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Issue #43: Marvel Movie News, Marvel Now Teams and July Sales! | Comic Book Podcast

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EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT this week’s Talking Comics Podcast is all about some of the biggest news happening in the comic book world right now! We talk Joss Whedon heading back to The Avengers, Daredevil possibly heading back to the Marvel Movie Universe, July sales numbers and we also get all specific on the creative teams that have been announced for Marvel NOW!

As for our regular segments like Book of the Week… Steve is crazy about the X-Men character Pixie, but is split in his admiration for two of her outings, while Rob waxes on the murder mystery tale Mind the Gap. Bobby is all over the map this week going from Batman RIP, to Greg Rucka’s The Punisher and finally landing on Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye #1. Last, but certainly not least, Bob goes indie with Love and Capes: What to Expect #1.

 

We say it on the show, but just in case you missed it, the Talking Comics crew on Twitter are:
Bobby: @bobbyshortle
Steve: @dead_anchoress
Stephanie: @hellocookie
And Bob’s email is bobreyer@talkingcomicbooks.com

FYI: the gang have brand new avatars on Twitter, Facebook and they’ll be uploaded here to the Talking Comics site shortly. Yes, that’s right, the crew have gone all superhero on the world, thanks to the wonderful
Hanie Mohd (a FANTASTIC artist who recently had her art featured in the back of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel #1). Like them? Make sure to follow her and let us know what you think of our new superhero pictures.

The Comic Book Podcast is brought to you by Talking Comics (www.talkingcomicbooks.com), a blog dedicated to covering the latest and greatest in comic book releases. The editorial staff is composed of Editor-in-Chief Bobby Shortle (Fanboy Remix, Doctor Whocast), Stephanie Cooke (JoBlo.com) and Steve Seigh (JoBlo.com contributor) who weekly dissect the releases and give you, the consumer, a simple Roman yay or nay regarding them. Our Twitter handle is @TalkingComics and you can email us at info@talkingcomicbooks.com. Until next issue … to be continued!

7 Responses

  1. AvatarofLoki

    Thanks for the show folks!

    A quick comment (as I am known for my brevity) on the downsized number of readers in the current marketplace in comparison to days past. While I will agree to a certain extent that marketing and content have played their part, I believe 2-3 factors have had the largest impact on the incredible shrinking market. These are the things that kept me out for the last X years, and probably played a major role in preventing the churn of new readers to replace the burnout of old:

    1.) The fans. To be more precise, the fanatics. If I enjoy a fictional story, I do not want to be ‘judged’ for liking something lame. No matter what character I could start to show interest in, there was always a vociferous detractor of how it is currently being ruined, how much it sucks, and the death knell of everything good about that character. This almost drove me to drop the hobby as I just got started with the N52, as the fanbase is negative negative negative, or there are some VERY squeaky wheels at the least. I’m not paying to argue, I’m paying for escapism, entertainment, and a shared experience. Which leads to number 2…

    2.) Price. If you put comics next to practically anything in the current entertainment space on a dollar vs minutes of entertainment scale, comics come out in a very bad position. Gaming, movies, television, Internet…pennies and fractions of pennies per minute on a monthly range. Comics, on a ‘wordy book’, $.30+ per minute. In my new fervor of enjoyment this last year, I have tried turning people on to books, and am immediately met with ‘It’s fun, not $4 fun, but fun.’ I know there are no beach-houses and Scrooge McDuck vaults of gold stored up even at these prices; but if the owners want to use the medium as essentially R&D for the more profitable movies/games/merchandise markets, they may be better served by taking the relative minor loss in pricing that R&D/marketing entails in this medium to better test/saturate their branding in other more profitable markets. (I’m sure smarter heads than I have already crunched the breakpoint numbers and found the money gained in other arena’s will only break even or give an overall loss at this option…right?)

    3.) Reading in general. If you do not have a breakout hit (read as: if you do not get a global movement behind your story that will inevitably lead to a blowback against your property shortly afterwards); you will sell at minimum 50% less copies of your book/newspaper/comic/etc than if it was published 20 years ago. It is sad, but for years the amount of people who state ‘I do not read for pleasure’ in the 13-17 age bracket has grown from a paltry 9% in 1984 to 37% in the latest report from the National Endowment for the Arts. Expand that to include the 18-24 age bracket and it jumps even higher to just shy of 50%. Right there, you lost ~40% of your potential market from 20 years ago. This is why I believe content, while certainly a factor for burnout, has not been as much of a factor as the lack of people to take their place. You could do a 12 issue arc about Captain America clubbing baby seals with his shield so he could use their corpses to derail a train full of nuns and children because they didn’t stand up when the national anthem played as the train went by a stadium…and the percentage drop would be less than the amount lost to the changing world/mindset these last 20 years.

