Projections – 5/2/2016

Your Source for Comics, Games & Toys in the Ankeny / Des Moines Area

May 7th. Free Comic Book Day is now a week and a half away.
Ironically after typing up what a store owner goes through last week I learned another valuable lesson. I ordered something for an organization to help them out and got stuck with it. I was going to sell it to them at cost. Not the end of the world by any means just a little bit of a sting. I decided not to go help a different organization this year thinking I was finally getting a little bit wiser. What I ordered is now displayed in the store to help me remember just to say no when people ask for non profit help. I was happy to help. We donate comics and stuff and want to give back to the community. Just don’t want to be ripped off or taken advantage of either. In order to not be taken advantage of the best why is just to say no.
Finally seen Batman v Superman at the Des Moines IMAX. First movie in many years that I have seen for a second time. Do wish I had seen it on a regular IMAX theater. Been years since I have seen a regular IMAX movie. Which was in Omaha or Council Bluffs with Jeff. Still amazed at the pounding the critics gave Batman v Superman. Somehow Age of Ultron received more positive reviews than Batman v Superman. There is no way that Age of Ultron is better than Batman v Superman. Captain America had three arms in Age of Ultron for goodness sake.
Avengers Civil War, I mean Captain America Civil War is also now with in a week and a half away. Commercials and the Internet are a buzz with advertisements. Millions of dollars are going into promoting the movie. Millions of non comic fans will be bombarded with advertising for the movie. The amount of new people walking through the door curious about Civil War and/or Avengers or Captain America? Zip. We had new people thanks to the Batman v Superman movie. Though that is because I bought extra copies to give away of the Batman Superman reprint issue and took them to the Springwood 9 movie theater. That move did bring new people in. Though the Batman Superman comic was a reprint. Not of the current New 52 Batman Superman series. No this reprint was of the original first series from back in August of 2003. Over a decade ago. It was written by Jeph Loeb. Who for last few years has been Marvel exclusive and does a lot of work for Marvel’s T.V. business like Agents of SHIELD. So we had people coming in wanting the next issue of a series from 2003. Which we did. And of course there are the trades collecting the 2003 series. It just seems odd that the more recent New 52 version of Batman Superman was skipped over. And also if someone really likes Jeph Loeb’s writing? Well he sure the heck isn’t going to be writing a DC series. He hasn’t done any comic writing for years if my memory serves correctly.
I will take all the left over free comics from Free Comic Day as I have the last few years and bring them to the movie theater were they will do much more good being given out there than here. Marvel did the best this year out of all the comic companies for Free Comic Book Day by offering Captain America and Civil War II comics. But again giving them away here is pointless. If someone is already here then they know about Rodman Comics. The free comics are stamped with the Rodman Comics logo. Aaron will say yeah I stamped them all darn it!
With all these millions being made along with all these millions of people going to see these comic related movies then surely there is an increase in business right? Sadly it is pretty pathetic. Millions of people see these movies and what maybe .000001 percent of them that are non comic fans even know there is a comic based on the movie they just seen. Seriously the younger generation knows less and less about comics at all. Many people don’t even know comics are even still being made. I took a comic book to my day job before opening Rodman Comics years ago and not a single other person knew comics were still being made.
The first Batman movie all those years ago with Keaton as Batman really was a boost to comic sales. Even Marvel seen an increase in sales at the time. The hype for Batman was everywhere. If I recall correctly Jay Leno at the time did a joke about a man stranded on an island with no contact with the outside world being rescued but somehow he knew about he Batman movie. Why was there a healthy boost in comic sales at the time? Journalism was a lot different then. The news actually went into detail about the comics that Batman was in. About his history. His comic history along with the Joker’s comic history. Comic store owners were interviewed. Reports did actually research and reporting. A lot less false rumors were reported. And if a report was wrong about something? They made sure to state they were wrong. Now in this day of the internet not so much. Basically Keaton’s Batman movie made sure the comic industry received a bunch of free advertising.
Now days rumors are reported over actual in depth reporting on a subject.
Marvel and DC has made no real effort to get people that see their movies that made them millions into comics. There is no reinvestment into the original material that made them so much money.
