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Author Topic: Marvel says forced diversity ruined sales. Maybe Archie should pay attention?  (Read 6170 times)

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Alexandra Cabot

Hey, it's your queen again.  Thought I would share an interesting article I read:

http://archive.is/hxoHn

Here's a quote from Marvel's top brass:

Quote
Suggesting the answer to the question of why people's tastes suddenly changed was better answered by Direct Market retailers, Gabriel told ICv2 that "What we heard was that people didn't want any more diversity. They didn't want female characters out there. That's what we heard, whether we believe that or not.  I don't know that that's really true, but that's what we saw in sales."
 
Gabriel described what was no longer viable as "things that we had been doing successfully for the past three years..."
 
"We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against," he explained. " That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked."

He seems kind of mad and is looking for a scapegoat, so he goes back to the tried and true defense of left leaning individuals when they fail of,  "It was those pesky bigots fault!"  So no I don't think comic book fans hate female characters, it's more like they didn't want to read a story about Thor being changed to into a Jewish feminist or Ironman becoming a 15 year old African American girl from the projects who is better at creating robot armor than Tony Stark is (created by Brian "I Wish I Was Black" Michael Bendis).

So what should Archie Comics learn from this development I ask, fellow archiefans?

Well, maybe they shouldn't let their IP be degraded by letting a goofy TV show change the race of characters like Josie and Melody from Josie and the Pussycats to meet a diversity quota when said group already had diversity (technically more than in Riverdale actually)?  Or how about making Veronica latina and then hiring the most white passing latina you could find anyways?  Maybe stuff like that is actually retarded like anyone with a brain would surmise?

Hey, and maybe comic book fans don't read comics to have middle aged liberals bark at them about political correctness like they are listening to NPR?  Like let's see combinging a gay military character with a pro-gun-control storyline, because you know LGBT in the military hate guns so much (I hear they shoot the enemy with rainbows!).  That totally makes sense for a gay military hero character like Kevin to push the heterosexual liberal non-solider writer's views about guns into his storylines!   Maybe not all LGBT are a mind hive or something?

Third point was a mistake both Marvel and Archie Comics made.  Hiring Erica Henderson to draw for you because Tumblr SJWs recommended her highly, despite the fact she's only capable of making doodles like this:



Food for thought, fellow archiefans!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 11:22:22 PM by Alexandra Cabot »


Ronnie

  • Guest
Kevin Keller was hatched for one reason and one reason only. To cater to the LGBT-ABCD crowd. And has the personality of a stale bagel to boot. How's that working out for sales? Oh, right.  :crazy2:

Erica Henderson doesn't draw. she scribbles. Doodling is being polite.  :buck2:


I don't mind diversity. Just don't shove it up my rear 24/7. That's why we got Trump.  ;D



Oh, the SJW's: Screw them.  :idiot2:

Vegan Jughead

Congrats on the one jillionth post about why Archie is "failing".  Meanwhile, they continue to exist.  One day you'll be right.  I just know it.  LOL

irishmoxie

The reason Marvel isn't successful with race and sex changing is because they keep the same old storylines (targeted at male readers) but have a female protagonist and sometimes cute art which attracts the female readers. It's incongruous. If they want to attract women to read their comics they need more slice of life, humor, romance, and school life.

Alexandra Cabot

Congrats on the one jillionth post about why Archie is "failing".  Meanwhile, they continue to exist.  One day you'll be right.  I just know it.  LOL

I'm right today, because everything I post are the words of truth sent straight from a Goddess to your eyes via the miracle of the internet.  BTW, did you know one of the reasons people don't like to be around vegans is because their unhealthy diet gives them horrible gas?   ;D   Food for thought, internet friend! 
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 11:19:30 AM by Alexandra Cabot »


Alexandra Cabot

The reason Marvel isn't successful with race and sex changing is because they keep the same old storylines (targeted at male readers) but have a female protagonist and sometimes cute art which attracts the female readers. It's incongruous. If they want to attract women to read their comics they need more slice of life, humor, romance, and school life.

An insightful observation!  But it doesn't examine the modus opeerandi of the SJW "creator".  SJWs that enter creative industries have two goals:

1.  Not to make things people want to consume, but things they should consume, because who knows better than the consumer than someone with a politically charged sense of moral superiority?  Who needs the law of demand?  Karl Marx didn't, and that should be good for businesses as well!  What could go wrong?

