Speaking of the party’s over, Brian Hibbs looks in the industry mirror and doesn’t like what he sees:
Even the Big Books are much less Big than they used to be. Our sales on what used to be dependable mega-hitters, like, say, “Uncanny X-Men” are at historical lows. We’re selling fewer copies in total than we would have sold just from pre-orders alone as little as five years ago.
What we’ve done, as an industry, is to break the very habit of comics collecting for a distressingly large number of people.
The thing is: this is a self-inflicted wound. Event marketing, line expansions, overproduction of minis and new #1s, price increases — these were all things that publishers chose to do in order to make as much money as they could. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se — we live in a system of capitalism, and capitalism demands greater profits. But we’ve systematically made what seemed like sound short-term decisions that largely gutted the long-term market for most of the product within it. Ooops!
Hibbs isn’t calling all doom and gloom — he says sales are up year over year for November and hopefully December. But are we really on the right track?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.