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Author Topic: Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?  (Read 2279 times)

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Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?
« on: August 18, 2016, 01:00:50 PM »
Everyone has a secondary character that they like. From Bingo Wilkin to Jinx, but here's my question:
Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated out of their own comic because of bad timing?
In the first run of Madhouse (#01 to 65) the comic was a very 'Mad Magazine' style of comic, with their very own 'Alfred E. Newman' character 'Clyde Diddit'. But starting in issue #66 it was all about a rock band called 'The Madhouse Ma-ads' with their very own groupie Fran. However. . . there was a very famous cartoon right about that time (1969 to 1970) call 'Scooby Doo, Where are you?'. Now we all know Archie comics. If something is a trend, they follow. So beginning in issue #73 the 'Madhouse Ma-ads' became the 'Madhouse Glads' & it was downhill from there. Starting in issue #82 (Feb 1972) suddenly this rock band was traveling around solving mysteries. Hum? Where have I seen that before? And then by issue #94 it was all over. Here's another problem. In 1969 a made-up band called 'The Archies' had a Billboard #1 song called 'Sugar, sugar'. Which has probably never gone off the oldies stations. So in theory you have Archie comics with a rock band called 'The Archies' and a rock band called 'The Madhouse Glads'. Let's also not forget that 'That Wilkin Boy' also had a rock band. For the brief time they were around I really liked the Madhouse Mads/Glads, but as you can see - they were doomed by timing. I've always thought that these characters could make a comeback in either of the Archie styles, old/new, as a traveling 60's tribute band. It's certainly been mention in this forum before. Secondary characters are very under used by Archie Comics.

Re: Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2016, 05:34:48 PM »
A Little more character development might have helped.
There was a rather cardboard quality to the Mads/Glads.
Pie is my favorite Vitamin.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2016, 05:41:49 PM »
1. As far as I'm concerned Fran the Fan was the star of the show. The guys always underestimated her, and she always showed them up.

2. 27 issues is not a dismal failure by ACP standards. That's actually a fairly decent run. Better than Kevin Keller got.

3. How did you manage to mention every band ACP had except Josie and the Pussycats?

Re: Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2016, 08:04:02 PM »
When I wrote the post I had mentioned the re-boot of 'Sabrina' & 'Jose & the Pussycats' and then deleted that part of the post. I was just reading the Jose stories in 'Betty & Veronica Friends' digest #249 (While I try & get #250). As for Kevin Keller, he got a raw deal. I suspect with the reboot of 'Archie' coming Kevin got the boot before his time. I actually subscribed to Kevin Keller & thought it was a good comic.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2016, 12:17:10 AM »
As for Kevin Keller, he got a raw deal. I suspect with the reboot of 'Archie' coming Kevin got the boot before his time. I actually subscribed to Kevin Keller & thought it was a good comic.

Nothing to do with New Archie. KEVIN KELLER got cancelled a whole year before New Archie was launched. Kevin got a lot of media attention at first, and then sales just trickled off. Not unlike what seems to be happening with the New Riverdale titles, actually. B&V #1 sold 70,000 or so, which is pretty good in today's comics market, but don't forget, that's with 25 cover variants. I get the impression that in hiring Adam Hughes (who's certainly the most expensive of any creators ACP has hired to date) they were expecting to blow the doors off the sales of ARCHIE #1, but it didn't happen. ARCHIE seems to have settled down to about 15,000 copies with the most recent issues. Still better than before the reboot, but after you subtract the addition costs to the creators, not exactly generating a great profit.

Re: Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2016, 12:46:55 PM »
See, that's an interesting point. B&V sell 70,000 copies with 25 different covers. So the question is- how many different people are buying this comic? Not that (less than) 3,000 people are buying all 25, but issue #1 of a comic usually sells well. And as you mentioned these artists & writers are not cheap. You are quite correct about Kevin Keller. After year one (2007) sales dropped 40% in year 2 (2008). What's really brutal is the drop in sales of the digests. I believe they only sell less than 25% of total printed. I grew up in the era of 10 cent & 12 cent comics. Sure, it's 2016, but $6.99 for a ever shrinking digest of reprints? A while ago I bought the dvd-rom sets of bronze age Archie & Betty/Veronica (1970-79) comics. Grand total for both sets from Amazon Canada? -the princely sum of 10 bucks. Ten dollars for 240 digital comics? Works for me.

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2016, 12:30:43 AM »
See, that's an interesting point. B&V sell 70,000 copies with 25 different covers. So the question is- how many different people are buying this comic? Not that (less than) 3,000 people are buying all 25, but issue #1 of a comic usually sells well.