Heck, Marvel has even hurt their publishing with their bitterness over their characters that they do not have the movie rights too. Why is there no Fantastic Four comics being published? Because Fox has the rights and Marvel doesn’t. So there will be no Fantastic Four comic. The Uncanny X Men for years was the number one selling comic out of all the publishers. With Fox having the movie rights to X Men while Marvel still has the rights to the Inhumans Marvel hopes to make the Inhumans as popular as the X Men were because hey there will be an Inhuman movie someday by Marvel. Even though Marvel recently announced the release date pushed back yet again. All New Inhumans, Uncanny Inhumans, and even a solo Karnak series are currently being published. How many Inhuman titles have been launched and cancelled in the last few years? Heck, I lost count. Too many.
Marvel’s Inhuman are still not even a quarter as popular as the X Men are. But yet Marvel wants the Inhumans brand to eclipse the X Men. If it was that easy to make a comic property as popular or more popular than the X Men doesn’t Marvel know someone would have done that years ago?
I would say that the comic movie industry is actually hurting the comic industry. Gone are the early days of the first Batman movie popularity had writers wanting to write the Joker into their comic storylines to tap into the Jokers surge in popularity and the editor Denny O’Neil wouldn’t let anyone else at DC use the Joker because he didn’t want the character be overexposed. The first movie no changes were made to Batman costume. The comics took enough pride in themselves to keep doing what was right for the comics.
Over the last few years over exposure is a term quite often used. Poor Wolverine. He was a member of three teams at once and everywhere years ago. Now he is dead and no one really seems to care. Granted his future self is currently in Old Man Logan.
And the comics are now molded closer to the movies. Let us not get into the Nick Fury mess. The original Nick Fury took over the Watchers job while his son is Nick Fury of SHIELD so it is more like the Marvel Universe movies. Even lost an eye to look more like his movie counterpart. I read that mini series where Nick Fury Jr was introduced and remember it being so forced and such a bad storyline. Coulson was also introduced in to the Marvel Universe during the same storyline. It was so bad I tried to block it from my mind. It was not popular here at the store.
So Marvel made the characters more like their movie counterparts so those people seeing their movies would be more likely to get into comics. It didn’t work. Instead there were storylines in comics that were really unpopular to put it politely.
What works for the movies doesn’t mean it will work for the comics. Years ago after one of the X Men movies all the sudden the X Men dropped their masks and costumes to look more like their movie counterparts. Fans didn’t take to the change.
Very odd the comic industry’s sales are down this year but we had a Deadpool movie that made over 750 million world wide. Batman v Superman a movie that has made over 850 million world wide. And an upcoming Captain America Civil War movie with Black Panther, the Avengers, Ant Man, Spiderman, and more coming out that should make a lot of money and have a lot of people seeing the movie but no real increase in comic sales by new customers. Black Panther 1 sold well. But it was to all regular comic customers. Meaning no one new came in. I am glad it sold well. What I am trying to say is the movie has current comic buyers who already come in and buy comics picking up Black Panther but not a single new person even though Black Panther is being hyped in Captain America Civil War. That is really odd. Again though why would a new person come in? Once potential new customers see the movie or advertisement for the movies why would they know there is a monthly Captain America comic? Or a Black Panther comic? Or Spiderman comic? Or an Avengers comic? Only if someone they know that are already into comics and somehow brings up that comics are published monthly will they find out. Not through any advertising by the comic industry that’s for sure.
Instead of advertising to a new broader audience the comic industry will have advertisement that only current comic readers will ever see. Such as advertising in Comic Shop News, the posters sent to comics stores, or advertising in their own comics.
Rodman Comics will do more to reach out to new readers by simply donating the comics for Free Comic Book Day to our local movie theater than the comic publishers will do.
How screwed up is that?
A lot of hype goes into the movies. At times I feel comic stores hype the movies too much. Myself included. Comic stores don’t receive any of the profit from comic based movies but we along with comic related websites use a lot of time and energy promoting comic movies even though they really don’t need promotion from us. Millions of dollars in advertising goes into promoting movies. Business wise at times it feels like comic related movies are a distraction from the actual selling of comics. Instead of talking about comics or hyping actual comics the hype goes to the movies.
Does that mean there should be no comic related movies. Heck, no. I am really glad that movies such as the first Avengers, the first Thor, Captain America II, Deadpool, Batman v Superman, and more were made. As a fanboy it is great. As a business owner of a comic store I am left scratching my head at the lack of new people interested in comics after they see a comic based movie. That seems like an epic fail with so much untapped potential new readers for the comic market never making it into comics.
Nothing lasts forever. Now, while comic related movies are hot would be a good time to spend some money and time and work on getting these millions of movie goers into the source material of the comic related movie they just seen.
What would really be a kick in the pants? New comic movies stop and comic sales improve.