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DC Comics’ Superman Immortalised in Pure Silver to Celebrate 80 Years

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From: https://www.thedailytimes.com/entertainment/dc-comics-superman-immortalised-in-pure-silver-to-celebrate-years/article_5f6e7fc0-5ff0-5414-a62b-469f28398f33.html

DC to Promote Bendis’ Superman Comics With TV Commercials

DC Entertainment, who have been reaching out to non-traditional comics audiences in recent weeks with announcements that they will sell certain titles outside of the direct market and include digital comics as part of their streaming TV platform, will promote Brian Michael Bendis’s upcoming runs on Superman and Action Comics with TV advertising, the writer revealed today.

There are no details of when or where the spot will air, but Bendis noted that retailers and fans are frequently encouraging publishers to spend money to reach outside of the direct market — and that this is a step in that direction.

“Just approved a cut of the TV commercial DC is gearing up for our Superman titles this summer,” Bendis tweeted. “It’s the kind of promotion stores have been asking publishers to do for years. So exciting! Promotion! Outreach!”

Bendis, who has been one of Marvel’s most prolific and best-selling writers for years, came to DC late last year with the news that he would launch a weekly Superman title called The Man of Steel to run through June, and then relaunch Superman and resume the original numbering on Action Comics with #1,001.

Bendis’s final issue of The Man of Steel is just hours away from release, and sets the stage for his Superman and Action Comics runs.

During a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Bendis said that Jor-El, who has been skulking around the DC Universe for years as the mysterious figure known as Mr. Oz, is the “lynchpin” around which the next year of Superman stories will be told.

TV spots are not unheard-of for Marvel and DC, but they are few, far-between, and mostly “air” only online or during one or two comics-friendly timeslots before being shuffled away. One such spot was created for the first volumes of DC’s Rebirth collected editions, but that was seen more as a concession to the bookstore market than anything that comics retailers would directly benefit from.

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Radio ads, especially on the Marvel side of things, are a bit more common — but as a rule, comics publishers are reluctant to spend money to advertise outside of their own pages or friendly trade magazines and websites.

The Man of Steel #6 is in stores on July 4.

From: http://comicbook.com/dc/2018/07/04/dc-to-promote-bendis-superman-comics-with-tv-commercials/

Brian Michael Bendis’ Superman Comics to Be Promoted With TV Campaign

Man of Steel writer Brian Michael Bendis has confirmed that DC Comics’ upcoming summer Superman titles will be advertised via television commercials. It’s uncommon for comic book ads to appear on television, but, according to the writer, it is exactly what some comic book shops have been asking of publishers for years.

RELATED: Is DC Universe’s Comics Library the Answer to Marvel Unlimited? Not Really

The move comes just one week after DC Comics unveiled more details about its long-awaited DC Universe service, which will bundle together a streaming library, comics reader and store when it releases in August. Much like Marvel Unlimited, the service looks to bring more comics readers into the hobby through increased accessibility.

If anything can be extrapolated from recent comic book sales numbers, it’s that a hefty dose of accessibility might be what the industry needs right now. CBR’s April tabulations pegged 2018 as the worst year for comic book sales since 2011. Even Action Comics #1000 impressive sales didn’t significantly tip the scales for the month.

RELATED: Supergirl Is the Most Tragic Character in Bendis’ Man of Steel

Meanwhile, Bendis has garnered praise for his Man of Steel run, which has pitted Superman and Supergirl against the villain Rogol Zaar. August will see the return of Bendis’ Jinxworld line, the name of the writer’s creator-owned series that predates his run at Marvel Comics.

From: https://www.cbr.com/brian-michael-bendis-superman-tv-commercials/

Superman goes to college

By WILLIAM PAINE

william.paine@southwesttimes.com

Six years ago, Gary Bryant, who works at New River Community College’s library, found a Publisher’s Weekly article on his desk about comic book conventions, commonly known as comic-cons, or comic cons. Sandy Smith, library coordinator, was well aware of Bryant’s love of comics, so it wasn’t surprising that she might leave an article about these popular conventions on his desk.

