Why Superhero Films Rock, But Don’t Help Superhero Comics Roll

In recent columns we’ve taken a look at a lot of the ways the comics market has evolved, including making the point that publishing – while still profitable – is now the smallest of the three legs of the financial stool. Sometimes I may not see the world the way other fans do, because of my being a Suit an all, but there is one point of frustration that we all share.

FRUSTRATION = The inability (or unwillingness?) of media companies to successfully promote the sale of comic books (in issues and collected editions) in conjunction with the mainstream success comic book TV and films have enjoyed in recent years.

To illustrate my point, let’s take a look at some numbers for a few popular comic-book related film franchises.

Iron Man

Ol’ Shellhead is tearing up the box office in Iron Man 2 currently, making Marvel Studios and its parent Disney 
happy to no end. The movie has grossed more than $500 million globally and ranks as the 6th highest grossing comic book adaptation, according to Box Office Mojo.
 
Iron Man 2 Movie Poster Marvel iFanboy
This follows on the heels of the original Iron Man film, which grossed $585 million globally (and ranks 5th all-time in the genre). So combined, the two Iron Man films have grossed more than $1 billion in the course of 2+ years. 
 
And then there are the sales of the DVD. Now Iron Man 2 isn’t yet available, but we have some good data for Iron Man 1 DVD sales, care of The-Numbers.com. In the first week, 4.3 million units were sold, generating almost $78 million in retail sales. By the end of 2008, 8.4 million units had been sold. To date, 9.36 million copies of Iron Man have been sold via DVD. And that’s a lowball estimate because it doesn’t include sales of Blu-Ray or HD-DVD.
 
Now let’s juxtapose that against sales of Invincible Iron Man, the comic book series. I chose that title for two reasons. One, it was launched in May 2008 in order to capitalize on the anticipated excitement of the film. Two, it’s the consistent monthly title over the relevant time period (Marvel had two ongoing Iron Man titles in 2008 for awhile and has just relaunched a 2nd monthly title, but for most of the period it was just Invincible Iron Man).
 
 
Sales from ICV2 for the Diamond Direct Market:
 
Invincible Iron Man 1 105,864 
Invincible Iron Man 2    69,021 
Invincible Iron Man 3    63,043 
Invincible Iron Man 4    58,154 
Invincible Iron Man 5    60,444 
Invincible Iron Man 6    53,332 
Invincible Iron Man 7    49,356 
Invincible Iron Man 8    56,708 
Invincible Iron Man 9    49,223 
Invincible Iron Man 10 51,649 
Invincible Iron Man 11 52,165 
Invincible Iron Man 12 51,774 
Invincible Iron Man 13 51,311 
Invincible Iron Man 14 53,229 
Invincible Iron Man 15 50,554 
Invincible Iron Man 16 53,782 
Invincible Iron Man 17 47,182 
Invincible Iron Man 18 48,039 
Invincible Iron Man 19 47,178 
Invincible Iron Man 20 55,160 
Invincible Iron Man 21 47,330 
Invincible Iron Man 22 46,763 
Invincible Iron Man 23 50,027 
Invincible Iron Man 24 49,239 
Invincible Iron Man 25 73,694 
Average                          55,769
 
Now this doesn’t account for sales of other Iron Man related titles, or collected editions, or international sales. It’s just the units bought by Diamond retailers to stock their shelves. Although it’s hard to get comprehensive numbers for the collected editions, we do have year-end BookScan data care of Brian Hibbs.
 
 
In 2007 (Pre Iron Man movie), only one Iron Man title (Iron Man Civil War) placed in the BookScan Top 750 for the comics category, selling 6,466 units. In 2008, six titles ranked in the Top 750:
 
  • MARVEL ADVENTURES IRON MAN V1 — 12,581 units    
  • CIVIL WAR IRON MAN  — 5,861 units
  • IRON MAN EXTREMIS  — 5,667 units
  • IRON MAN JUMBO COLOR & ACTIVITY BOOK – 5,090 units
  • MARVEL ADVENTURES IRON MAN V2 — 4,434 units
  • IRON MAN DEMON IN A BOTTLE – 4,348 units
 
In 2009, only one title appeared in the BookScan 750, Marvel Iron Man Adventures Volume 1 with another 6,593 copies. 
 
Any way you slice the data, and even if you account for the fact that this data isn’t all-inclusive, the number of people buying Iron Man comics and collected editions is a tiny fraction of those going to the theater and/or buying the DVDs. If just 1% of the people who bought the Iron Man DVD bought the ongoing monthly comic, sales would be 3x as large as they are now. 
 
