Angelophile
link
Comics Commentary: New Readers and How To Get ‘Em?

On a somewhat related topic to the last post, there’s been some interesting discussion going on over at Comics Alliance and on Twitter about comics publishers’ failure to capture new readers, even when other media outings for superheroes are massively successful. Why do people flock to see The Avengers in their millions, but only a few then seek out comics with those characters at comic stores? Comixology’s CEO talks about the 75 million sales of digital comics through their app and mentions that "We know we’re reaching a ton of first time comic book readings and reaching a lot of people who can’t, for one reason or another, get to a local comic store" in the interview here, but since the emphasis always seems to be on printed media, what would get new readers dipping their toes in there?

A number of interesting points raised, about what accessibility to new readers actually means and whether publishers and creators who are on the inside looking out understand how it feels to be on the outside looking in, the pure saturation of titles with no way to know what’s “new reader friendly”.

(Marvel’s recent .1 initiative was supposed to mark an ideal jumping point for new readers, but the titles themselves didn’t reflect that. That’s not even getting into the fact that adding a decimal point to already complex numbering helps how? Or that the only people Marvel seemed to tell about this initiative were current readers or those reading comics related PR. Just how was a new reader, coming into a store for the first time, supposed to gravitate towards those titles in a sea of others? Even my friendly local comics store owner was bemused by that.)

One exception that proves the rule seems to be The Walking Dead, which appears to have managed the difficult task of converting viewers into readers, both in digital and in print. The trade releases have been cited as being the main reason the graphic novels sales for the last year look so healthy, the 100th issue was recently announced as the biggest selling comic of the last 15 years and certainly, in my local store, the owner can’t seem to keep the books on the shelves. So why has that comic so effectively converted mass media appeal into sales?

Surely some of it has to be down to the uniqueness of the product within a sea of superhero books, but that explains why it may have been popular to start with, but not the explosion of new readers since. 

So, there’s an obvious conclusion to reach. Walking into a local comic or book store and scanning for The Walking Dead isn’t a daunting experience. There’s about a dozen or so trade collections, all clearly numbered so you know what order to read in. The ongoing has a 100 issues. All neatly numbered, not rebooting every dozen or so. The short answer is that The Walking Dead is accessable in ways that most of the Big Two’s output isn’t, even with DC’s reboot trick. If you like Batman, what Batman book should you buy? Which order do you need to read in? What’s the difference between the books? If you missed some issues, which trade do you pick up, and so on.

It’s the reason why, at least for a little while, Ultimate Comics was a successful exercise. Before getting bogged down with its own continuity, or lack thereof, there were divisions. It wasn’t perfect because, well, how did any new reader walking into a comic store for a first time know what Ultimate was compared to other Spider-man books, but it certainly helped.

There has to be a reason why The Walking Dead has been so successful bringing in new comic readers and why the Nu DC has been merely recycling.

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that, while the characters are as popular as ever, the bloated nature of most comics and publisher’s output makes them a niche product rather than something that is likely to reclaim the mainstream audience enjoyed in the past.


link
doctordisaster:

You, too, can have your very own Catwoman bouncy ball.

doctordisaster:

You, too, can have your very own Catwoman bouncy ball.


link
Relax, I got this by ~Catgirl-Calla on Deviantart.

Relax, I got this by ~Catgirl-Calla on Deviantart.


link
A Compendium of Cool Comics Cosplay – NuDC Edition

Yesterday saw Gamma Squad’s regular Friday comic book cosplay feature, spotlighting the best superhero (and villain) related costuming from the cosplay community.  This week we were looking at the rebooted DC universe, featuring characters who’ve found new life in the NuDC, some others who’ve undergone revamps and some that have sadly been left behind.

Gamma Squad is committed to giving a voice to the cosplay community that thrives in groups like TheSuperheroCostumingForum.com. Each week we spotlight our favorite costumes and each month we host a cosplay contest. We’ll be picking a theme for each month and inviting cosplayers, costumers and photographers to submit related pictures of their work to our Flickr group to be considered. We’ll then pick our top choices and post them on Gamma Squad for the adoration of all.

The theme for the upcoming month is:

  • Batman: Friends and Foes
  • But in the meantime, here’s this week’s selection relating to the new DC universe!


    link
    Oh no, they didn’t.

    georgethecat:

    dcwomenkickingass:

    Amanda Waller, who represented two under represented groups of people in comics, women of color and people of size, now represents just one.

    I get it it must be a return to the most “iconic ver…  wait Amanda Waller has something to say …

    I hear you Amanda, I hear you.

    Not everyone looks the same in this world. There are people in wheelchairs and people of size. I’d like to see some in my comics, too.

    OH For Fuck’s SAKE


    link
    From Batman Incorporated #6 - May 2011

Were you trying to tell us something, Mr. Morrison?

    From Batman Incorporated #6 - May 2011

    Were you trying to tell us something, Mr. Morrison?


    link
    Applause for DC, please.

    Really? For what exactly? For saying they’re going to do the bare minimum they should have been doing anyway? And not even doing it. Just saying they will. Which I’m not sure I believe anyway.

