Superman is bisexual now!!!

TheMysteriousGX

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The article says Diamond's sales are up. Diamond no longer distributes for DC, and hasn't for a year. DC's distributors are Penguin House, Lunar, and UCS. Which means Diamond's yearly or monthly sales figures have absolutely zero impact on DC's sales.

" When Diamond Comic Distributors returned to releasing indexed sales charts in June, it became clear not only that comic-book order volumes had swelled during the pandemic, but that its comic-book sales of other publishers had completely made up for the loss of DC comics items."

Literally the first sentence in the article. And in the second paragraph,

"... Looking back at the last pre-pandemic July, we find that all comics sold in July 2019 by Diamond amounted to 7.62 million copies for around $33.4 million. That's an increase of 13% in units and a 16% in dollars — and remember, the July 2021 tally doesn't include items above 400th place or DC's reorders."

I just explained this.

Now, I want to be clear I'm not opining on the state of the industry, DC, or politics in comic books, though I certainly have my opinions on it. I could give a toss who or what DC decides any iteration of Superman is, and I haven't since the "Death of Superman" arc damn near twenty years ago.

If anything I support the decision, because I do feel that if there's to be LGBTQ+ and better PoC representation to comics, the solution is not to retcon existing characters or play "mantle" shenanigans but rather to pull from past characters with established pedigrees or create new ones. This is precisely what DC has done, and I hope they can back that decision up with good quality writing, compelling storylines, and a substantive place for the character within their own mythos. As opposed to play identity politics shell games, to shield themselves from rightful criticism based upon poor quality work, as Marvel does.

That said, I've put my "take a step back and observe the situation impartially" hat on.

Due to how periodical print sales figures are accounted, they don't actually reflect readership -- or interest in the books themselves. Periodical print figures are predominantly driven by the collector market, and this is something the industry exploits to drive sales figures. That was the cause of the '90s comics crash, and the situation never really improved -- comics collectors simply forgot the lessons of the crash, and went straight back to CONSOOMER mentality once the industry recovered. If anything, the situation is worse now than it was prior to the crash itself, and is only really buoyed by consumer stupidity and stubbornness.

68,000 copies sold doesn't necessarily mean the comic actually sold well, or that there's interest in it. It means comics stores ordered 68,000 copies, and in all likelihood 15,000 neckbeards (at most) gobbled them up to polybag and box them, and stuff them in a closet somewhere never again to see the light of day. Because the state of comics collection and condition grading is actually so fucking stupid that merely inspecting a comic for print defects is enough to drop its condition from "near-mint" to "very fine" on account of spine stress from simply opening the thing. It's literally dumber, more consumer-unfriendly, and a bigger scam than cash-for-gold and gold assay.

And I'd lay cash most of 'em are probably the exact same people whinging on social media about how Jon Kent likes penis in his mouth, and they bought it because they think Jon Kent putting penis in his mouth actually means those comics will be worth something some day (it won't). Because that's how neckbeards do.

That's why the digital and TPB sales figures matter. People buy digital and TPB when they're actually reading the damn things. And DC's silence on digital sales is fairly telling, along with a decision to reprint periodicals rather than move the title straight to TPB. That's where I see a shell game at play.

You're absolutely right to say it's better to under-print and reprint if the demand's there, than it is to over-print and have to pulp unsold copy. But, that's a two-edged blade: sure, it's cost-efficient to do it that way, but it also means the company can pronounce they sold out as a marketing and PR move to drive buzz...or in this case, what has been and will be the kind of controversy-for-cash clickbaitery to which we've all been hopelessly inured since the rise of viral marketing. That's just good business...but it doesn't necessarily mean the reality meets the marketing.

If DC had faith in the title, and if the reality did meet the marketing, the smart move right here and now would be to announce the publication of a TPB for its first issues, and open pre-orders for it.
Look, I'm not defending comic book grading or whatever, but that's true for every book on the list, and this comic's "68,000 Diamond copies" is true of literally every comic book. Stores don't order reorders of comic books unless people want to buy them, because why would they order more backstock for books that aren't selling? Even if comic book shops are only selling to speculators, and there's no actual evidence of this outside of the fevered imaginations of youtubers, a sale is a sale, and comic books shops are reordering floppy copies.
 

Eacaraxe

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Look, I'm not defending comic book grading or whatever, but that's true for every book on the list, and this comic's "68,000 Diamond copies" is true of literally every comic book.
What I linked you was the aggregate from all direct market distributors.

"This data combines orders from all Direct Market distributors. Click to see only Diamond data."