Batman: The Dark Knight
Batman Detective Comics Cover iFanboy DC Comics
Christopher Nolan’s monumental sequel to his Batman relaunch was, needless to say, a big hit. In fact, The Dark Knight stands as the most successful superhero movie in history, with more than $1 BILLION in worldwide sales. Batman Begins, the precursor film by Nolan, raked in $373 million in its own right, putting the franchise at nearly $1.4 billion not including the hundreds of millions made in the prior Batman film incarnations. 
 
In terms of DVD sales, The Dark Knight sold 6.8 million units in its first week and has sold 14.5 million units to date. As with Iron Man, these numbers exclude Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sales and are therefore a few million units shy of the real total. 
 
Unlike Iron Man, which has historically had one titular series and occasional adjunct series, the Batman comic book franchise is a true family. It’s rare when Batman isn’t published in a handful of titles at a given time; which makes tracking the comic book sales a bit harder. But for the sake of this article, which is meant to compare the magnitude of comic book sales to the reach of related film franchises, let’s focus on Batman’s two long-running core titles: Detective Comics and Batman.
 
DC Comics Sales Analysis (March 2010) via The Beat
 
Sales of Batman stand at just over 61,000 units (as of March 2010), which is down 33% from a year ago, and up about 2.3% from five years ago. Meanwhile, sales of Detective Comics (which admittedly didn’t feature Batman until just last month) were just over 43,000 in March which is about 11% lower than the comparable numbers in 2008 and up 11% from five years ago. In essence, sales of the two longest-running Batman family books have declined since the release of the film, and in spite of the fact that almost 15 million people have bought the DVD. 
 
Batman’s sales in the book market do paint a more optimistic picture, though. In 2007, according to the BookScan data, nine Batman titles ranked in the Top 750 and sold a combined 78,753 units. In 2008 (the year of The Dark Knight), fifteen Batman titles ranked in the Top 750 and sold a combined 288,364 units. That’s  a FOUR-FOLD increase year over year. In 2009, the Batman momentum continued as 19 titles ranked in the Top 750 and moved a combined 246,823 units. 
 
So why did the Batman film seem to have a bigger impact on trade sales than the Iron Man film? It’s only conjecture, but I would wager for two reasons. One, Batman was (and is) a more widely recognized character brand than Iron Man globally. Two, as we discussed a few weeks ago, DC has a much more effective book market distribution deal in place. I think the relative sales of Batman-related works versus Iron Man (and other Marvel film franchises) is one of the main reasons Marvel decided to abandon Diamond in the book market and join forces with Hachette. 
 
The Big Picture = Still Frustrating
 
Even if you consider Batman a better cross-over success than Iron Man, the number of people buying Batman comics and collected editions is still a fraction of those who saw the movie in theaters and/or bought the DVDs. And that’s been a universal truth in all comic-book adaptations, save for perhaps Watchmen which has been a book sales phenomenon unlike anything the industry has ever seen. 
 
So why is there such a disconnect between the popularity of the films and the comic-book works that inspired those films in the first place? There is no one reason, but rather a confluence of factors.
 
  • There are more movie-goers and DVD watchers than comic readers — I'm not sure there's any way to change this, but as we pointed out, even if a tiny fraction of those who appreciate the films decided to buy the comics, sales would grow exponentially
  • A lack of coordinated cross-marketing — This is the primary culprit in my view. There are advertisements for the films in comic books, and yet what fan reading Detective or Iron Man isn't already aware of the films pending release? Yet we rarely if ever see promos for the comic books and collected editions during the opening credits or previews. Why not? How hard would it be to splash a few hardcovers up there and say "Available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders and other fine retailers." When you consider that the film companies are part of the same corporate parents as the publishing houses, it makes even less sense. Hopefully, with DC's hiring of Diane Nelson and promise to put a greater emphasis on cross promotion, we'll see improvement on that front. And Marvel/Disney has promised to do the same.
  • Limited access to the direct market retailers — There are a few thousand comic book specialty stores in the United States, but many are not centrally located and easy to find. That's why it's imperative that we find ways to expand the reach of comics into new markets. Whether that means digital promotion, or putting kiosks inside the movie theaters on opening weekend, or handing out coupon slips good for a discount at Amazon.com, it needs to happen.
  • Trade dress and continuity making it hard to know where to start (or what’s good) — It's daunting to walk into a book store or comic shop as a first timer and figure out what to buy. If someone gets out of the first Iron Man movie and walks over to Borders, are they going to grab Demon in a Bottle? Enter the Mandarin? The trade dresses, numbering, pricing, etc…make it very much a crap shoot for someone looking to experience something analogous to the film's plot and continuity. That's even more the case for Batman, which has such a massive library of stories with which to choose. 