    So much respect and kudos to kyrax2 for her determination to confront DC with their sexist hiring practices. This story’s overshadowed pretty much everything that DC announced at San Diego and they’re having to publicly acknowledge the issue. But let’s not pretend there’s anything to applaud DC for. Saying they’re going to treat female creators with the same respect as male creators isn’t something to applaud them for. They don’t deserve cookies for that. Even if they actually put their money where their mouths are and demonstrate that they’re taking female creators seriously and hiring on the same level as they do male creators, it’s still not something they should expect rewards for. Treating women like actual human beings instead of some kind of lesser citizen… you don’t get prizes for that. 

    And despite all their talk about diversity, they haven’t exactly demonstrated that in their employment processes either.

    So, fuck applause, frankly.


    link
    13,700 plays • download

    webslinging:

    This is an audio clip of Dan Didio at SDCC.  Someone in the audience asked him why the percentage of women on DC’s creative team dropped from 12% to 1%.  His response is “What do these numbers mean to you?” and “Who should we be hiring?”  I know most of you have read a transcript of the discussion, but you should probably listen to this.  I know I imagined a more sarcastic/inquisitive tone on “Who should we be hiring?” so hearing how aggressive he sounds is just.  Wow.  I would’ve been incredibly uncomfortable had I witnessed this first hand.

    I’m pretty sure credit for the audio clip goes to DCWKA, but I could be wrong.

    Wow. What an absolute prince.


    link
    366 Signatures.

    airawyn:

    elliottmarshal:

    Which isn’t too bad for over night. 

    But a lot of people are commenting about how Marvel is so much better than DC is about hiring women, and I just don’t know if that’s true? Do we have the numbers on how many women are working at Marvel right now?

    Marvel seems to be slightly better at the moment, but they may have actively tried to hire women. A couple of years ago, Marvel’s rep was so bad that my comic book writing teacher said you pretty much had to go to strip clubs with the editors to get writing gigs and it was a very “frat boy” atmosphere, while with DC, women had at least a fighting chance for jobs. Obviously, the market has shifted since them.

    I’m not sure how relevant it is that Marvel’s hiring more women, since they still have a really low percentage. (Is it actually better than DC’s pre-reboot stats?) Because it still doesn’t excuse DC from hiring women.

    I was actually thinking about this yesterday and… well…

    I looked at Marvel’s solicits for September for a like-to-like comparison with the DC reboot the same month.

    To break things down, Marvel’s solicits don’t list inkers, colorists, letterers etc, and I didn’t include cover artists, so the results are limited to writers and artists/pencilers on the interiors of the books.

    Marvel are publishing 53 ongoings in September. I didn’t include mini-series or one-shots, to make the comparison with DC’s line (all ongoings) fair.

    There are roughly 100 creators working on these books.

    Out of those, three of them are women:

    Sara Pichelli (Ultimate Spider-man)

    June Brigman (Herc)

    Marjorie Liu (X-23)

    So, 3% as compared to DC’s 2% for that month.

    Frankly, neither of the industry’s main publishers come out of this looking good.

    (Source: cureelliott)


    link

    pocketfulofgeek:

    Seriously, why the fuck?

    Hey, look who’s not regretting their decision to ditch DC entirely. That’s right, it’s me!


    link
    What would DC have to do to attract more women? Well, not add romance, puppies and rainbows. (I like kitties, though …) No, really, all they have to do is stop actively driving away the female audience with art too often based on porn poses and women so often portrayed as victims and not three-dimensional characters even when they’re in supporting roles. Give us art that’s not so obviously done to make woman sex objects only and make them well-rounded characters and we’ll be just fine. In fact, just keep the heroes you already have around instead of tossing them aside would be a start. Don’t, say, announce that all the Robins will be getting showcase titles when what you mean is that all the male Robins will be getting showcase titles and that the current Batgirl (former Robin) Stephanie Brown is going into limbo, along with former Batgirl current Black Bat Cassandra Cain. Because, apparently, there can only be one Batgirl as multiple ones would be too confusing but four Robins is just fine.
    Corrina Lawson, from Wired.com (via CBR)

    (Source: vasnormandy)


    link
    Also, Dan and Jim? I love you guys, and I’m greatly enjoying watching you start some ****. But you can’t keep talking about how the old comics were boring when you in fact were the old management too. Someone’s eventually going to call you on it, and you’re not going to have a good answer.

    Warren Ellis on Didio’s PR strategy for the DCnu.

    Glad I’m not the only one who thought this.

    (via fyeahlilbitoeverything)

    Bless that man.

    (via ceebee-eebee

    (via spandexandsportsbras)

    (Source: fyeahlilbit3point0)


    link
    happyfandom:

iandsharman:

onlymetahuman:

timetravelandrocketpoweredapes:

DC Hipster Reboot Designs by callmepo





Would take these over the changes in the DC universe, to be honest!

I would read this comic… Oh yes…

Finally, a reboot I can get behind.

    happyfandom:

    iandsharman:

    onlymetahuman:

    timetravelandrocketpoweredapes:

    DC Hipster Reboot Designs by callmepo

    Would take these over the changes in the DC universe, to be honest!

    I would read this comic… Oh yes…

    Finally, a reboot I can get behind.