This week each year, I like to talk about what’s happening in the comics industry that I’m grateful for. After all, this is the time we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., so let me talk briefly about a few things I’m happy about!
The comics industry continues to change, to try and keep up with the times, and that has been a weird thing to watch.
Like what the local comics shops have been through, the comics producers are facing an evolving customer base. I still hear many store owners complaining that they have to use multiple distributors to have the product they need in order to sell it. I often hear them say out loud how much they wish Diamond was still the only place to get their books and other things. “It’s too much work to deal with all these different people,” one said publicly. “I’d go back to having only one distributor if I only could.” Of course, that person could, but the store needs more than one comic producer to keep the doors open!
On many levels, the industry is coming across the same situation. In days past, Marvel was the company that most fans wanted the product from, but the House of Ideas and DC (and to some extent, Image as well) are seeing a decline in fan interest and sales.
Oddly enough, the “Indie” producers are finding the demand for their wares increasing these days. There are several reasons for this, including some disenchantment with the stories being told by the larger companies. It’s hard to tell exactly how much influence this is having, but I’m seeing more and more LCS’s stocking Indie books on their racks. I’ve also talked previously about how some of the Indie companies are knocking it out of the park when it comes to crowdfunding and interest. As I’m writing this, Alphacore #1 from the Rippaverse is about to cross the $1 million mark. That’s pretty good considering they originally were asking for $300,000!
I’m also glad DC has changed many of their “ongoing” books have become mini-series of six or so issues. That gives them a chance to gage the level of fan interest before they commit to a series. I do hope some of the recent titles return, like Unstoppable Doom Patrol. More, please!
It’s an interesting time to be a comics fan! I’m going to find it an important thing to keep watching and rooting many of them on!
Nightwing from DC continues to be a big favorite book of mine each month. I hope that creative team stays on that series for a long, long time!
Other comics I’m looking forward to reading include more of Wynd, written by James Tynion IV (who continues to grow in popularity); the several Star Trek titles, which are very consistent with the TV franchise; and the recent young adult books, including the several focusing on Batman.
Speaking about my favorite character, I’m also thankful for the continued Bat-glut of DC comics. Yes, I still constantly worry about the bubble bursting for the Dark Knight, but until then, I’m happy to buy and read the books including Batman: Off-World, Batman and Robin, and Worlds Finest as well as the regular monthly title focusing on that hero. (They are finally going to look at Joker’s origin, I hope.) I loved the way Dark Knights of Steel concluded this year, so more of that, too, please! I wonder if I Am Batman will be back sometime as well!
The Bat-alike books continue to sparkle, including The All-Nighter, which continues to be a must-read for me.
I hope you got the chance to find other great new books in 2023, too!
It’s probably an odd time to say this, but I’m thankful for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yes, they are going through a seriously difficult time right now, but I’m sure they will find their way out of it.
See, the MCU, if nothing else, filled a need many comics fans have had for many years, and that is to see these comics characters in live-action format.
There were many times when I would go out to grocery shop or in other public places, and I would hear people say how much they were looking forward to the first Avengers film so they could finally encounter these heroes on the big or small screen. I was in a local Publix supermarket when I came across an employee talking to a friend of his, saying, “I’m finally going to see Hawkeye in the movie! I’ve been a fan of his for years, but now I’m so excited that he’s going to make it to the big screen!”
However, I think that may be part of the problem the MCU is facing—the novelty of seeing Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America this way has worn off over the years. Also, that “Big 3” of Marvel are no longer appearing in the movies, the TV, or anywhere else besides the comics.
Difficult times for fans of those characters! The CW filled this need a lot for DC fans, but more about that in a minute!
I’m truly thankful that comic conventions (otherwise known as “cons”) have returned because I find them very helpful on many levels. First, I get to check out potential guests for my weekly podcast. Next, I get to discover creators I may have previously missed for whatever reasons. Also, I find comic-related products like CGC-graded books and action figures, for example.
Sadly, I still keep hearing reports of people going to cons and returning home with either what is called “con crud” or new bouts with COVID. If you go to a con, please be careful when you interact with others, never a bad thing! I got to attend only one con this year—Megacon in Orlando—and it was a terrific chance to get back in touch with people in the industry and to discover new product I’m glad I found!
I was worried that this might happen, but it seems that the Whatnot platform is already going the way of eBay and other apps. For those who haven’t encountered them, Whatnot is something like a “live” eBay function. Auctions are held rapid-fire, and people seem to be able to turn things around a lot more quickly than on other auction apps. The people I know using it are seeing reduced sales and the need to attract new customers as much as possible!
The Arrowverse is truly coming to an end on The CW in 2024 with an abbreviated season for Superman and Lois. As long as they were comics-related shows, I was good with it! The Flash and Stargirl are gone, but whatever comes on Max, I hope they’ll keep things like the new Superman anime-style cartoon moving forward. I would still like it if they became a DC Superhero Hub of sorts, which would make it of value for me to keep subscribing there! However, it looks like Prime will be the home of the upcoming Batman animated show and the Christmas Batman cartoon, so I may have to divide my time—but at least they are there!
I’m so glad the strikes are over and things are starting to ramp up in the entertainment industry! Add that to the reduction in COVID, and things are going in a direction I prefer!
It probably goes without saying, but again in 2023, I feel it’s important to point out that I truly appreciate the chance to write columns and create podcasts for fans here at MajorSpoilers.com.
MajorSpoilers’ Head Honcho Stephen Schleicher and everyone else working here do a terrific job of keeping us all up to date and hearing a wide variety of opinions. We need to be aware of what’s happening, and MajorSpoilers is an important resource when it comes to learning what is going on in the comics industry! Once again, you all do a great job, Stephen!
What do you think? What’s going on in the comics industry that you’re happy about? Feel free to share your opinions below! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving in 2023, and I’m thankful for each and every one of you who reads my columns or listens to my podcast episodes! You really make my day every time!