While I am not a comics fan myself I find that industry to be pretty interesting. I know the major US companies are just producing woke garbage that no one buys and that manga is doing well and of course there are some new players like Rippa.
My question to comic aficionados is this. Can the US market be brought back to life? If so will that require an utter collapse of that market first?
I don’t know. It’s all about what is selling and what is resonating. I really liked the story of the creation of T.M.N.T, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. One of the first cases of an algorithm being used to create something, as the creators just took the top topics in the genre and smashed them together. The game has just changed. Not sure how much of the public even reads anymore, plus a lot of things have just gone digital. For me, I still peruse a lot of comics and, since I’m older, I like the ones that story-board a novel or story and capture it visually. Like concept art in movies, I think comics should be a before-hand step to any show or movie. Like you said, the woke message is a killer. It’s being used to weigh people down and break their standards and it will probably work. The woke stuff is repugnant right up until the point where it’s accepted as normal and they are trying to normalize certain behavior. Comics, like just about every industry in the USA, is being deliberately destroyed. They want a multi-polar world and they don’t like the USA because of the “we’re number one” mindset. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/dc-film-tv-boss-dan-lin-1235204760/
Above link is some new guy who they brought in to be the Kevin Feige of DC. I wish him well. Hope he succeeds, but I do not see things changing. It’s not just comics, but publishing in general that pushes the message. They are wrecking sci-fi as well. They get some kind of ESG points for gender-swapping and gender-bending characters.
There are some good comics out there, but it requires too much time and effort. Maybe one out of ten will be good, but it’s probably less, like one out of twenty. You have to know what you like. I do like the Dune ones. There is one called The Waters of Kanly that is pretty good. They ruined a lot of the main character brands and company brands, so many times, I can only speak for myself, but I like the esoteric short runs. Trippy stuff. One thing I like about comics is they will blatantly hack ideas and put out something with a spin or a twist on what was in books or shows or movies that they saw already.
Anything can be saved with good writing, good stories, good characters and good messages, but just don’t expect it in the USA anymore.
Here’s one random that I liked that popped out of nowhere. Not a traditional comic at all, but I liked the story. https://www.webtoons.com/en/sf/seed/prologue/viewer?title_no=1480&episode_no=1
About a girl who encounters an A.I. that takes a liking to her as a personal friend.
It takes a while to load, but here is my favorite Arkhaven one called My Sister Suprema. It’s really funny and reminds me of The Incredibles. They have other titles I like, too: https://www.arkhaven.com/comics/superhero/my-sister-suprema/i-want-to-be-a-hero
I could post a bunch, but my tastes are different now and the characters are unknown. Here is one I kind of liked where the writers do something different with a known character. Thor’s sentient hammer will not obey him, so he gives up and goes to a guardian to try and get the power of the Iron Fist. There is a part where he punches his hammer, as part of his training: https://readcomicsfree.com/comic/avengers-forever-2021/issue-8/all
Nope. Print is a dead format. There will likely be a small market for affictionados like with vinyl records, but it’s never really coming back.
And now with AI art software, the value of art will go down considerably.
This is exactly what I think of digital comics:
When there is a black-out, I can READ on PHYSICAL Comic Book.
When I need money (unexpected car repair), I can SELL a run of my PHYSICAL Comic Books.
It has been proven that Manga is one (if not THE) largest source of comics sold. Why? Because the art is consistent, the stories are NOT woke/SJW/agenda. They DON’T retro-actively alter character’s sexuality, etc.
Return to good stories. Return to good artwork (interior and cover). Remove the woke/SJW/agenda BS.
But sadly, all the comics they are pushing for the YA category, the YA don’t want it/won’t buy it. They want and would rather have Manga than the BS comics are producing.
Comics have LOST more than just a generation of customers, but they have been losing the long-time collectors slowly as well.
The future of comics is via the independent producers, like EVS and Rippa. (Which sadly is not within my budget to get.)
