About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Fortysomethings (and, I suspect, thirtysomethings) are going “meh” over the changes; it’ll be interesting to see whether the teens and twentysomethings say “meh” as well.

  2. Yeah, but anybody that reads comments on comic book web site knows that:

    A. The core audience is a bunch of whiney b-tches that like nothing in the world more than being disappointed.

    B. The reason that they are chronically disappointed and believe that old comics are better is not because they were better (they may or may not be), but because when they read them they were young, optimistic and had they’re whole life ahead of them and now they’re grumpy achy old men.

    C. And no matter what they say they are going to buy them because comics are their life, and like a wife with a black eye they’ll go back to what’s safe and familiar even if it hurts. What are they going to do, read a book?

  3. They’ve tried aiming to the their actual audience, brought back dead favorites, launched and re-launched heroes of old and it all failed (remember all those old school super-heroes books Matthew reads and get cancelled because no one but him buy them?).

    The fact they are aiming for a DCnU wide jump-in point is understandable and a solid, if not very risky, move. They are going “all-in” expecting the loyal readers to stick around after the re-launch and grab some new readers with this jump-in point, I don’t remember ever seen a trailer or commercial for any comic books yet the new 52 has one. I smell a make it or break it move here, at least for the guys in charge.

  4. I am a 43 year old man, and I did go “meh”…really…

    …and I’ll still buy 23 of these new titles…because I figure its worth a try (yes, I believe it could be good…I’m a glass half full kinda guy…).

    …should I be scared that Ellis can be so spot on??

    Mokin is a little scared…

  5. I’m a little concerned that it’s not really a mater of who they are targeted at, or who finds them interesting, but who will pay for them. Even if teens and such are interested in the titles, are they going to fork out $4 or so for each issue? I have a feeling it’s not them that have that disposable income that will go there, but the older crowd like me. Back in the day, (i know, i know) i could buy a few comics for the price of one now. I also got a look into the price of comics when i got a monthly japanese manga magazine, massive with several stories (although in black and white) for about 500 yen. Close to the same price. I know it will never work here because i think they tried, but that would be more incentive for me, buy the big one, then fork out for the color graphic novel of the stories i like most.

    • Bingo… If i’m a teenager, i can think of other things that i’ll be buying for 4$. “Kids today” DO have a lot more money than “we did back in the old days”, just like we had more money than our parents, etc. Thing is, these kids are also blowing it on 99cent iSingles, mmorpg microtransactions, paypal tipjars for their favorite webcomic/blogger/etc. $4 bucks is sorta like “a buck” used to be (to the middle/uppermiddle class that can afford the 3.99 entry point — don’t get me started on how comics are missing out on the lower-end markets), and kids aren’t going to go all the way to the corner bookstore (which is getting harder & harder to find) to drop a fiver on glossy paper magazines. They’ll just get the new Jay Sean single, and then some 99 cent games for their smartphones…

  6. I think I’m just turning into a cynic as I get older, but it seems to me that the intended audience for comics is (and has been for some time now) “speculators”. Why else would there be the continued emphasis on “get 1 alternate cover for every 50 issues you order~!!!!111”, and “ALL-NEW FIRST ISSUE!~” or “SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY 500th ISSUE~!!!”, et. al.? Especially with the price increases, and the purported ‘demand’ for high-quality paperstock, and 3-d computer-assisted art-design, and so it goes… Comic books have become a niche product for a very specific type of person, as opposed to the throwaway-amount-of-money timewasters they started out being. Evolution happens, but at this case, it might have been at the expense of the audience? Comics went from being “reality teevee/lowbrow entertainment” to “Inside The Actor’s Studio”, if I may so hastily construct a metaphor.

  7. Just like with One More Day they’ll yell and cry and swear off DC with great vengeance, and then buy the books anyway. Amazing Spider-Man is selling like gangbusters.

  8. The times they is a troubling. One of the consequences of newspapers downsizing and going under thanks to people getting their news elsewhere now, it the demise of the newspaper comic strip. Strips that have been around for 30 – 40 or even 80 years have been cancelled, and newcomers are no longer welcome in the industry. Not that it was ever easy to break into the industry unless you had an “in” – I myself spent my young adulthood trying to break into the comics, only to have one syndicate that rejected my work actually have a different artist redraw and publish my submission, word for word, a couple years later! Only the fact that they could afford high-priced fancy New York lawyers and I couldn’t kept me from sueing their pants off!
    The comic book industry went throught a major shift in the early 80s. They quit distributing their books thru newspaper distributors, grocery stores, drug stores, etc. and went to direct distribution to comic book stores. That’s when you saw the great drop-off from hundreds of thousands of copies a month to a meager ten thousand or so, or less. The consequence was also that a lot, if not all, of the kids comics like the Disney, Gold Key and Harvey type books, vanished forever at the same time. Instead, we got alternate foil covers and nothing but super-hero fare, or, if you were tired of that, manga.
    Now, just when the comic book companies started to get their books out in public circulation again, in the chain book stores, those very same chain book stores are going bankrupt.
    Who knows what the future of the industry holds. Will there be a time in the near future where we can no longer buy a physical copy of a book, but are forced to buy our SpiderHam online and print it out on an ink-jet printer if we want a physical copy? Who can say?
    But, you know, if the comic publishers went and got their books put back into grocery stores, drug stores and stuff, like in the old days, maybe that would help. Let me share a little secret. If folks can’t see a thing, they ain’t going to buy that thing. And the thing that they have been missing since the 80’s is that kids – or adults – aren’t able to see a copy of a comic while waiting in line at the grocery store, buy it on impulse, and get hooked.
    So, I don’t think these event books and reboots will do them as much good as they hope it will. Personally, I’d much rather see comic books on the checkout rack at the grocery store than these idiotic tabloids showing photoshopped pix of celebrities and stories about Elvis and Space Aliens. So long as the comic book companies force their audience to come to them, they aren’t going to attract a bigger audience. And selling, distrubuting and advertising only to and through comic book shops is like preaching to the converted and that will get you nothing but a tired larynx.

    • The last comics I bought at a grocery store were 2 issues of Green Lantern #’s 48 & 49 (the first two parts of Emerald Twilight)… Which was early nineties!! I believe shortly thereafter, they disappeared from there… Had it NOT been for the various comics during my youth in grocery stores, I would not have gotten into comics, as I had been reading various Archie (the TMNT Archie, that is) and Harvey publications…. I think toy makers Mattel could also learn from this, as I would probably have a bigger collection of Ghostbusters figures had they been sold in stores… Currently, I have the four pack from GB2, which is the only one sold in stores… Imagine that… Not everyone wants to go out of their way to purchase something…

      • I should mention, also, that I DID purchase issue 50 at the local comic shop… What was my first thought when they didn’t have issues 48/49? “I’ll go to the local grocery store and see if maybe they might have at least the previous issue…” Sure enough, they not only had the last issue but the one before that… Had they not… I’m not really sure where else I would have gone back in that day as it wasn’t really common practice for me to purchase anything online yet, and I was also living in a small town that was lucky to even have a comic shop at the time!!

    • The last comic I bought at the grocery store was The Amazing Spider Man #601 because MJ’s boobs looked, well, amazing.

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