2.  To colonize "problematic" things.  In this case, said problematic thing is the super hero genre.  Once colonized, said thing loses that pesky problematic content that was the very reason people enjoyed it in the first place.  So good bye original fanbase, and hello, not the groups shamelessly pandered to, but 17 other SJWs praising you on Twitter who don't actually buy said product.  Thus a product, non-problematic super hero comics, something that appeals to absolutely no consumer is created.  Huzzah for Marxism!  You've saved a struggling industry by destroying it!
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 12:42:46 PM by Alexandra Cabot »


Mr.Lodge

Third point was a mistake both Marvel and Archie Comics made.  Hiring Erica Henderson to draw for you because Tumblr SJWs recommended her highly, despite the fact she's only capable of making doodles like this:



Food for thought, fellow archiefans!


This is actually one of her better scratchings, doodles, whatever.....
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DeCarlo Rules

The reason Marvel isn't successful with race and sex changing is because they keep the same old storylines (targeted at male readers) but have a female protagonist and sometimes cute art which attracts the female readers. It's incongruous. If they want to attract women to read their comics they need more slice of life, humor, romance, and school life.

It's an interesting theory, to which the counter-argument would be "show me the money". I take your point that it's not possible for consumers to purchase a comic book which doesn't exist, but if we posit the existence of such a comic book as you describe, that doesn't prove the actual existence of a consumer base large enough to support it. This is where you need to prove the theoretical audience is an actual audience. I'm not doubting the existence of girls who like the kind of things you describe, only the intersection of the set of those girls with a large enough set of consumers willing to spend money to follow a comic book series. Clearly such a market used to exist at one time (the existence of all those back issues of romance comics certainly proves it), but what comics have they been reading since they stopped publishing romance comic books?

An example would certainly be helpful, so if you can point at a specific successful comic book which fits your description that has a stable consumer base and an established history of publication, then you've proved the existence of the actual audience. It's harder for me to accept the premise that a potential audience of non-comic book consumers spontaneously turns into an actual audience of comic book consumers if the product merely exists. No disrespect intended -- maybe I'm just not looking in the right direction. Love & Rockets ? Maybe, but I'm not sure as far as how the audience demographics break down on that particular title.

I guess the thing that's most puzzling to me about what you just wrote is that the classic type of Archie comic book (unless I'm misreading you) seems to fit your description, yet that consumer base seems to have been slowly evaporating over the last three or four decades. Or somehow the format or distribution is not connecting with the potential audience wanting that type of comic. But I can certainly empathize with the general feeling here of "Why aren't there more comics of the kind _I_ like being published (i.e. "good" comics)? As individual readers, we feel stymied by the economic realities of what is popular (and what isn't) in the marketplace as it exists now, because it limits the number and type of comics that we'd like to be able to buy.

I mean, there's a theoretical diversity of the potential audience that comprises the marketplace, and then there's the actual audience that comprises the marketplace, which doesn't seem as diverse in point of fact, at least to me. Comic book publishers just want to make money. They don't care whose money they're taking, whether the consumer is male, female, gay, straight, or a member of some ethnic minority. It doesn't matter WHOSE money they get, as long as they get it, so it's to their advantage to try to exploit every niche market they can. The natural laws of economics would dictate that to the degree that there is some diversity of the potential consumers, those consumers should fill a void if it exists.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 09:50:49 AM by DeCarlo Rules »

Alexandra Cabot

The reason Marvel isn't successful with race and sex changing is because they keep the same old storylines (targeted at male readers) but have a female protagonist and sometimes cute art which attracts the female readers. It's incongruous. If they want to attract women to read their comics they need more slice of life, humor, romance, and school life.

It's an interesting theory, to which the counter-argument would be "show me the money". I take your point that it's not possible for consumers to purchase a comic book which doesn't exist, but if we posit the existence of such a comic book as you describe, that doesn't prove the actual existence of a consumer base large enough to support it. This is where you need to prove the theoretical audience is an actual audience. I'm not doubting the existence of girls who like the kind of things you describe, only the intersection of the set of those girls with a large enough set of consumers willing to spend money to follow a comic book series. Clearly such a market used to exist at one time (the existence of all those back issues of romance comics certainly proves it), but what comics have they been reading since they stopped publishing romance comic books?

An example would certainly be helpful, so if you can point at a specific successful comic book which fits your description that has a stable consumer base and an established history of publication, then you've proved the existence of the actual audience. It's harder for me to accept the premise that a potential audience of non-comic book consumers spontaneously turns into an actual audience of comic book consumers if the product merely exists. No disrespect intended -- maybe I'm just not looking in the right direction. Love & Rockets ? Maybe, but I'm not sure as far as how the audience demographics break down on that particular title.