Modern Comic Industry (Marvel and DC) have alienated too many. And now with DC (no longer DC Comics) being audited by discovery (having asked for all accounting numbers they have)… I expect the number of printed comics by DC to be a fraction of what it is now (if they decide to keep some titles going that is). The option to license out to have some other publisher to create/print them is the only thing I can see for the future of physical comics by DC going forward after the audit is done and the expected PURGE takes place.
So I personally don’t think Marvel will buy the license (since Discovery would still have control of the IP, so crossovers or certain directions Marvel might want to go I can see being VETOED by Discovery.
Other than IDW, I don’t know any other publisher who would be willing to buy the publishing license.
Unless the culture completely changes within the Comic Industry, I do not think it can be revived.
Agree with all that. The production cost is too high, so only the very best business person can make it work at a profit.
Dragons are coming. The city will burn. Meanwhile, Astor discovers a mysterious object that will open the door bound to shift his life and that of those who live in Arofa, the flying continent. https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/niebla-the-mist-below/prologue-arofa/viewer?title_no=407771&episode_no=2
It Tolls for DC
The Dark Herald notices some very bad signs at DC, formerly DC Comics:
DC Comics has for decades been able to survive as an IP farm. Yeah, it’s a loss leader and has been that way since forever ago but that red ink is barely a rounding error for Warner Brothers. And now they are seriously under the microscope. DC has never been audited by Warner Brothers before because it wasn’t worth doing it. It was actually a waste of money to find out if it was a waste of money. Because it obviously was. Now, DC Comics is having to explain its terrible decisions and why they are pursuing storylines that killed sales. The answer is, we wanted to be popular with the cool kids and you never cared about the money we burned doing it before now, so why not?
DC Comics didn’t send out their royalty checks to writers and artists. DC has never missed a royalty payment since they got bought up by Warner Brothers. The only reason they wouldn’t be sending out money is if there was no money to send.
I have it on very good authority that the royalties were finally paid, but they were paid uncharacteristically late. That’s a problem when large corporations are involved, because it means that the scheduled routine has been intentionally altered, most likely because the finance department is shuttling dwindling resources around from one department to another as needed.
Read the above this morning. Not sure what the future holds, but I think it’s over for the big companies as a business model. The more I get away from comics though, the more they pull me back in. As bad as it is out there, there are websites where a fan can read most issues for free and there are as many as there ever have been and some of them are really good. In some ways, I think it’s better now than ever in that comics are the storyboard models for every visual production. Comics and film play off each other well and the industries have learned to emulate each other in terms of shots and tracing. I’ve heard some artists will render what they see on camera and vice versa, so it has evolved. What cant’ be duplicated is the love, dedication and focus of a very talented artist, so the rare ones will be out there.
The following is from Mark Millar:
A very, very interesting time in comics right now. The industry changes every twenty years or so as we move from Golden to Silver to Dark to Modern Ages, a cycle of enormous upheaval when it does and every single chair tends to change in the mainstream when these new waves begin. But what we have coming up is something even bigger I think. The forty years of newsstand comics was followed by 40 years of the Direct Market we know and love, but there’s massive tectonic plates shifting right now and inside a year I think the comic-book industry is going to be pretty unrecognisable. I predicted this coming shortly before covid, but the global economy was put into an induced coma for two years which slowed everything down. Now it’s back with a vengeance and friends at the Big Two are telling me things beyond what I even guessed. If one company really does completely restructure how they do business (as is rumoured), you can bet the other big company will immediately follow and I think the danger for a lot of my friends is a race to the bottom in terms of mainstream comic page-rates. Just always remember that every time comic-books are reinvented they come back bigger than ever. It’s a very smart, resourceful industry and the cataclysmic events I suspect coming to the Big Two shortly will hopefully be short-lived before a complete reinvention of the medium itself. It’s going to look grim for a year or two for all our traditional favourite books and a lot of people are going to lose their jobs, which is horrific. But at the same time I think something new and solid is already being created right in front of us and comics will be bigger and better on the other side of all this.
