NYCC ’17 – Retailer Outrage At the Marvel Retailer Panel!

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NYCC 2017 started off with a panel on Thursday morning that had Marvel trying their hardest to sell retailers at on their late 2017/early 2018 publishing plan, after which the floor was opened to questions.

The questions started off constructive, with one retailer complaining that Secret Empire Omega had a #1 on the cover, and this confused customers because there is no #2 coming. Many retailers in the audience agreed. The same retailer said that one-shots should have ONE-SHOT emblazoned on it. This was met with applause by most of the room. Tom Brevoort was open to this. He said he “wanted to give retailers the best tools possible.”

Another retailer was concerned that the return of the original Wolverine might confuse readers with a marketplace already crowded with X-23 an Old Man Logan.
One retailer had a problem with Legacy’s numbering. Calling himself a lifelong Hulk fan, he was miffed that Hulk is starting with #709. “Why isn’t he getting an issue #700?” Tom said they tried to use a consistent methodology. The Hulk’s numbering started with the numbering of Tales to Astonish, but Stan didn’t include the original first six issues of Hulk from back in the day. Since the renumbering happened after what would have been #700, unfortunately Hulk is missing that big, key anniversary issue. Tom added, “It’s bad for the Hulk, but great for a bunch of other characters. The count is just against the Hulk, which it always is.”
The crowd became charged when a retailer got up and asked “What’s the purpose of making us order the regular edition before being able to order the lenticular?” This was met with THUNDEROUS applause. Retailers are not happy about Marvel’s ordering structure for the special lenticular covers. The retailer continued,  “As of now, I probably will not order of any of the November Legacy books.” The room was firmly behind this retailer.
And that’s when things got weird.
This same retailer continued into a rant blasting Marvel on their recent changes to their most popular characters, complaining that when kids come into his shop after seeing an Avengers movie, they can’t find the Avengers in the comics. He complained about Captain America being black, Thor being a woman and Iceman being gay. “Iceman, a character we all love, now he’s gay. It don’t make sense. Why don’t you make new characters? Don’t make changes to the old characters that we love.” This was met with a smattering of applause. Nick Lowe countered with “We do all kinds of different characters. We do all kinds of different stuff.” The retailer continued, “Then don’t mess with the old characters. The old characters are solid.” Nick Lowe politely interjected here, saying “Sir, they’ve been doing this at Marvel for years. Thor became a frog.” This retailer was particularly irked that Iceman was now gay. He came back to that over and over in his rant about Marvel’s changes. “I got kids coming into my shop and you got Iceman kissing dudes.” I didn’t catch the retailer’s name, but let’s just call him Bigoted Santa Claus, because he, well, looks like Santa Claus, and has an obvious dislike for black people and homosexuals. After Bigoted Santa Claus’s  continued tirade about Iceman being gay and Captain America being black, Nick Lowe countered that “There are Marvel characters for every kind of fan.”
Another retailer took up Bigoted Santa Claus’s charge and continued to loudly blast Marvel for “Black Cap,” “Female Thor” and “Homo Iceman.” Marvel promptly shut down the panel at this point.
You know, maybe it’s not Marvel’s story changes but these retailers’ backwards attitudes that are driving Marvel sales from their particular stores.

47 COMMENTS

  1. All those precious versions of characters DO exist: in previous issues. In trade paperbacks. The retailers quoted are examples of why comic book shops and book stores in general struggle to survive: horrible customer service. “Black Cap,” “Female Thor” and “Homo Iceman” give retailers the means to sell MORE comics, not less, whether they personally like the character changes or not.

  2. “All those precious versions of characters DO exist: in previous issues. In trade paperbacks.”

    So someone who comes in wanting to buy NEW comics should have to buy OLD comics or spend 5 times as much as they were planning? I do not think you understand what the phrase “customer service”means.

