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Saturday, October 07, 2017

Never lead with your best shot

Who might the new Alt★Hero writer be, who will write Volumes VII, VIII, and IX when the Freestartr campaign hits the new $100k stretch goal? I think it is safe to say that it is probably not whoever you were expecting. We will also be adding a new reward later today to help ensure this happens and give Bane many sleepless nights.



Note that if you are a $15 Digital Edition Backer or higher, you will receive all NINE volumes of Alt★Hero in digital format if we reach the $100k stretch goal.

UPDATE: In addition to formally announcing Mr. Dixon as the prospective author of Alt★Hero Volumes VII, VIII, and IX, we have created a new Reward.

$1500.00
Be a Villain

This is for the opportunity to have your likeness used as the basis for a minor villain in an Alt★Hero volume. Subject to approval by Castalia House. Also includes all digital, paperback, and hardcover editions.

Labels:

82 Comments:

Blogger Antony October 07, 2017 6:14 AM  

One idea I've often thought would be good as a subject for cartoons and/or films would be to have as an alt-hero in a martial arts action film, a lad from one of the northern working class towns in Britain, where much of the muslim grooming gang activity is going on, to start training in martial arts to defend his family and community against the grooming gangs.
Anecdotally, I've heard promising stories about increasing numbers of white youth taking up martial arts/combatives to defend themselves against the "cultural enrichers" - so the storyline would not be too far from the truth.
ps - on the subject of a combative mindset - there is a Football Lads Alliance march against Islam in London today ; http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/tens-thousands-football-fans-head-534311

Anonymous Pug October 07, 2017 6:15 AM  

Ivan Throne?

Anonymous Man of the Atom October 07, 2017 6:33 AM  

Wow! Yes, this is cool! Hello, $100K Level!

Blogger VD October 07, 2017 7:15 AM  

Hello, $100K Level!

We're not there yet. But I hope this will help us get there sooner, as then we can add Paperback #3 and Hardcover #3, in which I suspect there will be considerable interest given the writer.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 07, 2017 7:15 AM  

Who associated with Castalia would I like to see write a comic book cycle. John C. Wright could be awesome, but my gut says Nick Cole. Nick would find a way to get it on the NYT Best Seller list.

As for "Be a Villain", I think that's going to sell out. I really do. Actually, given some of the associated folks with Castalia & Vox, I can think of a few people that requested that option.

Anonymous The Deuce October 07, 2017 7:33 AM  

You must dedicate the second three volumes to his memory!
http://voxday.blogspot.com/2008/09/for-friend-i-never-met.html

Blogger The Observer October 07, 2017 7:36 AM  

For those who want to be spoiled, just visit VD's twitter. He's made the announcement there.

Anonymous jml1911a1 October 07, 2017 7:39 AM  

Holy Shart, Vox...is...is that Bane?!?!?!

Hey Nate, you were right! Bane was faking again!

Anonymous Looking Glass October 07, 2017 7:51 AM  

https://infogalactic.com/info/Bane_(comics)

Okay, Vox, this was an AWESOME get. Now I hear Bane's monologue to Batman from The Dark Knight Returns about the night.

https://youtu.be/rDuetklFtDQ?t=2m33s

Anonymous basementhomebrewer October 07, 2017 8:08 AM  

Read the twitter announcement. A villainous belly laugh actually passed my lips involuntarily. Joe Glass was already trying to guilt him for just contributing $150 watch out for the incoming of the whole SJW comic community now. No doubt this will get their attention.

Anonymous Daniel October 07, 2017 8:09 AM  

It doesn't matter who we are. What matters is our plan.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer October 07, 2017 8:17 AM  

I am hoping they drag the dementia addled Stan Lee out again and feed him lines disparaging Vox like they did to DiversityandCmx. That would draw a whole lot of attention to this campaign.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 07, 2017 8:25 AM  

@12 basementhomebrewer

If they do, we should crowd fund sending flowers to Marvel's offices to thank them for the publicity. If we can manage to include the Rebel kiss image, even better!

