What is the future of comic publishing?

As I see it, the biggest problem with the comics industry will always be cost effectiveness.

The average comic costs $3.99 U.S. and a movie download from I-Tunes is $4.99 U.S.. The bitter truth is that the comic industry is now in direct competition with Hollywood.

And, not to be the Harbinger of Doom but there is another factor I see rearing its evil head on the horizon… The Walt Disney Corporation.

One only needs to examine the monthly sales figures for the comic industry and the evidence becomes increasingly clear that most comics are not profitable.

The average number of copies sold, of all 300 comics published monthly, is approximately 15,000 copies.

And Diamond Distribution takes 60% off the cover price to distribute the product nationally.

The cost of creating the art and editorial content of any book is around $13,000-23,000 and $6,000-7,000 to print and distribute.

I’m not an economics major but it doesn’t take a Master’s Degree to figure out that these numbers don’t work. For independent publishers, this nightmare scenario keeps them hanging on by their fingernails.
And, at this point, this is where my fear of Disney rears its ugly head.

Marvel Studios has successfully raised the level of interest in characters like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America to iconic status with the general public by a series of popular films. This is the pinnacle of what every Intellectual Property owner hopes for.

Once a character becomes part of our lexicon, something that your mother recognizes and understands, all the rungs of the ladder that were used to climb to that level become moot.

So…what’s the problem with THAT?

Only this: When was the last time you saw a Mickey Mouse comic? Or a Donald Duck comic?


2 thoughts on “What is the future of comic publishing?”

  1. Tiger: it’s same old thing, as we know toooooo well–first the powers grab a MONOPOLY over whatever business, then they raise prices, eh?

    But I can assure u, truly GOOD (informative or dramatic) comics-type illustration will always work and sell.

    The Marvel and DC comics have simply priced themselves OUT of the market for most folks–typical. Now Marvel and DC ONLY get the well-to-do connoisseur


    1. I agree- and another factor is that the gene pool for comics writers at Disney and Warner is far too shallow. A handful of not very good writers have cranked out most of the range over the last 15 years and it has alienated literally millions of buyers.

      But you can’t tell them or their fanboys anything, so whatever.


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