superman.nufacebook    
  •   forum   •   THIS WEEK'S CHAPTER: "KRYPTON!" •   fortress   •  
Superman Through the Ages! Forum
News: Superman Through the Ages! now located at theAges.superman.nu
 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
May 29, 2020, 10:05:45 AM


Login with username, password and session length


Pages: 1 2 3 [4]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The earth of "Superman VS Wonder Woman.  (Read 9500 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
nightwing
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1621


Semper Vigilans


WWW
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2007, 12:03:40 PM »

Julian Perez writes:

Quote
You're transferring a modern mentality anachronistically onto the comics biz of another (though not too distant) era.

I'm not sure what you're saying here, but I stand by my theory.  There were several experimentations throughout the 70s that were clearly aimed at reversing the downward spiral of comics sales.  Besides the tabloids, which showed up in places like Toys R Us, there were those "variety pack" bags of 3 or more comics designed to be hung from pegs in drug stores and groceries, and later the "digest" size books tailor made for "point of purchase" sales in supermarkets.  It's obvious to me that comics publishers were looking for ways to find new audiences through vendors not interested in hosting a spinner rack, and via formats that promised retailers more profit than 5 cents or so.

All things considered, I'm sorry it didn't work out, as I see the move to direct sales an ultimately destructive one in terms of both sales and art. 


Logged

This looks like a job for...
Uncle Mxy
Superman Squad
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 809



« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2007, 01:05:02 PM »

I'm not sure what you're saying here, but I stand by my theory.
Your theory has the benefit of being quite factual.  I don't think you've said anything that I haven't heard from industry pros who were there at the time.

Quote
There were several experimentations throughout the 70s that were clearly aimed at reversing the downward spiral of comics sales.  Besides the tabloids, which showed up in places like Toys R Us, there were those "variety pack" bags of 3
...
Beyond the format changes, let's not forget the infamous DC Explosion followed by the DC Implosion.  They were scrambling to figure out how to target new audiences, in new places, with mixed results at best (with 20/20 hindsight, of course Smiley ).
Logged
JulianPerez
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1168



« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2007, 12:38:57 AM »

Quote from: nightwing
I'm not sure what you're saying here, but I stand by my theory.  There were several experimentations throughout the 70s that were clearly aimed at reversing the downward spiral of comics sales.  Besides the tabloids, which showed up in places like Toys R Us, there were those "variety pack" bags of 3 or more comics designed to be hung from pegs in drug stores and groceries, and later the "digest" size books tailor made for "point of purchase" sales in supermarkets.  It's obvious to me that comics publishers were looking for ways to find new audiences through vendors not interested in hosting a spinner rack, and via formats that promised retailers more profit than 5 cents or so.

Well, perhaps I should have phrased myself better: the idea of "let's find new markets/new audiences" is a very modern, 1996+ mentality, where today, for a variety of reasons comic book stores don't do as much business as they used to. This is a mentality that doesn't make sense when projected onto the previous era, where comics have the one-two-three whammy of subscription/direct sales/newsstands.

Though those Toys R' Us reprint editions are a lot of fun. The first Jim Starlin LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES story I ever read was in a cousin's.

Quote from: nightwing
All things considered, I'm sorry it didn't work out, as I see the move to direct sales an ultimately destructive one in terms of both sales and art.  

This is a common point of view, advanced by people like Warren Ellis who bites the hand that feeds him and has a passive-aggressive relationship to fan culture (an attitude that he intentionally cultivates, Madonna-style, for image purposes). But I don't buy it at all: direct sales have absolutely nothing to apologize for whatsoever.

Comics should be thanking the direct sales market every single day because prior to it, comics were in super-bad shape for all the reasons Uncle Mxy describes. Though the recent DEPENDENCE on the direct sales market by the comics industry is unwise, the direct sales market is a pillar of comics sales. It's no exaggeration to say Direct Sales saved the comics industry in the late seventies and early eighties: imagine a system where, unlike newsstand vendors, who return 30%-40% of the product they don't sell for a refund, 100% of the comics are sold (and the ones not sold that month become "back issues"). In other words, it's a can't-lose strategy from the point of view of a company. DAZZLER was just one of the crazy success stories thanks to Direct Sales letting a comic get an audience.

I can understand why this view has such prevalence: it's easier to ignore social and historical trends like the decline of literacy and the small business, and the rise of television as the dominant means of entertainment. I mean, why think big picture when it's just so much easier to scapegoat Comic Book Guy from the SIMPSONS?
 