Anonymous Hopeless Schmuck October 07, 2017 8:28 AM  

W-wait a moment. Is that...is he...really...

I had absolutely no idea this was going to happen, and the Dark Lord himself delivers more than my money's worth.

Like basementhomebrewer just said, the show is only starting!

Blogger Nate October 07, 2017 8:44 AM  

Roll. Damn.

Tide.

Blogger 1337kestrel October 07, 2017 8:47 AM  

The ghost writer is... Bane?

That doesn't sound right.

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 07, 2017 8:51 AM  

Okay, if this is who I think it is I am both startled and impressed.

How did you bag him?

Anonymous Anonymous October 07, 2017 8:51 AM  

Well, that's a get. Wow, we're going to need new ocean basins to hold the SJW tears, at this rate.

Ethan Van Sciver next maybe? He's been taking a lot of flak recently...

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 07, 2017 9:02 AM  

For those of the VFM who don't read comics due to having useful and productive lives.

If this is the author I think it is Vox has snagged a pretty big name for Alt Hero.

"Clutch Vixen," would give any new brand automatic prestige value.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 07, 2017 9:07 AM  

@15 Nate

And the G-E is setting up the Media to start a competitive shooting competition with itself. It is a very good day.

Here's Ivan Throne laughing: https://kek.gg/i/3ZWYL2.jpg

It's a good day.

Blogger VD October 07, 2017 9:12 AM  

Okay, if this is who I think it is I am both startled and impressed.

It is.

How did you bag him?

What part of "Supreme Dark Lord" is hard to understand? Anyhow, I understand it was a boyhood dream of Tom's to write comics.

Blogger tuberman October 07, 2017 9:16 AM  

We all knew this was going to be STARTLING great right out from the beginning.

Startling for some, great for the rest of us.

Blogger tuberman October 07, 2017 9:22 AM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:Okay, if this is who I think it is I am both startled and impressed.

How did you bag him?


Naw, you are only slightly startled. Wait to see more of the Marvel Fans reaction, then you will know beyond startled. after this get out there for a bit,it will be...going viral in 3..2..1..whoosh.

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 07, 2017 9:30 AM  

@23

The Reeees will be deafening.

It was a year before the SJWs stopped calling Castalia, Vox Day's Vanity Press.

And now, they are cut off from that line of attack before the first book is even published.

Blogger ÆtherCzar October 07, 2017 9:33 AM  

I'm still trying to figure out how Reichskanzler Jodl dropped an atom bomb on Soviet territory in 1944, leading to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1956. I mean, I know Communist bureaucracy is slow, but twelve years to process the surrender documents?

Anonymous VFM #6306 October 07, 2017 9:39 AM  

Oh, not the "filth is my life" guy? He was so close!

Anonymous Looking Glass October 07, 2017 9:40 AM  

@25 ÆtherCzar

All of the Kommissars were dead, so it took a decade for someone to finally make a decision. The person that made the decision was promptly shot for being a traitor to the Revolution and a Kulak.

Blogger Leatherwing October 07, 2017 9:47 AM  

If I backed at one level, is it possible to move up to a higher level? Not sure what the process is (choose my old level again? Choose the new level and pay half? )

Blogger Stephen Davenport October 07, 2017 9:51 AM  

Moensch?

Anonymous CoolHand October 07, 2017 10:00 AM  

My God, you've actually done it...

I mean, I knew you were good, but damn.

The REEEEE's are going to make it into deep space before Voyager I or II.

Punisher was the only comic I actually paid money for as a kid. I'd read anything I could get my hands on, but if I had to fork over actual money for a comic, it was always going to be a Punisher book.

Were I a tweener girl, at this point I would squee, but since I am both physically incapable and far too dignified to do so, I'll just say this:

Very well struck indeed, sir.

Best Timeline definitely confirmed.

Blogger VD October 07, 2017 10:06 AM  

If I backed at one level, is it possible to move up to a higher level?