I guess the thing that's most puzzling to me about what you just wrote is that the classic type of Archie comic book (unless I'm misreading you) seems to fit your description, yet that consumer base seems to have been slowly evaporating over the last three or four decades. Or somehow the format or distribution is not connecting with the potential audience wanting that type of comic. But I can certainly empathize with the general feeling here of "Why aren't there more comics of the kind _I_ like being published (i.e. "good" comics)? As individual readers, we feel stymied by the economic realities of what is popular (and what isn't) in the marketplace as it exists now, because it limits the number and type of comics that we'd like to be able to buy.

I mean, there's a theoretical diversity of the potential audience that comprises the marketplace, and then there's the actual audience that comprises the marketplace, which doesn't seem as diverse in point of fact, at least to me. Comic book publishers just want to make money. They don't care whose money they're taking, whether the consumer is male, female, gay, straight, or a member of some ethnic minority. It doesn't matter WHOSE money they get, as long as they get it, so it's to their advantage to try to exploit every niche market they can. The natural laws of economics would dictate that to the degree that there is some diversity of the potential consumers, those consumers should fill a void if it exists.

Of course she's referring to real comic examples:

1.  Archie Comics, which consolidated the girls' comics market and was at one point massive, and was seemingly only destroyed recently.

2.  Shoujo manga.  Still plenty of it sold.

Come on, Decarlo Rules.  Good grief.

Another thing about why girls' don't want these products is because they're sold in the direct market comic book stores.  Not exactly a girly space.  Some people here may go into them, but it's a place dominated by super hero genre comics and male consumers.  Yes, there may be some other kinds of comics in there, and people go into play their card games, but you get the point.

Let's compare to say Barnes and Noble with their pile of shoujo manga.  A lot more female consumers in there, and it's also a store not dominated by one market segment or genre.  You can also go in there and sip some coffee while you look at your purchase.  It's a place more inviting to Generic Sally consumer than your average Heroes Dungeon direct market comic book store.

I don't really know if this dynamic can be changed or should be changed, but it's one that exists.  It's also kind of detrimental to comic sales.  Just compare sales now to the 90's when you could buy comics in other places.

Quote
I mean, there's a theoretical diversity of the potential audience that comprises the marketplace, and then there's the actual audience that comprises the marketplace, which doesn't seem as diverse in point of fact, at least to me. Comic book publishers just want to make money. They don't care whose money they're taking, whether the consumer is male, female, gay, straight, or a member of some ethnic minority. It doesn't matter WHOSE money they get, as long as they get it, so it's to their advantage to try to exploit every niche market they can. The natural laws of economics would dictate that to the degree that there is some diversity of the potential consumers, those consumers should fill a void if it exists.

You're ignoring the fact that a lot of that minority pandering is politically fueled as opposed to market fueled.  If Marvel thinks Muslims are going to start buying Ms. Marvel comics in high numbers, they're nuts I think.  The point is it's more about pushing progressive agendas regarding inclusion and is part of the reason why consumers rejected some of that stuff. 

Some people who create those books view their selves as Sesame Street for the comic book market, that their job is to teach readers how to be more liberal, but most people are already smart enough to not need some writer or artist trying to teach them things they already know.  Books or products with that goal are also designed with the majority, hetero, white, etc. people. in mind, because someone who is gay for example doesn't need to read Kevin Keller to realize gay people can be squeaky clean boring role models so they stop being homophobes.  So obviously the product doesn't even end up appealing to them either.  It's a melt down of the creative process brought on by creators being too self aware of their own work.  Postmodernism has in a big way destroyed entertainment.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 12:46:05 PM by Alexandra Cabot »


DeCarlo Rules

Some further thoughts related to the comic book marketplace, the audience, or potential audience, for comics as a medium in general, and the diversity of that audience occur to me. These are very basic assumptions that readers of comics never seem to consider or question. Why is the audience of comic book consumers less diverse than the audience of consumers for movies, television, video games, or novels? The comic book industry is dependent on motivated readers. People who have decided for whatever reason that "I WANT to read comics." Reading comics is no longer a casual experience as it once was many decades ago when it could still be called a mass medium. It can't be strictly about the limits of content that the current comic market is offering. That doesn't explain why millions of people would spend their disposable entertainment budget money on seeing a Batman movie or playing a Batman video game, but less than 1% of those same people are willing to spend $3 or $4 for fifteen or twenty minutes worth of entertainment reading a Batman comic book. How does someone go from never having ever read a comic book to one day reading a comic book, and then reading more comic books, until it becomes a desire and then a habit? What makes someone decide that the money spent on a comic is a good return on their entertainment dollar, and therefore worthwhile? There are social factors as well those related to an individual's personal life history, and I would submit those factors are one of the biggest things limiting the diversity of the comics audience. A long time ago almost every kid in America was likely to have read some kind of comic at some time in his or her childhood, but that hasn't been the case for years. If they're not familiarized with the medium at a young age, a person is less likely to ever acquire the habit. Just a few of the things rambling through my mind here.

