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The Obsolete Man

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I stand corrected. But, it's still obvious that these were meant to draw in new readers who may otherwise not have collected the "regular" X-men & Spider-man titles.
I think it was more "well, if they're already buying one book per month, they'll happily buy two!"

I mean, at that time, Superman had four monthly titles which basically formed a weekly book, Batman had three monthly books, and Spidey already had three, so why not one more?
 

The Obsolete Man

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In addition, wonder if the first X-Men reset to #1 in the early 1990s had to do with the then-upcoming cartoon ? Possible new readers.
No. Both of the adjective-less books were solely for the artists.

Marvel gave Toddy MC his own book so he could write and draw (and to bring in more money by having another Spider book), and when that was a success, they gave Jim Lee his own X-Men book. Huge sales for new #1s, along with the parent titles (Amazing and Uncanny) retaining all their readership.

Then they both bugged out for Image not too long after.
 

Chip_HT

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No. Both of the adjective-less books were solely for the artists.

Marvel gave Toddy MC his own book so he could write and draw (and to bring in more money by having another Spider book), and when that was a success, they gave Jim Lee his own X-Men book. Huge sales for new #1s, along with the parent titles (Amazing and Uncanny) retaining all their readership.

Then they both bugged out for Image not too long after.
Not to mention Liefeld turning New Mutants into X-Force #1.

Of course, there was probably some marketing at play. In the late 80s, the three main mutant books were Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants, and X-Factor. If a store stocked their books alphabetically, they were all over the place. Well, in the early 90s, we had Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, X-Men, and X-Force. Three of those books were stocked next to each other, and the U's weren't that far away.
 

The Obsolete Man

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Not to mention Liefeld turning New Mutants into X-Force #1.

Of course, there was probably some marketing at play. In the late 80s, the three main mutant books were Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants, and X-Factor. If a store stocked their books alphabetically, they were all over the place. Well, in the early 90s, we had Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, X-Men, and X-Force. Three of those books were stocked next to each other, and the U's weren't that far away.
And New Mutants into X-Force gives them a 100th issue anniversary sales bump, followed by a #1 sales bump.
 

BobO'Link

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This goes back to a prior point I made, where anything that smells like a spinoff from a movie, tv show or video game, I'm usually skeptical of it being a cynical cash-in exploiting the extreme hardcore folks.

I learned this the hard way from reading too many crappy Star Trek novels over the years. The Star Wars novels first published by Bantam, were initially somewhat better and more consistent in quality. Quality seem to go downhill or highly variable in quality when lucasfilm changed to DelRay for publishing then-new Star Wars expanded universe novels before the canon reset of 2014.
I learned that when I was ~13 and purchased a few of the Star Trek novelizations and the first few Gold Key Star Trek comics. They just weren't very good. A few other various tie-in books and comics I sampled in the early 70s just served to cement my opinion that they're not worth the time. Since that time I rarely look at them and typically come away disappointed when I do.

I got the TPB of the original Star Wars trilogy with the DVDs that included the non-anamorphic original theatrical cuts of the movies. I read them because they were free and found they were pretty much what I expected and just not that good.

The *only* Star Trek one I've read that's actually good and reads like a Star Trek episode was John Byrne's "Star Trek: New Visions" series. It was surprisingly good. Outside that one series I've not read a book or comic tie-in product that I felt was worth the time. I'm skeptical enough that I read the first issue of "New Visions" in the shop before making the purchase and only then because the store manager insisted I give it a chance (he knows how I feel about tie-in books, rarely asking if I'm interested). I purchased the entire run of that one.

One I asked to sample was "Batman '66." It, too, reads like an episode and is mostly pretty good but I grew tired of it and it changed a bit, reading less like an episode, so it got dropped.
 

