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December 19, 2022

LOL: Corrupt Leftwing Comics "Journalists" Finally Admit That the Comics Industry Is In Financial Trouble

So there has been an ongoing argument for five years about the health of the comics industry.

Leftwing industry shills all claim that the comics industry has never been better. They say this because the left took over the industry and turned it to woke SJW propaganda and full "diversity" hiring. They want to claim this all "worked," and due to the industry going Full Woke, it has Never Been Healthier (TM).

The right -- which has been almost entirely purged from the comics industry, and has been forced to form its own parallel alternative comics industry, which some call ComicsGate -- say the "mainstream" (but not really mainstream; really extremist) comics industry is dying.

The right-leaning outcasts are invested in the proposition, too, of course: They were driven out of the industry, some just because they voted for Trump, some just because they were white and male and straight, and have a bit of a rooting interest in seeing the industry do poorly without them.

The comics industry shills have been able to fudge the numbers for years. If you don't want to get into the details of this, just skip down to the link.

Spoiler alert: The industry is dying, obviously. Get woke go broke. You know that.

But here are some of the ways the shills have been able to hide the fact that the industry is contracting and losing money:

Covid and PPP loans. PPP loans allowed a lot of publishers to continue paying their staff at their pre-covid levels even though sales were actually falling. Now that those loans are all over, companies aren't playing with the government's money. They have to base spending levels on actual revenues.

Dramatically inflating the cover cost of comics. Comic books now cost almost $5 on average and often cost $6 or even $10 for a special issue. This disguises how poorly comics are selling because the dollars brought in look okay... except you're getting them from a fewer and fewer pool of people. In the 80s, Jim Shooter, EIC of Marvel, considered 70,000 copies per month to be the line at which a title might be eligible for cancelation. Now a book is considered a "hit" if it sells 40,000 or even 30,000. The high price of comics means that no children -- none -- can afford the hobby, so the industry is like the cigarette industry, selling to an aging audience it cannot hope to expand.

Goosing sales with gimmicks that appeal only to speculators. The industry has been relying more and more on appealing to collectors and speculators who hope that a rarity, like a variant cover of a #1 issue, will become valuable in ten years and be resold at a big profit. And so the industry is frequently restarting titles at #1, often with as many as 20 or 30 variant covers (different covers drawn by different artists for the same book) for that #1 issue. But this tactic relies on selling a lot a comics to a relatively few number of people -- just speculators hoping that these things are going to be worth something some day. And with the actual number of people in the hobby declining, the odds of a variant cover of the latest reboot of Ms. Marvel being worth anything start to look pretty meager, because, who's going to buy it? And when the speculators start doubting the game can ever be won, they stop playing the game, and then the whole thing crashes.

Including Manga as "comic book sales." Over the past few years, Japanese imports of manga comics have become the biggest segment of comic books sold in the US. That's right -- Japanese imports now beat the homemade American product. You'd think that right there would be proof that the American comic book industry is fallen on hard times, but instead, they claim... that when you add Japanese sales together with American sales, total sales have never been better!

Ethan Van Sciver says this is like Ford executives high-fiving each other in 1980 about how great Honda's sales are, and that's exactly right. What the hell does the good financial fortune of manga companies in Tokyo have to do with desperate American creators in New York, LA, and Portland, Oregon?

And yet, the comic book shill "press" makes this kind of argument.

Including kid's picture books in the category of "comic book sales." Kid's picture books, like Reina Telgemeier's "Dogman," haven't usually been called "comic books," but now are being so called, seemingly just to increase the numbers in the present day, and "hide the decline." But if you went back in time and included Garfield and Peanuts in the "comic book" category in decades past, you'd boost the numbers in the past, too. And then you'd see the decline again.