    The medium is solid, the potential is there, but until it becomes ‘retro-cool’ or any of the above make some serious inroads, I just don’t see the mass populace changing their opinion because a commercial aired or the overly expensive impulse buy is nearby. But, it did win me over this late in the game, so who knows?

    Just one guys opinion of course!

    • Bobby Shortle

      Good points, but I have a couple of qualms with your points…

      A) The fans – yes there are so belligerent asses out there, especially on the internet, but they exist everywhere. There are movie fanatics, music fanatics, tv, sports etc, etc. These people haven’t hurt their mediums because they have a larger reach then just these folks and that’s where we need to be. There is also the simple fact that they are also fans, they have a right to love what they love and just because we are different doesn’t make us better. If you call for those people to be eliminated than you are no better then them telling you to stop reading “sucky” books.

      B) Price is a factor of course, but once you start putting a cents to minutes ratio on something I think you start to miss the point. I’ll take a fantastic 23 page book over a crappy 50 page one for the same price any day and the same goes for long video games vs. short ones. You are also looking at it from the perspective of someone who buys a lot of books, not as some one who buys 1 or 2 a week, to that person I think 3.99 seems pretty appealing.

      C) The National Endowment for the Arts study does that separate comics into it’s own category? Because I’d be willing to be people do not think of reading a comic book the same way they do a novel.

      • AvatarofLoki

        100% valid counterpoints Bobbie. By no means is anything I say meant to be gospel, as I can only speak from my limited POV in this arena. These are just the things that kept myself out for so long, and some anecdotal findings from trying to spread the love. A few counter-counters though!

        A.) Entirely true. While every medium has its detractors/analysts, they have also been relegated to their own domains. Think of it as a castle setting. The hardcore live inside the keep debating and nitpicking, while the masses en large populate the village surrounding this tower enjoying the setting for what it is. Unfortunately, comics have placed those opinionated souls on the parapets of the surrounding wall, and you cannot even get to the village without passing them.

        I was lucky enough to have multiple stores in my region, but I had to go through 3 before I found one not populated by judgemental and gruff staff. You google up a character to see if it interests you, and you have to wade through more detractors than supporters. This kept a field of malaise surrounding the chewy chocolate center that people do and will enjoy. But many folks will not be so persistent to seige the walls (that should not be there!) and storm the castle.

        I am not stupid or naieve enough to apply this caricature to all of the fandom, as I have met plenty of folks both virtually and physically who have been nothing short of a delight to talk shop with. Do these deeply vested folks deserve to enjoy it in their own way? Of course! I would never state otherwise! But perhaps they are not the best-suited to be its ambassadors to the world at large? To go all old-school literature: Energy begets Energy. Hype begets Hype. This dampening field of negativity does nothing but atrophy any momentum the above can get going though.

        B.) Money is always a relative thing. I am a dork when it comes to value. I started playing RPG’s because ’60 hours of gameplay for the same price as 10 here? SOLD!’ But I 100% agree that quality SHOULD validate the price of entry. I am living proof of that, but I also count myself lucky enough to have disposable income to enjoy the hobby with. So that may just be anecdotal blah-se-blah that I have run across personally and within my circle.

        C.) I would think that study does not take that into account, but I cannot speak to what I do not know! Personally, I would say courtesy of the internet, people read more today than they have in the past. Unfortunately, all those 1’s and 0’s have also put a hurting on printed media, in all of its iterations. To go back to the previous comparison, its just like foreign subtitled films. Some of the best movies I have seen were made on the other 90% of the planet, but it is like pulling teeth to get people to watch them now because ‘I have to read?’ Do I join in the howls of ‘Printed Media is Dead!’? Not at all. The world is comedically cyclical, so I just think it is in a state of flux at the moment.

        As I said at the top, I can only speak from my personal viewpoint; so I could be 100% wrong on every account. I am far from the brightest candle on the cake, but these are just the observations I have made from my brief tenure aboard the S.S. Comicboat. 🙂

        P.S. I tried so hard not to be as verbose as I usually am this time. *Sigh*

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