Yes. The best thing to do is email Freestartr at support@freestartr.com, give them the relevant details, tell them what you want to do, and let them do it manually.

Anonymous TD October 07, 2017 10:15 AM  

Chipped in. The REEEE's are already worth the $15 of entertainment.

Anonymous DarthWheatley #2415 October 07, 2017 10:15 AM  

Pug wrote:Ivan Throne?

If they don't write in a deaf villain named "Dark Triad" I will be severely disappointed.

I mean, come on... it's right down the center, all you have to do is swing at it. :)

Anonymous Uncle John's Band October 07, 2017 10:52 AM  

Now, for all those kind souls who were oh so concerned that we might be getting fleeced...

This is what delivering looks like.

Blogger JAU October 07, 2017 10:54 AM  

"Subject to approval by Castalia House" So..no fatties?

Anonymous Anonymous October 07, 2017 10:56 AM  

CHUCK DIXON will write me in as a villain? [***] YEAH I'M IN ME AND BANE NOW THAT'S A [***]ING CLUB TO BE IN

... it _is_ Chuck Dixon that'll do the Be A Villain characterization, right? If there's a line, "Contribution Number: 31897" is up first, right?

Anonymous BBGKB October 07, 2017 11:05 AM  

Be a Villain

Would someone tying korans to train tracks be a villain or a hero? Or the PyroKoranKinisis power?

Blogger Dave October 07, 2017 11:13 AM  

Will wonders never cease! You can be the Heavy; the Black Hat, the Gangster, the Scoundrel. All of that for only 15 Hundies.

Anonymous Tars Tarkas October 07, 2017 11:14 AM  

Who will write volumes VII (7) VIII (8) and 11 (XI)? Did you mean IX?

Blogger MJ Meyers October 07, 2017 11:23 AM  

I suspect some sort of game-changer behind the scenes has occurred, considering you were more cautious of of doing 7, 8, and 9, citing the Star Citizen debacle not long ago.

Of course, you admit you under-estimated the demand for this project. The buyer market may be greater than what the free starter commitments are. I suspect there are many 13-year-olds of Gen Z, the most conservative generation since WW2 and to whom many Trump is an icon (per the polling data you've posted) who don't have income
to support now but will be asking for the comics for b-day and Christmas gifts in the future. It's a harder sell to ask dad to make a free starter commitment than to ask for a comic as a gift. Gen Z is a great target audience to consider.

Nonetheless, we need to get word to the hardcover guys on 1-3 to put in for 4-6. Maybe they just need a few weeks to budget some money to commit to it, but I suggest a free starter e-mail update to backers who bought physical volumes 1-3 about physical volumes 4-6. Not all of them read this blog. Many may not be aware of the option to add on #2.



Blogger Dave October 07, 2017 11:28 AM  

Tars Tarkas wrote:Who will write volumes VII (7) VIII (8) and 11 (XI)? Did you mean IX?

Per the update Mr. Dixon is the prospective author of Alt★Hero Volumes VII, VIII, and IX

Blogger Michael Maier October 07, 2017 11:34 AM  

Chuck Dixon is easily one of the best comic book writers that has graced the industry. This is great news for ALT-HERO.

Blogger pdwalker October 07, 2017 1:07 PM  

Note that if you are a $15 Digital Edition Backer or higher, you will receive all NINE volumes of Alt★Hero in digital format if we reach the $100k stretch goal.

I keep trying to do the math, but my calculator keeps spewing out "f$&@,!g bargain.

What does it mean? Is the project failing again?

Blogger Dave October 07, 2017 1:08 PM  

Is it true? Has our first villain stepped forward?

Blogger S1AL October 07, 2017 1:32 PM  

Well. That's a thing.

I wonder if a certain someone will *literally* puke with anger after this announcement.

Anonymous Just another commenter October 07, 2017 1:47 PM  

I'm sure anything Mr. Dixon can come up with will be better than my idea for the (very) minor Ohio villain "The Lawn Keeper."