    Someone who comes in a wants to buy an issue of Captain America or Spider-Man or Hulk does not want to have an old comic pushed on them, which in some case would now have to be several years old to match up with what the person expects. They especially don’t want to have an old comic pushed on them that is probably “Part 1 of 6.” They just want to buy a Captain American or Spider-Man or Hulk comic that resembles what they already know or expect about the character.

    The past can sometimes be complicated and the no one can know the future, but the present is often pretty clear. Marvel sales suck. The available evidence seems to indicate that at least part of the reason for they suck is Marvel’s attempts to placate people like Charles LePage and Billy Henehan.at the expense of other readers and potential readers.

    And frankly, Nick Lowe comparing Thor changing into a frog to a woman becoming Thor, a black buy becoming Captain American and Iceman suddenly being presented as gay is pretty damn racist, sexist, and…well, not quite homophobic but profoundly stupid on the subject of homosexuality if you think about it for even five seconds.

    Mike

  3. I like that Bigoted Santa Claus was freaking out over the one character who hasn’t been replaced by an alternate version and is still the same person who has been Iceman since the 60s.

  4. I don’t believe Marvel is placating me at all. I simply don’t believe that comic book characters have to be frozen in time and unchangeable, nor do I believe they should be forced to cater to today’s trends or tastes. I’m not bothered at all by a “black Captain America” because I don’t see a “black Captain America”. I see a Captain America who happens to be black, I see a fictional character who took up the title of Captain America, and has both succeeded and failed. I see an attempt to tell a story that isn’t the same old story rehashed, and I appreciate that attempt.

    Marvel’s sales woes are not going to be corrected by embracing their “Legacy”. Their sales can only improve by letting people produce great stories and by properly promoting those great stories. The issue numbers are meaningless. The fancy covers are meaningless. Just give us something worth reading and buying.

  5. I started buying comics about a year ago after a significant (we’re talking decades) absence. The biggest barrier for me in getting back into them was the stores that sold them. In my experience, a bunch of stores have the old man yelling at the kids to get off his lawn mentality. I did find a store that is remarkably up-to-date and friendly, where the staff can’t wait to introduce you to new material. That store is the primary reason my pull list has grown uncontrollably.

    This is just a long winded way of saying that my experience is the last statement about the store owners being part of the issue rings true. I will also say that there does need to be good writing and character development, but given the size of my pull list, I have to say I’ve not had trouble finding books worth reading.

  6. This is why the an executive shouldn’t blame diversity characters for sales when talking to a reporter on the record. It just gives power to bigots and racists. Gabriel brought this on himself.

    Marvel’s problem is they keep trying to squeeze retailers for money while delivering a product vastly inferior to the movies.

  7. Paula is totally right, btw. The biggest hurdle most stores have are themselves. I live in NYC now and the stores here have incredible customer service. I used to live in Ohio and finding a store willing to carry Image comics was hard enough, forget trying to get help or anything other than getting grief for asking a question.

    Maybe if the stores started talking to their customers and stopped yelling inflammatory slurs, they might make a few new sales.

  8. MBunge, why is it so important to sell a person unfamiliar with the book something new? I don’t think the books have expiration dates.

  9. I stopped going in comic stores a decade ago. They are relics of a different time and most seem intent on catering to a very small customer base of angry fanboys.

    In fact, Marvel’s sales are not tanking. Retail sales are across the industry. Marvel’s online sales are soaring and have a much more diverse customer base.

    As far as Iceman, Marvel wanted him to come out as gay decades ago, but the Comic Code Authority had a ban on gay representation in the comics. Same with Wonder Woman. That is the only reason we had no gay characters. Now things are different and kudos to Marvel and DC for making attempts to right this wrong.