At the top of the page. If you do click Diamond's data as linked in the URL above, you'll see they sold zero copes of Son of Kal-El. Nor copies of other DC titles. Because Diamond no longer distributes for DC Comics.

The reason Diamond is aggregated separately on its own page, is because up until last year when it suspended printing due to COVID, it had a monopoly on direct market distribution for the comics industry. To the point the DoJ launched an antitrust investigation against it in the '90s. DC severed ties with Diamond in June of last year to distribute through the three companies I mentioned earlier, and this was major news.

Stores don't order reorders of comic books unless people want to buy them, because why would they order more backstock for books that aren't selling?
Obviously they must be. The questions are for what purpose, whether this is indicative of a longer-term trend, and whether or not those sales numbers sustain themselves. In which case, it's too early to call this run an unqualified success as you implied. Not least with silence on digital sales or pending announcement of a TPB.

Even if comic book shops are only selling to speculators, and there's no actual evidence of this outside of the fevered imaginations of youtubers, a sale is a sale, and comic books shops are reordering floppy copies.
Are you suggesting comic book neckbeards don't know their own, know how comics speculation works, or how the industry operates?
 

TheMysteriousGX

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Obviously they must be. The questions are for what purpose, whether this is indicative of a longer-term trend, and whether or not those sales numbers sustain themselves. In which case, it's too early to call this run an unqualified success as you implied. Not least with silence on digital sales or pending announcement of a TPB.

Are you suggesting comic book neckbeards don't know their own, know how comics speculation works, or how the industry operates?
100% yes.

Case in point is the fact that...well, here's the trade paperback preorder you were waiting on:
 

Eacaraxe

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Case in point is the fact that...well, here's the trade paperback preorder you were waiting on:
That didn't show up earlier when I searched for it, was it just listed today?

And, that's enough to get my attention, let's see how it sells. I'd be more convinced with the digital sales numbers, however.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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That didn't show up earlier when I searched for it, was it just listed today?

And, that's enough to get my attention, let's see how it sells. I'd be more convinced with the digital sales numbers, however.
Dunno, just googled it.

Every place I can't find that isn't a culture warrior on YouTube is giving it good reviews, it's floppies are selling out and getting reprinted, and it's trade is up for preorder when 1/3rd of the series isn't out yet.

Can I mock the weird nerds that have been declaring the death of comics for the last decade yet?
 
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Eacaraxe

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Can I mock the weird nerds that have been declaring the death of comics for the last decade yet?
Stepping outside the realm of Superman, DC, or ongoing culture wars...in all honesty? Not really.

Framing aside, comics as we know them aren't likely to last the decade. Don't get me wrong. Marvel will still be around, DC will still be around, all these characters with decades-long pedigrees will be around...but in print periodical format? Not likely.

The industry markers that precipitated the '90s crash are still present today. Gimmick events, relaunches, rapid-fire reboots, variant covers, "collectible" merch, talent shakeups and consistent staffing changes -- each and every one. The bottom line is, the culture war shit is little more than facade on "both" ends of this shitshow. And that's what bothers me -- largely faux progressivism to shield and distract from the same hyper-cynical, unsustainable, business practices that caused the crash 25 years ago.

Same shit that happened before's gonna happen again -- collectors and speculators are going to re-learn the hard way what makes golden and silver age comics so highly-valued is their rarity. And not just rare, but rare copies of intellectual properties that persisted for decades. Neither condition is going to be satisfied, when there are hundreds of thousands of copies, of a run that lasted at most two to three years before it got scrapped and relaunched when initial sales dropped. The only parties profiting from that, are risk-averse and stubborn comic book companies that are resisting evolving format trends by any means necessary.

At the end of the day, what's going on now is the death rattle of the print periodical. Digital and TPB formats are slowly but steadily taking over the market, and that's a trend no amount of short-term sales boosters are going to reverse.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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Stepping outside the realm of Superman, DC, or ongoing culture wars...in all honesty? Not really.

Framing aside, comics as we know them aren't likely to last the decade. Don't get me wrong. Marvel will still be around, DC will still be around, all these characters with decades-long pedigrees will be around...but in print periodical format? Not likely.

The industry markers that precipitated the '90s crash are still present today. Gimmick events, relaunches, rapid-fire reboots, variant covers, "collectible" merch, talent shakeups and consistent staffing changes -- each and every one. The bottom line is, the culture war shit is little more than facade on "both" ends of this shitshow. And that's what bothers me -- largely faux progressivism to shield and distract from the same hyper-cynical, unsustainable, business practices that caused the crash 25 years ago.