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I'm a huge fan of horror anthology titles from the '50's - '80's, and in many cases preferred these to the standard super-hero comics. Though most of these were before my time, I have also enjoyed/am enjoying the Collected Editions (CE's) reprinting these that roughly started back in the 20XX's. EC Archives are great, as are the Eerie & Creepy HC collections (by Dark Horse). And, more recently DC has started reprinting Omnibuses of their iconic '60's/'70's House of Mystery & House of Secrets comics. Fantastic!
If you're on Facebook, there's a great group called "Horror Magazines & Comics Group" that you should check out!


I have to give credit to Dark Horse too for going way beyond what I ever expected them to reprint of EC's line. They're way past the famed horror, sci-fi and crime books and are going do Saddle Justice, Shock Illustrated and M.D.
YES! Some of the CCA titles are actually good, too (like Impact!). The short lived magazine line was good and I'd love to see those!
 

BobO'Link

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I talked to the manager of our LCS this afternoon and asked about the developments at Diamond. At the moment, they're not worried and are more concerned about the possible volume of books that could arrive all-at-once when shipments resume. They've expressed those concerns to Diamond and asked for that to not happen. Of course this is assuming the publishers continue to print the books that Diamond has announced they're not shipping. Even if they do, the majority are printed in Canada and likely couldn't cross the border right now. He said what he's gotten from their dealer's forum is that they and other comic merchants are not worried about the majors going digital. I commented about speculation that they could offer digital versions with codes you could redeem for a "free" floppy at your LCS once publication resumes. He said Marvel's been doing that in reverse already (floppy comes with a code for a digital version) but redemption and sales of digital only copies has stayed pretty flat for the past year. Basically what we already know, comic buyers just aren't that interested in digital, especially digital only.

They've cut store hours to 3 days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) from noon until 6, noon until 4:30 on Saturday. They're prepared for a 6 month shutdown and foresee no problems during that period, expecting to return when it's all over. Even with the reduced hours they've done a normal month so far and expect to finish the month relatively flat. They were about to close for the day so I wasn't able to ask what they planned to sell with shipments from Diamond halted. They have some TPB, back issues, and odds 'n ends but are a fairly small store with the bulk of weekly sales coming from new comics. It'll be at least Thursday before I can get more information. His spirits were good and he was his usual chipper self so that's encouraging.
 
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TravisR

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I talked to the manager of our LCS this afternoon and asked about the developments at Diamond. At the moment, they're not worried and are more concerned about the possible volume of books that could arrive all-at-once when shipments resume. They've expressed those concerns to Diamond and asked for that to not happen. Of course this is assuming the publishers continue to print the books that Diamond has announced they're not shipping. Even if they do, the majority are printed in Canada and likely couldn't cross the border right now. He said what he's gotten from their dealer's forum is that they and other comic merchants are not worried about the majors going digital. I commented about speculation that they could offer digital versions with codes you could redeem for a "free" floppy at your LCS once publication resumes. He said Marvel's been doing that in reverse already (floppy comes with a code for a digital version) but redemption and sales of digital only copies has stayed pretty flat for the past year. Basically what we already know, comic buyers just aren't that interested in digital, especially digital only.

They've cut store hours to 3 days (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) from noon until 6, noon until 4:30 on Saturday. They're prepared for a 6 month shutdown and foresee no problems during that period, expecting to return when it's all over. Even with the reduced hours they've done a normal month so far and expect to finish the month relatively flat. They were about to close for the day so I wasn't able to ask what they planned to sell with shipments from Diamond halted. They have some TPB, back issues, and odds 'n ends but are a fairly small store with the bulk of weekly sales coming from new comics. It'll be at least Thursday before I can get more information. His spirits were good and he was his usual chipper self so that's encouraging.
My store is closed since it's a non-essential business but I bought this week's books via PayPal and had them ship them to me. I bought a couple of trades just to throw a little extra business their way.

And my understanding is that books for April 1 and April 8 are printed and ready to go but I assume that no one will continue to have books printed beyond that. If Marvel and DC are waiting until Diamond resumes shipping, I assume that they'll have to push everything back if this lasts for a decent amount of time (and I expect it to). The economy is going to take a major hit so they'd be crazy to release a ton of books whenever stores get back to normal.
 