  10. Are you kidding me, Billy? The retailer was angry at all of the changes that Marvel has been making to legacy characters in their attempt to be pc and you bring up the same liberal argument of him being a homophobe/racist? I know you didn’t come right out and call him that but you did insinuate it. The man is angry that Marvel is killing his store’s sales because they have become progressively liberal. It’s not because he is a bad man. Sure, Homo Iceman is not the best way to get your point across but he did have a valid argument. It is absolutely not the retailers that are killing sales of Marvel books. Marvel is destroying itself with the changing of its characters that built the brand. Apparently, this is obvious to everyone but you.

  11. “The biggest hurdle most stores have are themselves.”

    Pop quiz: How many comic stores have you visited?

    I think the current number is believed to be somewhere between 2,300 and 3,000 or so. Which, of course, means that if you’ve visited 230 comic shops, you’ve seen no more than 10% of the retail industry.

    Are there bad comic shops and shop owners out there? Sure. But the suggestion that bad retailers are to blame for poor comic sales is based on NOTHING. No facts. No evidence. Nothing.

    Mike

  12. “As far as Iceman, Marvel wanted him to come out as gay decades ago, but the Comic Code Authority had a ban on gay representation in the comics”

    I believe Marvel got rid of the Code in the early 2000s, or more than a decade ago. The first gay super-hero for Marvel was Northstar, who was created in 1979, was obviously gay in Byrne’s ALPHA FLIGHT in the 1980s, and publicly declared his homosexuality in 1992, or more than a quarter-century ago.

    Now, it would not surprise me if some writer some time had the idea of making Bobby Drake gay. But to say that MARVEL wanted him to come out “decades ago” but was stopped by the Code seems to have no evidentiary support.

  13. People keep saying that Marvel’s problem is the new versions of old characters, yet there has been plenty of articles showing the success of these new characters. That say Jane Foster as Thor has sold quite well and beat sales of “Male Thor”. However, not all of these characters have clicked with people with increased sales.

    Or look at how Marvel has now 2 Spider-mans, Peter Parker and Miles Morales. The version of Peter Parker hasn’t manged to avoid sales decreasing. So obviously, the issue is something else. Perhaps endless events that aren’t very interesting might be an issue?

    The main thing that people are talking about with Legacy is the lenticular covers, rather any anything to do with the story itself. Cool covers don’t make an interesting sell, especially if you aren’t getting covers.

    Earlier in this thread, MBunge says that Marvel should be selling new customers what they know. However, most new customers will know Marvel characters based off the movies and the latest versions of the characters even without new version of the character taking over is so very different.

    I haven’t kept track of what Marvel’s current version of Iron Man and Tony Stark are before Riri Williams took over as Iron Heart, but it is so very different from Marvel movies. However, you could a new customer a trade of Warren Ellis’ Extremis and they likely would be able to understand it.

  14. And, to complete a trifecta…

    “MBunge, why is it so important to sell a person unfamiliar with the book something new? I don’t think the books have expiration dates.”

    Why doesn’t Walmart or Target or essentially ANY modern retailer sell old products? What would you think about a book store if you went in looking to buy Stephen King’s “Mr. Mercedes” and they tried to sell you a dog-eared copy of “The Stand?”

    And exactly how much of this old product are comic shops supposed to buy and keep on the shelves in addition to paying for the bleep-ton of new stuff coming out every week? These retailers are not exactly rolling in dough and every trade they buy of a 10-, 20- or 30-year-old storyline means they’re NOT buying something made since Obama was elected.

    Mike

  15. Comics are a product of their time. If the “legacy” characters were created today, a lot of them would be black, Hispanic, Asian, female or gay. But they were created at a time when straight white males were the only acceptable heroes for much of the country.

    Instead of creating “alternate” versions of existing characters, why doesn’t Marvel (and DC) create some NEW characters? Two reasons:

    1. The fans don’t like new characters. They only like the familiar characters they grew up with, because superhero comics are their comfort food.

    2. A lot of writers and artists don’t want to create new characters for Marvel or DC, because they have no hope of owning those characters (or stories). They prefer to play with the “legacy” heroes when they work for the Big Two, and save their creations for indie comics where ownership is possible.