Quote from: Uncle Mxy
Beyond the format changes, let's not forget the infamous DC Explosion followed by the DC Implosion.  They were scrambling to figure out how to target new audiences, in new places, with mixed results at best (with 20/20 hindsight, of course  ).

DC was in a pretty bad state during most of the late seventies and early eighties, and their problems cannot be pointed to as being typical of comics as a whole.

There's a very specific reason when discussing the comics industry at this time, I talked about Marvel: At the time we're talking about, Marvel WAS the comics industry.

Unlike today, where the two companies are more or less neck in neck, at this time DC was a small company compared to the business Marvel was doing, with a small fraction of the comics market.

When Jim Shooter, head of Marvel at this time, was asked why DC had a royalty system in place for creators but Marvel didn't, he said that DC could afford to do so because really, only one DC comic regularly sold over 100,000: TEEN TITANS. On the other hand, just about every one of the "major" Marvel comics (AMAZING, AVENGERS, CONAN, etc.) sold over 100,000.

A comics store owner friend of mine, whose store started in 1982, once told me that the very first year his store sold 800 issues of UNCANNY X-MEN each month...and only TEN issues of ACTION COMICS.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 08:20:13 AM by JulianPerez » Logged

"Wait, folks...in a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
Super Monkey
Super
League of Supermen
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3435



WWW
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2007, 01:17:45 AM »

Quote
When Jim Shooter, head of Marvel at this time, was asked why DC got a royalty system in place for creators but Marvel didn't, he said that DC could afford to do so because really, only one DC comic regularly sold over 100,000: TEEN TITANS. On the other hand, just about every one of the "major" Marvel comics (AMAZING, AVENGERS, CONAN, etc.) sold over 100,000.

A comics store owner friend of mine, whose store started in 1982, once told me that the very first year his store sold 800 issues of UNCANNY X-MEN each month...and only TEN issues of ACTION COMICS.


That is sad. In the 1960's, in the mighty Silver Age, the freaking Space Canine Patrol Agency issues of Superboy were selling about 700,000 copies a month!

here is the proof: http://www.misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/krypto10.jpg
Logged

"I loved Super-Monkey; always wanted to do something with him but it never happened."
- Elliot S! Maggin
TELLE
Supermanica Council
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1702



WWW
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2007, 08:40:02 AM »

the idea of "let's find new markets/new audiences" is a very modern, 1996+ mentality {...}
DC was in a pretty bad state during most of the late seventies and early eighties, and their problems cannot be pointed to as being typical of comics as a whole.

There is no doubt that the direct market saved superhero comics.  Archie did not really benefit and neither did Gold Key (which ended up dying soon after the onset of the direct market regardless).  The market also allowed a tiny number of small presses to flourish, leading to the alt comics movement, Image, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Dark Horse.  If DC had had the direct market in the early 70s when it was casting about, post-Batman craze, for other markets and formats, it never would have bothered with the giant-sized treasury editions, etc.  But to say that a huge business like DC (which makes most of its money from marketing and not from publishing, and which was pursued by a number of investors before becoming part of Warners) didn't have its eye on other potential markets is ludicrous.  The "let's find new markets/new audiences" mindset was part of the company from Jerry Lewis, teen comics, horror comics, romance, etc thru the DC explosion, the Teen Titans, The Dark Knight, etc. to Minx, Vertigo, etc.

http://photos1.blogger.com/x/blogger/5075/381/1600/796823/top100.jpg
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 08:41:54 AM by TELLE » Logged

Everything you ever wanted to
know about the classic Superman:
Supermanica
The Encyclopedia of Supermanic Biography!
(temporarily offline)
ShinDangaioh
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 269



« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2007, 10:58:13 AM »

There was a mistake in Justice League of America(the first JSA/JLA meeting) which had the Silver Age Earth as Earth 1 and the Golden Age as Earth 2.  Before that, the Silver Age was Earth 2 and the Golden Age was Earth 1.  In Green Lantern, Hal Jordan called Alan Scott the Green Lantern of Earth 1.  It was a minor mistake that can explain certain discrepancies.

It was an entiely differnt multiverse that COIE struck.

Ah the joys of looking at back issues via the new Showcase and the Archives.
Logged
nightwing
Defender of Kandor
Council of Wisdom
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1621


Semper Vigilans


WWW
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2007, 01:22:27 PM »

JulianPerez writes:

Quote
Well, perhaps I should have phrased myself better: the idea of "let's find new markets/new audiences" is a very modern, 1996+ mentality, where today, for a variety of reasons comic book stores don't do as much business as they used to. This is a mentality that doesn't make sense when projected onto the previous era, where comics have the one-two-three whammy of subscription/direct sales/newsstands.