For Bryant, though, this wasn’t a random article but an invitation. That day, Bryant came into Smith’s office and said, “Hey, let’s try it!” That’s how New River Community College Comic-con was conceived.

“I got into comics at an early age and never got over the sickness,” Bryant admitted. Growing up in Glasgow, he watched Superman on his family’s black and white television and soon started collecting comic books featuring Superman, as well as other characters possessing super powers. Much of Bryant’s attraction to comics had to do with art. As a youngster, Bryant made drawings of his favorite superheroes, a pastime he continues to this day.

Bryant attended Madison College (now James Madison University) and worked at the school’s library. After graduating with an art degree in 1975, Bryant attained employment at the Rockbridge County Library. During this time, he submitted drawings that were published in the editorial page of a newspaper based in Lexington.

 

In 1980, Bryant began working in the design department at Burlington Carpet Factory in Rockbridge County. He designed carpet patterns. The factory job paid well, but “It just wasn’t creative in my way of thinking because, I like drawing people and monsters and things like that.”

When a job became available in the library at New River Community College’s in 1985, he applied, was accepted, and has been working and living in Dublin ever since. In some ways, it wasn’t a big change. “Moving here was sort of like coming to Glasgow. Pulaski was sort of like Buena Vista and Radford is sort of like Lexington. It’s like I moved to the same kind of general area.”

Working at the circulation desk at NRCC, Bryant takes a little flak from time to time. “Some people are very happy and some are not. If they get overdues they may not be happy but we just try to take care of them and straighten it out as friendly and quickly as we can.”

All in all, Bryant enjoys his work as a librarian. “I like it when you find something people are looking for or you show them something that they didn’t even know we had. You know, making people happy.”

But it’s NRCC’s annual comic-con that really sparks his passion.

So, what happens at such an event?

“Comic-con is just a bunch of comic book fans coming together enjoying the same thing and not seeming like they are the nerds or the geeks. Everybody’s the same at comic-con and you find out that a lot of the people you wouldn’t think are nerds, are nerds. Some people dress up in costume so it’s an interesting thing. I’m going to a big one this weekend in Charlotte. That’s a three-day convention and it’s big,” he said.

Though not as large as comic-con gatherings in Charlotte or San Diego, attendance at NRCC’s Comic-con has seen steady growth. The first year, Bryant expected to see 300 attend and was surprised to count 500. Last year’s event drew 1,500 people, many in costume.

Those attending a comic-con can expect variety. “We have vendors where you can buy comics and toys and collectables. We have comic book writers and artists. We have people that are self-publishing comics. We have science fiction and fantasy writers and we have film guests sometimes,” he says.

The event’s centerpiece or theme comes in the form of panel discussions presented by well-known figures in the comic world. “We have panels during the day where the guests talk about different subjects,” Bryant said. “This year, Michael Euri, who was the editor of Back Issue Magazine and Retro Fun Magazine, is going to do an “80 Years of Superman” panel for us. He did one last year on black superheroes and it was great.”

Superman first appeared in Detective Comics (now DC Comics) in June 1938, after appearing in several TV shows and films. The caped crusader is still going strong with plans in the works for yet another movie.

This sits well with Bryant, who has always appreciated the defender of truth, justice and the American way. “I think Superman represents good. That’s my problem with the new movies. They’re too dark,” he said. “That’s why I like Christopher Reeves’ movies. He had a sense of humor and, after all, his powers are based on sunlight, unlike Batman who is supposed to be in the dark and grim. Superman is supposed to be in the light and people can trust him even though he’s an alien.”

This year, NRCC Comic-Con is in October and will be spread out among four large campus buildings. “I definitely could not do this by myself. It takes a village to put this on because we start working on the next one right after the last one ends,” Bryant said.

Presenting one of these comic conventions at a community college is a complex and quirky endeavor, so why do it at all?

