Thursday, May 25, 2017

"The Atlantic," Summed Up Marvel's Problems Perfectly

For the record, I basically agree with everything in the new article from The Atlantic titled, "The Real Reason for Marvel Comics' Woes." It summarizes much of what I and others have discussed extensively. Namely, that Marvel seems to keep alienating readers with tone-deaf statements, constant re-launches that bring with them horrible difficulty in regards to keeping track of books, overpriced event-comics, and as Comicsbeat points out in its own thoughts on the piece, Marvel has horrible communication with libraries--a potentially quite significant source of income for many publishers.

This all isn't really surprising. When you essentially dismiss the importance of minority and LGBTQ characters in your comics, pile-on expensive and dull cross-overs, keep re-launching your books until it is impossible to figure out the chronology, and otherwise act disinterested in what your consumer wants, can you really be startled when things aren't going well? Plus, the point about libraries in the additional article is especially intriguing. I mean, if someone wants to buy 200 copies of one of your popular books to stock their shelves with wouldn't you normally fall over yourself to get that guaranteed sale? Marvel's borderline-animosity toward libraries is just quizzical, perhaps because they feel people grabbing the book at the library won't buy copy, but there are so many factors within that to consider (would this person actually buy the book without the library, could they afford the book, etc.) that I personally feel selling a ton of copies of your book to a library system and taking a nice profit off of that is worth more than pondering, "Well, maybe we will sell as many or a bit more books if we don't do this deal."

Anyways, Marvel is having a lot of trouble in regards to their comics (the movies are still doing gangbusters, of course) and I just felt the piece by The Atlantic laid it out expertly.

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