jueves, 6 de diciembre de 2012

Comic Book Sales 101, or how to follow sales for Dummies Part 2

In Part 1 of this bIog I talk about how Genres and how they affect the sales of a comic book as an aspect of how some genres sell better than others just by focusing on a larger fanbase resulting in the Mainstream, but i also said that the most important aspect of selling comics are Brands & Gimmicks, since they influence every genre and every comic in general no matter what and its basically what its building the current market instead of actual Quality of the Comics.

And having talk about the Brands i was going to proceed talking about the Gimmicks that more used, but I realized that was going a little to fast and that just like Genres there are other minor concepts that also affect how much a book will sell or not and even though are just minor things i figure that are too controversial that they need their own segment.
So what other facts will influence if a book will sell or not?
First let me just share some personal information
Obviously since you can see my known name as Arnoldoaad, my real name is actually Arnoldo, which is a man's name, because IM A MAN!!
yeah, just like that
and another personal thing about me like many others i imagine in this site
I also like comics
now this are 2 completely different things about my persona
and one my think that there is very little connection to the fact that I have testicles to the fact that i like comics, but apparently is not
Which leads me to the next point



Im not sure what is exact the problem, but when a comic book is perceived as to Oriented to women it really under-performs and Im really not sure why.

A story from a comic book or any book or movie or whatever shouldnt be judge by its focus, mind you, I Wont presume to know what exactly would a woman like in a comic book but is juts something weird that the comic book is mostly perceive as a Boy's hobby, to the point that a woman reading a comic is basically an anomaly.

Women do read comics and play video games and sports, there is really nothing that would really affect their interest on the medium but sadly the numbers dont lie, even if you consider an arbitrary % of half of a population is men and the other half is women, the population of the comicbook fandom is obviously not even close. and thats not even touching on the creators themselves.

You just need to look at the constant gendercrushing numbers articles in Bleedingcool to realize that there is a problem when only a 10% of the employes in the comic industry are woman and only a fraction of that is writing or drawing .

So there was nothing to be surprise that when DC relaunched Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, they didnt actually gave her her own book but a part of an Anthology book with a cofeature with an story obviously targeted to men, simply because targeting only women was not good enough.

Now i am currently following Amethyst and its a really good book, slowly laying down a huge world and mythos close to Game of Thrones, the characters are appealing and interesting, and the plot is as simple as you can get for this type of series but its not badly done nor is it boring, It is a fine comic book.

But like we i have been saying so far, Both Amethyst and Beowulf are not a very known brand, and both belong in a not very a followed genre which added the nature of Amethyst translated to a very poor initial numbers, selling around 25k in issue 0 and issue 1 with only 21.5k
and this is juts a minor example, the point is, when a title gets a female lead, for whatever reason, it gets less sells than a male lead even if the title has a great quality to back it up.

but of course its not the only discrimination that happen in the comic industry, the next one is more important



I would like to add another little personal thing about me and its that im not a black, though since I already commented a lot of Diversity in comics in a previous blog I feel like i dont need to add much to previous entry
it is just equally weird how is that most of the series that start with a non-white, non-male, non-heterosexual protagonist end up getting lower sales, but after allot of thinking I might had come out with the answer
The reason why comics as an industry underperform when it comes to minorities is cause the industry never really embraced diversityuntil the last couple of decades, the first attempt to have a woman as a superhero and not just a damsel in distress came with Wonder Woman in 1941, but the first black superhero was Black Panther on 1966 by Marvel, and didnt have his own series until 1977
so its obvious that any non-white superhero Is always going to be on disadvantage cause after all the first real non-white hero came almost 30 years after the comics had started, so only white characters had a golden age, only white characters became known, and therefore became Iconic.

And its very hard to break an icon to found another one, it takes decades of relevancy, and thats something that none of the current titles that dare to push diversity have, it just keep restarting again and again like waves that hit the beach, a never-ending cyclical status quo that keeps on failing again and again and never bothers to solve its problems or construct a proper solution to how make diversity stick.

Race & Gender, just shouldnt be important in the story, they shouldnt be important factors on deciding you should buy or not a comic, much less a factor for the LSCs to decide if a comic would be successful or not
if we look at the example of Batwing, considering what we already talk about Brands, Batwing is not a known superhero, he is unknown to everyone who hasnt read Morrison's Batman Incorporated, and those ppl who have read it know virtually nothing about him because he was barely in that comic anyways, what its more jarring is the concept that Batwing is the Batman from africa, ergo the common costumer might just guess, "Is this just the Batman for Black people?", and the result is that it didnt sell very well, it started as the lowest selling batman book, and it is still the lowest selling batman book.

I am not trying to say that Batwing didnt sold well cause he is a black character only, there are many factors that can be taken on Batwing to point the low sales, but also a lot of factors to point a better selling point than others, mainly the ties to the batman family, the fact that Judd Winick is a fairly known writer, but it was still not enough.


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