“It brings people in who have never been here before,” he explains. “They see what our school is like. They realize that it’s more than just academics. We have a wide range of ages too. We have young kids and older people that remember comic books or maybe it’s a grandparent bringing their child into the show. …We’ve had people come here who have never been here before saying, ‘Wow, you have such a beautiful campus.’ So, it’s just a way to get NRCC out there and have some fun.”

NRCC Comic-con 5 is Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 4p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

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From: https://www.southwesttimes.com/2018/07/superman-goes-to-college/

What DC’s Giant Move To Walmart Means For Comics – Forbes

Batman Giant #1, one of four newly-announced series being sold exclusively at Walmart.DC Entertainment

DC Entertainment, part of the Time Warner family of companies recently acquired by ATT, last week announced a deal with retail giant Walmart to bring comic books back to mass-market distribution channels for the first time in decades. According to the announcement, four exclusive DC titles will be carried at over 3,000 Walmart stores nationwide, featuring some of the top talent in the comics business.

The news has some in the business ecstatic about the potential for expanding the footprint of periodical comics, where sales are stuck in a perennial rut, but is also causing concern among the 1200+ independent comic retailers.

Giant steps

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, instantly gives DC a huge potential audience for its comic line at a moment when its properties are highly visible through other media including movies, TV and games. According to DC Publisher Dan DiDio, that factored in to the choice of the four titles to launch the new strategy. “These new monthly books combine new and accessible stories with reprints of classic comic series,” he said. “It’s a great way for new readers to get into comics and follow the characters they’ve grown to love in TV and film.”

The new DC comics will be 100-pages each, priced at $4.99, and feature a new lead story backed by reprints of material from the past two decades. The 100-page format of the Walmart-exclusive Giants recalls a program DC used briefly in the 1970s, well-remembered by fans of a certain age as an introduction to the company’s deep catalog of older stories and characters.

The first titles announced as part of the program are Superman Giant, Justice League Giant, Batman Giant and Teen Titans Giant. According to the announcement, Superman and Justice League will be available the first week of each month; Batman and Teen Titans on the third week, starting July 1.

DC also provided some details about the new books and their creative teams.

  • Superman Giant will kick off with a two-part story by Jimmy Palmiotti and Tom Derenick, plus reprints from The Terrifics #1 (2018), Green Lantern #1 (2005) and Superman/Batman #1 (2003). Once the two-parter has wrapped up, the title will roll out a new 12-part series by industry phenom Tom King, drawn by Andy Kubert, starting in September.
  • Justice League Giant will initially spotlight Wonder Woman, with solo stories by Tim Seely in the first two issues, followed by a 12-issue run from Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti in September. The first issue will also reprint Justice League #1 (the book that launched DC’s successful New 52 run in 2011), The Flash #1 (2011) and Aquaman #1 (2011). This title is clearly aimed at comics-curious fans of the DC movies.
  • Palmiotti also pens the first new story for Batman Giant #1 (art by Patrick Zircher), which will feature reprints of Batman #608 (2002), Nightwing #1 (2011) and Harley Quinn #1 (2011). In September, superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis takes over with a 12-issue arc.
  • Teen Titans #1 launches immediately into a 6-part story by Dan Jurgens with art by Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher and Jim Charalampidis, backed up by repritns from Sideways #1 (2018), Teen Titans #1 (2003) and Super Sons #1 (2017).

Back on the newsstands

DC’s move reverses a 40 year trend that has seen comics disappear from newsstands and convenience stores, their primary sales channel from the 1930s through the 1970s, as a result of the rise of an alternative channel known as the Direct Market, which distributes them to comic book specialty stores on a non-returnable basis. The shift to the Direct Market, now dominated by a single distributor, Diamond, dramatically increased the profitability and predictability of the comics market but reduced the visibility of comics beyond the core fanbase who frequent local, independently-owned comic shops.

Expanding distribution could help DC’s publishing efforts, which have risen and fallen with changing fan tastes and retailer ordering strategies. In the company’s eternal competition with rival Marvel Entertainment, a division of Walt Disney, DC is nearly even in unit market share (37.9% compared to Marvel’s 38.4%) but trails in retail market share 42.6%-25.7% according to the latest sales figures from Diamond.

