These days, when we think about books and GNs we feel very optimistic, but when we think about periodicals/pamphlets/floppies, we feel much less so. 200703050305It seems every time we post the Marvel and DC monthly sales analysis a new round of internet kvetching begins: Marvel and DC are destroying their sales with their reliance on big events! While some of it can quote rightly be dismissed — no matter how much people complain about CIVIL WAR or 52 or SPIDER-MAN: REIGN they are ordered in droves by retailers — DC in particular seems to have been having a good bit of trouble lately simply getting regular teams to work on their core books, and most of the most OYL relaunches have seen initially strong sales dwindle quickly.

Now, we’re the wrong audience for all this — keeping up with monthly comics isn’t our bag, and we’re pretty much wait-for-the-traders. However, it must be said, very few of the new books seem very interesting to us. Back when OYL was first announced, we had this to say:

We haven’t had time to read all the reactions, but after a cursory glance, it all seems to be a bit more restrained than we’d expected. We were hoping to see Supergirl married to a Cuban bandleader; Green Lantern working as a doctor in a small Alaskan town; Wonder Woman taking a new job as a psychologist for a mob boss…I dunno…make something up. Instead it’s the kind of little changes that only initiates will care about: Robin is someone new, Batman is not Batman…again…Green Arrow is mayor…Supergirl has shingles…wait! We made that last part up.


Indeed, it seems that every bit of PR, hype or creator comments that we have seen from DC and Marvel alike is all about how THIS ties into THAT and how if you read that other mini epic you’d be STUNNED when you find out really happened. There is no jumping on point.

Thus, we were a little…surprised when we read Marv Wolfman’s comments on taking over as the regular writer of NIGHTWING. They just seemed so….odd.

But being in New York meant bringing in a new cast of friends and foes. Since I didn’t want to set up a super romance right away – Dick had been falling into bed a bit too quickly for my taste – I wanted him to find some female friends, not just lovers. At least not immediately. That would come soon enough, I knew. I also wanted to introduce him to a few new male friends. But friends to Dick Grayson, not just to Nightwing. Someone a guy like Dick could go out for a drink with. That’s already been started although most readers don’t know it yet…..The trick to Nightwing is giving him purpose and drive. Because the murder of his parents was resolved quickly he never developed the rigid obsession that has motivated Batman. His motivation comes from the pursuit of justice. But maybe something happened between the last days of the first run of Teen Titans when he disbanded that group for reasons we will learn, and the first issue of the New Teen Titans where he returned to the fold more grown up and less a kid sidekick than he ever had been before.


Do you see?? Do you see what Marv did? He analyzed the character AS A CHARACTER and thought about WHAT WOULD MAKE THE STORIES MORE INTERESTING FROM A STRUCTURAL STANDPOINT. As in…you didn’t have to read 99 other comics to care about Nightwing.

This brought to mind something that had troubled us so much when we originally read it that we SAVED IT FOR THREE MONTHS in our queue. It was an item at [email protected] about a big name writer spilling the beans and revealing all about his new book (We won’t name the writer or the book here because, really, it’s not their fault. It’s just the system, man. Our elisions are in double brackets.)

That’s Dawnstar. You’ll see this [followed up on] very, very soon. All of these [scenes] take place in the first year, but this one is coming very soon. Obviously she mentions having to find Starman so he plays a major role in what’s coming up. We want to hit a couple of really high notes within the first 12 issues… I don’t want to get too much more in-depth, but yes, you will see [[big mini-series]] characters in [[ongoing monthly]]. You know at least one you’ll see [from this page]. There is a reason that Alex is so heavily involved later on in the year.


From our viewpoint, this is what’s wrong with comics in a nutshell. Why should you read this book? Well, because it’s all about this other book that you read, and bringing back this character and that character…Honest, we know who STARMAN is because we loved the Robinson/Harris run, but we never read the Legion, and have no idea who Dawnstar is…so…big whoop.

Again, we are not the audience for these books. Maybe Dawnstar is a great character, like James Robinson’s Starman was…a fuck-up who could never live up to his father’s expectations but kept trying, even if it meant flying around in a suit. That was memorable. (It’s no coincidence that Harris has brought the same ground-level humanity to his current superhero book, EX MACHINA.)

