First, I need to give my yearly advice to people buying gifts for comics fans, especially late ones! Do NOT try to buy an item you THINK they might want! Chances are, they either have it or don’t wait it if they haven’t already bought it. Instead, locate their local comics shop and buy a gift card! They’ll be able to purchase what they want, so they’ll love you for it!
Phew! Okay, now we can move on to the topic at hand – This is a great time to be a comics fan! That’s so true on several levels!
With Star Wars breaking records around the world, products bearing its name are in almost every store open today. During a recent trip to the mall, we found it easier to count the places that did NOT have a tie-in versus those that did. You can even find related comics in several of those businesses to buy as well!
Also, we’re seeing a teaser battle between Marvel and DC going on in earnest. Captain America: Civil War trailers are appearing on a regular basis, and fans are melting just about every time a new one is released! Other Marvel Entertainment movies are coming, including Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Captain Marvel, Inhumans, Avengers: Infinity War I & II and Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
On the DC side of things, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice is coming, and it will herald the beginning of Justice League and related films including Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman and others.
But those aren’t the only comics-related motion pictures in the works! There’s Marvel’s Deadpool and X-Men: Apocalypse from Fox, with other properties optioned and in various stages of development including Queen & Country, Wytches, Day Men, Malignant Man, several Mark Millar projects and a personal favorite of mine, Rust.
DC also has a successful line of direct-to-DVD films going, including a Batman Unlimited series that seems to be selling well.
Turn on the tube many nights and you’ll find comics properties there as well.
DC has Supergirl and Gotham on Mondays, The Flash and iZombie on Tuesday and Arrow on Wednesday with the team show DC’s Legends of Tomorrow soon to be on Thursday evenings. Marvel has Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Marvel’s Agent Carter on Tuesdays. More successful has been its’ Netflix line of shows, including Daredevil and Jessica Jones. More is on the way! And I could never forget The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead on AMC.
In 2016, we’ll likely see Lucifer on Fox, hopefully Krypton on Syfy, more Powers on the Playstation Network as well as Letter 44 and Ghost Projekt in the works. And this is only the tip of the iceberg!
It used to be that to find a comics-related t-shirt, one had to find a local comics shop. Now, they’re everywhere, including everything from Walmart to many specialty shops in malls.
DC is selling product through their website/store. Marvel’s offerings are in several locations.
You can also buy amazing statues and merchandise through Diamond Select! Some of those things truly amaze me!
AND, OF COURSE, COMICS
While Marvel, with its Secret Wars and Star Wars books, is firmly in the top spot, other companies are offering more diversity and quality than I can remember enjoying even as a long-time comics fan.
I like to point out that we’re seeing more diversity in lead characters, including women and people of color, than ever before. I think we’re also enjoying a wider variety of storytelling than I’ve noticed previously, including science fiction, horror, adventure and romance.
It’s a phenomenal time for independent comics, or “indies,” as well. Many fans with stories to tell are jumping in to write, draw and distribute their own comics. Personally, I think the industry is better for it!
Digital comics continue to make books more easily accessible, and I don’t see that trend going away any time soon.
We saw mail order “crates” catapult titles to the top of the heap for the first time! I never saw that coming! We also saw more comics conventions than ever take place, with nearly every weekend hosting one!
I knew that 2015 was going to be a tumultuous year in the industry, with both of the Big Two companies shaking things up pretty seriously. Now, we have to see what all that means moving forward.
Now that Secret Wars is over, many of their new number one issues are out, and the Star Wars movie has been released, how will Marvel do in 2016?
DC embarked on a new direction that meant to be as inclusive as possible, but sales haven’t reflected this change. Will they add new titles in 2016 that will increase their standing in the industry?
The other companies have continued to test the waters with new offerings as well as try to chip away at the superhero market with their new ideas. Will horror and sci-fi overtake the longjohns comics anytime soon?
What do you think will happen in 2016? Be sure to share your thoughts below, and may whatever holidays you celebrate be better than you can imagine![signoff predefined=”PayPal Donation”][/signoff]