Including the sales figures of ComicsGate pros purged from the industry in the industry's numbers to make the industry look healthier than it is. Ethan Van Sciver has sold millions in CyberFrog books, and Jon Malin's Graveyard Shift books, Shane Davis Inglorious Rex book, and Ya Boi Zach's comics including The Expendables and the new Rambo: First Blood comic have sold millions more. Van Sciver and Davis were purged from DC, Malin was purged from Marvel, and Zach had his comic blocked from publication by comics non-professional professional Mark Waid. Yet the industry includes the sales of these purged, excluded gatekept Comicsgate pariahs in the comics industry sales figures to show that they Better Than Ever (TM). What? They're Literally Hitler except when you need to add their sales to the collective kitty? Then they're part of the Allied Cause again?

Long story short, if you pointed out that there were many, many reasons to suspect the comics industry is not, in fact, Better Than Ever (TM), including the fact that assistant editors at even Marvel seem to be making wages that you simply cannot live on, you are routinely dismissed by the shill comics "press" as alt-right Nazis who just hate comics and diversity or whatever.

Except now, when comics companies start missing payments to artists by such lengthy periods that the artists are forced to begin openly complaining, it kind of makes hard to claim that everyone's flush with cash and the industry has Never Been Healthier (TM).

As 2022 draws to a close, there are whispers, statements and shouts about slowing sales and late payments from various publishers.

Over the last few months, a number of comics creators have taken to social media to discuss late or non-payments. And retailers are increasingly talking about a glut of product -- particularly periodical comics.

It's not hard to draw a line between these two things.

On a podcast with Sktchd's David Harper, Bruno Batista of Dublin's Big Bang Comics talked at length about the product glut on the market. "The market cannot take the outpouring of new titles that seem to have no clearly defined audience."

"No clearly defined audience." Such as books targeted at audiences so microscopic they can't even be called "niche," if an actual buyer at the end of the economic chain is even considered at all.

Comicsgate has been making this complaint for years. There's nothing wrong with niche books, but niche books must be supported by books that target a general audience, and for a decade, the comics industry has acted as if the the words "general audience" meant "Hitler's Werewolves."


Our understanding, having talked to numerous individuals within the industry with direct knowledge, is that PPP loans kept multiple publishers afloat during COVID and now the publishers haven't adjusted to a new economic reality...

Except this economic reality isn't "new." It's just been ignored for years and years. It was the reality before the pandemic, too.

...and the market isn't where it "needs to be" causing money flow issues that are compounded by recent distribution/shipping issues and the increase cost of materials/business.

As Schenker also noted, some of the companies being accused of late payments to creators also owe money to comics news websites for advertising, including The Beat. Call it the trickle down economy -- and less has been trickling down of late.

So.... the comics industry, which has Never Been Healthier (TM), is now late in paying you -- or paying you off, maybe -- and now maybe it's not so healthy.

There is no problem in the comics industry until the comics industry media starts missing checks.

Then they're prepared to say: There's a big problem.


Reading the responses to these tweets is an indication of how widespread the problem is. A slowing economy, and slowing book sales are surely part of the problem.

Oh, now it's a widespread problem, too, not just with one or two companies.

I hear even Marvel and DC, despite being owned/backed by trillion dollar corporations, are paying their artists late, too.

Below, Clownfish TV weigh in. They themselves have worked in comics, I think maybe for Disney imprints (but don't hold me to that). They've been pointing out that the industry is in decline for years and years, and have been called every name in the book, including, of course, "Nazis." Despite being normal liberalish people.

Or they used to be. Now they're "Trump-loving conservatives." Because they refuse to peddle the lies that the shitlibs demand they peddle.

They know people in the industry so none of this is news to them.

And they do some well-earned gloating.

There's going to be some gloating.

Zach dunks on Comics Beat and Heidi McDonald, too.

Most of the above analysis of sales is from Ya Boi Zach's channel. As well as from Ethan Van Sciver. I don't pour through any of the sales data myself. I just listen to these guys when I'm walking or folding laundry. So all credit (or blame) to them.

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posted by Ace at 05:14 PM

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