Recently Stephen Schleicher was interested in our thoughts on this subject: “Is the drop in (November) sales due to the holidays, or something else? You have the data, so now it is up to you to draw your own conclusions and share the information in the comment section below.”
I’d like to weigh in on this subject since I have some thoughts about what’s happening.
REBIRTH HAS PEAKED
When DC’s Rebirth event began this summer, there was a LOT of enthusiasm. Stores opened early, some even the night before to sell the kick-off issue. Sales have been very good, according to store owners I know.
But “number ones” can only take you so far. When you get to number three or four, you better hang on to every reader you can!
I’ve mentioned previously that I have been sifting through the comics DC has been producing, and I will admit that I’m buying a lot more of their titles than I did before Rebirth.
However, some of them have fallen by the wayside as far as me reading or buying them. I imagine I’m not alone in that category. We can’t buy EVERY book DC makes, no matter how much they’d like us to!
Moving forward, what’s going to matter is how DC tells their stories. Will they be gripping, can’t-wait tales, or will they become standard fare? They can only make so many number one’s that gets the collectors, after all!
I wish I knew the actual numbers, though. Was the drop entirely attributable to DC and Rebirth, or was it across the board?
MARVEL’S CIVIL WAR II IS PRETTY MUCH DONE
On the other side of the aisle (I’m always entertained by how many people view DC and Marvel like political parties, by the way), Marvel’s big 2016 event, Civil War II, has nearly completely ended.
I always feel that Marvel events start with a lot of attention and enthusiasm, but by the end of each one, it seems that most fans are, “Well, that’s finally over. So what’s next?”
Maybe I’m on the outside looking in, but it didn’t feel like this Civil War, in terms of fan reaction, was quite what the first one was. That’s a danger in sequels, of course, not living up to the predecessor.
Still, it did generate a lot of sales, so you just might see Civil War III in the near future.
If you recoiled at that last sentence, give it some time. Marvel’s likely hoping you’ll warm up to the idea in the months ahead.
But it’s impact on sales has diminished greatly, contributing to November’s decline, I believe. As events like Civil War III and Rebirth go on, the interest often falls significantly.
THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS HERE
While this time of the year is one where many of us look forward to getting (like Daffy Duck), it’s also a time when many of us must make sure we do well when it comes to giving.
Truth is, most of us belong to families in which we’re the only genre fan there. That means we need to spend money on gifts for loved ones, and they don’t want comics, sorry!
So, we need to live within our means, and that means fewer comics!
The good news might be that, once the gift cards are given during the holidays, some of us may be anxious to spend those at our local comics shop! Could be worth waiting for!
ARE PEOPLE DESERTING COMICS?
This is the possibility that scares me the most. Could it be that people who have been reading comics have now decided they’re not worth the time and effort anymore?
If so, that’s a seriously bad sign for the industry, even if these numbers are few. We need as many fans to stick around as long as possible!
How do you resolve this possibility? That’s the question people everywhere associated with comics ask themselves, and answers haven’t risen up… yet. If you have ideas, by all means, please share them in the space below!
One other possibility is that we’re between big events, and some people only buy “event” comics! If that’s a larger number of fans than I previously thought existed, maybe it will pick up in early 2017! And I don’t think the weather was too awful in November, either!
There are other things that can be happening, but we can discuss them another time.
Please don’t just brush this off as, “Well, so what? We just had a bad month?” If we get several bad months in a row, we could see comics as a genre seriously constrict in terms of product, and I don’t think many of us want that to happen!
What’s your take? What can we as fans do to support the comics companies we enjoy? Again, feel free to talk about it in the area after this column! Oh, and Happy Comics Shopping, everyone! (Get out there and make your local comics shop owners happy… and staying open!)