Maybe "Maldad"? (spite in Spanish)

Anonymous Tyson October 07, 2017 1:51 PM  

Chuck Dixon?! Very cool. Mike Baron would be another nice writer to look into. Hell, get Baron to write and ask Steve Rude to do covers.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 07, 2017 2:09 PM  

@47 Tyson

I'm noticing a heavy "wrote on the Punisher" vibe from a lot of people, which makes sense. In an era of corrupt governments & businesses, the anti-Hero is the real hero that people view as honest. (It also opens up so many story possibilities.)

Anonymous Just another commenter October 07, 2017 2:20 PM  

All this "Comic" stuff is so juvenile, so immature and unimportant in the culture war. When will you get back to fighting for American values for real....

Hmmm....

Will there be another $65 add-on for the third trilogy in hardback?
Asking for a friend.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 07, 2017 2:38 PM  

Well, here's something shocking:

https://twitter.com/Comixace/status/916041619752730624

"In the book channel, VIz is biggest book publisher with 23% market share. DC 14% Marvel 10% other 25% #bookscan #icv2 #nycc"

I knew Manga was a bigger industry in Japan than American Comics in the West (by at least a factor of 10), but between direct & normal store sales, Viz is probably bigger than either of the Big 2.

The comic book industry really is there to keep the IPs active for other products. Which really does explain why it is that no one has really broken into the market. It's actually a cross-subsidized product, so you can't break in without taking losses.

Blogger LP9 October 07, 2017 2:48 PM  

Bad ass graphic, nice, nice work!

Blogger Student in Blue October 07, 2017 3:06 PM  

That Villain Reward calls out to me... it's such a shame I just don't have the cash to spare.

Anonymous Eli October 07, 2017 4:08 PM  

At this rate I'm expecting the announcement of the Alt Hero cinematic universe.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash October 07, 2017 4:14 PM  

Eli wrote:At this rate I'm expecting the announcement of the Alt Hero cinematic universe.
That'll be Alt-Hero Freestarter II; The Animating, probably Q3, 2019

Blogger VD October 07, 2017 4:37 PM  

Is it true? Has our first villain stepped forward?

It is true.

Will there be another $65 add-on for the third trilogy in hardback?

Yes. And another $30 add-on for the third trilogy in paperback.

Blogger wrf3 October 07, 2017 5:12 PM  

VD wrote:It is true.
Oh, well. I waited too long. "Calvin Fist, oppressor of man's freedom" won't make it. This time.

Anonymous Man of the Atom October 07, 2017 5:37 PM  

Vox -

Tough to trend this data, but I have a few estimates from roughcoat's data. Analysis is piece-wise slope of the data curve, corrected for the spurious $5K pledge. Even though these are rough linear estimates, they should give an idea of what is happening.

* Day 5 to Day 5.5: 14 days more to $100K target
* Day 5.5 to Day 6.25: 16 days more to $100K target
* Day 6.25 to Day 8.25 (prior to announcement): 20 days more to $100K target
* Day 8.25 to most recent data point: 13 days more to $100K target

Your announcement of Chuck Dixon accelerated the Freestartr significantly. Note negative delta of 6 over three days was reversed. Nice little bump to the curve, SDL!

More rough guesses coming as the data accumulates.

Anonymous Man of the Atom October 07, 2017 5:47 PM  

Public math error in above: 6.25 should be 7.25

Anonymous Man of the Atom October 07, 2017 5:50 PM  

Dagnabit! That should be 7.25 vice 6.25 *only* in third line.

(Ignored Day 6.25 thru 7.25 due to fake submission of $5K)

Anonymous Rolf October 07, 2017 6:02 PM  

@59 - eh, whatever. Exact details are not critical on this, even if they are frustrating when you make them. most of us understand the idea of an inflection point, change of slope, first and second derivative of a curve, etc.

Blogger VD October 07, 2017 6:23 PM  

Oh, well. I waited too long. "Calvin Fist, oppressor of man's freedom" won't make it. This time.

I don't follow. There is no limit on villains; I mean, if we suddenly got 10 at once, I'd probably put a limit on, but that seems unlikely.

