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Sep 28 2022 7:02pm
Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Night School" from Cheryl Blossom #24: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/28/comics-night-school/

Sep 27 2022 7:46pm
Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Stellar Behavior" from Cheryl Blossom #24: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/27/comics-stellar-behavior/

Sep 25 2022 8:06pm
Tuxedo Mark: My review of "He-Mail" from Cheryl Blossom #24: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/25/comics-he-mail/

Sep 21 2022 7:25pm
Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Dog Gone" from Cheryl Blossom #21: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/21/comics-dog-gone/

Sep 21 2022 2:22pm
Tuxedo Mark: Weirder Mysteries #1 came out today. I just read the preview pages of "Betty Cooper: Alien Hunter". It's set in the Jughead: The Hunger continuity. For a "horror" story, it's actually pretty hilarious.

Sep 20 2022 6:15pm
Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Puppy Love" from Cheryl Blossom #21: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/20/comics-puppy-love/

Sep 13 2022 6:12pm
Tuxedo Mark: My review of "3 Goes Into 3...!" from Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #333: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/13/comics-3-goes-into-3/

Sep 06 2022 8:34pm
Tuxedo Mark: My review of "Sugarworld" from Cheryl Blossom #21: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/06/comics-sugarworld/

Sep 04 2022 6:26pm
Tuxedo Mark: My review of "The Dresser" from Cheryl Blossom #20: https://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com/2022/09/04/comics-the-dresser/

Aug 31 2022 9:23pm
Tuxedo Mark: An article about how an Archie story was once blatantly recycled as a Wilbur story: https://www.cbr.com/archie-ran-same-story-twice-with-faces-changed/?utm_source=syndication

Nobody here anymore?

Started by botolo, November 29, 2021, 12:32:46 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

DeCarlo Rules

And now we're apparently getting another wave of superhero guest-star stories with Steel Sterling.

Mr.Lodge

Yuck. There's enough superhero junk polluting the landscape as it is..... :buck2:

DeCarlo Rules

I could do without the Little Archie(/Veronica/Betty/Jughead/Sabrina) junk taking up pages in the digests every single month. Might as well just leave those pages blank AFAIC. I don't mind when they put it in its own comic where I can safely avoid buying it.

steveinthecity

I don't find much value in the digests currently, and mostly stick to back issues at this point.  The last new Archie I picked up was B&V Friends Forever Spring Break #1 virgin variant:

Comics!

Oldiesmann

I wonder what it would take to get the company to bring back the full-size comics with 3-4 new stories. Those were so much more fun than a digest full of reprints with one or two stories in there. As much as I like seeing the older stuff, it would be nice to have a book of all new material as well.

DeCarlo Rules

It would take a LOT. Everything is a one-shot now except the ongoing digests. I can only presume this is so because the only thing that comic shop consumers want to buy now (from Archie, anyway) is a #1. ACP does do all-new one-shots once in a while, just not in the classic style. It's been a few years now since ACP has had any ongoing floppy format comic series. I would be really surprised if the current situation changes in any sort of positive way.

Tuxedo Mark

I don't think the money's there, either from ACP to publish or from the consumers to buy. I just checked Comichron. In July 2020, Sabrina: Something Wicked #2 was in the mid-100s, and Archie #713 (the final issue) was just below the Top 200. And sales have only gone down since then. The long-delayed Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #9 went to #162, and there have been no new issues since. I haven't seen any charts from this year, but I can't imagine the numbers are good. And I see digests hit the shelves at stores long after I've already read the new stories for free on Amazon. And the new stories seem rushed and contain barely any plot. Maybe they oughta invest in creating a new OGN once per year, so they can add to their catalog of ready-packaged material.

Or do prose novellas. Mike Pellowski did the Riverdale High series back in 1991-1992, and there have been scattershot attempts at more prose stories since then.
BV-kiss-small
Riverdale Reviewed
http://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com
Every episode of "Riverdale", "The New Archies", and "Archie's Weird Mysteries" reviewed.
My digital wish list
https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/14FS742SI1R5I

Fernando Ruiz

Quote from: Oldiesmann on April 06, 2022, 12:38:53 AMI wonder what it would take to get the company to bring back the full-size comics with 3-4 new stories. 


