comics

This is the area that I get to rant and rave about comics.  Being a person who fondest memories of comics come from the Silver Age, I have a lot to say about the state of comics today.

The cost of comics were 10¢ and 12¢ when I was young and didn’t get to 25¢ until I got to college.  In college I could pick up 20 comics for $5.00, that same $5.00 today will not get you two comics. The price we could accept this if you got the same thing you got for 25¢ back then which was one or two complete stories. (When I was younger you could get two or three stories for 12¢).  The comic companies had writers that knew how to write short stories. When I was young a three part story was one story in a single comic. Once in a while you would have a story that would be in TWO comics, much like the JLA/JSA yearly team-up, but the rest of the year the JLA would have one complete story per issue. Now a single story can cover more than a years worth of issues - and they can lead into a new story without a new beginning.  You no longer has readers, just fans and collectors.  Collectors after getting burned on new comics in the 90’s they stick to older issues so the comic companies don’t make money off of them.  And the fans get smaller and smaller every year.

DC has just rebooted their entire line of comics to get new Fans!  WHY? What they have done will turn off a lot of old fans and they will loose them.  With all the publicity they had they could have gotten more readers, but no, they are looking for fans.  Pick up any of the new DC comics and we have the beginning of a new story arch which will span many issues.  A reader is not interested in this, only a fan.  Without the single stories you will not get new fans. It is too much of an investment today.

In both the Golden and Silver Ages most comics were bought by readers, not fans.  Some of those readers became fans. This is the only way to get new fans...get them as readers first.  

DC and Marvel want to increase your readership? Divide your line into three groups. For example I will use DC. ACTION COMICS - two complete short stories every issue. SUPERMAN - one complete story every issue. ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN - three or four issue story arch. On the covers let it be known what it contains. Two stories, one story, or part of a story.  Run ads letting people know like they did for there reboot. New readers can pick up the complete story comics and get to know the hero's, and if they become a fan of the hero they might buy the third comic (they might not, because the price per story get rather high).

Now back to DC’s Reboot - I picked up Supergirl #1. I read it like I was a new reader and had no idea about the Supergirls of the past.  It made no since at all, a lot of fighting, was she a good person or a bad one. And at the end this guy fly's up that looks sort of like superman, but it couldn’t be Superman because the costume is all wrong.  Any thing that would make you pick up the next issue? NO nothing. Bad writing, charters that look wrong...(Everyone knows what Superman looks like). No new fans for this comic. Will it get any old Supergirl fans? Maybe, but not me.

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