The new DC books at Wal-Mart are aggressively priced at $4.99 for 100 pages (a standard 24-page comic goes for anywhere from $2.99 to $7.99, depending on the format and creators involved). Although only one story in each book is new material, it is not clear how much they will add to the bottom line, particularly given Walmart’s reputation for squeezing suppliers hard on margins to keep prices low for customers. However, as an investment in creating more visibility for the characters, more readers, and a bigger footprint for the DC comics brand beyond the several hundred thousand regular patrons of comic stores, it’s easy to see the business logic behind the deal.

Not everyone is happy

As news of the deal spread throughout the comics industry over the weekend, some comic shop owners expressed concern about the implications of a major retailer getting exclusive content from fan-favorite creators. The main sticking point isn’t just competition from Walmart, which is terrifying for any small business, but the fact that comic stores will not have a way to sell content that is sure to play well with the hardcore fans who constitute the lifeblood of their customer base.

It also means that diehard fans will have to go to Walmart to read Tom King Superman stories or Brian Bendis on Batman, spending money at the retail giant that would otherwise go toward their monthly comics budget at their local shop. Walmart may not count those pennies, but they mean a lot to independent stores already operating on a razor’s edge of profitability.

Another issue is that some of the country’s most densely populated urban areas do not have Walmart stores nearby. For example, there is no Walmart near Manhattan, and none within the city limits of San Francisco, Seattle or Boston. That situation is likely to create a secondary market for collectibles that will not benefit DC, Walmart or the creators of the books, but may put money in the pockets of resellers and speculators.

 

From: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robsalkowitz/2018/06/26/what-dcs-giant-move-to-walmart-means-for-comics/

40 Greatest Superman Stories: #15-11

You all voted, now here, as part of our celebration of Superman and Lois Lane’s 80th Anniversary, are the results of what you chose as the 40 Greatest Superman Stories!

Enjoy!

15. “The Death of Superman” (Superman: The Man of Steel #17-19, Superman Volume 2 #73-75, Adventures of Superman #496-497, Action Comics #683-684 and Justice League America #69)

Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson and Roger Stern (writers), Dan Jurgens, Tom Grummett, Jon Bogdanove and Jackson Guice (pencilers) and Brett Breeding, Doug Hazlewood, Dennis Janke, Denis Rodier and Rich Burchett (inkers) all combined to tell one of the most famous comic book stories of all-time, as the murderous creature known as Doomsday comes charging towards Metropolis with only Superman able to stop him. We know Doomsday means business because we see him tear apart the entire Justice League. Only Superman can save his adopted city and the woman he loves and he finds a way to save the day and kill Doomsday, but in the process, he gives up his own life.

You don’t get much more dramatic than actually killing off freakin’ SUPERMAN.

14. “The Life Story of Superman” (Action Comics #500)

In this imaginative anniversary story by Martin Pasko, Curt Swan and Frank Chiaramonte, Superman tells his origins to people at a museum dedicated to him, but as he relates his life story, someone is planning to steal his entire life…

It’s a very clever mix between an origin retelling and a crackling thriller that involves one of the more messed-up plans that Lex Luthor has ever devised (it involves murdering all of Superman’s friends and then hiding the fact that he has swapped out the real Superman for a clone. Twisted, right?).

13. “The Death of Superman” (Superman #149)

Possibly the greatest Imaginary Story, Jerry Siegel, Curt Swan and Sheldon Moldoff show Lex Luthor getting his final victory over Superman, although things do not end up going the way Luthor had planned in the end.

It is INSANE how good Jerry Siegel was in his return to the Superman titles in the late 1950s and the 1960s. It is kind of crazy how much better of a writer he got over the years.

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From: https://www.cbr.com/superman-greatest-stories-15-11/

40 Greatest Superman Stories: #20-16

You all voted, now here, as part of our celebration of Superman and Lois Lane’s 80th Anniversary, are the results of what you chose as the 40 Greatest Superman Stories!

Enjoy!

