Author Topic: Marvel's Declining Sales  (Read 458 times)

Offline JJB26

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Marvel's Declining Sales
« on: August 11, 2017, 09:40:09 PM »
Okay, I haven't really been keeping up with comics in the past couple of years, but it's been brought to my attention that Marvel's print sales have been tumbling as of late. I'm inclined to agree with those who assert that the company's insistence on espousing "diversity" and other left-wing agendas has alienated much of it's consumer base.


Interestingly enough, ESPN (which is also owned by Disney) has seen a steep decline in it's viewership over the past couple of years for most likely the same reasons.

Once again, I've been mostly out of the loop with comics for a while, so I'd love to hear you guys' take on this subject because there may be other factors that I'm not aware of.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 11:17:04 PM by Nekobaghira »
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Offline Nekobaghira

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 11:25:34 PM »
The sales have been declining for a long time.

It could be demographics, it could be media overload, loss of interest? Hard to tell.

There audience has gotten older and the "new" reader Marvel hopes for isn't in large numbers.

There is far too much to entertain people. Games, movies, books (to a degree).
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 10:29:08 AM by Nekobaghira »

Offline JJB26

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 05:54:10 PM »
They've been after those elusive "new readers" for a while now, haven't they? LOL


Like you said, there are more forms of entertainment to choose from these days, so its probably not a good idea to tick off your already existing fan base.
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Offline Nekobaghira

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 07:51:23 PM »
*chortle* ... yes .. those abundant "new readers" derived from the movies ... because if you loved the movie, you will certainly go out to a comic shop and read more about those characters. LOL

I don't want the art form of what a comic book is to die, and I think ... comic books can help those having a hard time reading to learn to read better. I just don't think the audience they once had is there anymore.

Agreed, if you are ticking off your "base". Those elusive readers are much harder to grab then they anticipated. There are not as many "new" readers as they thought there would be.  And the ones still supporting via collections or what not are not being catered to any longer.

Comic books is partially a learned thing, I think. If your parents liked them and shared them, then you did too and so on and so forth. But family dynamics have changed dramatically with society.


« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 08:01:16 PM by Nekobaghira »

Offline cc008

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 09:29:59 PM »
Yeah, at this stage of the game.. comics are an inherited hobby, so-to-speak.


The "new reader" is a myth. Certainly from my point of view... I see very few teens or kids walk into my LCS and pick out comics. And my LCS is the biggest on Long Island.
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Offline Nekobaghira

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 10:38:22 PM »
My shop is pretty big for my area too ... and I've been there for events and kids aren't buying comic books. Toys associated with them maybe, or whatever their parent thinks is neat or try to entice them with.

I seldom see young folks in my shop - when they are there, they buy toys. They get a few comics but not sure if its for them or their parents. LOL
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 09:08:37 AM by Nekobaghira »

Offline anya

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 02:44:24 PM »
I think the 'kids'/movie audience would reading digital, however big or small they might be. It's also probably not a problem with 'diversity', more a problem with replacing all the biggest/movie characters within a short period of time. The most complaining I see among x-fans is they hate the new '05' replacing the old '05', and they are certainly not a diverse bunch.

Offline Nekobaghira

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 03:04:06 PM »
They have changed a large number of characters. Characters with long histories and that have been around for 50 years or so ... then Marvel makes changes to these characters in hopes of gaining a "new" audience or readership and its not working out as they had hoped.






Offline cc008

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 10:32:10 PM »
It certainly doesn't seem to be working out well. I think everyone who reads comics is in support of diversity in books and in the people who create them. Making changes to characters for the sake of making a change and going "Hey! Look what we did!" even when it doesn't make any sense, in context (which is most important), is annoying and pushing long time readers.. loyal, PAYING readers... away.
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Offline JJB26

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 11:01:03 PM »
I personally have never really cared about "diversity," so to speak (and I say that as an African-American). What matters to me more than anything is that the characters and storytelling are engaging, and I suspect the average comic geek feels the same way. Changing a character's race, gender or sexual orientation seems more about pandering to the Mary Sue/Tumblr crowd than it does about telling good stories.
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Offline Nekobaghira

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2017, 10:19:05 AM »
There has been a shift in story telling. Comic books certainly had action and adventure, but when I enjoyed them best was character driven stories with the action and adventure things.  There were more pages for stories back in the 1990's and even the 2000's to balance a character's drama with threat in the book.

