Robot 6

Quote of the day | Tom Brevoort on DC’s “Drawing the line at $2.99″ initiative

This meal costs less than most Marvel comics and the same as most DC comics

This meal costs less than most Marvel comics and the same as most DC comics

[Reader 1:] What do you think of DC’s “Drawing the line at $2.99″ pledge?

[Brevoort:] I think that if it works for them, and they can run their business and make their money on that cover price, good for them. But I know for certain that we can’t, so I must assume that they’re still in the traditional DC position of not really having to earn a direct profit in publishing, since they’ll get a credit for all of their licensing and so forth on the Warner’s ledgers. That’s not a luxury that we have–or really, that we want.

[Reader 2:] “…they’ll get a credit for all of their licensing and so forth on the Warner’s ledgers. That’s not a luxury that we have–or really, that we want.” Why not?

[Brevoort:] Because if you’re going to be a publishing division, to want to tell stories and to publish, don’t you want them to be read by people? Don’t you want them to be profitable? Sure, if we had the luxury of not having to make sure that each title earns its keep, we could coast a bit–but that wouldn’t make for better comics, that would just make us lazier and sloppier (and we’re plenty lazy and sloppy as it is.) Anything worth doing is worth doing well.

–In a pair of Formspring posts, newly minted Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort essentially shrugs and says “nice work if you can get it” over DC’s announcement that all their standard-format ongoing series for both the DC Universe and Vertigo lines will run at 20 story pages for $2.99. Whatever the reasoning, Marvel’s own price cutbacks are less extensive. What’s most interesting to me here, actually, isn’t connected to the price-cut debate — it’s Brevoort’s implication that Marvel’s newish status as a Disney subsidiary hasn’t impacted its basic business model.

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Comments

23 Comments

That is some beautifully backwards logic… Wouldn’t it be LESS lazy and LESS sloppy to have to turn your profit off of increasing circulation?

Of course you want your stories to be ‘read by people’… now please explain to me how increasing cover prices will create more readers.

Those posts are from The Onion, right?

If anything worth doing is worth doing well, why has my interest in Marvel books been declining?

Brevoort is about as stubborn and hard-headed as a Republican politician.

I’m just not clear on Brevoort’s reasoning when he says, “if you’re going to be a publishing division, to want to tell stories and to publish, don’t you want them to be read by people?” How does holding the price for comics at $2.99 (which is STILL too much in my not so humble opinion) keep them OUT of people’s hands?

Brevoort is a PR nightmare and should just stop talking.

Increase circulation means you can charge more for the advertising inside. Get it Tom? That is why newspapers who engage in giving their paper away, to keep circulation up, are still in business.

Prediction: Marvel will cut back to 20 pages by the end of 2011

I echo the general sentiment. More times than not, I find myself trying to drop books that are 3.99. I would rather but a few more 2.99 books than a few less 3.99 books. I understand that you don’t always want to raise prices,and I know that production costs rise and their are a lot of people that make their living at Marvel, but tell us that those are the reasons for not cutting back prices. Don’t tell us that it is to keep you honest or that its becuase you don’t have a seat to sit on.

Explain the rationale of the $4 comic book to me. Tell me where that money goes and how it gets divvied up and why it needs to stay $4.

Rather, explain the same for $3.

I’m not buying till we’re back down to $2.

And stop making them $#.99; that worked decades ago, we’re done with it now, or is it simply a continued insult to your audiences who you think are lemming enough to continue to gouge for $4 a book ?

Every time Brevoort opens his mouth it makes me drop a Marvel title from my pull list.

What I don’t understand about Brevoort’s repeated comments on the subject is that why do they come across as so damn combative? Why are you looking to pick a fight about pricing? You will not win people to your side constantly slamming DC about the myth that they can run in the red and it’s ok because they are a part of Time Warner. Really, pot, kettle, does this mean anything to Brevoort when he writes those things?