20. “Must There Be a Superman?” (Superman #247)

One of Elliot S! Maggin’s VERY FIRST comic book stories is an utter classic (Maggin famously notes he got the idea from a young Jeph Loeb, who was the son of a vice-president at Maggin’s college that Maggin had befriended, so he would often have dinner with the Loeb family). The Guardians of the Universe suggest to Superman that his presence on Earth may actually be HINDERING the people of Earth rather than helping them (Marv Wolfman would later have Destiny tell Superman much the same thing). You know, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a night, teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime” style. It is a heavy trip for Superman and was definitely a mind-blowing concept for most readers of Superman at the time.

The issue is drawn by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson and Maggin makes sure that Superman understands how twisted this concept is. He tells people to do stuff on their own, but he can’t just let them be destroyed by an earthquake if he can stop it, right?

The issue mostly leaves it up for debate and doesn’t actually firmly say one way or the other if Superman IS hindering social change or not, but just getting Superman (and readers) thinking is a powerful thing (although the Guardians don’t have to pat themselves on the back so much like they do in the issue).

19. “Truth” (Superman #41-47, Action Comics #41-47, Batman/Superman #21-27 and Superman/Wonder Woman #18-24)

This epic storyline, split over the four Superman titles of the time, by writers Greg Pak, Gene Luen Yang and Peter Tomasi and artists Aaron Kuder, Ardian Syaf, Doug Mahnke and John Romita Jr. (plus a bunch of inkers) looks at what happens when Lois Lane feels that she is forced to reveal Superman’s identity to the world to protect the Man of Steel from a villain that is also feeding off of Superman’s powers.

So now he has to deal with a vast reduction in power AND his identity being revealed to the world!

A really cool moment happened when Superman was meeting with the President (and ARGUS head Steve Trevor) to see where Superman stood with the country during his new status quo, while meanwhile, Superman’s girlfriend at the time, Wonder Woman, was using her Lasso of Truth to get the truth of what Superman’s friends and acquaintances think about the truth of Superman’s identity being revealed…

The writers in this epic really used it to get to the heart of various aspects of Superman’s life. Good stuff.

18. “The Girl From Superman’s Past” (Superman #129)

Make sure that your heartstrings are in good shape before reading this Bill Finger, Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye classic tale of Superman’s first adult love, the mermaid Lori Lemaris. It is a brutal tale of two lovers separated by, well, you know, one being a dude and one being a mermaid.

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From: https://www.cbr.com/superman-greatest-stories-20-16/

DC Entertainment opens sign ups for its streaming and digital comics service

DC Entertainment is sharing more information today about DC Universe, a subscription service built around DC superheroes.

The biggest draw remains the previously announced slate of original shows, starting with “Titans,” a series that brings the Teen Titans (a team led by Dick Grayson/Robin) to live action. There also will be live action “Doom Patrol” and “Swamp Thing” shows, as well as an animated “Harley Quinn” and the third season of “Young Justice: Outsiders.”

The streaming library won’t be limited to new shows. It also will include the four Christopher Reeve-starring Superman films (the first “Superman” remains the greatest superhero movie ever made; fight me if you think otherwise), a selection of DC animated movies and older TV series like the classic “Wonder Woman” and the first two seasons of “Batman: The Animated Series.”

Still, a devoted DC fan could probably tear through all of that in a month or two, so as DC’s publisher and chief creative officer Jim Lee put it in the announcement, the goal is for DC Universe to be “so much more than a streaming service.”

For one thing, it will include what DC describes as a rotating, curated lineup of digital comics, with classic issues like Action Comics #1 (Superman’s first appearance) and Detective Comics #27 (Batman’s first appearance), plus more recent work like the Geoff Johns/Jim Lee run on Justice League, Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder and Harley Quinn by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner.

Plus, there will be an online community and forum, a digital storefront with exclusive access to DC Collectibles and additional content like news and a DC encyclopedia.

DC isn’t announcing pricing yet, but the plan is to launch DC Universe on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and the web in the fall, with beta access starting in August. Fans can sign up now.