 

In the off chance anyone from Marvel or DC (or any of the other publishers fortunate enough to have comic book franchises turned into films), are reading this PLEASE GET SMARTER ABOUT THIS. The publishing industry is a niche market, but it's a vibrant market with loyal fans who have attractive demographics. And the cumulative effect of comic-book related films and cartoons and video games has greatly increased the awareness of the rich characters and history. Basic logic tells us that even if 95% of those people who see a superhero movie would never pick up a comic book or graphic novel, the other 5% would! And if they all did, this industry would be several times larger and on better footing. And what's great about this phenomenon is that cross-promotion shouldn't require a large incremental effort or cost. Coupons, advertising in your own films, putting inserts into DVD boxes…they can all be done cost effectively with minimal disruption (if any) to existing business practices. Who knows, maybe if they more effectively promote comics to movie-goers, we won't be worrying about $4.99 comics anytime soon. 

 


Jason is a mutant with the ability to squeeze 36 hours into every 24-hour day, which is why he was able to convince his wife he had time to join the iFanboy team on top of running his business, raising his three sons, and most importantly, co-hosting the 11 O'Clock Comics podcast with his buddies Vince B, Chris Neseman and David Price. If you are one of the twelve people on Earth who want to read about comics, the stock market and football in rapid fire succession, you can follow him onTwitter.

Comments

  1. Cool analysis. Thanks for the read.

  2. What’s interesting is that I read an interview online with either Alan Grant or Norm Breyfogle (I can’t remember which and I can’t find it at the moment) and they said that sales of their Batman books skyrocketed after the 1989 BATMAN movie.

    Tells you how much times and the market and distribution have changed in 20 years. Back then comics were easy to find and anyone coming out of the theater looking to check out more about Batman could stumble on them just about anywhere.

  3. Conor — I think that’s an interesting observation and certainly jives with the market, right? I mean not only was the industry selling more than but comic stores were BOOMING. At that time, there seemed to be a shop in every mall near me (which is where the theaters were too), and plenty of other LCS in town. I would say that in my small suburban town and surrounding 20-mile area, there were at least 12 comic shops at the peak of the bubble. Now there are ZERO. I do think though that at least DC is benefiting a bit…you figure 150K more trades/hardcovers sold is no small potatoes, we could be talking $8-$10 million in incremental sales. Marvel just needs Hachette to do what Random House is doing for DC.

  4. Interesting analysis, thank you for writing!

  5. @Wood: Not just way more comic book stores but back then I was still picking up comics at the newstand on 79th and Broadway on occasion.

  6. I used to get my issues in 7 Eleven.

    Comic shops were like heaven, but too sublime for my young mind.

  7. @conor — That’s the truth. I have vivid memories of scouring the spinner racks at Waldenbooks and our local pharmacy, and being so frustrated when they had an issue of a series I already bought (not quite realizing these things came out in a regular monthly schedule).

  8. Good article Wood

    I particularly liked (and agree with) your points about more cross promotion with superhero (or any comic or even book based) work. Whether it’s an ad in the theatre before the offcial commercials and trailers ( my theatre plays stuff for half an hour before), the actual ads and trailers, in the credits, etc. there should be a yellow brick road to lead you to where you can get more stories. At the very least, one of those lobby cardboard promotional displays could be set up with ads, flyers and info. Shocked that this does not happen already.

    Relatedly, your comments about increasing access to the direct market. I was thinking of kiosks before you said it. I also liked your idea about coupons.

    Sure these efforts cost time, money and resources, but they result in the birth and growth of new golden gooses that will pay off golden eggs on an ongoing basis.

    I am very interested to see in coming years how the Disney promotional machine comes to bear in this area. Between tv networks, stores, and a plethora of other outlets, I would expect them to start to help lift Marvel titles up and into the homes of readers.

    Nice job

    Greg L

    p.s.  You and Ron are going to need to work harder in you are going to do better in the 11OC baseball pool 🙂

     

     

     

  9. @greg1ca — Ha! I’m in 5th in one 11OC league and in 1st in the other. Not too bad a start, especially considering I was at a school board meeting during the draft.