But there you go, if you listened to the internet, you would think turning WONDER MAN into a book about a cranky superhero who goes to an eccentric Alaskan town would sell like gangbusters. Or Batgirl as a homely but quick witted assistant at a bitchy fashion magazine. But then you see that nothing sells that isn’t a franchised tie-in these days. In our perfect world AGENTS OF ATLAS and WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY and JONAH HEX would be selling 50K a month. In the real world they struggle to sell 20K. There is no market for the quirky creator driven book anymore. The audience craves shock and horror and not solid, character driven fiction. You can’t blame the Big Two for giving the people what they want. As an observer and a sometime editor, my instincts tell me that readers want characters they can identify with and clear problems that these characters need to solve. But the real world shows no evidence whatsoever for this. Was I wrong all along?

1 COMMENT

  1. “Or Batgirl as a homely but quick witted assistant at a bitchy fashion magazine”

    I personally would so buy that! But then, I’m no longer the core market and don’t care (simply don’t care) about the new crisis X that has y heroes come together for a z mission.

    I simply cancelled my monthly comics buy completely last month. I had already thought about it for a long time, but I always thought, well, wait, this might get better again, but no, it doesn’t and it won’t.

    Somebody email me if there is something on the writing level of Watchmen or From Hell or even Bone again, I’ll buy the trades without thinking about it twice.

  2. I think it’s most telling that in a recent interview with IGN, Joss Whedon, one of Marvel’s top selling writers, says he will be finished with Marvel after Runaways because he can’t keep up with the continuity of the characters. He apparently pitched a Fantastic Four idea, but the story idea didn’t fit with recent Marvel events. Here’s a link to that part of the interview:
    http://comics.ign.com/articles/769/769619p4.html

  3. I think that we only see a small percentage of the voice of comics fan online in blogs, forums, etc. As long as people keep buying these big event/tie in books, Marvel and DC are going to make them. If you want to see it stop, stop buying the books. It’s hard, but you have to put up a fight if you really want to see change.

  4. This is why I’m looking forward to the new Dr. Fate book by Steve Gerber. His comics aren’t inhaled in one breath, they have real writing, real depth to them. After reading one of his books, you’re actually looking forward to next month’s issue. He makes those “top of the stack” comics, where you’re reading his book first.

    I’m pretty much blaming it on decompressed comics forcing us to buy the trade. The monthlies aren’t memorable because they’re too short.

  5. Don’t the small character driven things sell better as Trades?
    After all by your own admission you typically ‘wait for the trade’.

    Fables, and Y seem to do gangbusters as trades, but sell around 30K a month as single issues.

    Maybe the audience for Character driven stuff just waits for trades.

    I’m supporting Tranquility as a monthly cause it’s so bloody amazing, and disocvered Manhunter (thankfully) through trades, and now buy the monthly. And i will buy Atlas once the trade comes out.

    The character driven stuff sometimes gets lost amongst the monthly events, and even monthly readers have so much to keep track of that they must wait for the trades.

    Also, the buisiness model is different, Trades through bookstores, but some fans of Y and Fables are leery of fan-boy centric comic shops.

  6. Damn, everything I wrote in my previous post was cut off because of the way I was trying to quote Thomas Gerhardt’s post. Let’s try again…

    “Somebody email me if there is something on the writing level of Watchmen or From Hell or even Bone again, I’ll buy the trades without thinking about it twice.”

    How about the Bride of Baghdad, Eddie Campbell’s the Fate of the Artist, Finder, Y: The Last Man and Fables?

    Personally, I’m of the opinion that there’s not enough money or time to keep up with the number of great comics. There’s all sorts of stuff that I think is complete trash, but that’s no different than any other medium.

    However, perhaps Michael Climek has a point, as I am also someone who reads just about everything as trades.

  7. Well, we’re not talking about Watchmen or Fables or Y: The Last Man here. We’re talking about mainstream super-hero comics, and believe it or not, there’s some really good work being done. Yes, the events, by and large, aren’t very good but there’s still good work to read. Superman: Up, Up and Away is probably the best in-continuity Superman story I’ve read in 20 years, Peter David’s X-Factor is great, Detective Comics is putting out some good one and done stories (shock!), and if you want your super-heros out of continuity, try Marvel Adventures: Avengers, it’s a heck of a lotta fun. Plus, 52 is really good (these are all my opinions), I have a hard time lumping it in with the Civiul War/Crisis type events simpmly because it’s one book that’s completely self-contained (and on time!).

    Do I think there’s a lack of foresight on the part of editorial for DC and Marvel, well yes, but crappy books will always be published and be heavily marketed (Secret Wars II anyone?). History will eventually separate the wheat from the chaff. Business-wise all I know is that my LCS is selling more, has a more diverse customer base and is in general more healthy than it has been in years, so something is working. If it’s by plan or accident, that’s the question.