  16. Yeah, I have no patience for all of the whining about Marvel coming from these retailers. It’s the shops that drive customers away. Probably 50% of comic stores have employees that start openly masturbating behind the counter whenever a woman comes in. I don’t think the Jane Foster Thor is what has caused their problems.

  17. To clear some things up – I basically went to every store in my area that sold comics (let’s say a couple dozen shops give or take) and only 1 made me want to come back. Granted, this is anecdotal, but it is my experience. How many others have had similar experiences? Not all but some – perhaps enough to scare off potential customers. Thankfully, I found a good shop and was persistent. Not everyone is (side note – my hunt consisted of my local area, plus two major cities hours away from where I live. Only one shop enticed me. Not a good hit rate imo).

    Having said that, Mypoint was not that the store owners are the reason and only reason for a lack of sales, merely that they were AN issue. Obviously, I’ve found a good shop and happily gone on my way. But to be honest, I don’t think I’m that unusual – if they were an issue for me, it’s probable they are an issue for others. Believe, don’t believe, that’s your prerogative, but if you are a store owner, you do need to be aware of how people perceive you.

    Anyway, I actually believe the biggest issue is cost – the monthlies are too expensive for kids to get into. Add to that the ease of the electronic format and you have an industry in needs of adjustment. I’ve actually found a lot of stuff worth my time. I actually like female Wolverine, Thor, Hawkeyes, Riri, Spider-Gwen etc. in fact, i don’t buy any comics with male leads. It’s my preference.

  18. Zach: so you know, the first volume of JMS’ run is OOP from Marvel via Diamond, as is the first volume of Aaron’s run (“God Butcher”) — the latter *can* be gotten… but only as a $35 HC for the first 11 issues. Not exactly new-reader friendly. “Blood & Thunder”, to me, is a very very uneven collection, focusing more on Adam Warlock than Thor in any real way,,, and that, too, is $35, but at least it’s actually in-print!

    -B

  19. @Brian Hibbs – yes, but isn’t the argument about Marvel’s variants program that the stores end up with a bunch of unsold comics? So they don’t still have some NM issues lying around? Or any of the Thor stuff that came out around the time of the first movie? I find it hard to believe there are no sample-size, VF-NM dude Thor books lying around. Not to mention, as someone else pointed out, comics Peter Parker doesn’t look much like movie Peter Parker right now anyway – so what ARE you going to sell that Spider-Man movie person?

  20. Marvel Legacy #1 kinda stunk. Trying to blame a retailer for putting out books they have a hard time selling is pretty sad. Marvel has a very abusive and manipulative relationship with retailers. Is it any wonder they are frustrated.

  21. A retailer, who is Marvel’s salesperson to the public, speaks up at an open meeting. He says things that people disagree with. Politically incorrect things. Marvel then says things that some people disagree with. Then people disagree with the retailer and with Marvel. Did I get that right so far?

    Retailers are selling comics they don’t like, to customers who don’t seem to like what they are buying. Is Marvel making books that are not consistent with their movie universe? Are they working woth retailers to build a unified customer base? Not from what I read here!

  22. Interesting meeting, from the sound of it. I guess the retailer community is filled with all types of people. Unfortunately Marvel set themselves up for criticism when they started a line wide replacement of all their older characters “at once.” Look at the time between All New Marvel Now and All New All Different Marvel. Every comic series relaunch saw long running characters replaced – versions that don’t necessarily have long standing fan bases. It put them in a tight spot of selling all new stories and characters to an existing fan base for other characters. And to boot, some stories were just bad and series were launched with expensive buy-in ( $4.99 #1’s, double shipping first few months at 3.99/piece). None of this left a fall back group of titles for habitual readers. Marvel is now trying to find a good balance and woo back readers.