The business of the thirty-two page monthly format, what we called "the Thirty-Two's" back in the day, is a tough one these days for any publisher let alone Archie Comics. 

When I first started at Archie in '94, the Thirty-Two's were already having a hard time but at least they were holding their own. At the time, I was told Betty & Veronica was the "big seller" and that Jughead always seemed to struggle as the lowest seller... despite everyone always claiming that Jughead was their favorite character. 

Some time later, the Thirty-Two's stopped making money, but Archie Comics continued publishing them even at a loss. The thinking was that the Thirty-Two's were a platform for new material that would eventually be funneled into the digests. The digests were still formidable sellers (even by Marvel and DC standards!) so the money would be made there. As long as the digests were sufficiently profitable, they were in a sense paying for a continuation of the Thirty-Two's. The company also firmly believed that Archie Comics should ALWAYS publish at least the Archie, Jughead and Betty & Veronica titles no matter what!

Eventually the company's philosophy became that EVERYTHING had to make money on its own. The Thirty-Two's would no longer be published at a loss regardless of what the digests were doing. Over the course of a couple of years, most of the Thirty-Two's were euthanized. The Betty solo book and Archie & Friends went out sadly as reprint books complete with re-colored reprint covers. I believe I may have provided the last original cover on the Betty series if I remember right. 

At the end, I was told that a Thirty-Two had to sell five thousand copies in order to be profitable. I have no idea if this threshold remains today or what the current publishing philosophy is. 





DeCarlo Rules

#23
And now that I think about it, I can't even understand how they can afford to do those occasional "new-style" Archie one-shots. If the floppies are at or below the break-even point, the new-style stories can't even be reused as digest reprints to justify the cost of doing them. If it's a miniseries, it could get a collected edition TP, but we haven't seen any of those lately either. Unlike the annual Archie Modern Classics collection, there is no similar type of reprint book for new-style Archie stories from whatever one-shots they might do in the previous year. They also double-dip on those modern classic stories by reprinting them in separate B&V and Archie & Friends collections.

They should be doing more new pages of stories in the digests, because future digests are always going to need reprint material... unless they have already projected the eventual demise of digests in the not-too-distant future.

For now, the compromise seems to be ONE new 'classic Archie' 5-page story in an otherwise reprint floppy one-shot, the same deal as with the ongoing digests... although once in a while they'll include a new bonus story in one of the digests.

Tuxedo Mark

Quote from: Fernando Ruiz on April 06, 2022, 11:17:43 PMAt the end, I was told that a Thirty-Two had to sell five thousand copies in order to be profitable. I have no idea if this threshold remains today or what the current publishing philosophy is.

I just checked Comichron for July and September of last year. In July, the all-reprint Archie & Friends Summer Vacation floppy sold an estimated 2,376 units. In September, the B&V Friends Forever Halloween Spooktacular floppy, which contained a new lead story, sold an estimated 6,871 copies. So it seems adding even just one new story boosts sales considerably. It's far above the higher-priced digests that also have a new lead story. The highest-charting digest that month, World of Betty & Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #8, sold only 959 copies in the Direct Market. Not sure what they're selling at places like Walmart and Publix.
BV-kiss-small
Riverdale Reviewed
http://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com
Every episode of "Riverdale", "The New Archies", and "Archie's Weird Mysteries" reviewed.
My digital wish list
https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/14FS742SI1R5I

Mr.Lodge

The prices of the digests going up hasn't helped. The quality of the new stories is really down. I barely recognized some of the characters in the most recent ones. They looked liked rush jobs at best. Has the time for Archie comics finally come to pass?

Also, what is the fascination with Dan Parent? I've never been the least impressed with his pencil work. His characters took to generically drawn. As far as I'm concerned, Fernando Ruiz should have not been fired. His work is way better than Dan.

Sure the Parent defenders will be here to bash but I really don't care.

