I've changed the title of this thread from "Comic Book Sales Trends in 2016" because I keep coming back to it.

My friendly neighborhood comics shop, Fantom Comics of Washington, DC, breaks down what sold at the store in 2016. This information, of course, applies only to the one store, but it's still interesting reading: "2016 In Review – A Comic Book Shop Talks Comic Book Sales Trends"

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For the first time in a long time, I have found myself really neither a DC nor a Marvel guy. I realize that I am reading far more books from Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Fantagraphics, etc. than anything either DC or Marvel.

First, a few years ago, I surprised myself by becoming more of a Marvel fan, but now I'm reading absolutely no Marvel. I have told myself that it's so that I can start reading the Marvel Unlimited in a few months, but I have actually lost interest in that (for now, at least).

I buy some DC and read a little bit of DC, but most of what I read is actually the old stuff coming out on Comixology.

I am far from the guy who hates either DC or Marvel; it's more like I just don't care. I'm enjoying what I'm reading from the companies from which I'm buying.

I love DC (the old stuff) and Marvel (the old stuff), and as for the new stuff, I'm having a blast with what I'm reading.

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

Maybe they refused to believe the problem was real?  I'm not sure anyone at marvel or dc really believes that the comic book industry is in any real trouble.  Marvel especially, if they thought comics were in trouble why would they charge five dollars per issue?


Oh, they definitely believe the comic book industry is in real trouble, and have for some time -- because the industry has been in trouble for some time. As noted over here in the thread "DC Universe Rebooted and Renumbered -- Again":

The worst-case scenario for DC’s new strategy is that few new readers stick around and existing ones are alienated by the changes. But the relaunch’s architects said it’s a necessary risk.

“The truth is people are leaving anyway, they’re just doing it quietly, and we have been papering it over with increased prices,” DiDio said. “We didn’t want to wake up one day and find we had a bunch of $20 books that 10,000 people are buying.”

The comic book industry has been in perpetual trouble since 1954. Everyone thought it was all over in:

  • 1957
  • 1967
  • 1988
  • 1999

There's a new threat now, though, in addition to the perpetual threats that have existed since the Comics Code knee-capped the industry in the '50s. That's the Internet, which is killing every other print product. For the first time, I'm not laughing off the Chicken Littles. I really don't know (this time) what's going to happen next.

I do think that comics will survive in some form, as they have since forever. But the pamphlet may go away. Heck, comiXology may go away. I don't know what's next.

  Well I know that I've resolved never to buy a marvel comic at full price again.  Sort of a moot point since I can't afford comics right now anyway, but last month I did got into a comic store that was having a dollar sale for the old issues and the old issues turned out to be mostly marvel and dc events from the past five years or so. 2.99 or 4.99 or wait a few years and then its 1.00 is not a hard choice to make.  With marvel I barely want to read the stuff anyway and with DC I'm pretty sure the minute I get attached to a character they'll reboot the universe again.  What's the point of rushing to read?  I wouldn't mind keeping up and getting the issues every Wednesday like I used to, I was cleaning up down stairs and found a bunch of Comic Buyers guides and it was fun to leaf through them and remember what it was like, but while I still like to read comics I just don't see any reason to go and buy any new ones.  Doesn't help that the comic store I was using moved a few more towns away and then closed.  Now all that is within range is Newbury comics and they are barely a comic book store at all.



Mark S. Ogilvie said:

  Well I know that I've resolved never to buy a marvel comic at full price again.  Sort of a moot point since I can't afford comics right now anyway, but last month I did got into a comic store that was having a dollar sale for the old issues and the old issues turned out to be mostly marvel and dc events from the past five years or so. 2.99 or 4.99 or wait a few years and then its 1.00 is not a hard choice to make.  With marvel I barely want to read the stuff anyway and with DC I'm pretty sure the minute I get attached to a character they'll reboot the universe again.  What's the point of rushing to read?  I wouldn't mind keeping up and getting the issues every Wednesday like I used to, I was cleaning up down stairs and found a bunch of Comic Buyers guides and it was fun to leaf through them and remember what it was like, but while I still like to read comics I just don't see any reason to go and buy any new ones.  Doesn't help that the comic store I was using moved a few more towns away and then closed.  Now all that is within range is Newbury comics and they are barely a comic book store at all.

