Is the Comics Industry “Imploding” or “Great”?

It’s another day of some competing threads around the topic, “are comics doing AMAZING or IMPLODING”. I really don’t understand how people find themselves passionately arguing either of these positions. Both are in the world of extreme, and neither is an accurate view. You can’t sit here and look at a high price point, heavy piracy (as Zub recently commented on), stores closing, creators being paid way too little with no ownership and say that comics are doing amazing. That’s not a rational argument. Comics have some big struggles right now. 



You also can’t say that comics are imploding and about to be dead forever when, despite a couple of down years, profits are still sky-high, the entertainment IP is ranked #1 in the world, and there’s the wide availability of a huge library of content. Comics are more prominent than ever. Right now, if you want to “be in comics” it’s never been easier to take your idea and get it out into the market. You may not be accepted into the “big two”, but if you want to make a book and put it in a customer’s hands you have more ways to do that today than ever before. Comics will absolutely, without doubt, change and evolve. Many parts of the current business model absolutely, without doubt, will die or be forced to change.

But comics, and in particular Marvel and DC, represent billion dollar IPs that will survive long after I’m dead. I believe that anyone who argues from one of those two extremes has no idea what they are talking about or just enjoys the fight. What bothers me about the whole topic is that there are BIG THINGS that need to be fixed, and this argument takes attention away from those.Price point. Incentive schemes. Survival of brick and mortar. Distribution. Creative pay. Abuse of freelancers. Variants. Digital. Accessibility. These are all problems comics face.

None of these will cause comics to vanish, but all of these will cause comics to struggle.


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Comic Perch

I like to discuss all kinds of topics relating to the comics industry from a customer, dealer, distributor and publisher perspective. Check out my Youtube channel 'Comics by Perch' for more insight and commentary or follow me on Twitter @ComicPerch.