Same shit that happened before's gonna happen again -- collectors and speculators are going to re-learn the hard way what makes golden and silver age comics so highly-valued is their rarity. And not just rare, but rare copies of intellectual properties that persisted for decades. Neither condition is going to be satisfied, when there are hundreds of thousands of copies, of a run that lasted at most two to three years before it got scrapped and relaunched when initial sales dropped. The only parties profiting from that, are risk-averse and stubborn comic book companies that are resisting evolving format trends by any means necessary.

At the end of the day, what's going on now is the death rattle of the print periodical. Digital and TPB formats are slowly but steadily taking over the market, and that's a trend no amount of short-term sales boosters are going to reverse.
The argument is that "comics" are going to die, not "superhero monthly 22 page floppy comics from Marvel and DC are going to die". I don't give a shit about superhero monthly 22 page floppy comics, that's why I laugh at the weird nerds with YouTube channels declaring that SJWs are going to destroy the comics industry. An industry that is continually expanding, especially trades and digitally, with no apparent down turn from having things like "SJW" characters. Least as far as my Iron Circus Comics Kickstarter orders are concerned.

If you keep divorcing it further and further from "get woke go broke" into an argument that nobody is making, the less it matters. So I will keep laughing at those weird nerds

Then again, "Print was dead" in the '80s
 
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Eacaraxe

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The argument is that "comics" are going to die, not "superhero monthly 22 page floppy comics from Marvel and DC are going to die".
That is, however, not the argument I'm making. The argument I'm making, is the comics industry is undergoing a long-overdue format paradigm shift, the industry is trying in vain to resist by any means necessary, at the cost of long-term success. Why are you insistent upon trying to hold me to an argument I'm not making?

And to a certain extent, the "death of comics" is still true, if we are to understand format as a defining trait of the US comics industry. Which is a silly perspective, but not wholly without merit.

I don't give a shit about superhero monthly 22 page floppy comics, that's why I laugh at the weird nerds with YouTube channels declaring that SJWs are going to destroy the comics industry.
"SJW's" aren't going to destroy the comics industry, I completely agree with that. The comics industry is going to destroy the comics industry.

But unfortunately for everyone involved, the comics industry has decided to wade into the culture war to shield itself and distract from rightful criticism of its business practices. Thereby, creating the exact same codependent circle jerk we've seen play out in practically every form of popular entertainment over the past decade, in which outrage peddlers and grifters -- on both sides of the divide -- yell at each other for cash and prizes opposed to address issues of industry toxicity and bad practice.

An industry that is continually expanding, especially trades and digitally, with no apparent down turn from having things like "SJW" characters.
"Especially trades and digitally" being the keywords, there. The "apparent" downturn from "SJW" characters being a far more complex issue, and again, it's the same problem as the pre-'96 crash industry. Relaunches sell well at first, sales drop off, the run ends due to poor sales, staff moves around, and the run is relaunched again. The same shit is happening with "not SJW" characters and runs, too.

The "SJW" characters are there for one reason and one reason alone: to provoke people like us to argue about them, instead of noting the overall trend in the business model and how closely it mirrors the state of the industry before '96. This entire debate could be a copy-paste straight from '93, were we to replace the term "SJW" with "grimdark".

Least as far as my Iron Circus Comics Kickstarter orders are concerned.
And here we have a big driver of it, the revival of indie comics companies. Again, same shit happened precipitating the crash: Dark Horse, Valiant, Image, Avatar, all driven by big name creators, breaking away from DC and Marvel to create their own publishing houses and diluting the market. And, a lot of that was driven by the exploitive and predatory way DC and Marvel treated their talent at the time, abused copyright and intellectual property law, and stifled creative freedom using the Comics Code as a convenient excuse.

Some made exploitative trash, others made challenging and provocative work Marvel and DC wouldn't allow under the Comics Code, that ultimately pushed the medium forward. But ultimately what it is, is competition with which DC and Marvel need to contend, and that means doubling down on those aforementioned toxic business practices.

And by the way, all of that is still happening. But far be it for me to suggest working terms and conditions, pay, and intellectual property rights, really ought to be more important to supposedly progressive consumers, than fictional characters' color, gender, or sexuality.

If you keep divorcing it further and further from "get woke go broke" into an argument that nobody is making, the less it matters.
I'm not "divorcing" anything. I was quite clear up front my commentary and observations are limited to the business side of things, and I was leaving culture war shit to the side. And, clearly someone is making that argument; namely, me. Perhaps the issue is more that you don't want to engage with it, because it doesn't confirm your biases? After all,

So I will keep laughing at those weird nerds
Those biases do in fact seem to be pretty clear. If that's truly what you want to do, be my guest. But I'll point and laugh at you as someone engaging in useful idiocy myopically engage with culture war bullshit, and not industry trends and business practices.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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That is, however, not the argument I'm making. The argument I'm making, is the comics industry is undergoing a long-overdue format paradigm shift, the industry is trying in vain to resist by any means necessary, at the cost of long-term success. Why are you insistent upon trying to hold me to an argument I'm not making?
Because that's not what the Twitter post was about, not what I was laughing at, and not the topic of this thread.

