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New Tilting is up
Posted by: Brian Hibbs on January 18, 2013
Tags: Brian, Tilting
Talking about Marvel NOW! and it is available, as usual, at CBR.
Comment here if you can’t over there.
Do you feel that the lower level of interest in Marvel has to do with:
1) The quality of the work
2) The idisyncratic nature of “the creator’s vision”, or
3) Marvel fans are getting their fix at the movies and TV?
I’m one of those readers who’s picking up a fair number of the opening books, but hasn’t committed to adding any to his pull yet. For me, it’s a combination of the price/scheduling concerns. I’d be okay with a monthly at 3.99. I’d be okay with 18+ a year at 2.99. But 18+ a year at 3.99? I’m going to have to be head over heels about a book for that to stick past an arc or two.
Forget my previous question, as I forgot why I am not buying any NOW books. $3.99 has finally cured me of my habit, in a way that $2.99 and even $3.50 didn’t even touch. I have to say that I am impressed if there is any uptick in Marvel sales. Doubly so, since they would be increases at a higher price point.
My Marvel Universe reading has been down to X-Factor and Daredevil for a year or two now (with occasional visits with Captain America and the Fantastic Four), and before that it was just X-Factor. I missed certain characters enough (mainly Avengers related) to give several Marvel NOW! books a try and have been generally pleased enough to stick around for awhile longer.
That said, it’s been hard to commit because a) that $3.99 price point stings, especially with the “self cover” format (used to be understood that settling for lesser production quality netted us a lower price); b) being interested in following a title is not the same as wanting randomly generated extra issues; and c) being interested in a character doesn’t mean I need to see them in several titles each. It just seems like a recipe for early burnout and I don’t want to leave my LCS holding the bag on pre-ordered issues I decide I don’t want.
It’s fun to spend time with old friends, but to commit to keep up with annoying Marvel policies (random number switching, bizarre scheduling, etc.) requires a bit more excitement. But we’ll see how it goes.
I love these in depth pieces on how the market works. It’s too easy to sound off on pre-conceived notions, but here’s real world data to chew on. (I’m as guilty as anyone for sounding off on pre-conceived notions.)
I’m not the normal lapsed Marvel reader, but the NOW thing has brought me back for a book, FF. I’m a sucker for anything Allred does.
Could the perspection that Marvel or more creator driven just come from having more good creators and not releasing everything it a wave?
If the new 52 had been one book a week and started with Action Comics, Wonder Woman, Batman, Batwoman, Animal Man, OMAC, Superboy, etc wouldnt the same things be said about DC?
For me, I’ve kept away from Marvel Now because I simply can’t budget for them. The Hulk is a marginal character for me, but the new book looks *fantastic*. Frankly, I think I’d love it. But I’m not buying it right now, because I simply don’t know how much it will cost me per month.
Same with Fantastic Four and FF, except in those cases they’re my favorite Marvel characters of all. But with the possibility of four $3.99 books a month (how likely is it that we’ll be able to read both series independently in the long run?), I can’t risk dipping my toe in that water. Marvel purchases for me (with the exception of Daredevil) are the collected editions down the line… except by then, the magic of marketing hype has worn off and I wind up passing on books I would have been happy to plunk down $3/month for, had I felt reasonably assured that that would be *all* I’d be paying.
Rob S: both of the Fraction-led FANTASTIC FOUR titles are only $2.99/issue, if that helps.
They’re still more than 12x a year, but at least it is at the lower price point.
A couple of ways to combat the $3.99 problem ;
1) Digital Codes – find a friend who isn’t using theirs (or wants yours) and make a deal
2) Marvel digital Comics unlimited – if you are willing to wait 6 months to year, most new releases eventually pop up
3) Find an online shop with a good discount. I use g-mart.com
4) eBay – resell the issues on eBay every 6-12 issues to recoup cost. Use the digital code for a keeper digital copy.
5) trade wait with heavy discount pre-order (work with your library even!)
6) trade your tpb to maximize value (sequentialswap.com)
7) if you have an ipad, watch for discounted iTunes gift cards. If you are patient, you can get them 25-30% off from Walmart/best buy, etc. Then use comixology.
That does help, Brian; thanks. I’ll still be tradewaiting, but that’s really good to know.
I already have a shop with a prety good discount. This is the only reason I am still buying at $2.99, rather than having quit back at $2.50 or even $1.99. (And both price points saw me drop marginal books and be slow to add new ones.)
I don’t like digital. While I am begining to appreciate storage, I have yet to encounter a reader that duplicates the visual much less kinesthetic experience of reading a paper comic. And while I do go to the library for a number of books that I don;t expect to want to keep, if I pay money for a book, I want to own it. Another problem with many forms of digital.
Tradewaiting is another option I already use. As well as annual sales from my shop, and remainders from book stores. But ultimately “Out of sight, out of mind”. By making TPBs more attractive than monthly comic books, most publishers have simply shown me that I really don’t need what they are selling. Good for me as a human being, questionable for the over-all economy, but a death spiral for the publishers.
I am not saying that $2.99 will fix everything. For many books it is already too late, and I have forgotten why I was buying them. But they shouldn’t make it harder for me to start at the same time they are trying to bring in a new audience with things like Allred on a major mainstream comic.
Marvel books I would probably be reading if they cost $2.99: Waid’s Hulk, Aaron’s Thor, all Hickman’s Avengers stuff, Spider-Man, both pre-NOW and post, Uncanny X-Men, and heck, I’d have tried All-New X-Men on word-of-mouth, even if the plot sounds unbearably stupid to me.
Instead I am buying exactly three monthly Marvel books (Hawkeye, Daredevil, and Captain Marvel). This is staggering to me. The last time I was buying this few Marvel books was, like, 1996.
I agree with the “Out of sight, out of mind” part with trade waiting. Especially because the various universes seem to change direction so often, that by the time you’re reading a trade the status quo it sets up is completely different anyway, and you realize that the story didn’t matter much in terms of continuity. Once you get off the monthly addict habit, and you miss a few trades, thinking that you can get them anytime, you’re almost cured, which is bad for the industry, I would think.
About needing to own things physically: I can understand, with one caveat; how do you know that the monthlies you’re getting are stuff you really want to own? There’s really no try before you buy with comics (unless your shop allows you to read stuff in store), and even then you don’t really know how the story will pan out for months. That was my biggest reason for going with trades way back when the only trade that was really out was Dark Phoenix Saga; you buy this stuff month to month, hoping that the creative team stays onboard long enough to complete their vision with a minimum of fill ins, and that the vision is a good one, but with no guarantee that it’ll be worth reading again. With trades, you can at least research the work beforehand, and if it is worth reading again, it’s much easier to reach for a trade than to go through various long boxes and take each issue out of the bag. That’s how DC got me out of the monthly slow drip with the new 52; it gave me room to breathe and realize that most (not all) of the storylines they had been peddling I had been following not because the stories were good but because of my attachment to the characters; few of those storylines were really worth reading over and over.
I know digital is still a niche audience, and I understand the need for brick and motor stores and specialty shops, and I really hope they don’t go away anytime soon. When my daughter is older, I want her to have the experience of going to a comic shop on a regular basis (hopefully there will be something for her to read).
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