From: https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/28/dc-universe/

Before Superman Could Fight Captain Marvel, He Had To Face This …

This is “Just Like the Time Before,” a feature where I examine instances from comic book history where comic book creators did early versions of later, notable comic book characters and plot ideas. Essentially, the “test runs” for later, more famous characters and stories.

The suggestion for this installment came from my reader Sam H.!

In 1938, Superman debuted in Action Comics #1 and he became a sensation, becoming the first superhero to get his own comic book series rather than splitting time in an anthology…

Imitators popped up constantly, and one of the most prominent ones was Captain Marvel, who debuted in 1940’s Whiz Comics #2…

My buddy, Nick Perks, longtime Line it is Drawn artist, once did a hilarious bit for an old edition of Line it is Drawn making fun of the similarities between the characters…

In any event, Captain Marvel soon became super popular, and was in fact MORE popular than Superman for a large stretch of the 1940s. DC Comics (then National Comics) sued Fawcett Comics over the character, claiming copyright infringment and the whole thing was in the courts for YEARS. Eventually, it seemed like National Comics had essentially won, but really, comic book sales were down, so Fawcett Comics just agreed to stop making Captain Marvel comic books in 1953.

Years went by, and Marvel Comics actually got their own Captain Marvel (and the trademark to the name, which is why Captain Marvel’s comic books have since had to use his famous magic word, “Shazam,” as the title of the comic book. Eventually, DC just re-named the character Shazam).

DC was interested in bringing Captain Marvel back and since they were the only ones who could publish Captain Marvel comic books without getting sued by, well, them, Fawcett agreed to license the character to DC Comics in 1973.

However, DC believed, for whatever reason, that the key to the characters working was that they exist in their own universe, so they were in their own comic books universe with an art style like the Golden Age Captain Marvel (his original artist, C.C. Beck, even drew the comic books!) (it was nice of Superman to show up for the cover of the first issue, at least).

Eventually, in 1976, during one of the annual Justice League/Justice Society crossovers, the Fawcett heroes also joined the fray and Superman and Captain Marvel fought for the first time…

There was even a special treasury edition comic devoted just to the two fighting…

Eventually, DC worked out a deal with Fawcett to just outright BUY the character, and he was integrated into the DC Universe officially (instead of being in his own universe and occasionally visiting) in Legends…

So that was how Captain Marvel came to be part of the DC Universe. However, did you know that there was a time when DC wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to have the two heroes interact? So they decided, instead, to do a sort of “test run” on the idea soon after DC started doing Shazam comics? If not, then do we have a story for you…

Page 2:

From: https://www.cbr.com/superman-captain-marvel-captain-thunder/

What DC’s Giant Move To Walmart Means For Comics

Batman Giant #1, one of four newly-announced series being sold exclusively at Walmart.

DC Entertainment, part of the Time Warner family of companies recently acquired by ATT, last week announced a deal with retail giant Walmart to bring comic books back to mass-market distribution channels for the first time in decades. According to the announcement, four exclusive DC titles will be carried at over 3,000 Walmart stores nationwide, featuring some of the top talent in the comics business.

The news has some in the business ecstatic about the potential for expanding the footprint of periodical comics, where sales are stuck in a perennial rut, but is also causing concern among the 1200+ independent comic retailers.

Giant steps

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, instantly gives DC a huge potential audience for its comic line at a moment when its properties are highly visible through other media including movies, TV and games. According to DC Publisher Dan DiDio, that factored in to the choice of the four titles to launch the new strategy. “These new monthly books combine new and accessible stories with reprints of classic comic series,” he said. “It’s a great way for new readers to get into comics and follow the characters they’ve grown to love in TV and film.”

The new DC comics will be 100-pages each, priced at $4.99, and feature a new lead story backed by reprints of material from the past two decades. The 100-page format of the Walmart-exclusive Giants recalls a program DC used briefly in the 1970s, well-remembered by fans of a certain age as an introduction to the company’s deep catalog of older stories and characters.