The "SJW" characters are there for one reason and one reason alone: to provoke people like us to argue about them, instead of noting the overall trend in the business model and how closely it mirrors the state of the industry before '96. This entire debate could be a copy-paste straight from '93, were we to replace the term "SJW" with "grimdark".
...
Those biases do in fact seem to be pretty clear. If that's truly what you want to do, be my guest. But I'll point and laugh at you as someone engaging in useful idiocy myopically engage with culture war bullshit, and not industry trends and business practices.
I argued your argument pages ago, as well as in basically every "SJWs are killing comics" thread and comment that shows up on this godforsaken website.

I'm just not cynical enough to believe that every one of the dozens of authors and editors of DC comics that exist at any given time are trying to cynically manipulate the fan base into culture wars. I'm fairly certain that the vast majority of them are just wanting to write the best stories that they want to, and the culture warrior bullshit only shows up when whiny YouTube neckbeards feel left out because they're sad that it's no longer 1994.

And no, I'm not counting Comics Gate trash as "competition" when their flagship title has had 2 releases in what, 4 years? I don't care how much money they grift, half a comic a year with a dozen expensive variant covers is so '90s crash it hurts.

Regardless, Superman: Son of Karl El is doing well for itself by any measure DC releases that you laid out for it. I'm gonna celebrate that because, generally speaking, I like when things go well.
 

Eacaraxe

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Because that's not what the Twitter post was about, not what I was laughing at, and not the topic of this thread.
Except it is, when what you're discussing is symptomatic of bigger problems in the industry and distracts from those bigger problems in the industry.

I'm just not cynical enough to believe that every one of the dozens of authors and editors of DC comics that exist at any given time are trying to cynically manipulate the fan base into culture wars.
I'm not optimistic enough to believe they are. What I believe, is marketing and branding decisions are made in offices and boardrooms. Creatives are left playing follow-the-leader, or they're useful idiots, whose predetermined role is to be thrown under the bus or divorced from their work when and where comic runs falter.

Precisely because of how shitty the comics industry is.

...and the culture warrior bullshit only shows up when whiny YouTube neckbeards feel left out because they're sad that it's no longer 1994.
I'm sure you do believe that.

And no, I'm not counting Comics Gate trash as "competition" when their flagship title has had 2 releases in what, 4 years? I don't care how much money they grift, half a comic a year with a dozen expensive variant covers is so '90s crash it hurts.
An ironic statement, considering I was making a statement about the crowdfunded hentai comics you pointed out. Almost as ironic as your statement, "...and the culture warrior bullshit only shows up when whiny YouTube neckbeards feel left out because they're sad that it's no longer 1994..." when you're the person who keeps trying to loop it back to that, and I'm the person here trying to keep commentary tightly framed around the state of the industry and business practices within it.

Are you sure you're not the neckbeard pissed it's no longer 1994? I mean, as of 1994 the comic book industry was stronger than ever and growing, there were no problems in industry trends (and how dare you say otherwise!), and nothing was endemically wrong with it or how it was managed by the major comic book companies or its distribution models.

Regardless, Superman: Son of Karl El is doing well for itself by any measure DC releases that you laid out for it. I'm gonna celebrate that because, generally speaking, I like when things go well.
Sounds to me like you're far less interested in celebrating the success of this comic, than you are dunking on people who live rent-free in your head.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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Except it is, when what you're discussing is symptomatic of bigger problems in the industry and distracts from those bigger problems in the industry.

I'm not optimistic enough to believe they are. What I believe, is marketing and branding decisions are made in offices and boardrooms. Creatives are left playing follow-the-leader, or they're useful idiots, whose predetermined role is to be thrown under the bus or divorced from their work when and where comic runs falter.

Precisely because of how shitty the comics industry is.
My first post in this thread:
I know we're focusing on the corporate side of this but we also have to consider that Marvel and DC work on the "get new writers and artists for most storylines and broadly let them do whatever" model. It's two entire comic universes made up of themed anthologies. Sometimes it doesn't work and the older iterations come back, sometimes it works and you get Harley and Poison Ivy, but, at least most of the time, they've at least poached writers and artists who want this to be a thing
I'm sure you do believe that.
It's Ethan Van Schriver's whole schtick
An ironic statement, considering I was making a statement about the crowdfunded hentai comics you pointed out. Almost as ironic as your statement, "...and the culture warrior bullshit only shows up when whiny YouTube neckbeards feel left out because they're sad that it's no longer 1994..." when you're the person who keeps trying to loop it back to that, and I'm the person here trying to keep commentary tightly framed around the state of the industry and business practices within it.
...
There's not an eye-roll emoji big enough.

