Robot 6

Comics A.M. | Comic sales up 18.6% for first half of year

Avengers vs. X-Men #6

Retailing | Sales of comics and graphic novels in the direct market rose 18.6 percent for the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2011, reports the retail news and analysis site ICv2. John Jackson Miller adds that, “Retailers have already ordered more material through June — nearly $223 million in retail dollars— than they did in last year through July.” He also points out that the second half of the year has outperformed the first half every year for the past decade, by an average of 10 percent, meaning we can probably expect 2012 to finish strong. [ICv2.com, Comichron]

Publishing | The new Valiant Entertainment would like to follow the movie “blueprint” that Marvel has laid out, according to a new profile of the reborn company. “Investors like to be able to compare concepts to other concepts,” said Valiant chairman Peter Cuneo, former CEO of Marvel. “With Valiant, we very much have a blueprint to follow, which is Marvel.” The profile mostly focuses on the business side of Valiant, as well as some of its history. [The New York Times]

Archie Comics

Comics | Writer Laura Jane Faulds talks about her lifelong love of Archie comics: “Archie comics come up so much, at age 27, in drunk social situations kind of thing, half hour long giggly conversations about stupid Archie comics jokes that stuck with us, which characters we most related to, and which Archie dude we’d rather date. When I was in eleventh grade my friend Hannah and I cut up a bunch of old Archie comics and whited-out all the text and then wrote dirty jokes in the speech bubbles and pasted them to our locker.” [Women Write About Comics]

Comics | With The Amazing Spider-Man in theaters, Hero Complex looks back at the early days of Marvel and the Amazing Fantasy title where Spider-Man debuted. [Hero Complex]

Stan Lee

Creators | Stan Lee answers a variety of questions about comics, mostly related to technology: “I think there will always be comic books. There is something very pleasant about a comic book. You can read it at your own speed. You can carry it; it’s not very heavy. You can fold it and put it in your back pocket. You can show it to a friend. You can collect them. They don’t take up much room. You can have your own little collection of whatever character or series you like. You can go back and re-read them. I think there will always be comics, but there will be so many other versions and forms of them. Digital comics now are evolving, you’ll be able to see comics that move. Not quite full animation, but almost full animation, on your cell phone or your computer screen. I think comics are becoming so pervasive culturally in our world, that they’ll be all over the place. I think the humble comic book, which is where they started, will always be with us to some extent.” [Digital Trends]

Retailing | On the 35th anniversary of the opening of Hi De Ho Comics in Santa Monica, California, Joe Keatinge writes about why that store was is so important to him: “It’s going to Hi De Ho for all those years that gives me an eternal faith in the comics medium to evolve and for the industry to evolve with it. In one store I’ve seen good times, hard times, times where it seemed everyone loved comics, times where it seemed like the industry might be doomed. I saw it all and in the end my hope was lit eternal by coming in, flipping through bins and talking with the employees there about what else I should be reading.” [Joe Keatinge's Comics & Stories]

Wildcats Version 3.0: Brand Building

Commentary | David Brothers shows his appreciation for writer Joe Casey: “Casey, though, doesn’t like to play in that sandbox so much as kick a lot of dirt around within the confines of that sandbox, and that’s wonderful. Casey can do flashback stories that have that fun old Roy Thomas feel, sure, but he’s at his best when he’s being disruptive, when he’s taking characters or concepts we know and chopping them up until they seem new again.” [ComicsAlliance]

Commentary | Rapper Akira the Don shares five reasons he won’t be seeing The Amazing Spider-Man: “It’s not being made because a bunch of people really wanted, more than anything else, to tell the best Spider-Man story they could on the sliver screen. It’s being made to stop the rights to the character reverting from Sony back to Marvel. Who, as we have seen, make much better superhero movies than Sony. Because of this movie, we won’t see Spider-Man in any Avengers or Avengers-related movies for at least the next decade.” [The Huffington Post]

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Comments

19 Comments

“Because of this movie, we won’t see Spider-Man in any Avengers or Avengers-related movies for at least the next decade.”

I sure wouldn’t mind Spidey movies being made by Marvel, but I think it’s funny that it’s simply assumed he’d be an Avenger. It’s such a change from the days when Spidey operated outside that organization. Chalk that up as a win for Bendis, I guess.

Comic book sales are up 18.6 percent. So what? DC and Marvel are still LOSING money every month. There’s no PROFIT being made. Marvel was only staying afloat because of its movie division. Now it’s owned by Disney, and Disney and Warner Brothers have deep pockets. I’m fascinated by the absurd “reporting” of these numbers as if they mean anything. When DC and Marvel start actually turning a profit from comics, or even breaking even, then let us know that.

Dude. The publishing divisions of DC and Marvel make money. How do I know? I get royalty checks, which I only get after profits. I got royalties on Generation Hope for Christ’s sake.You seem bound and determined to stand over the corpse of the comics industry just so you can say ‘I told you so.’ Chill the fuck out.
TIM

I wish everyday could start off like this. Awesome start for a Monday.

I am with Tim here. There are so many people who say they are comics fans but all they do is prophesies the end of the industry for e-penis.

Reports of increases in the industry are a good thing as it means people buying and enjoying comics, and more of them than last year. And the more stronger the industry is the more willing the big two are to take risks on unique content.