  23. I find it fascinating that even few days ago everyone was talking about how Marvel are making stupid decisions that are hurting the market long term (variant covers, relaunches, events, price gauging, character swaps and all that), but some retailer decides to make his case with some slight anti-poc rhetoric and everything suddenly shifts. Now retailers are almost entirely responsible for bad Marvel sales and Marvel becomes good guy despite continuing their predatory business model.

    Simply amazing.

  24. remember when chris claremont was fired from the x-men after the first movie came out because it was too different and complicated from the movie

  25. @Brian Hibbs

    The new readers are better served by Amazon where you can buy JSM Thor Vol. 1, 2 and 3 for 9-12$ each or the digital edition at 8-9$ each.

  26. It’s quite clear anyway that that retailer was driven by his own personal beliefs, I mean all that fixation with Ice Man…someone believes that a straight Ice Man book would have sold a lot more? Please. And someone should explain to him that every sane parent wouldn’t have problem with their kids watching Ice Man kissing a man but they would have a lot of problem with their kids going into his shop.

    Regarding the floppy vs. trade debate, I understand that many retailers make more moneys from floppy and would like their customers hooked on them, but don’t try to make it seem like you want the customers save money, pushing the floppy you are only selling them the lower quality, and in the long term more expensive for them version of the story. Also, how it’s easier for a new reader to start following a book via floppy, mid-story? It’s not. And I am sure if you explain people that they can buy a complete, lasting, on good quality paper story, made of 11 floppy, at 35$ OR start following a book mid-story, 20 pages of shitty paper at a time, at 44$ for 11 story many would opt for the more sensible, complete, better quality, cheaper way.

  27. I don’t think anyone is saying Marvel are the good guys; more that the entire ecosystem is scum and we’d be better off if most comic book companies and retailers are burned to the ground.

    “Slight anti-poc comments” are still hurtful and bigoted. Kinda have to wonder about the kind of person who would qualify any hate speech as “slight.” Maybe comic readers are just as bad as everyone else?

    I feel worse about enjoying comics literally every day.

  28. @ Nick

    They changed four characters: Captain America and Thor in 2014, a year apart one from another, Hulk and Iron Man in 2016, a year apart one from another. It’s not all characters, it’s 4, and it’s not at once, it’s over the course of three years.

    Cap was present has an old man at first, and back as his former self just a year later. Thor has been a co-character for most of the run. Stark have always been present as a co-character in the form of his AI. Only Banner disappeared.

    All the «changed all classic characters at once» narrative is false.

    The new Thor is commercially more successful than the Classic Thor. Both the new Iron Man and Cap sold or are selling at the same levels than Classic Iron Man and Cap. Even Hulk performance are comparable to the classic Hulk books performance.

    The «sales are falling because the replaced the old characters» narrative is false.

    Those 4 characters weren’t even selling well for years before being replaced. Cap, IM and Hulk kept being relaunched yearly because their sales were poor. How can sales being negatively affected by the replacement of 4 characters that were poor seller to start? Especially when at least one sells better than before and other sell at least at the same level?

    I forgot Wolverine. It was in the same situation than the other, relaunched yearly because of poor sales. And both its replacements OML and AN Wolverine have been more successful than the classic version has been for years.

    My uninformed opinion regarding all this whining from retailers about Marvel and “diversity” is that there is a segment of retailers that DON’T WANT Marvel to go that route AT ALL. Because the mostly sell white male characters books to white male readers that are NOT interested, or even antagonistic, to the new diverse characters. And they know that not only they don’t have customers interested in the new books and characters, but they will never be able to attract them. The misogynist ad homophobic outraged retailer seems to confirm my opinion.

  29. “As far as Iceman, Marvel wanted him to come out as gay decades ago, but the Comic Code Authority had a ban on gay representation in the comics. Same with Wonder Woman. That is the only reason we had no gay characters. Now things are different and kudos to Marvel and DC for making attempts to right this wrong.”

