AdministratorNovember 15, 2020 at 10:30 am
The case study of DC comics is intriguing, to say the least… once their decision with Diamond Distributing was made public, I initially thought that my suspiscions of DC becoming more and more of just the equivalent of a well for Warner Brothers to pull from for all of their media felt justified. But this wasjust my uneducated opinion — so I just want to get ahead of that — this was my ’10 foot view’ of the situation before I researched more.
As you stated @buddyscalera, comic book sales(and manga in particular, I believe) are increasing exponentially in this very chaotic year of quarantines, in addition to a general overall popularity boost as a result of countless successful TV and movie ventures in the past decade plus.
So onto the first question: What are my thoughts on the future of DC comics?
After digging a little deeper into the supply-chain side of comics distribution, I believe I understand the decision much better and think DC’s motives are much more altruistic(albeit it high-risk). Rather than my initial opinion that DC was making a clear beeline for that goal post of eventually being a revenue maker for the tv/movie industry solely, I know see more of a calculated risk that DC feels they have the liberty to make as a result of being able to rely on their Warner Brother’s relationship. Without being able to leverage some of their success through their co-productions with WB, I do not believe DC would have ever made as bold a move as severing their business relationship with Diamond, who have been running a with an archaic, rather draconian business model for entirely too long. The ramifications of what some marvel execs deemed “an act of war” (which is an outrageous statement) are felt by all those with that Diamond relationship. But my opinion is that DC is not beholden to Marvel or vice-versa when it comes to how they want to handle their supply chain. Will the result of the split possibly put Diamond Distributors out of business? Sure. Is that DC’s problem? No.
A DC spokesperson said of the decision to cut ties with Diamond “…DC continues to be committed to providing the Direct Market with best in class service and the fans with the world’s greatest comic books.” If this means trying to free themselves from some of the oppressive mandates made by a monopolistic distributor who sets bars too high for smaller comic book stores to be able to enter the market with a high chance of success…than hats off to them. Again, that decision to make such an industry shaking move is made all the more dire with a year like 2020 and a sometimes inconsistent movie success rate.
I really don’t know with clarity if this is a good or bad move, only time will tell… but I’m going to try to remain optimistic that this could prove to be a move that may benefit the comic books industry during a really volatile time.
What would you do if you were in charge of DC comics?
That’s one hell of a question. I applaud the hard decision-making they’ve done and I don’t know that I would have thought of that, to be honest. But after trying to rationalize that decision, If that idea was presented to me I would have been in support of it for the reasons I stated above. I think that it would give the company the opportunity to also possibly leverage getting some of the lesser-known and newer IP into those smaller retail locations and possibly be able to foster a cult following for some of these stories more often. I feel that often the work comic book companies may take to introduce new characters/IP either gets lost in the attention economy of the more popular flagship characters/IP(i.e. Batman, Justice League, etc.) or have to be presented in those more popular characters as spin-off stories which may not always benefit the new character/IP depending on how they’re able to fit them in. So I’d continue to perhaps foster these new relationships they are able to build through both their new distributors and their relationships with the ‘mom and pop’ shops around. The movie production deals will ensure that there is a safety net — albeit one that, if needed, would redefine DC as a hole and signal the end of an era should it drive them out of the physical comic book business. But what do I know?
I primarily used these pages to reference my opinions and thought based on their information and whether I could confirm a lot of the information at other sites from these. Again, I don’t claim that any of my opnions are gospel, but it is a really intriguing and multifaceted situation.
If anyone has read through this, thanks for taking the time!