  8. I have a buddy who just got into comics a few years ago. But he only buys trades. He is just now discovering things like From Hell or Ultimate Fantastic Four.

    Vast differences eh? But he’ll buy anything that seems interesting.

    But I cannot for the life of me get him to buy monthlies. It’s too much for him to follow. So instead I recommend things, I’m trying to get him into Transmet right now.

    My other problem with my friend is that he buys only from Amazon. I keep trying to tell him how supporting the DM supports the industry as a whole, but I can’t quite instill this attitude in him.

    Also, he sometimes sits in Barnes and Noble and reads things without buying them, my apologies to BKV cause I know my friend did that with Y.

    The ‘new to comics’ readers are out there. But they wait for trades.

    Perhaps these problesm would be solved if DC and Marvel experimented with putting some books out only as Trades.
    Would Tranquility be better if it skipped the DM as a monthly and went straight to a heavily advertised trade?

    Food for thought.

  9. Well it will eventually come to what the people are buying. Personally, I’m tired of the Big events. Especially when there are great writers like Judd Winick on Green Arrow, And Geoff Johns on JSA. I won’t wait for a trade of those books because something always happens in their books. So if you want big events to stop, stop buying them. My friend asked me if I was going to get countown after 52 wraps up. I think 52 is the last big event book for me for a while. I didn’t even pick up Civil War. I read The Punisher’s book and it was great, but If I wanted to read the Avengers, I’d have that title in my pull box. I also will be skipping the JLA JSA crossover later this year. I don’t want to buy a book that I know I don’t like just because it ties in to another one that I do.

  10. If the big superhero events are the big sellers, then the monthly pamphlets seem to serve the purpose of keeping the plates spinning until the next big event.

    The Martian Manhunter mini-series seems to bear this out… Here’s J’onn Jon’zz (sic?), a background character really… kind of well-liked with a long history, but not strong enough to maintain his own book… goes through a cosmetic change that “redefines his role”, at least for a little while unless it doesn’t seem to stick or serve a purpose anymore.

    It reminds me a bit about the switch in the 70’s that turned the Sub-Mariner into “The Savage Sub-Mariner” and gave him that cool black and yellow costume. Or Peter David’s intelligent Hulk. It lasts a little bit until it doesn’t anymore.

    I wish Marv Wolfman lots of luck, but I’m afraid his plans for Nightwing may only last as long as his (or his editor’s) tenure on the book.

  11. The really weird thing to me is that it really seemed around the turn of the millennium that the big two finally GOT what they’d been doing wrong: people didn’t want to have to wade through decades of continuity (not that it didn’t matter, just that it was, if anything, a tertiary concern); tell a good story that makes sense with art that fits the story (or perhaps vice versa), all right? So we had a little Renaissance for a few years in the mainstream, for those who still cared or might once again. It was out of this Renaissance that we got reinventions of the continuity-burdened like the Ultimate line and revivals of long-dormant or underperforming concepts such as the JSA and The Masters of Evil (as Thunderbolts).

    What has undone all this is nothing less than greed. Despite the resuscitation of their long-term solvency, the big two missed the immediate gratification of the speculation boom, and so set out to create events in the old tradition of Crisis and Secret Wars that the reliably compulsive would shell out for. Unfortunately, the reliably compulsive are not as legion as once they were, and even the loyal are sufficiently matured to see that these stories are not only without end, but also without any sort of resolution or even narrative structure, just crass, cynical emotional manipulation (much like country western music, imnsho). What made crossovers work in the past was their novelty; their lack thereof now is the death knell for the mainstream’s appeal to anyone other than their withering niche. Mark my words: CIVIL WAR may have been the last best hope for regaining popular appeal, wasted.

  12. “I think that we only see a small percentage of the voice of comics fan online in blogs, forums, etc. As long as people keep buying these big event/tie in books, Marvel and DC are going to make them. If you want to see it stop, stop buying the books. It’s hard, but you have to put up a fight if you really want to see change. ”

    I agree with you except on one thing. It’s really not hard to stop buying books you don’t enjoy. Everyone should try it; they will quickly find out how easy it is to not read books they don’t like.