Blogger VD October 07, 2017 6:24 PM  

* Day 8.25 to most recent data point: 13 days more to $100K target

I expect it will be 6 more days. But we'll see.

Anonymous Man of the Atom October 07, 2017 6:34 PM  

VD wrote:* Day 8.25 to most recent data point: 13 days more to $100K target

I expect it will be 6 more days. But we'll see.


Under straight linear projections, I concur and hope you are correct. My estimate of +13 days factors in the deceleration shown by the original three data points.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 07, 2017 6:39 PM  

@62 VD
@57 Man of the Atom

My assumption, after we get the final numbers, is that Weekdays are going to be more important than Weekends. (Side point: Crowd Funding campaigns are almost always a Bi-modal distribution. Peak Start, low middle, Peak End. This is part of the reason that increasing the utility of support as the campaign proceeds is important.) I'd expect Mon/Tues to be pretty good as people catch up on the campaign. At work.

Plus all of the SJWs complaining about it during "work" will help matters. The addition of possible stories by Mr. Dixon should help matters. Plus there is already more books to purchase for people.

Anonymous Man of the Atom October 07, 2017 6:49 PM  

Looking Glass wrote:
@62 VD
@57 Man of the Atom

My assumption, after we get the final numbers, is that Weekdays are going to be more important than Weekends. (Side point: Crowd Funding campaigns are almost always a Bi-modal distribution. Peak Start, low middle, Peak End. This is part of the reason that increasing the utility of support as the campaign proceeds is important.) I'd expect Mon/Tues to be pretty good as people catch up on the campaign. At work.

Plus all of the SJWs complaining about it during "work" will help matters. The addition of possible stories by Mr. Dixon should help matters. Plus there is already more books to purchase for people.


Concur.

Any observations on the depth of the middle valley versus the height of either peak? I'm curious if you've seen that higher valleys lead to higher peaks.

Regardless, I think $100K is very likely, and once that happens $150K is better than 50/50 if the campaign has 10 days left in it.

Anonymous JeremiahEmbs October 07, 2017 7:20 PM  

Interesting. Chuck Dixon wrote El Cazador for Crossgen. That's a pretty good book and I have it in my collection. Fun pirate story and it had a nice coloring job too.

Like I said so many people help to make comics you can never tell who has worked on what. It's a pretty big industry, but it has few workers. Everybody works together to get pages done. It was sad what happened to Crossgen. They made excellent comics.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 07, 2017 7:28 PM  

@65 Man of the Atom

I haven't looked at it much after the big boom slowed down in 2015 or so. (i.e. after the first wave failed to deliver much of anything.) But the general rule of thumb seems to be 1/3rd in the first 48 hours; 1/3rd in the last 48 hours; last 1/3rd the time between.

This is reflected in issues around running campaigns too long. Momentum matters, you do gain backers that upgrade or buy further add-ons. There seems to be specific approaches for different niche areas that have developed, but I don't have details. (This is just observation stuff from recent bits that have hit the news.) The more hyped a group of people are, the faster word of mouth spreads. If a campaign stalls out if it's run too long. 60 days seems about the max, most of the time.

Castalia has adapted pretty well after the first 48 hours blew through the funding goal and several stretch goals. As we go further along, it'll spur more sales simply because people will want more physical copies. (I'd expect a rush on the hardcovers in the last 48 hours.)

I'm pretty sure we were sitting around 40k after 48 hours. That puts the upside at between 120k and 150k. Driving to that, given the nature of the support tiers, is going to require people buying in at the higher levels. I think the Villain part might end up being popular. It'll take a few days for the original backers to find out about the new information.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 07, 2017 7:51 PM  

@66 JeremiahEmbs

It's a collaborative activity, so that's not too unexpected.

Crossgen, like a lot of smaller comic companies, really seem to have gotten caught out by information Marvel & DC had but no one else did. I hadn't really thought much about Comic Book Economics until this project came up, but the reality looks a lot like the Comic Model died somewhere in the 1970s. So all of that effort was spent trying to squeeze more out of the situation than was able.