There isn't any room for that balance anymore. There are less and less pages for writers to work with. With only 20 pages of content, there is only so much room. Hence 4 pages dedicated between two different books for Iceman's outing. That is 2 pages in one book, and 2 pages in another. I bring him up because in my opinion, a change like that for his character needed more than 4 pages.

We here talk about how Gambit's character isn't the same anymore. That he's not written or shown with any of the traits we love about him. Just a touch or shell of who he is to facilitate the story. It's not just him either, other characters no longer are shown with basic characteristics that fans loved so much. The characteristics of characters are put aside for the story, the story needs all the space that is available for cohesion. In the long run, we're seeing characters do things and we have no idea why they would, or a simple thrown in line to bring the story to a point without suitable storytelling context for the character.

I find that interesting you mention the MarySue/GaryStu/Tumblr crowd. They certainly try to speak loudly. Yet for all the bluster, I find them to be a vocal minority. Taking to their blogs/twitter or whatever social media outlet preferred because they just have to be "heard." Nothing wrong with that, if it makes that person feel better by stating whatever it is that is important to them, good. For me, it becomes white noise. I don't hear it anymore because the criticisms are presented in a much more hostile way than should be to gain what is hoped for in advancement of whatever the agenda of the day is. That is just my opinion.  ;)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 06:51:45 PM by Nekobaghira »

Offline cc008

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2017, 01:17:13 PM »
I think in the comics medium... character driven stories are so much more important, especially in the Big 2.. because from what I've seen is that readers follow their favorite characters much more than people follow their favorite creators. I'd much prefer a good character story about my favorite character than just throwing them into an action packed book with a boring story that doesn't progress.


And what I've also noticed about that vocal minority that Neko brings up, is that they'll speak out about things on social media. Pushing for diversity and what have you, only to not support it or buy it when it comes out.


The outpour of support among social media when Iceman was revealed to be gay was huge. Here's his solo book.. first ongoing series for a gay super hero.. at issue #3 selling at just over 15,000 issues.
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Offline DonPriceTag

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2017, 04:26:03 PM »
They have changed a large number of characters. Characters with long histories and that have been around for 50 years or so ... then Marvel makes changes to these characters in hopes of gaining a "new" audience or readership and its not working out as they had hoped.


Issue is, theres not problem with trying something new, but when it flops dont blame your fan base as if they are the ones that flipped the switch. This is what Marvel is doing. They pulled a bunch of changes, the readership isnt responding so instead of doing what DC did, they are pointing the finger saying we are "this" and "that" for not liking their new ideas.
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Offline Nekobaghira

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2017, 06:50:22 PM »
There is quite a bit of blaming the fan. I agree Don. I recall an interview from one of the female editors who had stated that if fans didn't support female lead books, the company would not publish them. Mind you, this was in regards to the CrossGen property Marvel bought and totally messed up - Mystic. So, it was the fans fault for not supporting a book about two sisters who were nothing like the original concept.

cc008: Agreed, character driven stories is important. Thats the investment by the long term fans who are no longer important. IMO.

I also agree that the vocal minority who push for whatever agenda does not support the mediums that they are spending their time trying "make change" for - it also makes it harder to take them more seriously. IMO

Offline JJB26

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Re: Marvel's Declining Sales
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2017, 10:15:27 PM »
I'm inclined to agree with Don. Trying something new is a necessity from time to time, but as cc008 pointed out, these new initiatives are often more about generating publicity to temporarily inflate sales rather than telling a good story.


In regards to the pro diversity crowd on social media, I don't think they really care about the things they ask for. They get off on forcing publishers to give in to their demands. It also occurred to me that groundbreaking comics like "The Watchmen" and "The Dark Knight Returns" wouldn't get published today because publishers are too afraid of being accused of sexism, misogyny, etc..
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