  13. Quirky, creator-driven, character-based, not-crossover-heavy books? You mean like (and I’m not being sarcastic here) ALL-STAR SUPERMAN and DAREDEVIL and SHAZAM: THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL? I think there’s absolutely a market for them–obviously some of ’em have problems finding that market (cf. Kyle Baker’s PLASTIC MAN etc.), but the market exists–and maybe even more to the point they’re the things that sell and sell and sell in trades.

    What I’d love to see in mainstream comics is a general resolution: if you cannot convince yourself that the comic you’re working on is the BEST THING EVER, please don’t bother, because if it’s not going to be your favorite comic it’s not going to be anybody else’s, and if it’s not going to be anybody else’s you’re just wasting everybody’s time.

  14. “Unfortunately, the reliably compulsive are not as legion as once they were, and even the loyal are sufficiently matured to see that these stories are not only without end, but also without any sort of resolution or even narrative structure, just crass, cynical emotional manipulation…”

    But they are, despite Marvel doing everything (delays, poor structure, constant cross-overs, conflicting continuity, plain bad writing) wrong from a business stance, Civil War still sold more than 250,00 copies of each issue and at least doubled the sales of all of the cross-over titles. So they’re still being bought and bought in excess. The only way for them to stop doing this is for sales to tank and it doesn’t look like this is going to happen anytime soon.

  15. I take umbrage over that crack about Supergirl having the shingles. Having caught a case late last spring (which was the main reason why I could only attend one day of San Diego Comic Con last year). Shingles is a very painful disease and not something to be freakin’ make light humor about. I want to have a sit down with whoever wrote that fluff piece and set the record straight.

    ~

    Coat

  16. sales speak. people want event books. my answer to everything is buy more JONAH HEX, lol.

    I am personally waiting for the time when only trade books come out. with the amount of titles out now…there would be at least3 to 4 a week coming out.

    Easy to look at, focus on and number.

    The Europeans have a lot of things right…but in the end, people, the masses that spend money, want giant crossover event books and will always want them. I find it interesting that people online say after 52 they wont buy countdown. want to bet for the most part they do? again, the sales will speak . personally, I hope they do. we are writing a kickass series .

    yeah, I believe in the work I am doing and always ready to push it…and I agree with Douglas. why would i ever bother to do work that i dont believe in.

    The on-line community is a very small % of the people who buy the books…i have learned this a little at a time…same with the people who attend cons. again, a small % of the buying public.

    just some interesting things being said here.

  17. Who has the name power to put something out in super-hero land that is trade only?

    How well did things like The Hiketia (Rucka) and Top Ten The 49ers (Alan Moore), or Pride of Badghdad (BKV) sell?

    Were the sales of these things affected by the fact that they only came out in hardcovers first?

    Could tie-in events come out as trades rather than monthlies?

    Would you buy a new 88 page 52 trade very month for 10 bucks?

    Didn’t Cross-Gen try it but it failed miserably?
    Of course i think Cross-Gen’s attempts were not trades but lots of montlhies needlessly and confusingly bundled into one.

    Is the monthly community needed to give an eventul trade the buzz it needs to break into Main Stream Bookstore Land?

    Comics is a weird business and I wish i had more clear cut answers. Until then I’ll keep buying monthlies and trades, and I look forward to Count Down.

  18. “As an observer and a sometime editor, my instincts tell me that readers want characters they can identify with and clear problems that these characters need to solve. But the real world shows no evidence whatsoever for this. Was I wrong all along?”

    No, you’re right. It’s the “core market” for superhero comics, this strange insular sub-culture that dominates the DM, that’s … well maybe “wrong” isn’t the right word. But unique unto themselves.

    The bigger world, that potential “new mainstream” as Batton Lash put it, wants real stories with real characters. We’re just now figuring out how to connect up creators, publishers, and that potential market. Meanwhile, the “core market” will remain oblivious to all this, and continue eating itself until it dissolves away in another generation.

  19. Kids love “Where’s Waldo/Look & Find/I SPY”. Big kids like Marvel and DC because they’re the adult equivalent of these kinds of books.

    “Ooooh! I found Stilt-Man! And there’s pre-Crisis Composite Superman!”

  20. I agree that the Direct Market audience (read: comic fans) wants earth-shattering events, yeah. It only makes sense – most of that audience grew up in the 1980s-1990s reading their Secret Wars, Crises of Varying Proportions, their Heroes Reborn, their Zero Hours, etc.

    But those “stories” are rarely any good. Most of them are piss-poor rationalizations of previoius stories and conflicts. YUCK. Would a non-comic fan want to read such clustered, cluttered stories mired in decades of continuity? No. Jeez, I’m a comic fan…and **I** can’t stand them.