This is something every pro is talking about right now (regardless of what they’re saying online), but just remember how the cycle goes and how every era after a collapse is rebuilt into something that benefits the creators more, from the rate hikes of the Silver Age to the new creator rights the previous generation ushered in. I still believe the best time for comic-books is what lies ahead and we’re going to have a really lean, but very healthy industry a couple of years down the line with a LOT of new faces and a completely different way of doing business.
I personally think the big two are dead. They believe that they can go woke and far left, and then pivot back to superhero comics eventually, but I don’t believe that. The mob will bay and whine the minute they go three issues without talking about Robin being gay or showing Jon Kent struggling with his sexuality. Once you go woke, they are not going to let the big two go.
But I’m not ready to cancel superhero’s altogether, and this is not because I wrote about one. I read a manga recently, picking up six volumes, and while it was decent, I see why I never truly got into them. And this was even after being stationed in Japan twice. There is just something different about superheroes that is unique. There will always be a place for them in the culture. Eventually someone will put money behind a shared universe that brings superheroes back to their original mission without the wokeness.
What has been done to Marvel and DC is criminal because it was intentional. It’s not involuntary manslaughter, it’s first degree murder.
But people not only need and want heroes I think they are healthy. No human can be that perfect so they can only exist in our imagination so I think there is a place for them for sure and they will return because people really want them.
However it might take some time for new IPs to develop but they will because both nature and capitalism hate a vacuum.
Not sure it will ever come back. It would take very clever writers. The culture was much different and wholesome back then. The demographics were different back then as well. If comics were modernized, I doubt The Daily Planet would still be in business, but instead, be a website. Lois Lane would probably have a youtube channel and twitter. Clark would be a blogger and write on SubStack.
Real heroes would stand up against the Groomers, stand up against the traffickers, stand up against the sleazy media. Would be against the gangs, the filth, etc. Real heroes would stand up against the New World Order and the World Economic Forum. Heroes would come up with energy solutions and would stand up against the swatters and the raiders.
To me, the one that came the closest to turning it around was Alt-Hero by Arkhaven due to the writing with a Point of View.
Taking on ANTIFA
Against stabbers in London
Predicted the Yellow Vest protests
I bailed on Marvel over a decade ago. Once they started putting fairy stuff in there, I was out, and will not return. Another thing to consider why comics were so great is that comics captured the cultural history of that time since the 50s. Since that time, we have pretty much lost The Boy Scouts. The things that were moral, innocent and pure have been corrupted. You really can’t trust the media and schools anymore, so they have become villains, but since good people are surrounded by evil, there is more content to write about for someone with courage. I flip through the comics from the big two from time to time and occasionally, peek in at a movie, but the overall trust is gone. Comics used to be so great. Lots of muscles and babes. Brain power and money. Have to do the right thing under anonymity and stealth because the authorities aren’t getting the job done and are corrupt.
Now, we are left with truly terrible stuff like this:
I doubt The Daily Planet would still be in business, but instead, be a website. Lois Lane would probably have a youtube channel and twitter. Clark would be a blogger and write on SubStack.
Actually, they did do a similar story arc.
So it was an interesting story arc on how modern technology and legacy media clash, and what newspapers (and its reporters) must do to stay relevant.
Digital comics are good for people to consume bad comics and for normies. I remember one day on twitter one guy was making anti-CG posts and saying he reads all the modern marvel books, especially the miles morales ones, people asked for proof and he just showed his digital library. Basically, it’s like you showing your Netflix account… it’s so stupid lol And in this case, we could even see that the dude didn’t even read more than 1 page in every book. He was completely destroyed and then blocked everyone.
Anyway, If you are a true comic book fan and you really like a book, you’ll do anything to REALLY own it, you’ll end up buying the physical version.
Regarding the Industry, modern mainstream comics are garbage, the industry was hijacked by the wokies… women and weak men that spend their time on starbucks, posting on twitter (former tumblr community). But hopefully, things will start to change, from next year.
Meanwhile, we can consume old DC/marvel books, indie books and manga… plenty of quality for everyone.