  10. Do you think that if the publishers made more of a effort to cross promote to a younger audience they would see more of a return from the movies?  It seems to me that kids love these superhero things, but are often at a loss with where to get the books (or even where to start when they hit a comic shop).  Would having spinner racks in Toys R’ Us or comics packaged with the toys be a worthwhile investment?

  11. A subset of “more movie fans than comics fans” issue is the stigma factor. For as much as “geek culture” has entered the mainstream, many people still wouldn’t be caught dead holding a comic or reading one. That’s why I love seeing people get cast in comic movies who are comics fans – they often will talk about reading comics while promoting their films, and the more “cool kids” that show their fanboy/girl side, the more readers that might follow them. Once the other issues you mention are fixed.

  12. @Wood Ha! Fair point. I am just trying to enjoy my time at the top of the 1st 11OC league. So far I have been a 2 month statistical anomaly. It’s been 10 years since I followed the regularly, but I have to admit it has my attention right now.  Fun stuff

    Maybe provoking you is not wise. But I have no trouble poking Ron (whose team is not good…….)Cheers !

     

  13. @Neb … a number of companies are packaging comics with toys. I know Star Wars has a line of two pack figures that include an issue from the Dark Horse line. I’m not sure they’ve helped sales, but I’m also not sure it’s hurt either. 

  14. I don’t understand how anyone at Marvel or DC thinks they are going to gain new readers, when most towns don’t have a comic shop. They have to find a way to get these books back into convenient stores, grocery stores etc. 

  15. As always, nice job, Jason.

    I think there is interest in Iron Man.  The first two weeks of the Iron Man 2, my dinky little comic podcast had it’s highest numbers ever – they since have normalized again.  Have you noticed that on 11 O’Clock or iFanboy – is there a jump in your numbers (without going into details) when a big comic book movie comes out.

     I don’t have the long term stats – just curious on if it caused a bump up in your stats.

     

     

  16. First off great article Wood!  Second, I think the point on the trade dress and continuity making it hard to figure out where to start is right on point.  Everyone know where a Borders or a Barnes and Noble is in their town.  If these trades were better handled you would get a lot more people reading these books.  The reason I think this is the Daredevil movie got me into comics.  I saw that movie and thought what a great character.  So I went to my local Borders and found the comic adapation for the Daredevil movie.  Luckily also included in this package was issue one of Kevin Smith’s run on Daredevil.  From there I had somewhere to start and it has bloomed into the comic reader I am today.  I also think the trade dress also impacts how comic readers go about reading new books as well.  After reading Flash #1 on Johns run I wanted to read the earlier works that he did.  I get to my LCS and there are 4-6 TPB on the character, but no numbering or anything that would tell me to start here.  I asked and got a shrug of the shoulders from the LCS employee.  Now I use the internet and find out what it is and go from there, but if it is a new fan coming off a movie I seriously doubt they will take the time to go that extra mile and just move on. 

     

  17. @conor and others. Most of the comics i got as a kid were from the spinner racks at my local pharmacy and supermarket. They were also affordable on a kids allowance…no longer. 

    One part of the movie thing though is that people often go to movies in pairs or groups. One ticket usually = 2 or 3. Whereas reading a comic is a solo thing.

    Price might be a factor. Accessibility is another. Trying to figure out what trade to buy or what title to buy can be very daunting. 

    Its surprising the studios haven’t cross promoted as much as they chould have….even in more obvious places. Maybe Marvel and DC should start selling trades and comics at Best Buy and Wallmart so they can sell the comics next to the DVD??? 

     

  18. Great article and analysis, closest shop to me is 18 miles away and is the only one in the region

  19. Great article (as usual). Conor’s point above really has me thinking about how Wood’s points tie together.

    In ’89, comics could be found in plenty of comic book shops and on spinner racks. But what’s more, you basically had TWO Batman books, and it was easy to tell what was new if you wanted to jump on. There weren’t really many collections. YOu had maybe Dark Knight Returns and Batman Year One as your big ones? Easy enough to distinguish from the Batman series, as one represents the End and the other the Beginning. 

    Now, comic shops are much scarcer, and there’s no newstand distribution. However, we have all those collected editions, right? And that’s great and all, but Wood makes a great point in his piece, and its one of witnessed myself: in their effort to package product and get it into stores, the big publishers have run afoul of a lot of strategic problems. 

    I’ve been a champion of concepts like Ultimate Spider-man, as I think that the concept of Spider-man has a lot of malleability. However, as a BRAND you’ve got to be careful. If you liked the Spider-man movie and you go into a bookstore, where do you even start? There are scattered runs of Spider-man all over the place. Ultimate Spide-man, McFarlane era stuff, modern stuff… all smooshed together with no clear organization. Compare that with stuff like Vertigo books or most manga, and you instantly see the difference. 