    You mean the only reason we had no gay characters before the 70’s, right? (and even that’s debatable since I can’t remember if there were any in 60’s comics) Because aside from Northstar (which Mike pointed out), Byrne also went on to create Maggie Sawyer in the Superman comics during the 80’s. Pied Piper was revealed to be gay in the late 80’s Flash run. So was Tasmanian Devil in the early 90’s and Mikaal Tomas when James Robinson was writing Starman. I’m pretty sure there were others.

    I don’t think the CCA was the issue here since all of these were published while the CCA was still going. Maybe you could make the argument that some of the characters weren’t allowed to outright state their sexual orientation for a while, but the hints weren’t exactly subtle except maybe to kids who wouldn’t get what was going on.

  30. or it could be that Marvel has been pushing these diversity comics that are full of shitty stories and shitty characters. I don’t give a shit if Thor is a woman. I give a shit if there is some misplaced shitty rant of feminism from a character who wants to kill she-hulk because she wants to be the strongest woman ever. Or that the character literally says “dying of cancer has never been so fun” which is a fucking asshole thing to even have someone say. Or how about boring characters who just deal with shit no one cares about like miles. He literally has no character, he’s essentially black spiderman who reacts to things. hell, his supporting cast is more interesting than him. why the hell would I want to read about some boring people? cause that’s whats being written.

    There is obviously less quality for the sake of diversity whether it be characters or writers. Hell, the best example is America Chavez. It’s awfully written, awfully drawn, and just awful in every single way. Its awfulness so compounded that it’s basically the room of comics. that’s what Marvel is pushing and when people don’t want that, rightfully so, they call us racists or whatever cause we don’t want what they have to sell. They really need to stop pushing this type of crap and instead focus on quality. I used to never read DC but now im solely reading DC because Marvel refuses to address their issues. that’s where we are at right now. So fuck marvel. I hope a crash comes because what they have been doing is alienating and awful

  31. As someone who actually HAS visited over 200 comic shops- from Midtown to Mile High- I can (with some degree of authority) say that the problem is not with retailers. Most comic stores have friendly people who are neither creepy nor weird. The myth of the “comic book guy” is an unfortunate stereotype.

    No, the problem is with the product. Marvel chose to replace at least 5 of its major characters at once. It doesn’t matter which race or gender the replacements are – they are still replacements. Combine that with an inflated $4-5 cover price and sales dropped.

    I, personally, can’t afford to buy comics I like – much less comics I don’t like.

  32. “No, the problem is with the product. Marvel chose to replace at least 5 of its major characters at once. It doesn’t matter which race or gender the replacements are – they are still replacements. Combine that with an inflated $4-5 cover price and sales dropped.”

    And finally, Bob addresses the proverbial “elephant in the room”. I know the guy who wrote this and many others want to wave their arms, and proclaim from the rooftops “LOOK! LOOK!! I’M OPEN MINDED AND EVERYONE ELSE ISN’T!! LOVE ME!! LOVE ME!!!”., but let’s look at this from the retailers side of things; These are people who invested a significant amount of time, work, and MONEY into their business. A business which is contingent upon Marvel putting out books that people DON’T WANT TO BUY ANYMORE. These guys as a result are LOSING MONEY, and if their stores go under they’re out of a job. This is more than just flailing your arms and saying “LOOK!! THEY’RE A BUNCH OF RACISTS!!”. This is a matter of SURVIVAL for many. Marvel ruins the product. Nobody wants to buy the product. And the solution is to call the guys who sell Marvel’s comics racist and bigots? That’s putting the cart before the horse.

  33. Santa was not wrrong. Most people in my comic store aren’t white and they don’t like the changes Marvel has been doing either. Open your eyes, Billy!

  34. Brick and Mortar retail is down across the board, and comics have never had wide margins. I can appreciate angst from retailers who feel squeezed from all sides but IDK if there’s just a whole lot Marvel can do about more and more business moving to the internet, at least I don’t know what they can do for their LCSs.

