Friday, June 17, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Tilting at Windmills

A regular column over on Newsarama, is bay area retailer Brian Hibbs' Tilting at Windmills. Brian is a noted leader in the comics retailing community, and his column is an always insightful look at how to improve the industry.

By it's very nature, the column rubs some readers the wrong way, with them just seeing it is a bunch of hot air, but if you really look at the columns, you'll see information, often backed up by data, regarding potential ways to improve the industry. In short, Brian really cares about the industry, and it's health.

Today's column looks at the big two's latest round of mega cash cows, sorry, mega cross-overs. From the column, in regards to his take on these event stunts:

And it doesnÂ’t bring in genuinely new readers. Despite the hype and hyperbole and the spin the majors like to throw out about sales figures and market share and all of the meaningless nonsense we discuss ad nauseum, weÂ’re not bringing in significant numbers of new customers to American comics.


The comics industry has a distressing habit of marginalizing its lifers. Of chasing short term goals, and ignoring long-term planning. And year after year we watch as the number of people reading American comics shrinks and contracts. Could it be that those two actions are intertwined? Could it be that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it?

So, Brian's theorizing that, just as they did in the early 90's, and times before, these big stunts will not yield any real growth, just potential loss. And moreover, he suggests that maybe these events, and publishing mindsets, are at the heart of what's bringing the industry down. Don't know about the latter, I think it's much bigger than that, but certainly, as I've said, the big two's increasingly corporate approach is a scary situation.

No comments: