Yahoo’s finance section describes how despite the success of the Marvel movieverse so far, it’s not proving the same in pamphlet sales, and some people have merely collected them in the hope against hope they’ll gain monetary value one day:
In 2011, the Atlantic wrote an article called “How Zombies and Superheroes Conquered Highbrow Fiction.” Along with undead ghouls, comic book characters had spent the 2000s graduating from juvenile nerd-niche obscurity to a dominant force in mainstream literature. Over a decade later, in 2021, comics are still pop culture heavyweights — and it’s hardly exclusive to literature.
Unfortunately, this mainstreaming led to a politically correct watering down, and as the movies thrived, the comics were largely destroyed, with Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson’s marriage just one of many victims of a PC rampage.
The highest-grossing film franchise in history is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, whose $23 billion worldwide box office revenue more than doubles that of the No. 2 “Star Wars” franchise. When you include “Avengers” and “Spider-Man,” superhero stories account for three of the top five film franchises. Add “X-Men,” “Batman,” and “DC Extended Universe” to the mix, and they take half of the top 10 spots and six of the top 11.
Superhero films are certainly thriving, but those 10- and 11-figure movie franchises are based on comic books that used to cost a dime. Are graphic novels thriving, too, or did superhero movies rise at the expense of the comic books that birthed them?
I’m afraid so. No thanks to much of the press, both mainstream and specialty, many of whom are leftist, and did little or nothing to protest the desecrations of many characters and series, both big and small. Just proving how little they ever cared for the creations to begin with. They wouldn’t give a damn about Edgar Rice Burrough’s science fiction literature either.
There was a time when comic books were sold at newsstands alongside mainstream publications, according to Forbes, but that changed in the early 1980s when periodical comics all but disappeared from newsstands. From then on, the vast majority of comic books were sold through independently owned retail comic shops.
Here’s something not entirely clear from the above: there were a bunch of titles emerging at the time that were intentionally sold direct to specialty stores, and Dazzler’s 1981-86 series was possibly the first one (I myself still own a handful of the back issues in my collection, including the premiere). Some of them even made use of Baxter paper format, probably until the early 90s, which cost more for the cover price, but there were some good ones out there, including the 2nd New Teen Titans volume. And it was by the early to mid-90s when direct sales became the situation for a good 95 percent of comicdom. But did it really do any good? No, if you consider how troublingly insular the storytelling approach increasingly became, along with the marketing. Towards the end, there’s something said about investment:
The good news is, you can invest in comic books indirectly, even if you don’t know the difference between Atom and Ant-Man. According to Forbes, two companies drive the vast majority of the overall market — DC and Marvel, which together account for 80% of all direct market comic book sales. DC is owned by AT&T’s Warner Media Group and Marvel is owned by Disney.
Buying a few shares of AT&T and/or Disney is no guarantee, but it’s probably safer and certainly easier than trying your hand at a collectibles auction.
Gee, why should we invest in the stocks of the very companies who’re destroying the properties, and certainly enabling it? All they’ve done these many years is provide a textbook example how corporatism’s ruined tons of once admirable products, through divisive politics, ideologies and other dreadful elements, and even if they didn’t maintain a “hands-off” policy, providing the publishers with a certain degree of independent management, chances are they’d still allow all this awful misuse, right down to the aforementioned politics. I’m not investing in their stocks when it’ll clearly do nothing to improve the quality of the comic books proper.
At least the writers of this item do an interesting favor by citing 2 lesser known superheroes with similar powers, Atom and Ant-Man. There’s only so many veteran creations the MSM doesn’t truly care about, and that’s exactly why they suffered just as badly from political correctness as the flagship characters. Mainly because merit does not exist in the MSM’s dictionaries.
Originally published here.