Weirdly, I think we're now at the point where, because of digital communication, Artists can all work remotely and that drives costs of living down. Which means it's actually a good time to "disrupt" the bigger players. From a Business Analysis perspective, Marvel exists to maintain IPs. DC exists to produce Batman stories for future properties. This is why Marvel is the ones doing a hard-SJW turn. Marvel is literally trying to drive the costs as low as possible, as I'm pretty sure the Disney Finance department figured out pretty quickly that the book production part of the company just needed to break even.

What Disney Finance didn't expect was the SJWs to ruin the place in the process. Or maybe they didn't expect the people they put in to hire nothing but SJWs since they work really cheap. "Marvel" exists wholly for preventing the IP rights from going away. Thus I wholly expect them to, in the nearish future, outsource the actual running of the company to a 3rd party.

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot October 07, 2017 8:19 PM  

I already am a Villain, but thank you for the kind offer.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 07, 2017 8:22 PM  

@66 JeremiahEmbs

Thinking on Comic Economics a bit more, I've had a lot of contact with the Japanese. And with a lot of Westerners that like Japanese Meta-culture. The Japanese Manga industry has something that the Western Comics never developed: weekly/monthly magazines. And they sell millions of them. (Black & white; lower ink & paper costs, large bulk.)

But there real money comes from selling the collected chapters. Normally 6 to 8. And I mean real money. One Piece's annual sales are probably 4x as large as the entire American Comic book industry, for book sales. That's just the biggest current property, but there are a lot of other big ones. Though it is those weekly magazines that allow them to cull out bad ideas really quickly. There's actually Reader Polls, and they've been using them for decades.

It's a very different approach to storytelling, production and art, but the feedback loop is probably the single most valuable aspect they have. It culls bad ideas in a matter of weeks, where the Big 2 seem to have about a 6 month lead time, at least at the writing level. It ends up being one of the most ruthless, capitalistic, meritocratic and brutal industries in the modern world, though. Yet a lot of aspiring artists sign up for the brutal hours.

We spend so much time talking about Trump, Business and Grand Strategy that it naturally flows into this discussions. The current monthly comic book model broke down ages ago because they lacked "Agility" in their model. This is why the Big 2 survive on merch & movies, not the actual books.

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 07, 2017 9:08 PM  

@70 Looking Glass

This is why the Big 2 survive on merch & movies, not the actual books.

Also Marvel's books are absolute SJW garbage. And I am not being just a hard Right critic. I can enjoy a good story with a Lefty slant because I've had to do that all my life.

BUT Marvel as is simply can't produce good stories at all.

They really can't. The writers are all SJWs and it is simply impossible for them to produce an awesome adventure story.

She-Hulk has not done any superheroing for eight f#*king issues now. She just wanders around New York in an SJW funk.

And that is the real issue for Marvel, they don't want the traditional comics market. They want a new one consisting of fat, cat obsessed purple haired Tumblrinas.

Marvel Comic's business plan? Comics books created by people who hate them for an audience that won't read them.

Blogger Dave October 07, 2017 9:19 PM  

Vox, have you guys looked into ComiXology(an Amazon company)? The Guided View Reading Technology could be just the ticket for the younger crowd. Of particular interest down the road could be the Series Subscriptions and Bundles:

Subscribe to your Favorite Series! Never miss an issue! When you subscribe to a series on the web, each issue will be delivered automatically to your account as soon as it's released.

Bundles are a group of books that we offer folks at a discount. An example would be Uncanny X-Force from Marvel Comics. That's a series that took place over 35 issues, but also included some extra .1 issues that you may have missed. We'll group all those issues in the entire series into a Bundle and offer those at a discounted price. Some Bundles may even include exclusive content. Boom!


https://www.comixology.com/new-to-comixology

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 07, 2017 9:30 PM  

@70 Looking Glass

This next bit is more your area of expertise than mine.

Two major problems the American comics publishing have.

