Thursday, 13 April 2017

LET'S GET INDUSTRIOUS...



I'm often amused and amazed in equal measure
when I hear some people claiming there's still a real
comics 'industry' in this country.  I'm having a bit of a
guess here, but I suspect that if you combined the sales
of every genuine British comic available today, the total
would still be lower than a handful of comics from the
'60s & '70s.  One successful title back then sold more
than just about any four or five different ones do
now, so that pretty much speaks for itself.

"But look at all the comic events taking place,"
they bleat.  "That proves that there's still a huge
interest in comics."  Even if that were true, interest
doesn't necessarily equal industry.  Once, comics sold
in large numbers without requiring promotion by spe-
cial events to try and fan a dying spark into a flame.
One could argue that such events prove what dire
straits the so-called industry is in.  Comics never
needed such 'events' in their heyday.

Far fewer comics writers and artists make a
living from the 'industry' now than was once the
case (there just isn't the same number of opportu-
nities), so you can put such optimistic claims by folk
trying to 'talk things up' as just that - which is under-
standable, but not an accurate reflection of reality.  As
for those few folk who do get a decent share of work,
as somebody once pointed out, if you have a larder
full of food at a time of famine, you may wonder
why some people are claiming to be hungry,
but you're living in a bubble.

I'd find such claims about how healthy the
industry is a little more credible if some of those
making them weren't currently recycling old strips
in self-publishing ventures in order to supplement
their incomes.  Self-publishing is a hobby (or van-
ity-project) - not an industry.  There's no shame
in that of course, but let's call it what it is, not
what some folk would prefer it to be.

12 comments:

Mike said...

In a word, yup. Those days are gone forever.

Kid said...

Sadly, it very much seems like it, M. If only it weren't so.

a comics fan said...

I wont give my name as I comment over on your rivals blog. He has a different take on this and I dont want to risk any bad feeling. Dont you think comics dont sell because newsagents dont stock them and theres fewer newsagents now? That must have an effect. Saying that, I think your right but isnt it better to be positive?

Kid said...

Well, for a start, I don't have any rivals, but thanks for commenting anyway. Are there fewer newsagents? Perhaps, but other shops (like mini-marts and supermarkets) have sort of taken their place. Whenever I'm in a newsagent's shop I make a point of asking if they stock The Beano or any other comics (if I can't see them). Invariably I'm told that, no, they don't sell, but we'll order one for you if you want. And that's the key - they don't sell, so many newsagents just stopped getting them in as it was a waste of time. Now you and I both know that if they don't get them in, then they can't make casual sales, but their response when I put that to them is that when they DID get them in, they just didn't sell. Chicken or egg scenario I suppose, from a buyer's point of view, but the newsagents themselves are adamant that it's a waste of their time. What's the solution? Dunno to be honest, but that doesn't mean I don't recognise that there's a problem.

Phil S said...

This is an international problem. Comic sales in the US are down from ye olde days as well. The only difference is the US market can limp along because of the size of the market. Even the hugely successful Marvel movies haven't helped comic book sales. Comics now exist only to provide toy, underwear and video game sales. I am sad.

Kid said...

I wonder if Japan has the same problem, PS? Don't their Manga titles sell well?

moonmando said...

Uh,oh,...here we go,cracking open that old chestnut again.
Just remember,...Marquis of Queensbury rules apply. Lol

Kid said...

Not in Glasgow they don't. Are you mad, Moony? Anyway, what's your view on the subject, Sparky boy?

a comics fan said...

I dont know why he added that update. He didnt read your post right or someone told him about it and got it wrong.

Kid said...

I guess it'll be one or the other, eh? And why did he think I was referring to his post? I hadn't even read it, I'd only seen a thumbnail and the first few words in someone's blog list.

a comics fan said...

Its not there any more so he must of removed it.

Kid said...

I removed my update when I read your comment in my email inbox. Thanks for letting me know.

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