    But that doesn’t mean that the general public doesn’t want superheroes. Far from it. The general public **loves** superheroes. All the films, the TV shows, the cartoons, the merchandise, the games, etc. Superheroes are a fantasy sub-genre, and they’re heavily ingrained in our cultural DNA.

    But it’s NOT about “realism”. Again, we love fantasy. It’s simply that people would rather watch a Spider-Man movie or play a Spider-Man game than read a Spider-Man comic. It’s more entertaining, and the dollar requirement is actually LOWER. Which means that those people going to comic shops every week to get their superhero fix are simply addicts jonesing for old-fashioned drugs.

    Before anyone flames me, I’m a big-time comic fan. My bookshelf is filled with beautiful comics from all genres over the past few decades. But comics need to evolve more towards the format (and value) that Manga provides. Like a lot of other fans, I’m just beginning to see the forest through those trees.

  21. Matt – I do own the Y series as a trade (heck, for more than 15 years I bought ALL Vertigo books, just went to my comic book store and told them, if it is Vertigo, I’ll subscribe to it), but I got rid of the monthlies once the trades came out, primarily because those I can put on a shelf and re-read them without having a pile of floppies there.

    I’ve read an an awful lot of superhero books since I was 7, good ones and very, very bad ones. I went through Crisis, Armageddon 2001, Zero Hour, God knows how many awful, stupid “Insert-X-here” Marvel Mutie crossovers… I know what the Red Robin reference is meant to do, I know the Kingdom Come characters, I know when, where and how Reed and Susan Richards married… heck, I loved the Byrne-revamp Superman even…

    I loved and bought the Ultimate books when they came out (not anymore, the Ultimate X-Men have become even sillier than their 616 counterparts)… but they lack something now.

    I think Bendis is better on POWERS than on anything he has ever written for Marvel (with the possible exception of ALIAS), I think Warren Ellis was great as a political ranter in TransMet (don’t anybody come along and tell me it actually had a story… it had a backbone that only served for him to rant), I think Garth Ennis had something to SAY with Preacher… and I try to remember when there was a superhero book that did that, and all I can come up with is ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN (I don’t consider Alan Moore’s WATCHMEN as supehero stuff. It is SciFi in my mind… but that is a point of debate). Yes, I enjoyed THE AUTHORITY, even though I think that Ellis is a jerk, but sometimes, damn, that jerk can write..

    I’m just tired of it all. It has become cynical and wasted. It serves no purpose other than to milk money from an audience that, yes I am an arrogant here, should KNOW better by now… PEOPLE WILL LIVE! PEOPLE WILL DIE! THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!

    And, maybe like other comic book readers, I have followed, in the hope that we get an ending, a proper finish to something, but it all goes in circles, and that means: it is all meaningless. There is no real danger. There is no real fun. There is no real story.

    The English Pulp Fiction writer Edgar Wallace had invented something called a PLOT WHEEL in – if memory serves correctly – the 1920s. You whirled it around and it would come up with almost a CLUEDO type of plotline: X does Y in Z… and he actually used it to write his novels.

    That is what “mainstream” superheroes have become. A plot wheel (one might say that they have always been that, but in my mind, never before this cynically).

    So, this is me saying to them: I’m outta here.

    And call me again when you give somebody else the freedom to do such amazing work with SHAZAM the way Jeff Smith is showing it.

  22. Everyone complains about the event stuff but all of this World War Hulk, Countdown, WW III shenanigans will be top sellers. The big 2 fans have trouble keeping their money in their wallets.

  23. If the big two would just treat (and promote) their monthly books, with the same care as they do their big events (Civil War = Kingdom Come in the Marvel Universe/ Infinite Crises = I don’t know what the #!?!% that was suppose to be) and just have a little faith in them, then I think they would find sales rising all around. That’s a big leap of faith, I know, but I do honestly believe that.

  24. Last night at work, one of my coworkers saw that we had gotten the Road to Civil War trade in and was pretty excited to read it. He doesn’t keep up too much with monthly comics but he knows who the characters are.

    Wandering back over after he’d started it he gave me this kinda funny look and said “I think I must be missing some story?” I took a look at it and realized that it was kicking off with the Illuminati special. I then had to explain to him that the story was jumping around to key points in Marvel history — this meeting took place after Kree-Skrull war, this one after Avengers Disassembled, etc etc. Then I had to explain to him what those things were. Then came the Fantastic Four issues, where I had to explain that, oh yeah, Thor is “dead”. At least the comic itself explained why Doom was in hell.