First their advertising model has collapsed. In 1980 a standard title cost $0.40 ($1.28 adjusted). Easily affordable by kids. Today it's $4.00. I suspect the price shift is due to the fact that ad revenue from Charles Atlas, Sea Monkeys and Real X-Ray Glasses has vanished.

Second is the final point of sale. The Comic Book Guy. There is nothing like Kinokuniya Book Stores in the US. There are no major chain stores at all. It's all a bunch of independents like Stewart from Big Bang theory. Little guys who can barely keep the lights on (and BTW Marvel is sinking these poor guys with awful books).

These aren't insurmountable problems but they are problems.

Any ideas on how to fix them?

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable October 07, 2017 9:32 PM  

Whenever I read another headline about Nate stalking and threatening entire Gulf Coast states, I have to do a double-take. "Okay, Dread Ilk, but still -- just one man!"

Hurricane Nate should totally be a villain... who rolls the tide...

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 07, 2017 9:44 PM  

@Looking Glass

My replies will not be timely.

The Spartans are up by 11 going into halftime.

#BeatUofM

Blogger S1AL October 07, 2017 9:55 PM  

"These aren't insurmountable problems but they are problems.

Any ideas on how to fix them?"

Independents don't even factor in comics, honestly. Your moneymakers are CCG's (maybe miniatures, too), concessions, very rarely board games, and whatever other collectible stuff is popular locally. Comics are gravy on the rare occasions that you can build up a base.

It's REALLY hard to compete with the digital comics model in this day and age.

Anonymous Just Saying October 08, 2017 6:37 AM  

Gosh, almost worth taking up a collection to have our favorite SJWs put in as minor villains. Amanda Marcotte as Amanda Manjaw, surfing on male tears; Lindy West as The Human Refrigerator, selflessly marrying third world men to get them green cards; The Skullzies, a set of cojoined twins, with a moon faced muscular woman, and her useless male appendage...

Anonymous Looking Glass October 08, 2017 8:16 AM  

@74 SciVo de Plorable

Thank you. I'm glad I'm not the only one that kept having that thought. Be safe everyone in the path.


@73 Cataline Sergius

I'm not a comics-type guy, having read fairly little, I just happen to have known a lot of guys that were. (Some great conversations over the years, btw.) But since Comic Book Movies got big, I've learned quite a lot. (I've also seen a lot of comic book media, but then I also recommend the DCAU to most anyone.)

http://sfdebris.com/videos/special/comic.php

I wouldn't recommend listening to the whole run, but it's a really well researched history, mostly of Marvel, if someone needs some background noise while doing other work.

As for "Comic Book Economics", I think we need to bring in a lot of outside forces and compare it a bit to what the Japanese have done.

The comic book model, for super heroes, seems to have mostly started to die when the first wave Baby Boomers started to enter the work force and they weren't having as many children as the previous generation. (Largest Birth Cohort in the USA was 1991, so it took a while before the raw numbers decreased. However, relative was dropping for a while.) What this points to is the Super Hero Comic Book was short-term industry that had a peak around 1945 and was mostly over by 1975.

Why do we still have them? Because Merchandising happened. Toy Sales became a reality. TV became a big vehicle for Children's Toys. Batman & Superman became Brands, then Moore & Miller brought super heroes into Reagan's world. The late 80s & early 90s saw an explosion of new characters from American writers. (There's an interesting contrast between born & raised American comic writers and first-gen immigrant ones, which most of the 30s/40s were.)

But what saved Super Hero comics was Batman (1989), Batman the Animated series, X-Men the Animated series & Spiderman the Animated series. Comics moved over into a medium better suited for their story types. Those properties are all well-remember classics, and the animated series still hold up. (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, go watch it.) Then, when those who would have grown up on that swell of comic media properties got the Nolan movies. A post-9/11 re-imaging of Batman that was extremely Right-Wing, and Americans loved it.

That's the nature of the current market. "Batman" to the American culture is either from a movie or a TV show. The comics are a small game, and they only matter when you hear "they're adapting X story line, and it'll be awesome!". To which everyone goes, "well, I can't wait to *watch* that".

