Comic Book Brain
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Archive Page 2121

January 27, 2022

Why is Todd McFarlane's The Scorched a hit, Yahoo News would like to tell you why

The Scorched, which just debuted with a first issue that 270,000 copies — the biggest debut for a team comic from any publisher in the past 30 years — marks McFarlane's first foray into an ongoing team book since Infinity, Inc. for DC Comics in the 80s.

Book sales in the Italian market went up 16% in 2021, and manga sales doubled Publishers Weekly – Is this the norm throughout Europe?

Spiegelman's Maus gets kicked off the curriculum list at Tennessee school system - Yahoo News

In the sense of publicity and sales, this controversy news about Maus caused it to suddenly sell out on Amazon (temporarily) and kicked up sales elsewhere.

Evangeline Lilly in the news for attending anti-mandate rallyHollywood Reporter

Most of the articles I've seen about Lilly's activities sting The Wasp star for not being in tune with the general Hollywood consensus.

Whatever happened to Marvel's boosting of Moon Girl & Devil DinosaurMSN News

Batman: Kill or not to kill

Story at Hollywood Reporter

The issue of Batman’s no-killing policy is raised with every new Batman film, along with the extension of that rule: Batman doesn’t use guns (except for, y’know, on all his cars, tanks, motorcycles and planes)."

More news about Superman sales "tanking"Washington Times

New The Batman promo

The comic book business of the 1940s

Charles Cridland was an accountant at Philadelphia-based David McKay publications which published titles Ace Comics, King Comics, Magic Comics and collections of comic strips like Blondie, Dick Tracy, and Mandrake the Magician. Cridland wrote a 115-page typewritten thesis titled An Analysis of Comic Magazine Sales in the United States from 1935 to 1949 while doing work on a degree in Master of Business Administration.

An article at Carol Tilley describes the information contained in Cridland's thesis which acts as an historical document detailing the industry in a way that was poorly recorded during those years, primarily regarding earnings and copy sales.

...Cridland’s motivation for choosing this particular topic for his thesis was practical. He wrote that when he took over the comics division for McKay, it “was then publishing five or six titles with an annual sale in excess of twenty-five million copies. I soon found that there was little available in the way of management tools to effect any informed decisions.”

...The main problems facing each publisher are first, to set print orders for each issue so that there are sufficient copies for adequate distribution and at the same time to keep returns of unsold copies to a minimum.

Second, each publisher must decide on the advisability of of adding new titles and of discontinuing old ones. For the industry these two problems have existed since the end of the war and have become increasingly pressing. Excessive returns due to unbalanced production have been increasing...
..Cridland documents a ... trend in shrinking page numbers. Whereas in May 1943, more than 80% of comics were 64-pages that figure began to fall rapidly: by December 1943, only about 5% of comics still had 64-pages with most at 56. Within another six months, page counts had shrunk even more, so that by July 1944, more than 80% of comics were at 48 pages. Significant growth in the 32-page format didn’t happen until 1948, and by late-1949, there were more 32 than 48-page titles for sale.

The article by Carol Tilley is a rare insight to the business during those time periods. It is easy to see in the details that the pressures and problems that troubled comic book publishing in those past decades remain the same problems the current publishers face, though with one significant exception: one of the main issues Cridland was trying to analyize was the vast (and increasing) rate of returns from the market, dealing with the problem of large amounts of comics never even getting into distribution at all, but being carried from the distributor directly into returns without ever getting near a newstand, like some weird money-laundering operation.

Comic book "heist" trial beginsMSN News

Police ultimately recovered all 532 comic books that had been taken, according to an arrest warrant. Included were the first Spiderman, Fantastic Four and X-Men,plus several early Captain America comics. The victim placed the total value at $204,500.

New "International" The Batman trailer comes out Yahoo News

Superhero death booksGamesradar

From Gwen Stacy to Jean Grey to Superman to... well, everybody

In the early '80s, Marvel Comics began popularizing the idea of superhero death and rebirth as a storytelling (and even marketing) tool 'Dark Phoenix Saga,' in which Jean Grey died only to be resurrected a few years later when the course of storytelling demanded it.

...But the concept of superheroes dying and returning from the dead truly took hold in 1992's landmark story 'The Death of Superman' (still some of the highest-selling comic books and then subsequent collections of all time), which took not just the comic industry but mainstream media by storm

Burt Ward talks about friendship with Adam WestMovie Guide

The price of nostalgia is risingWorthpoint

Folks, I work for Heritage Auctions and have been with the company since 2003. I’ve seen tremendous growth for this auction house, which had a humble beginning as a company specializing in rare coins and currency. When I first started as a cataloger for the Comics Division, I wondered how long it would be before the bubble burst, and prices for old funny books would stall and then fall. But after nearly nineteen years of observing the values for collectibles, I can tell you that the bubble has been replaced with a steel-reinforced replica of Uncle Scrooge’s money bin!

But hold on a minute. Who really is buying all these impossibly-expensive items? Who has the dough to shell out over three million for something like a single page of comic art? The artwork wasn’t the only big-ticket item over this three-day event. Somehow, another unrestored and nice-looking copy of Action Comics #1 turned up, the 1938 ten-center that introduced Superman to the world. It sold for $3,180,000. Batman’s first appearance was also represented by a copy of Detective Comics #27, originally published by DC Comics in 1939. Coming in at 4.5 on the CGC scale, this unrestored beauty traded hands for over a million; so did a copy of Archie Comics #1, with copies of Marvel Comics #1 and More Fun #73. There were plenty of other big-sellers in this auction. But who is doing all this buying?

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Original page February 6, 2022