Mr.Lodge

If all publishers care about is money, how many issues at what price should an issue sell to make doing it worthwhile? Is there such a thing as a 'loss leader' in comics to suit an agenda or cater to a niche? ???
The selected media item is not currently available.

JonInIowaCity

My Marvel consumption has reduced because of the nonstop events. I mean, look at all of the pointless Secret Wars crossover tiles. Or the pointless IVX crossover books.


I like Miles Morales and Ms Marvel and the Champions and Sam Wilson/Cap and others, but don't get them because they're expensive. Just like I stopped getting all of the digests and Black Circle books from Archie. It has nothing to do with diversity and more to do with $4-5 comics and a limited budget.

Alexandra Cabot

If all publishers care about is money, how many issues at what price should an issue sell to make doing it worthwhile? Is there such a thing as a 'loss leader' in comics to suit an agenda or cater to a niche? ???

SJWs aren't concerned about making money.  That's what is so maddening about it I think.  They don't adhere to the "customer is always right" philosophy.


Alexandra Cabot

Some further thoughts related to the comic book marketplace, the audience, or potential audience, for comics as a medium in general, and the diversity of that audience occur to me. These are very basic assumptions that readers of comics never seem to consider or question. Why is the audience of comic book consumers less diverse than the audience of consumers for movies, television, video games, or novels? The comic book industry is dependent on motivated readers. People who have decided for whatever reason that "I WANT to read comics." Reading comics is no longer a casual experience as it once was many decades ago when it could still be called a mass medium. It can't be strictly about the limits of content that the current comic market is offering. That doesn't explain why millions of people would spend their disposable entertainment budget money on seeing a Batman movie or playing a Batman video game, but less than 1% of those same people are willing to spend $3 or $4 for fifteen or twenty minutes worth of entertainment reading a Batman comic book. How does someone go from never having ever read a comic book to one day reading a comic book, and then reading more comic books, until it becomes a desire and then a habit? What makes someone decide that the money spent on a comic is a good return on their entertainment dollar, and therefore worthwhile? There are social factors as well those related to an individual's personal life history, and I would submit those factors are one of the biggest things limiting the diversity of the comics audience. A long time ago almost every kid in America was likely to have read some kind of comic at some time in his or her childhood, but that hasn't been the case for years. If they're not familiarized with the medium at a young age, a person is less likely to ever acquire the habit. Just a few of the things rambling through my mind here.

1.  The question of "what happened to to comics market" is answered in my response to you, the one you chose not to respond to after getting an alert in your notices (I wonder why that was  :) ).

2.  You're suggesting that comics have a diversity problem with no data at all.  As far as I know the only numbers people are somewhat cognizant of is male vs. female sales.  I've never heard anything else about race, etc.

3.  Marvel tripled down on "diversity," and it completely eroded their sales.

4.  Assuming minorities want to read token super hero comics is a stretch.  Maybe they just like Batman because they like Batman and don't actually want to read Black Batman?  Notice how most of the people making these kinds of creative decisions are white people.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 09:08:26 PM by Alexandra Cabot »


DeCarlo Rules

If all publishers care about is money, how many issues at what price should an issue sell to make doing it worthwhile? Is there such a thing as a 'loss leader' in comics to suit an agenda or cater to a niche? ???

Sure there are. They are temporary things, because you can't just bleed money forever.

FCBD comic = loss leader.  $1/50c/25c comics = loss leaders. These are all comics published which have "negative profit" in the most direct sense. They hope to entice new readers, and the profit will come later.

There are other titles which larger publishers can afford to publish near break-even profit margins only for reasons of trying to bring in new readers (DC and Marvel kids' titles, for example) or something like Vertigo titles where the single issues don't make much money, but that will be offset later by sales of trade collections. Larger publishers can afford to carry a few titles with short-term losses if the strategy helps achieve some longer-term goals, only because they publish so many titles. Ultimately though, this strategy of 'seeding' can only be maintained if there's a perception that the publisher is accomplishing something in the longer term -- otherwise, it's perceived as flushing money down the toilet.

 


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