I'll skip mostly to my conclusion: Batman & Superman can exist as continuing series. The rest of the comic book industry as we know it is dead. Everything should be limited-run series. They can set out X-number per year and talk about it going forward. The Model should be much more like Books or TV shows. Specific runs, announced in advance, allowing time to make proper stories that will sell.

I think the "Shared Universes" was the biggest disaster for the Comic Book industry. It helped stave off problems, but it now exists as a chain around the entire Marvel & DC canon. It prevents breakout characters, which is why the only one to happen since the 1970s is Deadpool.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 08, 2017 9:03 AM  

Didn't want to run into the character limit.

The comparison to the Japanese industry is important. Japan churns out Manga. Just churns it out. If you've got a niche, there's manga for it. Manga ends up a hybrid of American Comics and American Newspaper Cartoons. (Garfield is probably a bigger proper than everything in American Comics except Batman, Superman & Deadpool.) This lets them always go in whatever direction is popular.

The result is that the Japanese very quickly find Mega-Hits. Normally only about 2 per decade, but they can drive the entire industry for ages. Then they become Classics that still sell, which parents can read with their 1 child. Then some of those hits are monster hits in different parts of the world.

There is thus a massive feedback loop because everything isn't serial. Stories come to an end and don't have to be there the next month. But, and this is probably the big part, American Comics run into the issue that no one can really "out shine" the top-line hero. No one can break through, whereas in Manga, you constantly have future hits bubbling up. American Super Hero comics are extremely self-limiting.

To me, what this points to is that a "Comic Book Universe" has to be controlled by 1 staff and there are explicit limits to what can be produced within it. You actually see this effect having taken hold with the "Marvel Cinematic Universe". It's really tightly controlled by a small group of story editors at the top and they only are producing 2-3 stories per year. That's a manageable way to do it.

Trying to replicate the Shared Universe with massive amounts of stories isn't possible. That approach was an effort to save a dying medium, not something well thought out in the first place. There are limits to the volume of stories that can be told with a character. This is why Batman & Superman can survive in the current model, but expanding beyond it keeps failing.

For "disruption" purposes, the real approach is to find the right niche and deliver what it wants with quality and consistency. The way you reach a generalized market is by having enough story types to hit every major reading group, but that takes time to build. I'm also pretty sure there isn't a Western audience of Women that would be up for Graphic Novels.

This points to the biggest target audience is younger boys that are future Deltas. They will respond to stories about effort, accomplishment, hard work and building yourself into something great from a very small beginning. As Vox put it one time: They know Dragons exist, you need to tell him how to slay them.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable October 08, 2017 11:52 AM  

Looking Glass wrote:@74 SciVo de Plorable

Thank you. I'm glad I'm not the only one that kept having that thought. Be safe everyone in the path.


Oh thank goodness I wasn't the only one. And ditto.

Looking Glass wrote:This points to the biggest target audience is younger boys that are future Deltas. They will respond to stories about effort, accomplishment, hard work and building yourself into something great from a very small beginning. As Vox put it one time: They know Dragons exist, you need to tell him how to slay them.

I think that is super important. Culture is another word for how kids grow up.

Blogger Cataline Sergius October 08, 2017 2:11 PM  

This points to the biggest target audience is younger boys that are future Deltas. They will respond to stories about effort, accomplishment, hard work and building yourself into something great from a very small beginning. As Vox put it one time: They know Dragons exist, you need to tell him how to slay them.

It's amazing to me that this market has been abandoned and yet it has.

Anonymous Man of the Atom October 08, 2017 3:11 PM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:This points to the biggest target audience is younger boys that are future Deltas. They will respond to stories about effort, accomplishment, hard work and building yourself into something great from a very small beginning. As Vox put it one time: They know Dragons exist, you need to tell him how to slay them.

It's amazing to me that this market has been abandoned and yet it has.


See Jeffro Johnson's "Appendix N".

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