    That’s gotta have a huge impact. It’s not enough to embrace trade sales in bookstores and get your merchandise in there. You need to have a well-thought-out plan and take a hard look at how accessible your icons are. What do newcomers see in that crammed shelf of graphic novels?  I wonder if this is one goal with the upcoming JMS and Johns Superman and Batman OGNs. Can they get these into bookstores but also clearly display them as ACCESSIBLE starting points?

  20. I knew my lil’ cousin thinks that the comics that come packaged with toys must suck, so that type of thinking may not help. I also remember going to the premiere of the first X-Men movie and they were passing out comic books. I had been out of comics since part of the 90’s, so I believe that marketing had an effect and helped bring me back. This wasn’t even a major theater chain, but locally owned, too. Also, the first Spider-Man movie came out on Free Comic Book Day weekend and had a reprinting of USM, as a free book. It’s weird that even moves like this aren’t seen anymore. That and the fact that, as a kid, the magical spinner rack could be found at my pharmacy, grocery store, and book store. Now, even perusing the mall book stores, I needed Indiana Jones to help find a limited trade shelf.

  21. I have to be fair, I should’ve mentioned that DC has the Earth One OGNs coming which are specifically designed to give readers a jumping on point that isn’t continuity laden. My concern with the model however is that when you put an Earth One OGN next to 20 "in continuity" trades, it just becomes another part of the confusion to a new reader.

  22. I think most people can see that trade paperbacks are the most likely area for comic book growth. Individual comic books, as much as I love them, have too many issues. Issues of distribution, price point, durability, and they in general just a have a stigma of something childish or worthless. TPBs address almost all of those issues, even the last one. If it looks more like a book, people just think of it more like a book. I think it is highly unrealistic to think that 5% of movie goers are going to start and buy monthly comic books (maybe digitally, but that is a big maybe that has not quite yet arrived). But walk into a Barnes & Noble or make a quick Amazon click? If well marketed and well orgnaized, yeah, they might.

  23. I’m not sure how this relates, but I’m pretty sure it does somehow. When I got done watching The Dark Knight with a group of friends, one turned to me, knowing I was a comic fan, and asked me what book followed up on the story shown in the movie. I think wanting to know what happens next is pretty natural when one gets done watching a movie, and if the big companies could play it a bit more literal in translating successful comic arcs to films, it would be a lot easier to capture the market of those looking to see what happens next. For example, I’d love love LOVE to see the Captain America movie follow Brubaker’s Winter Soldier storyline. I know it would be difficult to tidily coordinate with the Avengers movie, but I would love to recommend the next couple arcs to friends who enjoyed the Cap movie.

  24. I also think things like Bruce Wayne being Batman in the movie, where Dick Grayson is Batman in the comics doesn’t help very much.

    Or Iron Man looking like Sawyer from LOST instead of Robert Downy Jr. 😛  Although making it tie into Dark Reign would probably confuse a lot of people as well. 

  25. @jmstump: Those two points are so minor in comparison to the problems of distribution. What’s actually in the comics is irrelevant if people can’t even find them/don’t know they exist.

  26. @conor – Completely agree that the main issue is distribution.  The reason I stopped reading comics for years was that I moved during the switch to the direct market.  The closest comic shop went from 20 minutes away to 45-60 minutes away.  I still to this day feel like was pushed out as a reader since I couldn’t go to the local drug store and buy them from the spinner rack.

    But take that out of the equation and it’s still an issue.  The reason I bring it up is that I couldn’t get some of my friends to try Batman and Robin because it wasn’t Bruce Wayne.  I know it’s not a fantastic example since these are only a few people I know, but I completely removed the issue of distribution for them.  I was willing to pick up their books and unfortunately they thought it was too confusing.  Even with the simple explanation of "Bruce is dead, Dick Grayson the original Robin is Batman now. It’s fun"

    I liken it to the fact that people don’t buy any of the DC animated features unless it has Superman or Batman on the cover.  There’s no issue of distribution there.  People just don’t like the unknown sometimes.

  27. Today, I was at Target. They had a promotion for True Blood that was buy the show on DVD & one of the books & get a $5 gift card. Seems like with better distribution, the big two could do something really similar to this with their movies & graphic novels.

