 

9.8 slab problems.....

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13 hours ago, newshane said:

The problem is that anything less than a 9.8 just isn't good enough...and that's gonna cost me more than $20 a month.

I just can't afford it and with over 400 slabs I'm almost out of room. The total expense of the set is already beyond embarrassing. Thanks for the kind words on the set! :tink:

 

Yeah, that's true. Trying to get those 9.8s is a big problem and slabbing three books a month can get quite expensive.

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Not to over-emphasize one aspect of the article, but I truly believe that the Comics Code Authority was the worst thing to happen to comic books. I understand it was a product of its time based on more Conservative Attitudes, but it really just hampered, censored, and bastardized great art. So glad it's no longer used. 

 

End Rant / lol 

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On 2017-10-05 at 10:59 PM, newshane said:

The problem is that anything less than a 9.8 just isn't good enough...and that's gonna cost me more than $20 a month.

I just can't afford it and with over 400 slabs I'm almost out of room. The total expense of the set is already beyond embarrassing. Thanks for the kind words on the set! :tink:

 

A lot of the newer Spawn books are just sketch variants and are produced at a 1:1 ratio, so they are not really worth getting graded in my opinion. However, the Spawn 275 Las Vegas Comic Con book is a limited run of only 1,500 copies, so I think that is a wiser investment for now! They're also pretty cheap, going for less than $100 for a 9.8.

Edited by Spawn1709

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Personally, I don't think the Spawn variant covers are as much an issue as the Spawn variant story lines....the series has been retconned too many times in a short time frame. Between issues #1 - #250, you have 5 to 6 completely different mythologies which tend to contradict, re-write, or completely ignore the last.

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