The first titles announced as part of the program are Superman Giant, Justice League Giant, Batman Giant and Teen Titans Giant. According to the announcement, Superman and Justice League will be available the first week of each month; Batman and Teen Titans on the third week, starting July 1.

DC also provided some details about the new books and their creative teams.

  • Superman Giant will kick off with a two-part story by Jimmy Palmiotti and Tom Derenick, plus reprints from The Terrifics #1 (2018), Green Lantern #1 (2005) and Superman/Batman #1 (2003). Once the two-parter has wrapped up, the title will roll out a new 12-part series by industry phenom Tom King, drawn by Andy Kubert, starting in September.
  • Justice League Giant will initially spotlight Wonder Woman, with solo stories by Tim Seely in the first two issues, followed by a 12-issue run from Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti in September. The first issue will also reprint Justice League #1 (the book that launched DC’s successful New 52 run in 2011), The Flash #1 (2011) and Aquaman #1 (2011). This title is clearly aimed at comics-curious fans of the DC movies.
  • Palmiotti also pens the first new story for Batman Giant #1 (art by Patrick Zircher), which will feature reprints of Batman #608 (2002), Nightwing #1 (2011) and Harley Quinn #1 (2011). In September, superstar writer Brian Michael Bendis takes over with a 12-issue arc.
  • Teen Titans #1 launches immediately into a 6-part story by Dan Jurgens with art by Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher and Jim Charalampidis, backed up by repritns from Sideways #1 (2018), Teen Titans #1 (2003) and Super Sons #1 (2017).

Back on the newsstands

DC’s move reverses a 40 year trend that has seen comics disappear from newsstands and convenience stores, their primary sales channel from the 1930s through the 1970s, as a result of the rise of an alternative channel known as the Direct Market, which distributes them to comic book specialty stores on a non-returnable basis. The shift to the Direct Market, now dominated by a single distributor, Diamond, dramatically increased the profitability and predictability of the comics market but reduced the visibility of comics beyond the core fanbase who frequent local, independently-owned comic shops.

Expanding distribution could help DC’s publishing efforts, which have risen and fallen with changing fan tastes and retailer ordering strategies. In the company’s eternal competition with rival Marvel Entertainment, a division of Walt Disney, DC is nearly even in unit market share (37.9% compared to Marvel’s 38.4%) but trails in retail market share 42.6%-25.7% according to the latest sales figures from Diamond.

The new DC books at Wal-Mart are aggressively priced at $4.99 for 100 pages (a standard 24-page comic goes for anywhere from $2.99 to $7.99, depending on the format and creators involved). Although only one story in each book is new material, it is not clear how much they will add to the bottom line, particularly given Walmart’s reputation for squeezing suppliers hard on margins to keep prices low for customers. However, as an investment in creating more visibility for the characters, more readers, and a bigger footprint for the DC comics brand beyond the several hundred thousand regular patrons of comic stores, it’s easy to see the business logic behind the deal.

Not everyone is happy

As news of the deal spread throughout the comics industry over the weekend, some comic shop owners expressed concern about the implications of a major retailer getting exclusive content from fan-favorite creators. The main sticking point isn’t just competition from Walmart, which is terrifying for any small business, but the fact that comic stores will not have a way to sell content that is sure to play well with the hardcore fans who constitute the lifeblood of their customer base.

It also means that diehard fans will have to go to Walmart to read Tom King Superman stories or Brian Bendis on Batman, spending money at the retail giant that would otherwise go toward their monthly comics budget at their local shop. Walmart may not count those pennies, but they mean a lot to independent stores already operating on a razor’s edge of profitability.

Another issue is that some of the country’s most densely populated urban areas do not have Walmart stores nearby. For example, there is no Walmart near Manhattan, and none within the city limits of San Francisco, Seattle or Boston. That situation is likely to create a secondary market for collectibles that will not benefit DC, Walmart or the creators of the books, but may put money in the pockets of resellers and speculators.

 

From: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robsalkowitz/2018/06/26/what-dcs-giant-move-to-walmart-means-for-comics/

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