    It hadn’t actually occurred to me before that moment how completely impenetrable that sort of thing is to an irregular or new reader. I mean, I actually liked the Illuminati special and the first half or so of Civil War (crying Uatu notwithstanding), but my life has been spent reading this crap. Watching my coworker try to navigate it was just sort of painful by comparison. I know the prevailing opinion nowadays is that editor’s notes and caption boxes are superfluous because of the internet and wikipedia but it sure seems lazy.

  25. I don’t think dense continuity is a problem. When I was a kid, I got into comics a few years after crisis on infinite earths and I read my friend’s copies. I had no ‘effing idea what the hell was happening… and it was awesome.

    Here’s a quote from Grant Morrison that I love.

    “It’s also an homage to Justice League of America #100 – #102, which was the comics story that turned me into a foaming teenage fanboy. That book was filled with dozens of unfamiliar characters from different Earths leaping willy-nilly through space and time while a giant cosmic hand closed around the Earth. I had ‘no idea’ what was going on but the thrill ride was incredible and by the end of it, I knew I wanted to dive head first into this dazzling alternate reality and find out everything I could about these characters and their world(s). Remember the first time you picked up an X-Men or Avengers book and it was stuffed to the staples with parallel universes, clones, alternate future versions of characters, and a continuity so dense you could stand a spoon in it? The chaos, confusion and excitement of being thrown without a guidebook into a new world was intoxicating to me…”

  26. Thomas Gerhardt: And, maybe like other comic book readers, I have followed, in the hope that we get an ending, a proper finish to something, but it all goes in circles, and that means: it is all meaningless. There is no real danger. There is no real fun. There is no real story.

    I had a sit-down interview with Joe Q shortly after he took the reigns at Marvel, and my last, troublemaking question to him was, “Do you suppose that after 40 years of stories about these characters, with so many writers and artists all contributing to a larger tapestry, sometimes revisiting key moments from every angle possible, watching people and events progress from A to B to C, does there ever come a moment when you can, I dunno, END the story? So you can finally stand back and see the tapestry in its whole, appreciate it as this mad, huge narrative corpse as a story that has, as most do, a beginning, middle and end?”

    Joe, who’d been, I thought, a pretty straight-shooter throughout the interview, suddenly clicked into corporate officer mode, making vague platitudes about the lasting power of the characters and some sort of Joseph Campbellesque power of myth fooferaw that I’m sure is what has driven George Lucas loony. Not a surprising answer, no, but I think I witnessed the schism between Joe Quesada the writer/artist and Joe Quesada the Marvel employee. And perhaps I inspired those “The End” series which, in the case of Claremont’s X-Men, never actually ends, appropriately enough.

    Which is, I think, the uncomfortable truth for many adherents of most major series: they are soap operas in spandex with pyrotechnics. All changes are sweeps stunts and are just as permanent; the literary or dramatic heights we fancy they achieve are more accidents than craftsmanship, a confluence of forces that occasionally, gloriously hit high notes, made all the more striking by the seas of dross in which they drift. I take no pleasure in such abuse, as I have love for our wayward pulps, but the liquid imagery seems appropos: they flow on interminably, with little to distinguish one moment from the next beyond the superficial. There’s only so long you can “baffle ’em with bullshit” before either numbness or realization sets in, and both result in lost sales. I suspect what little money is still in the game is inflated by desperate speculation in bulheaded denial of the basic laws of economics (you know, supply and demand?) and the long-term prospects for the market. With all due respect to Jimmy and others, the online community may be a small portion of the overall market, but the overall market is itself also exceedingly small, and shrinking every moment.

  27. DC dosen’t care about its fans. Check Girl-Wonder.org, or the numerous Impulse/90’s Superboy/Young Justice/Batgirl/90’s Supergirl fans that are pissed at what DC is doing to their favorite characters.

    Marv isn’t that much better, because he’s not trying to fix the bad writing that gave Nightwing his image problem-I can’t care about any of the villains he introduces because no-one is going to see them as a credible threat.

  28. There is a tall tale according to which he invented and patented a “plot wheel”. This fictitious Edgar Wallace Plot Wheel is an invention of Stephen King, who features it in his short story “Dolan’s Cadillac”, included in the volume Nightmares and Dreamscapes (1993), and in his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000). (Wikipedia)