Comic book sales aren't declining. A specific subsection of comic book sales are declining because, as I pointed out earlier, superhero comics are less coherent story lines and more collections of themed anthologies. It's not comic's fault that Hollywood decided to have three different Peter Parkers in high school. It's not comic's fault that Hollywood made a movie about brand new Green Lantern Hal Jordan. Or Newly Emergent Superman and Brand New Crimefighter Batman. Hollywood movies showing classic heroes as they were 40-60 years ago isn't what's making new comics bad unless you think all these characters should've stagnated since before I was born.
Are you sure you're not the neckbeard pissed it's no longer 1994? I mean, as of 1994 the comic book industry was stronger than ever and growing, there were no problems in industry trends (and how dare you say otherwise!), and nothing was endemically wrong with it or how it was managed by the major comic book companies or its distribution models.
...
Honestly, it's the idea that Marvel and DC comics should have a vast, connected, chronologically contiguous meta-world that needs to die. Going back to pre-Disney copyright laws and letting most of the big ones be public domain would solve a lot of that problem. Let writers and artists have some characters and make a story with them that has a beginning, middle, and end without the expectation that it's going to slot cleanly between Action Comics #1215 and #1232 and won't get hijacked by Prelude To The Big Summer Crossover Universe Eraser. You don't have to check is a character is tied up in another story, or in space, or currently fucking dead. And then, you'll have that run of superhero books you can point to fans of movies and whatever. People who like the Spider-Man movies wanting to read more Spider-Man won't be blindsided by the fact that Peter Parker graduated high school in fucking 1965.

Thats hurting Marvel and DC superhero comic books way more than a bare minimum of clumsily handled progressive stuff.
The "comic industry's" woes are entirely agnostic to some culture war bullshit.
Sounds to me like you're far less interested in celebrating the success of this comic, than you are dunking on people who live rent-free in your head.
Yes.

Got burned with the New 52 when the conclusion for Justice League Dark's first storyline was in an issue of I, Vampire and the second story arc of Justice League Dark retconned the Books of Magic into an alien teleportation device. Now I don't fuck with metaverse floppy comics. *If* the trade for Superman has a coherent story for Jon Kent with a beginning, middle, and end, I'll consider picking up the trade
 

Eacaraxe

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Whole bunch of irrelevant crap.
Yeah, I don't really care.

It's Ethan Van Schriver's whole schtick
I'm sorry, I was unaware Ethan Van Sciver was the only person on Earth currently critical of the comics industry, or that his stupid shitty opinions are word of god.

Now I don't fuck with metaverse floppy comics.
I sense a money shot coming...

*If* the trade for Superman has a coherent story for Jon Kent with a beginning, middle, and end, I'll consider picking up the trade
Fap fap, grunt and splat, that's a wrap everybody. That's why groupthink is bad, folks. It makes you ignore core issues and root causes when you know damn well what they are, and stand up in defense of them when people with opinions you don't like criticize them too.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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Yeah, I don't really care.

I'm sorry, I was unaware Ethan Van Sciver was the only person on Earth currently critical of the comics industry, or that his stupid shitty opinions are word of god.

I sense a money shot coming...

Fap fap, grunt and splat, that's a wrap everybody. That's why groupthink is bad, folks. It makes you ignore core issues and root causes when you know damn well what they are, and stand up in defense of them when people with opinions you don't like criticize them too.
Lmao, dunno what you're taking such offense to. That "load of irrelevant crap", as you put it, is exactly the criticism you claim to look for, it's just not wrapped up in the culture war bullshit that you are determined to pretend I care about.

But fine: "oh woe is the comics book industry, bisexual Superman is insufficient cover for the entirety of the floppy comic market collapsing. Truly we cannot talk about it in isolation, good or ill, lest we engage in identity politics"

Like, should I be buying floppy comics sight unseen? State of the "industry" as it is, not knowing if the story is gonna end in a completely different book? Or dumped in favor of the next Prelude To The World Changing Event? Especially with the criticisms I have with the industry that you just brushed off?
 
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TheMysteriousGX

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So, the whole thread's fantastic. Lots of reasoned analysis of Go Woke Go Broke, etc. Bad sales, total failure, complete rejection by the DC fan base, etc



But, cutting to the end:
 
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