His comments do seem rather combative. I mean if you’re confident in Marvel’s prices a simple statement can be made that states such, without coming across like that. Let DC price books how they want and we’ll see what price works in the end. The bottom line is I’m more likely to add a $2.99 book than a $3.99. Also I’ve not purchased books that cost $3.99.

“[Brevoort:] Because if you’re going to be a publishing division, to want to tell stories and to publish, don’t you want them to be read by people? Don’t you want them to be profitable? ”

Right on, Tommy! Nothing is more profitable than flooding the market with useless, bad minis and charging too much for them.

When does Deadpool #8974827356 come out? That numbering is just TOO FUNNY! Sign me up but only if it’s $8.99.

I love me some Deadpool and Thor.

You are all correct. $2.99 is the way to go. Too bad I have to buy every single one of the 30 different Batman books in order to figure out who is doing what and which one of these is the actual Batman of Gotham. Give me some more $2.99 Batman. I need another book that is about the Batman of Athens. Awesome.

I can’t pay $3.99 for 22 pages of content. It is not that I don’t want to, it’s simply an expense that I can’t justify to myself or afford with any sort of regularity. The days when I could pop in and see what was going on with my favorite Marvel characters are more or less gone and it’s nothing to do with the quality of the books. The bottom line is that I just can’t afford it.

I don’t understand why everyone is up in arms about the $3.99 price point. We are not talking about anything that is a life necessity. If $3.99 is too much for you to pay for a comic, then don’t buy it. If everyone who says they are dropping titles actually drop titles, Marvel will reconsider their pricing. But I am guessing everyone who actually posts about how they are dropping titles, or refusing to buy at $3.99, are in practice doing no such thing. It all reminds me of when I used to work the concession stand at a movie theater – people would come up to the counter, complain about the ridiculous prices, then proceed to voluntarily hand over $20 (often more) for popcorn, candy, and soda.

We should have pity on Marvel. DC has Warners behind them, and Marvel just has Disney.

They’re poor people and need more money from us. I’ll bet some of these artists and writers are working for minimum wage.

Maybe I need to start buying Marvel comics again….

Brevoort makes about as much sense with his “pricing” arguement, given that Marvel constantly floods the market with subpar material as the dems saying “The way to get the economy going again is to tax everyone even more, cause only the gubment knows how to spend your money wisely.”

but, even still, Marvel, you lost me as a reader due to quality, not pricing. I trim expenses when I want my comics, but I limit them to good stuff, and frankly, Dynamite does a better job than you lately. Go ahead, cancel more books like Hawkeye, the only marvel I was still reading. Dynamite and DC love getting my money instead.

rick, you’ve got to stop listening to Rush or watching the Fox/Republican sortofnews channel. Taxes haven’t gone up at all, and the Dems have just continued to grow the huge deficit that Bush started….

But, yes, Marvel is wasting a lot of paper nowadays….

How about if someone tried $3.25 for 22 pages of content ? I think that’s reasonable.

Brevoort clearly doesn’t understand licensing. Licensing works on the same general monetary principle as advertising.

Make good product -> people buy it -> advertisers buy ads
Make good product -> people buy it -> licensees buy the rights to make product

The real money is not, and has never been, the middle part. It’s in the interest your product generates with an audience–audience share is valuable and people will pay to get at a piece of it.

Marvel has a crap licensing department. Spider-Man eau de toilette? Seriously?

Hopefully Disney will teach them how it really works. Disney Princesses make billions of dollars. A year. And yet they still make great movies like Tangled and Toy Story 3.

“Dynamite does a better job than you lately.”

Except that Dynamite books are flat out ugly once you get past the covers. Seriously, how can your eyes take that 3rd rate hacky art? I’d rather pay $5 for decent art than fifty cents for the crap that is in between those Ross covers.

None of it matters though, I don’t read your stupid pamphlets, I buy books, not magazines.

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