The true number of unique readers or retail purchasers will never be known. The sales figures that are a matter of record only indicate the (nonreturnable) sales to comics retailers. You can probably safely assume that most of the unique readers are represented by single-copy sales of the main cover, and that most of the variant cover sales (by retailers to comic book collectors) represent additional copies of the same issue sold to one reader or collector who purchased one or more variant cover copies of the same issue number containing the same story. Collecting variant covers has nothing to do with reading comic books, it's more like collecting stamps. Some of the unique readers will simply purchase a single copy of the cover that appeals most to them, but if you stop and think about it, there's no reason for a publisher to incur the additional expenses of the variant cover artwork and printing costs, unless it results in selling additional copies that wouldn't have been purchased otherwise, if there had been only a single cover produced. Really, the crucial thing here is the publisher selling copies to the retailer. Some retailers will try to assemble a complete set of all cover variants and sell those (usually online) as a set.

And as you mentioned these artists & writers are not cheap. You are quite correct about Kevin Keller. After year one (2007) sales dropped 40% in year 2 (2008). What's really brutal is the drop in sales of the digests. I believe they only sell less than 25% of total printed. I grew up in the era of 10 cent & 12 cent comics. Sure, it's 2016, but $6.99 for a ever shrinking digest of reprints?

In the old days of returnable-for-credit comics distribution, 50% sell-through was considered the break-even point. Any title that performed below that level was in danger of cancellation. A comic with a 60-80% sell-through percentage was considered a solid hit, and higher sales practically unheard of. ACP depends on direct sales through its website to take up the slack these days, with older returned stock deeply discounted or offered in assorted bargain bundles.

A while ago I bought the dvd-rom sets of bronze age Archie & Betty/Veronica (1970-79) comics. Grand total for both sets from Amazon Canada? -the princely sum of 10 bucks. Ten dollars for 240 digital comics? Works for me.

I purchased those DVD "Bronze Age Collection" discs (ARCHIE, BETTY AND VERONICA, and JUGHEAD) as well, at a cost of between $4 and $8 each, American (plus shipping). In most ways that format represents the idea form of a digital comic to me. I was able to copy those PDF files to a folder and move them on to my 10" tablet, where they can be read with a generic PDF reader (or Amazon's Kindle app). Too bad they never sold well enough for the company to make the Silver Age Collections, sets of complete issues from the 1960s. Also, I'd have preferred to have complete 1970s runs of SABRINA and JOSIE, if beggars could be choosers.

A minor quibble (considering the cost) is that each image file is a 2-page spread of both left- and right-hand pages scanned from the actual printed comics with no digital enhancement or cleanup. Bit of a pain there, as reading them on a tablet at full page size requires pinching-and-zooming, then moving the image from the left to the right at full size to read, rather than just a single swipe to continue from one image file to the next. If you were willing to purchase the full-featured Reader app from Adobe, you could edit the image files to break them down from a single image into individual left- and right-hand page images, but at the ridiculous price Adobe is asking for a year's subscription to that full-featured version, I'll live with it, I guess. A more expensive tablet with a larger screen would be another solution (so as to read the PDF images in the landscape mode without having to pinch and zoom), but at the sacrifice of portability.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2016, 01:11:43 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

steveinthecity

Re: Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2016, 10:24:12 AM »
See, that's an interesting point. B&V sell 70,000 copies with 25 different covers. So the question is- how many different people are buying this comic? Not that (less than) 3,000 people are buying all 25, but issue #1 of a comic usually sells well.

The true number of unique readers or retail purchasers will never be known. The sales figures that are a matter of record only indicate the (nonreturnable) sales to comics retailers. You can probably safely assume that most of the unique readers are represented by single-copy sales of the main cover, and that most of the variant cover sales (by retailers to comic book collectors) represent additional copies of the same issue sold to one reader or collector who purchased one or more variant cover copies of the same issue number containing the same story. Collecting variant covers has nothing to do with reading comic books, it's more like collecting stamps. Some of the unique readers will simply purchase a single copy of the cover that appeals most to them, but if you stop and think about it, there's no reason for a publisher to incur the additional expenses of the variant cover artwork and printing costs, unless it results in selling additional copies that wouldn't have been purchased otherwise, if there had been only a single cover produced. Really, the crucial thing here is the publisher selling copies to the retailer. Some retailers will try to assemble a complete set of all cover variants and sell those (usually online) as a set.
While I agree with this, I'd remind everyone to consider the vagaries of the speculator market particularly where #1's and hot artists are concerned.  Maybe a "drop in the bucket", but CGC and CBCS aren't hurting for business.
Comics!

