Comic Book Brain

Pandemic Comic Book Crisis

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Creator auctions and other efforts to benefit comic book stores

APRIL 10, 2020

Comic book artist Rob Liefeld, known as the creator of Deadpool, had tagged the shop with a sketch of Wolverine, announcing he was auctioning it off to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to Z's Comic Lair. By Monday evening, the sketch had sold for $2,300 — and soon the shop had the money in its Paypal account.

Story at Hollywood Reporter

Digital publishers see advantages in situation where many people are afraid to touch printed books

APRIL 6, 2020

Maria Hedengren, CEO of Readly—an Apple News-like offering, providing consumers access to more than 4,000 digital edition magazines in exchange for a monthly $10 subscription—tells Forbes that the app saw a 62% year-over-year increase in global downloads in March, with the comics, kids, home and renovation, and gardening categories seeing the largest consumption increases among U.S. users."

Purchasing digital publications is obviously easier than making a trip out of quarantine to a bookstore (and many bookstores are closed for the pandemic or are on limited hours), in a way this has created a large opening for digital versions of familiar publications.

Story at Folio Mag

Marvel officially "pauses" work

APRIL 3, 2020

Story at Bleeding Cool

The gameplan for comic book industry survival

APRIL 2, 2020

Story at Graphic Policy

More about this:

"The comic industry would rather grind to a halt than go digital" - Yahoo News

"Comic book stores taking a beating" - Bleeding Cool

"Comic books receive knockout blow from pandemic" -

"Portland comic book industry faces challenge" - Oregon Live

"More comic book stores close permanently" - Bleeding Cool

Comichub has a plan to save comicdom, but few want it

APRIL 2, 2020

Idea entails digital first for readers, and then print editions later when the industry is back in action and shipping stuff.

Story at Comics Beat

The pandemic vs Bloodshot, and Bloodshot has lost

APRIL 2, 2020

Story at webindia123

DC Comics gives $250K donation to fund comic book stores in need

Money is provided to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation for disbursement.

Story at Bleeding Cool

The Comic Book crisis

World War II couldn’t do it. An industry crash in the 1990s couldn’t do it. Now, for the first time in the history of the medium, monthly comics are grinding to a halt due to the novel coronavirus pandemic."

...While stores are able to stock graphic novels and trade paperbacks through booksellers, the weekly influx of customers every Wednesday, when new comics are released remains a cornerstone of the direct market. “The fear is that the majority of comic shops are under-capitalized,” Hibbs told The Daily Beast. “Probably the overwhelming majority of comic shops are owned by guys like me, who are 50 or older. If someone doesn’t step up — whether that’s distributors and publishers or creators and fans — I think your average typical comic shop is not sure how they’re gonna survive.”

Disaster and panic is a main selling point for media right now, and reporting how the viral crisis is panicking so much of the marketplace of society makes it look like it is an easy story that can be told-and-retold, just switch out the victim (in this case, it is comicbookdom).

The article does contain some good comments from within the industry, and a general statement that the infrastructure of the comics industry is weak and uses as an exhibit things like variant covers to show how thin is the profitable side of the business. If that is true, the call (within this Vanity Fair piece) for changing how the industry does business is a legitimate one. How the established players (for example, Diamond) react to change is quite a different thing. The chronicle of the idea of moving to digital temporarily, and how it was a popular cause for a brief moment, and then was crushed like Godzilla's foot on Tokyo, is telling.

Story at Daily Beast

Irony, thy name is too-many-comics

APRIL 2020

It wasn't too long ago (see this article at Newsarama) that the complaint was that there was too much comic book product going to stores. Well, that problem certainly has gone away!


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Original Page April 2018 | Updated May 2018