Updated: May 22
It’s no secret that the comic industry is taking a beating. Creators moving around between companies and the companies themselves heading towards what some would say destructive decision making. The economy is another story in itself. Now more than ever we need to double down and push though these tough times. But is really happening with the comic and entertainment industry? Are the direction companies are taking worth it in the long run? How will this benefit the customer?
Just so you know, am referring "the elephant in the room" as corporate companies. Let's start with what is pretty obvious these companies are lacking. Creators. Marvel and DC are companies that set a standard to other companies, but their recent decisions have people scratching their heads. Creators leaving by the boat load or at least considering it if they haven't done so already. Substack seems to be the safe haven for today's comic creators. Why are the creators leaving? Creators need the freedom to create. I don't think these corporate companies are allowing this. Think about this for a minute. You want to do your job but every time you do it gets checked for what corporate believes is trending. all of a sudden, you're not creating. their taking your content and turning it to their needs. Now they can do this, you're working for them. But fans of the corporation and your work see this differently. Moving out of the corporate shadow allows writers and artists to be able to retain the copyright to their creations, reaping heavy rewards for successful series. Alternatively, being a creator at DC or Marvel only allows for a certain level of monitored creativity. This also says something about corporate benefits for creators. Of course, you get what you signed for, but it must not be much since the offer to move to Substack is way more enticing. Which bring me the next topic corporate decision making.
Are the decisions corporate making the right decisions? For the pass year we've witness
corporations make terrible decisions, provided unsuccessful spin-offs, shown a great disrespect to characters we love, forced diversity and just bad storytelling. These decisions have affected the comic industry greatly. Comic sells are greatly declining for these reasons and many more. So, with the direction corporate is continuing to go, why keep going this way? These companies make millions, the movies they generate have potential to make billions. There IS no excuse. There IS no reason to fail. To put millions of dollars in a movie for it to fail is downright unthinkable. Corporate's main concern was to make money or so I thought. Now it seems the "message" is more important. You know what sells? A good comic does not gimmick that brings short term profit if any at all. If Corporate continues this path on sending its "message" This will bring an end to them. Am not talking about the company going under am talking about the limits they placed on themselves to attract a certain audience. That audience is not the majority at this time and can still be catered to. Drawing your attention to the audience that bought you where you are now is the right decision to survive in this economy now. Your "message" can be downsized to handle that particular audience. It's called balance. Remember when Coke Cola decided to change its formula? Remember the backlash that company received for changing its product and forcing longtime fans of the product to try the new formula? What happen to the "new formula" now? It's a lesson companies will keep repeating until they get it right. Coke Cola went back to its original formula thinking of not only the fans of the product but the future of the company.
This will hurt both the customer and the company in the long run. The company's decision to go after the direct market and not the fans hurt the company. I've said it before, your fans are the long term while a direct market mainly is short term. The direct market are not fans and could care less of the characters continuation in a series. They are there for the moment, to check it out and leave. It is possible for someone from the direct market to become a fan of the series, but it should not be done in force like companies are doing now. This is a lose, lose situation. The Comic industry does miss the mark on obtaining new fans this could be because comics now tend to push more towards a certain kind of work. Science Friction and Superheroes are the main. Romance, Comedy and Drama is needed to fill those gaps. Webtoon has proven to place all of these genres and they are pretty cool to see. to have this in print is going to take a bit of a push. Another thing about the Direct market, to publishers like me this market is not set up to favor small independent publishers. It set up to favor larger companies like Marvel and DC. Smaller companies like myself could vastly improve the industry. There are many independent titles out there we all contribute for the love of fans and to the industry.
There is a major disconnect with corporate and its customers. Customers ranting on twitter won't get it done and corporate attacking fans online it just crazy. What we need is to put creators back in the seat of creating and corporate back in the broad rooms. Customer Service is at a major decline here. But with creators leaving the grip of corporate companies we may be forced to other directions. Corporate may have to sit aside and watch it done on the sidelines. Corporate still has the market for now but there are many other companies out there that is willing to show them how it's done. Take the time and get to know your independent creator. Like all things this corporate phase will end, but at what cost?