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Most of the printers have shut down, so there wouldn't be anything coming into Diamond soon anyway. And that is what's going to keep them from flooding the market with multiple months worth of product at once. There's no way they'd be able to get all of it printed.

I think the July and August solicitations which get released in April and May should be mostly empty. They're going to need those months as the buffer for everything getting delayed in April. The printed issues sitting at Diamond that were scheduled for this coming week are going to be the buffer for the printers to get back up to speed.

Of course, as long as it's financially viable, the publishers should have the writers and artists continue working, as this will help cut down on the usual delays later on.
 
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The Obsolete Man

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My store is closed since it's a non-essential business but I bought this week's books via PayPal and had them ship them to me. I bought a couple of trades just to throw a little extra business their way.

And my understanding is that books for April 1 and April 8 are printed and ready to go but I assume that no one will continue to have books printed beyond that. If Marvel and DC are waiting until Diamond resumes shipping, I assume that they'll have to push everything back if this lasts for a decent amount of time (and I expect it to). The economy is going to take a major hit so they'd be crazy to release a ton of books whenever stores get back to normal.
Nope, DC has located alternate printers and vendors. They're going ahead.

https://bleedingcool.com/2020/03/28/dc-comics-distribution-methods-comics/

If Marvel is smart, they'll do the same. If nothing else, this might break Diamond's back and start to open comics back up beyond the DM ghetto while still keeping the comic shops alive while they need them to be.
 

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I hope things work out. Breaking Diamond's stranglehold can only be a good thing, but something is just nagging at me that forging ahead and full speed right now just doesn't seem right. Although it does feel like Diamond made their decision because DC and Marvel wouldn't make any of their own.
 

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I hope things work out. Breaking Diamond's stranglehold can only be a good thing, but something is just nagging at me that forging ahead and full speed right now just doesn't seem right. Although it does feel like Diamond made their decision because DC and Marvel wouldn't make any of their own.
Marvel tried this around 25 years ago.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/how-marvel-set-stage-weeks-comics-shutdown-128623

https://www.milehighcomics.com/tales/cbg129.html

Can Marvel and DC do any better this time around, with the heft of Disney and AT&T?
 

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Nope, DC has located alternate printers and vendors. They're going ahead.
Darn. Other than the occasional facsimile edition, I don't get any DC books. C'mon Marvel, get me some more Star Wars comics! :)



I hope things work out. Breaking Diamond's stranglehold can only be a good thing, but something is just nagging at me that forging ahead and full speed right now just doesn't seem right. Although it does feel like Diamond made their decision because DC and Marvel wouldn't make any of their own.
If DIamond's monopoly is broken, I'd worry that they will start having exclusive deals with companies or even stores and then I won't be able to get certain titles. (I can't believe I'm semi-rooting for a monopoly.)
 

BobO'Link

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Diamond certainly is no sparkling example of distribution. My LCS has problems with them on a weekly basis. Every week... EVERY week sees missing and damaged books. Diamond seemingly doesn't care as they're the only game in town. I've heard the employees in the warehouse are some of the worst workers in the area simply due to poor wages.

If you've not read any of the articles Chuck Rozanski of Mile High has written I highly suggest you do so. They are informative and entertaining. If you read nothing else you should read the one about how they discovered the original collection that was the basis for Mile High. It's called "Discovery of the Original Mile High Collection" and is linked on the main article page:

https://www.milehighcomics.com/tales/main.html
 
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jayembee

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I've been a comics reader since the early 60s. The first comic I can remember reading was the first Superman Annual, and the story that I most remembered from that (all reprint) comic was the Supergirl origin story. I was about 8-9 years old, and I thought it was just so strange (and cool) that a 13-year-old girl could do everything that Superman could do. I've been a fan of Supergirl ever since. Brian, my best friend at the time, and I would combine our comic purchases into one collection so we'd double our comics reading. We read everything, whether it was DC, Marvel, Gold Key, Harvey, Archies, whatever; superheroes, westerns, war comics, "mystery" (horror) comics, funny animals, TV/movie adaptations. You name, we read it...well, except for romance comics.