    I’m torn between feeling like comics is a niche and you need to keep your niche happy to be successful, but also feeling like if they never do anything different, they’ll never have more than they’ve got. All I can see is that all this industry is continuing to contract and everyone seems to be running out of ideas.

  35. Can I just say that revealing Iceman to be gay 50+ years after his introduction, during which he WAS given occasional if brief romantic interactions with female characters (e.g. his limited series run in the mid-80s) missed a very obvious and more inclusive option: Iceman should’ve been revealed to be bisexual. Bisexual male characters are very rare in mainstream comics and it would have been more consistent with past characterization. I’ve been reading X-men comics for almost 40 years and I can’t recall any significant suggestion Iceman was anything but straight until suddenly he wasn’t. That was a bit tone deaf in a way that’s different from just letting somebody else wear a particular costume.

    Beyond that, I do think it’s unfortunate that there’s such a widespread and apparently popular component of bigotry in comic fandom, especially given that the X-men has been an allegory for oppressed minorities for decades. I don’t recall a similar outcry when Iron Man was a black guy. Did we just not pay attention to neckbeards back then? Or is it only an issue today because of other elements in our contemporary discourse?

  36. So you just saw a movie about a comic book super hero and you decide to go to the comic book store to find a comic with that character and the store owner says “Buy this. It’s a good value for $35.”. I’m not sure that’s the best way to go about selling it.
    My take on what Marvel is doing wrong is that their creators aren’t making good comics for the most part. They may be indy darlings whose Image books are great but that doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for a Marvel or DC book. Paraphrasing John Byrne: If your first thought is “How do I tell MY story with Captain America?” Instead of “How do I tell great Captain America stories?”, you may not be a good fit for a book. A big name guy with a popular Image title and a generic artist is probably not going to retain fans much less bring in new ones. Of course, watching sales sink and continuing to use the same creators while upping your gimmick quota is definitely a bad move. Great creators like Miller, Simonson, Byrne, and Claremont had professional editors who helped guide their stories and didn’t just gush about how cool it was to work with these people. Marvel’s editorial is as much the problem as everything especially guys like Tom “It’s Not Me, It’s You” Brevoort.

  37. Some guy taking over the panel to rant about “homos” certainly ended up being convenient to Marvel. They could just cut off the event without discussing the various ways they’re failing retailers, and now they can point to another example of how all the complainers are just bigots.

  38. @LondonKdS Blame the retailer for not being professional. Don’t blame Marvel for being responsible. When he started using derogatory slurs, he knew he was escalating the situation. His issue was with the lenticular covers. He should have stayed on topic. The retailer is entirely at fault here and if I was retailer in that room I’d be upset at this guy, not Marvel.

  39. It’s simply stupid for any retailer to rely on the products of one vendor/publisher as their sole source of income. They need to diversify and get a better understanding of the growing audience for the comics medium.
    As for Marvel? Disney should fire all of the people in the building and run the operation like a publishing house and not a day care center for boys.

  40. Zach: The problem with using backlist as your leading pitch to new readers is that a) Marvel’s backlist is very very expensive (there’s a real psychological point that crossing $19.99 harms sales significantly), and b) even if it was substantially cheaper, Marvel does a sub-optimal job at keep good quality entry points consistently in print.

    New readers often just want to *sample* at first, and I, personally, find its much easier to get people to “try” something for $3-4 than it is even a well priced trade. I certainly don’t think all comics should reflect the state of the “cinematic universe” (guh!), but I am at the same time sympathetic to complaints that the overall output of Marvel looks “too” different from the Classics.

    Mostly though, I was reacting to “just give them THIS” with “Well… we can’t?”

    -B

  41. From what I’ve read Marvel just decided they didn’t want to talk anymore. Given that the retailers need marvel to stay in business marvel can do what ever it wants to the characters and if it doesn’t sell it’s not marvel that will go out of business first.

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