Ah, yes, Newbury Comics: For when you want almost anything but comics!

Yea, I swing in there about once a month, which means there is no way I can really keep up with any indy titles, but it is the only place within range I can get vinyl record cleaner and sleeves and I do like to look at the statues.  But when it moved into the mall my old comic book store had to move out of the mall because Newburry makes sure there is a no-compete clause in the rent and Harrisons couldn't afford the rent across the street from the mall and then they just moved two towns away and then closed.  The only other place close enough is about an hours drive and there is no more incentive.  After all the biggest hero in New York right now is the Kingpin who's feeding everyone and I've given up trying to figure out who the good guys and the bad guys are in marvel comics, while at DC...  I just don't have a character to latch onto that I'm interested in anymore.  I can wait till comic con Boston next month and fish out the back issues.  I'm not really supporting the industry but then I'm not sure I ever made a difference anyway.


The Baron said:



Mark S. Ogilvie said:

  Well I know that I've resolved never to buy a marvel comic at full price again.  Sort of a moot point since I can't afford comics right now anyway, but last month I did got into a comic store that was having a dollar sale for the old issues and the old issues turned out to be mostly marvel and dc events from the past five years or so. 2.99 or 4.99 or wait a few years and then its 1.00 is not a hard choice to make.  With marvel I barely want to read the stuff anyway and with DC I'm pretty sure the minute I get attached to a character they'll reboot the universe again.  What's the point of rushing to read?  I wouldn't mind keeping up and getting the issues every Wednesday like I used to, I was cleaning up down stairs and found a bunch of Comic Buyers guides and it was fun to leaf through them and remember what it was like, but while I still like to read comics I just don't see any reason to go and buy any new ones.  Doesn't help that the comic store I was using moved a few more towns away and then closed.  Now all that is within range is Newbury comics and they are barely a comic book store at all.

Ah, yes, Newbury Comics: For when you want almost anything but comics!



The Baron said:

Ah, yes, Newbury Comics: For when you want almost anything but comics!


Ah, just like the San Diego Comic Con!

From what I've been reading the SDCC has gotten too big for itself.

Detective 445 said:



The Baron said:

Ah, yes, Newbury Comics: For when you want almost anything but comics!


Ah, just like the San Diego Comic Con!

Was it here I read that Mile High Comics would not be setting up a booth for the first time ever?

It would have cost them something liek $18,000...? Can that be true?



Jeff of Earth-J said:

Was it here I read that Mile High Comics would not be setting up a booth for the first time ever?

It would have cost them something liek $18,000...? Can that be true?


Yep. And the $18K was only a contributing factor.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Was it here I read that Mile High Comics would not be setting up a booth for the first time ever?

It would have cost them something liek $18,000...? Can that be true?

I don't know where you read that Mile High Comics skipped the San Diego Comic-Con, but it is true that it did: "Mile High Comics Is Leaving the San Diego Comic-Con After 44 Years"

And it wasn't just that the booth rental was 18 grand; it was that the way things are set up, less traffic goes to the vendors who just sell comics, so they couldn't expect sales to cover that cost. 

I haven't attended the con in many years. You used to be able to just walk up, buy a ticket and walk in.  Now you have to try and buy a ticket a year in advance and hope they aren't sold out.

I live about a mile from the Convention Center so we decided to walk down and check out the peripheral activities on Saturday. There were so many free events going on in various buildings around the Convention Center that you had to fight through crowds of people just to get from one block to the next.  Not my idea of a good time. 

I think there are so many barriers between an actual comic book reader and vendor booths inside the Convention Center that it's almost impossible for the vendors to turn a profit.

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