Up 18% from a totally bottomed-out year is not much to celebrate

Unless someone is actually arguing that the comic industry is back in good shape again. In which case I’d love to hear that explained, backed by logic and facts

Glenn Simpson

July 9, 2012 at 8:34 am

I agree that I would like to see Marvel make Spider-Man movies but I have no interest in him being an Avenger. Maybe do a series of movies where he teams up with a different member of the Avengers in each movie (like Marvel Team-Up) or something to take advantage of the shared universe, but not necessarily have him be a member.

I too remember the days when the idea of Spider-Man as an Avenger was absurd.

Jake Earlewine

July 9, 2012 at 8:36 am

Comic SALES may have been up 18.6%, but for super-hero comics by DC and Marvel, QUALITY was down roughly –400%. (According to the number of titles I dropped.)

No more DC except The Shade. And I think Daredevil is the last Marvel super-hero left on my pull list. I’m kicking myself for buying Avengers for so long while waiting for a new writer to wipe away everything Bendis did. Maybe I’ll start buying again to read Bendis Disassembled.

CommentMan–

You DID see the last sentence of that mini-report, did you not?

“He also points out that the second half of the year has outperformed the first half every year for the past decade, by an average of 10 percent, meaning we can probably expect 2012 to finish strong.”

That means better sales so far in 2012 than in the first half of every year since 2003, at least.

Glenn Simpson

July 9, 2012 at 8:37 am

@CommentMan

That is an impossible argument to make, since no two people have the same definition of “good shape”.

Some would argue that if they are not selling millions of units to everyday folks all over the world, there’s a problem.

Others would argue that as long as the major companies are making enough of a profit from the publishing division to continue to have that division generate ideas that could potentially be turned into more profitable movies and TV shows, that’s all we need.

Matthew Halteman

July 9, 2012 at 8:48 am

I really don’t care WHY a movie is being made. I care if a movie is made well and the end product is worth seeing. “Amazing Spider-Man” was an incredible movie and improved on the Raimi films in nearly every way.

Would I like to see Spider-Man incorporated into the Marvel cinematic universe? Sure, it’d be fun. But I ain’t losing any sleep over it, either. If the movie had been terrible, I would feel differently.

The franchises to which I really wish Marvel could regain the rights are “Fantastic Four” and “X-Men”.

@Mike

Hate you break it to you, but comics weren’t selling that great in 2003 either.

Again, with feeling, “slightly up, compared to some really low-selling years” is not cause for celebration and back-slapping

@Jake

“Quality is down 400%”

Spot on. Why the heck would I be happy about comic sales going up slightly in a year when we are drowned in crossovers, gimmicks, and unreadable event comics

“It’s being made to stop the rights to the character reverting from Sony back to Marvel. Who, as we have seen, make much better superhero movies than Sony.”

I haven’t seen Amazing, but…is he seriously suggesting that Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man 2 were all “much better” than the first two Raimi Spider-Man movies?

I mean, I’ll give you that Spider-Man 3 was pretty bad (though I dug Sandman), but seriously, Marvel Studios, Fox, and Sony all have pretty much the same track record at this point: two good superhero movies and a sea of mediocre ones.

@CommentMan

The usual advice still stands: Stop reading bad comics, start reading good ones.
I’ve read a lot great comics produced in 2012. Not a single crossover, gimmick, event.

The ‘Comic sales up 18.6% for first half of year’ is a statement of fact. No one is patting anyone on the back. This happened. It may mean there’s some hope, or not.

@cich

I’ve been doing that for years. Although, I would argue that the quality of the alternative comics has gone down too. Good Vertigo series like 100 Bullets have ended, and there have not been ample replacement for them. A few gems like Butcher Baker (the Image series) have shone through.

But it is also fair to shine the light back on the big 2. Gone are the days when Marvel was publishing stuff like Ennis’ Punisher Max or Jenkins’ Inhumans, Milligan’s X-Force, Omega the Unknown (2007), so on.

Ah, we have some similar tastes CommentMan.

Just to offer some counterpoints from 2012 Marvel/Vertigo, to the titles you mentioned (haven’t read them all because I trade-wait but):
We have Ennis’ Fury Max, Azzarello’s Spaceman, Aaron’s Scalped, Rucka’s Punisher and on the brighter side of the spectrum Waid’s Daredevil and Aaron’s WatXM. I liked Deadpool Max while it lasted, too.

Deadpool Max was brilliant. I think it was the only Marvel title I was buying for a while

@Mike McKean –

>>“He also points out that the second half of the year has outperformed the first half every year for the past decade, by an average of 10 percent, meaning we can probably expect 2012 to finish strong.”

> “That means better sales so far in 2012 than in the first half of every year since 2003, at least.”

Actually, what I mean to say is that the second half always beats the first half — so since we had $223 million in retail orders in the first half, history says we should have at least that amount in the second half. But it is also correct that $223 mil in the first half beats every previous year for the decade. Periodical unit sales (which better controls for inflation) are ahead of the first half of every year but 2006, 2007, and 2008.

The estimates are now online at the site: http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/2012/2012-06.html

I’m glad to see the industry I love doing so well. Marvel’s AVSX stuff is better than they’re past few years of crossovers, that’s one thing.

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