DeCarlo Rules

@Mr.Lodge

Seems like the only one doing any bashing here (of Dan Parent) is YOU. We understand that your difference of opinion with the larger group of Archie readers has made you resentful that he remains a popular Archie creator despite what you think of him. Just accept the fact that Dan Parent's stories, covers, one-shots, and miniseries SELL (at least on the scale of what is possible for Archie Comics to sell in the present marketplace). Ousting Dan Parent from the list of Archie creators is only going to result in lost sales, not gained sales. Sorry you don't like him, but every post of yours is just another excuse to grind the same old axe.

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: Tuxedo Mark on April 07, 2022, 09:09:18 PMThe highest-charting digest that month, World of Betty & Veronica Jumbo Comics Digest #8, sold only 959 copies in the Direct Market. Not sure what they're selling at places like Walmart and Publix.

The nature of the average comic shop consumer is...

a) They have never really embraced Archie Comics in general, despite the good will of various retailers (and Steve Geppi of Diamond Comic Distributors).

b) They have definite resistance to any comic series not in the traditional floppy comic format. They will accept a better cover stock or paper stock gratefully, but that is where it ends. Magazine and digest-size comics are definitely not preferred because it messes up their bagging/boarding and comic-box filing system. Digests of all types have never done well in the comic shop system.

c) Fortunately Archie Comics continues to maintain a toehold in the wider world of magazine distribution (unlike other comics publishers), and that has probably been their sole salvation. In the wider world, the situation is reversed, and retailers much prefer the higher-profit digests (which also take up less display space) to the floppy comics.

Tuxedo Mark

I checked Amazon, and the only categories where Archie even cracks the Top 100 are some hyper-specific children's comics categories. All of those are the classic-style comics. No Riverdale. No New Riverdale. No Archie Horror. No idea what that translates to in terms of sales, though.

I was reading Brian Hibbs' annual column where he discussed the previous year's Top 750 comics according to NPD BookScan, which claims to represent about 85% of physical book sales in North America outside the comic book Direct Market (comic shops). In other words, actual physical bookstores and online sellers. Physical books only, though; no digital copies. Not one title from Archie even made the list. I asked him about it in the comments, and he wrote:

QuoteThe best-selling comic from Archie, however, is "80 Years of Christmas" and it sells well under 3k copies.


So there you have it. The best-selling Archie book out in the real world beyond the comics shop sold far less than 3,000 copies last year.
BV-kiss-small
Riverdale Reviewed
http://riverdalereviewed.wordpress.com
Every episode of "Riverdale", "The New Archies", and "Archie's Weird Mysteries" reviewed.
My digital wish list
https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/14FS742SI1R5I

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: Tuxedo Mark on April 11, 2022, 07:55:21 PMI checked Amazon, and the only categories where Archie even cracks the Top 100 are some hyper-specific children's comics categories. All of those are the classic-style comics. No Riverdale. No New Riverdale. No Archie Horror. No idea what that translates to in terms of sales, though.

I was reading Brian Hibbs' annual column where he discussed the previous year's Top 750 comics according to NPD BookScan, which claims to represent about 85% of physical book sales in North America outside the comic book Direct Market (comic shops). In other words, actual physical bookstores and online sellers. Physical books only, though; no digital copies. Not one title from Archie even made the list. I asked him about it in the comments, and he wrote:

QuoteThe best-selling comic from Archie, however, is "80 Years of Christmas" and it sells well under 3k copies.


So there you have it. The best-selling Archie book out in the real world beyond the comics shop sold far less than 3,000 copies last year.

Unless I mis-read the opening paragraphs of Hibbs' article, the NPD BookScan is tracking book sales in general... of which the Graphic Novel, Collected Edition, Trade Paperback, or whatever you want to call them is a subset. I point this out because it seems to me that the NPD BookScan is not tracking periodical sales at all. That means it tells us nothing about how Archie digests are selling in the bookstores. So all we're really getting out of this is that ACP's best-selling trade collection didn't do better that 3k in bookstores.

Come to think of it, I'm not really sure what the definition of "bookstores" is from NPD BookScan's POV. Are we talking just the physical brick & mortar stores, or are they including online booksellers? How about online sellers like Amazon where book sales only make up a small fraction of their total sales?


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