And yet, there's plenty of evidence that it was going on as early as the 70s.  Back then, things were looking pretty dire, sales-wise, compared to the heyday of comics.  Little did they know how much worse it could get.  It seems to me the main difference today is that publishers have just lowered their expectations.  The kind of numbers that make a book a "hit" today would have been considered grounds for cancellation 30 years ago.

Quote
This is a common point of view, advanced by people like Warren Ellis who bites the hand that feeds him and has a passive-aggressive relationship to fan culture (an attitude that he intentionally cultivates, Madonna-style, for image purposes). But I don't buy it at all: direct sales have absolutely nothing to apologize for whatsoever.

I'm not saying "direct sales" need to apologize for anything.  Which is good, because I don't know how a sales strategy could TALK anyway.  Roll Eyes

Maybe the comics shop model was the only thing that saved comics.  But I think we've seen that ultimately it's a strategy aimed not at growing the fanbase, but rather at preserving an existing fanbase.  Speaking for myself, the main appeal when shops appeared near me in the early 80s was the ability to find my favorite comics with regularity (instead of gambling a drug store would carry the same title from one month to the next) and finding them in good shape, not bent up from time spent in a spindle rack.  Both good things, but right away there's that appeal to the extant collector, not new blood (If I hadn't already liked comics, why would I bother driving to a special store for them?) As time went on, the content of the books likewise became more aimed at "true believers," with storylines that required a near-encyclopedic knowledge of comics lore just to keep up.  And then eventually a reliance on sex and violence:  "What the heck, most comics readers are now over 21 anyway, so let's make it a little more HBO".

In other words, it's not the fault of the shop owners for giving us what we wanted, but it's unfortunate that the only thing that could keep comics alive was to gear them towards an increasingly insular and inbred cohort of devotees.  By giving up on newsstands and such, DC and Marvel lost out on all those kids who once found comics by accident, and got hooked. 

So no, I am not demonizing "Comic Book Guy."  It's not his fault (though I know him, and he is a jerk).  And I'm not even sure I'm demonizing the likes of Quesada and Dildo.  They do what they think they've gotta do.  Maybe the shift to the direct sales model was inevitable.  All I'm saying is that it's regrettable it came to that.  And as for the continued "success" of the genre, at this point I think that has a lot more to do with sales of trades and hardbacks through "real" bookstores, and even more than that, sales of toys and movie deals.


TELLE writes:
Quote
The "let's find new markets/new audiences" mindset was part of the company from Jerry Lewis, teen comics, horror comics, romance, etc thru the DC explosion, the Teen Titans, The Dark Knight, etc. to Minx, Vertigo, etc.

Thank you, and yes.  In fact, it goes even further back to radio and TV tie-ins like "Mr District Attorney", "Big Town" and "Roy Rogers."
Logged

This looks like a job for...
Gernot
Last Son of Krypton
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 327



WWW
« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2007, 08:14:17 AM »

Going back to the original point of this thread, Roy Thomas believed that Superman Vs. Wonder Woman took place on Earth-2.  That was one of the stories he'd wanted to explore, but the original Crisis got in the way. 

He'd made that statement in a lettercol in All-Star Squadron circa 1985, and stated that with only a little bit of tweaking, the story could fit in (Superman knowing he'd come from Krypton, working for The Daily Planet, etc.). 

I'd always thought that would've been a very fun story, and until 1986, was looking forward to the tale taking place!  Heh.  Mr. Thomas also wanted to explore the relationship between the Earth-2 Harvey (Two-Face) Kent and Clark (Superman) Kent.  Maybe the two were VERY distant "cousins"?  Wink
Logged

Pages: 1 2 3 [4]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

CURRENT FORUM

Archives: OLD FORUM  -  DCMB  -  KAL-L
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! Dilber MC Theme by HarzeM
Entrance ·  Origin ·  K-Metal ·  The Living Legend ·  About the Comics ·  Novels ·  Encyclopaedia ·  The Screen ·  Costumes ·  Read Comics Online ·  Trophy Room ·  Creators ·  ES!M ·  Fans ·  Multimedia ·  Community ·  Supply Depot ·  Gift Shop ·  Guest Book ·  Contact & Credits ·  Links ·  Coming Attractions ·  Free E-mail ·  Forum

Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
The LIVING LEGENDS of SUPERMAN! Adventures of Superman Volume 1!
Return to SUPERMAN THROUGH THE AGES!
The Complete Supply Depot for all your Superman needs!