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2016, 10:54:08 AM »
See, that's an interesting point. B&V sell 70,000 copies with 25 different covers. So the question is- how many different people are buying this comic? Not that (less than) 3,000 people are buying all 25, but issue #1 of a comic usually sells well.

The true number of unique readers or retail purchasers will never be known. The sales figures that are a matter of record only indicate the (nonreturnable) sales to comics retailers. You can probably safely assume that most of the unique readers are represented by single-copy sales of the main cover, and that most of the variant cover sales (by retailers to comic book collectors) represent additional copies of the same issue sold to one reader or collector who purchased one or more variant cover copies of the same issue number containing the same story. Collecting variant covers has nothing to do with reading comic books, it's more like collecting stamps. Some of the unique readers will simply purchase a single copy of the cover that appeals most to them, but if you stop and think about it, there's no reason for a publisher to incur the additional expenses of the variant cover artwork and printing costs, unless it results in selling additional copies that wouldn't have been purchased otherwise, if there had been only a single cover produced. Really, the crucial thing here is the publisher selling copies to the retailer. Some retailers will try to assemble a complete set of all cover variants and sell those (usually online) as a set.
While I agree with this, I'd remind everyone to consider the vagaries of the speculator market particularly where #1's and hot artists are concerned.  Maybe a "drop in the bucket", but CGC and CBCS aren't hurting for business.

I'm not sure what "vagaries" you're alluding to Steve. People who aren't comic book readers as such, but are only interested in making money by reselling (after grading, etc) variant covers for profit? But that would include all retailers, too. Then too, these things are mercurial in nature, and can skyrocket in price and plunge just as quickly in a very short window of time.

I'm not sure what that might mean in terms of trying to get a handle on how many retail sales, out of any given reported sales number of copies (to retailers), might be distinct individuals. I guess the number we're trying to estimate (out of say, the 70,000 copies total sold of B&V#1 to retailers) is how many individuals purchased a copy of B&V#1 (out of the 70,000 -- or less? -- being offered by retailers for sale), not how many of the 70,000 copies were sold by retailers at a profit. How many retail consumers were involved in a sales transaction for that comic book, regardless of whether each of them purchased 1 copy, 10 copies, 100 copies, etc.

steveinthecity

Re: Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2016, 08:43:11 PM »
See, that's an interesting point. B&V sell 70,000 copies with 25 different covers. So the question is- how many different people are buying this comic? Not that (less than) 3,000 people are buying all 25, but issue #1 of a comic usually sells well.

The true number of unique readers or retail purchasers will never be known. The sales figures that are a matter of record only indicate the (nonreturnable) sales to comics retailers. You can probably safely assume that most of the unique readers are represented by single-copy sales of the main cover, and that most of the variant cover sales (by retailers to comic book collectors) represent additional copies of the same issue sold to one reader or collector who purchased one or more variant cover copies of the same issue number containing the same story. Collecting variant covers has nothing to do with reading comic books, it's more like collecting stamps. Some of the unique readers will simply purchase a single copy of the cover that appeals most to them, but if you stop and think about it, there's no reason for a publisher to incur the additional expenses of the variant cover artwork and printing costs, unless it results in selling additional copies that wouldn't have been purchased otherwise, if there had been only a single cover produced. Really, the crucial thing here is the publisher selling copies to the retailer. Some retailers will try to assemble a complete set of all cover variants and sell those (usually online) as a set.
While I agree with this, I'd remind everyone to consider the vagaries of the speculator market particularly where #1's and hot artists are concerned.  Maybe a "drop in the bucket", but CGC and CBCS aren't hurting for business.

I'm not sure what "vagaries" you're alluding to Steve. People who aren't comic book readers as such, but are only interested in making money by reselling (after grading, etc) variant covers for profit? But that would include all retailers, too. Then too, these things are mercurial in nature, and can skyrocket in price and plunge just as quickly in a very short window of time.

I'm not sure what that might mean in terms of trying to get a handle on how many retail sales, out of any given reported sales number of copies (to retailers), might be distinct individuals. I guess the number we're trying to estimate (out of say, the 70,000 copies total sold of B&V#1 to retailers) is how many individuals purchased a copy of B&V#1 (out of the 70,000 -- or less? -- being offered by retailers for sale), not how many of the 70,000 copies were sold by retailers at a profit. How many retail consumers were involved in a sales transaction for that comic book, regardless of whether each of them purchased 1 copy, 10 copies, 100 copies, etc.
I'm pretty much addressing the question of "who buys multiple covers". I'm certain the Adam Hughes B&V was "invested" in even more than Archie #1 due to Hughes (as an example of vagaries) and we'll see those copies show up on the CGC census over the next 3-4 months as well as e-Bay.  To the other topic, I've pretty much abandoned hope of determining exact print runs of some more recent comics as stuff shows up at Cons that isn't accounted for by Diamond numbers(from creators). I'm interested, though.  Still.   :P
Comics!