  28. I think one of the reasons The Watchmen sold well was because a lot of the promotion spoke of that book in particular where as with Iron Man and Batman or Siider-Man or X-men ect, they never mentioned it was inspired by such and such a storyline. People knew what to demand at Borders when it came to Watchmen.

    "I want Watchmen"
    "here you go!"

    As opposed to

    "I want Iron Man"
    "which one?"
    "Nevermind"

    But you touched on that.

    I have no doubt we are seeing an increase (you mentioned the trades) and that we will continue seeing one. There is money to be made therefore money will get made. If Marvel will stoop so low as to pimp silver foil variants of a Rob Liefeld Cable book, they will certainly find a way to promote comics via movies.

  29. I think its a combination of lack of cross promotion and availability to the common person.  Doesn’t Archie outsell most superhero books due to availabilty?

  30. @tomdpimp Really? Archie? I want to see some numbers on that. That would be really cool actually.

  31. I don’t know if this is off topic, but it made me think of it, anyway.  A quote from Dave Sim’s Address to the Diamond Seminar, June 14, 1992:  "I’m always amazed at the number of retailers who ask me, "When’s the Cerebus film coming out?" as if this would be a good thing for the comic book environment.  If I sold the film rights to Cerebus and the merchandising rights to Cerebus, the same thing would happen to Cerebus that happened to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Some that was created in the comic book environment, for the comic book environment would be taken over by Hollywood and the large chain department stores.  It would become a one or two year fad and you would see virtually none of the profits.  Anything that Cerebus was on or in could be sold much more cheaply a few blocks from your store.  I’d make a few million dollars that I don’t need and I’d have to live for the rest of my life with parents coming up to me and saying " You created Cerebus? The purple one with the white hair who eats pastrami sandwiches and ways "Hey, Hey, Dude" all the time? My kids love that show."

  32. @blulew23: He’s right, Archie sells huge because of its placement at check-out lines. But they pay BIG $’s for exclusive rights to this placement.

  33. @jumpingjupiter–The Watchmen was also helped by the fact that its taught in some College Level classes (much like Dark Knight Returns etc), as well as having pull quotes on the back from TIME Magazine calling it a great work of Science Fiction and so on. I feel like it was the only comic/graphic novel that the NYT Book Review crowd might actually buy. But you’re right…it helped A LOT that it was one singular volume. Borders and Barnes & Noble must have moved a lot of those books. 

  34. @katang: I remember reading that way back when, and I think it’s very relevant today. That was the situation then and it’s even worse now. I believe one of Sim’s points was the industry needs to sell comics as comics and not as something tangentially related to other media. People have been reading "Lord of the Rings," "Harry Potter," and "Da Vinchi Code" long before they were movies. The books were successful before they were movies. Unfortunately, many people learn about comics via other media instead of the comics themselves. (Some of the first comics I read — Batman, Spider-Man, Hulk, Transformers, and Robotech — were because I knew about their other media incarnations first.) 

  35. @ conor and wood: I totally agree with you on how hard it is to get single issues. For me, I was one of the few who got into comics because of the movie. The second spider-man movie got me to read ultimate spider-man, but that only happened because there was a comic shop near by that helped point me in the right direction. If I went to a book store or went online first, I would have been completely lost on what to get. At that point I would have said forget it and moved on. With the small amount of comic stores there are, I feel that both DC and Marvel need to get their act together if they want to get more readers. Puting out a trade paperback or starting a new series does them no good if they don’t go out there and tell everyone who is watching the movie about it and where to get it. 

  36. @jasonwood: watchmen is sold in large quantities on campus. Almost always down to three copies or less in a 15 copy inventory.

  37. At the movie theater I go to, the local comic shop sets up a little table of comic books for the newest comic book movie. Everytime a movie that I’ve seen gets out people do gather around the table to see what they have. They also show up to midnight openings and give out free comics to catch a fee non-comic book readers.

  38. I agree wholeheartedly.  Which is why I have been suggesting to the iFanboys that they do a few crossover episodes with The Totally Rad Show and/or Diggnation.  Fans of TRS are an untapped market for this site. They love superhero movies. They love video games. Comics are right up their alley.

    (Jeff Cannata needs some comic book fans to chat with during the comic book segment.  Dan and Alex just aren’t that into it.)

  39. I don’t know if it relates to this or not but… just got back from the LCS and asked the manager about sales since his new main street location. He says "I’m mothereffin’ tired"

    I guess sales exploded! Graphic Novels being at the top and then everything else split up roughly into magic cards, board games and back issues. If I understand what he told me correctly.

    I thought it was interesting.