I stopped reading them in the late 60s for a couple of years, and then got back into them. Read them solidly from then to about 2003 or so, except for a couple of years in the 90s when I was laid off from work and couldn't really afford to spend the money.

On the "Marvel vs DC" front, I bought and enjoyed both. As a kid, my two favorite superheroes were (in descending order) Thor and Cyclops. And in the late 70s/early 80s they were kicking ass with a number of their comics (like Miller's Daredevil, Simonson's Thor, and the like). But that said, I always had a preference for DC. Funny, though, that when it comes to the movies of the last 12-15 years, Marvel is killing it, and DC is getting killed.

After many years of watching comic book movies and TV shows, I started getting back into them. I've mostly been filling in my collection of reprint volumes -- Omnibuses/Archives for DC, Omnibuses/Masterworks for Marvel, as well as Dark Horse Archives of various vintage comics, and a lot of comic strip reprints (from Pogo to Steve Canyon).

But I've also dipped into current DC and Marvel comics, and an occasional indie. Favorites at the moment are Ta-Nehisi Coates's work on Black Panther and Captain America. Also just binged on Ironheart, starting with the collections reprinting her introduction in Iron Man, and I think it's a gas. Also Jason Aaron's Thor. On the DC side, I've liked Tom King's work on Batman and Mister Miracle, and G. Willow Wilson's on Wonder Woman (I liked her Ms Marvel before that). I also like Bendis's work on the Superman books (and the run on Iron Man that introduced Riri Williams), but really can't get into his Young Justice or Legion of Super-Heroes. My favorite recent DC book is Lois Lane (oh, and the Fraction/Lieber Jimmy Olsen is just a frickin' hoot).

Favorite writers: Alan Brennert, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Bruce Jones

Favorite artists: Neal Adams, Marshall Rogers, Adam Hughes, Art Adams.

Favorite writer/artists: Will Eisner, Milton Caniff, Frank Robbins, Bill Everett, Jack Kirby, Walt Simonson, Dave Sim, Jack "Jaxon" Jackson, Scott McCloud, Mike Grell
 
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jcroy

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(This is purely speculation).

At this point in time, I'm guessing Marvel and DC are watching to see how many local comic shops close down shortly after this current outbreak has subsided. If there's a small number of shops left over, one possibility is Marvel and DC doing everything direct to the remaining outlets still in business and bypassing Diamond altogether.
 
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jcroy

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The LCS here also hosted games - almost every night. It's usually Hero Clix - but not MtG as they got burned hard by many of those players ripping off the store. Not that all were (they were not - the majority were good people) but there was a group that did regularly and the only way they got rid of them was to completely shut down Mtg sales/support. It didn't hurt the store at all. There are 2 or 3 other local stores that are almost exclusively MtG sales/support and I'm guessing they, too, have shut down community play - probably sales too (I rarely go to them as they often gouge on prices - what little MtG I purchase is all online).
When I first saw MtG, I knew almost right away it would be another extreme compulsive "treadmill" which might involve buying tons of card packets just to find that "rare" card.

Even without "rare cards", I knew such treadmills were exasperating and became very expensive. When I was younger, I use to collect cards from movie franchises such as superman, indiana jones, etc ... Basically collecting something all for nothing in the end.
 

The Obsolete Man

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The American comics industry is likely good and fu*ked, and they bent to the will of 2,000 self-interested retailers and shut down new digital releases, shutting the door on their last remaining source of profits.

Diamond, the comic shops, and the smaller publishers likely won't make it through this. Oh well.

On the plus side, they got a beautiful Marvels 25th Anniversary edition out before the shutdown, and that's what I'm reading tonight.
 

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