DeCarlo Rules

Re: Did the Madhouse Glads/Ma-ads get cheated?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2016, 02:24:10 AM »
See, that's an interesting point. B&V sell 70,000 copies with 25 different covers. So the question is- how many different people are buying this comic? Not that (less than) 3,000 people are buying all 25, but issue #1 of a comic usually sells well.

The true number of unique readers or retail purchasers will never be known. The sales figures that are a matter of record only indicate the (nonreturnable) sales to comics retailers. You can probably safely assume that most of the unique readers are represented by single-copy sales of the main cover, and that most of the variant cover sales (by retailers to comic book collectors) represent additional copies of the same issue sold to one reader or collector who purchased one or more variant cover copies of the same issue number containing the same story. Collecting variant covers has nothing to do with reading comic books, it's more like collecting stamps. Some of the unique readers will simply purchase a single copy of the cover that appeals most to them, but if you stop and think about it, there's no reason for a publisher to incur the additional expenses of the variant cover artwork and printing costs, unless it results in selling additional copies that wouldn't have been purchased otherwise, if there had been only a single cover produced. Really, the crucial thing here is the publisher selling copies to the retailer. Some retailers will try to assemble a complete set of all cover variants and sell those (usually online) as a set.
While I agree with this, I'd remind everyone to consider the vagaries of the speculator market particularly where #1's and hot artists are concerned.  Maybe a "drop in the bucket", but CGC and CBCS aren't hurting for business.

I'm not sure what "vagaries" you're alluding to Steve. People who aren't comic book readers as such, but are only interested in making money by reselling (after grading, etc) variant covers for profit? But that would include all retailers, too. Then too, these things are mercurial in nature, and can skyrocket in price and plunge just as quickly in a very short window of time.

I'm not sure what that might mean in terms of trying to get a handle on how many retail sales, out of any given reported sales number of copies (to retailers), might be distinct individuals. I guess the number we're trying to estimate (out of say, the 70,000 copies total sold of B&V#1 to retailers) is how many individuals purchased a copy of B&V#1 (out of the 70,000 -- or less? -- being offered by retailers for sale), not how many of the 70,000 copies were sold by retailers at a profit. How many retail consumers were involved in a sales transaction for that comic book, regardless of whether each of them purchased 1 copy, 10 copies, 100 copies, etc.
I'm pretty much addressing the question of "who buys multiple covers". I'm certain the Adam Hughes B&V was "invested" in even more than Archie #1 due to Hughes (as an example of vagaries) and we'll see those copies show up on the CGC census over the next 3-4 months as well as e-Bay.  To the other topic, I've pretty much abandoned hope of determining exact print runs of some more recent comics as stuff shows up at Cons that isn't accounted for by Diamond numbers(from creators). I'm interested, though.  Still.   :P

Well, in a sense that's nothing new. There have always been, and will probably always be, speculators. It's true enough that when publishers recognized that this was a significant enough factor in a potentially otherwise somewhat borderline-sales comic book title, they realized they could exploit that speculator factor to sell enough additional copies a a comic book title to push sales into the profitability range. You'll note that the publishers whose percentage of the total comics market share falls in the 2% and below range tend to be the same publishers that exploit the variant cover gimmick with the greatest regularity across the board, although in the last couple of years even Marvel and DC's sales have diminished to the point that they've begun to increase their relative percentage of variant covers as well.

The biggest group of speculators are the comic book retailers themselves. The economics of profitability for the independent comic shop owner have changed radically in the last decade, due to the ever-increasing shift in readership towards trade paperbacks and digital comics (driven largely by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and ComiXology), so much so that there's an increasing "profitability gap" separating the single-store owner from the larger comics retailers who operate 2 or more large stores. The single-store owners have been working on thinner and thinner margins of profit. I would point specifically to the exponential increase in the number of RE (Retailer Exclusive) variant covers as the most indicative visible example of this. Five or ten years ago, only the largest of comic book retailers were doing these, but now it's the smallest of stores as well. If, hypothetically speaking, variant covers were to disappear overnight, the number of single-store comic shop owners would be decimated by 90%. Without internet and convention sales of variant covers, those retailers would have to close their doors and go out of business. They are surviving mainly on sales of those variant covers, and selling cheap comics bought up in bulk purchases, and deeply-discounted trade paperbacks from publishers' liquidation of backstock.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 03:13:15 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

 


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