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October 16 2009

Astonishing X-Men motion comic to get outdoor premiere in New York. It'll premiere on a three story high screen at MarvelFest in Union Square on October 28th.

Been a while since I had a good rant...

Why does it always feel like Marvel and DC and the rest of the comic world is always doing it wrong? Are they trying to bring in new comic fans or are they trying to squeeze more cash out of the constantly shrinking middle-aged fan base?

I love comics and I dont have a problem spending a hundred bucks a month to keep up with the 7 or 8 books I pick up each week. I dont know any kids that have $1,200+ dollars a year to buy comics. The reason I have to buy so many is because it takes about 10 minutes to read a 22 page comic. So it seems a bit underwhelming to make a special trip to the comic store to buy one $2.99 comic that takes 10 minutes to read. I can't imagine a kid doing that. But to buy 5 or 6, at least that's an hour's worth of entertainment.

When I was young and starting to read comics 30 years ago, comics were already "uncool." There were other entertainment avenues vying for the kids attention and dollars. But at a $1.00 an issue, at least I could buy a few comics on each visit...and the comics were 28 pages, not 22.

There are artists and writers that would gladly work for free to get their foot in the door at Marvel or DC. Why not put out a few 22 page $1.00 comics and push them on kids. Make it a Spider-man or Iron Man title...suck them in.

I also think Marvel, with all of their millions of dollars in promotional budgets, would be much better off creating a traveling show that visits a few grammar schools or middle schools per day. They could do a song and dance about the history and continuity of comics and then give away a freebie..."and dont forget to visit the comic shop at the corner of 1st and elm in 2 weeks to get the next installment of this Spider-man comic that we are passing out..." They could reach a HUGE number of potential long-term customers reaching millions of students per year--talk about a cradle to the grave marketing strategy. And its promoting reading versus staring blankly at a screen while being spoon-fed animated books.

That's how you create buzz. That's how you get the kids at an early enough age to suck them in. That's a much better investment, IMO, than creating "motion" comics for iphone users and three story high projection screens--I wonder how much cash they are spending on that?
I agree with the pricing of comics... I think that's why manga is now so popular with teenagers. It's incredibly cheap for a volume that could possibly take up to an hour plus to read. It's even cheaper in Japan.

I mean, I get that it costs a lot to colour and do higher quality printing, but kids don't care about that anymore. They might just keep up with one series, if any. If I were rich, I would splurge out massively on Marvel's Civil War line which must cost a lot.

Motion Comics are interesting Marvel currently, anyhow: I say let them be. They'll probably disappear soon enough.
Jayme, regarding the motion comics, your comment about them "probably disappearing soon enough" is exactly my point. They are always putting out horrible product ideas.

Not too long ago they were selling these very large pop-up comic books. I dont know any kids that are purchasing a $16 pop-up comic book. They were really neat but its one of those products that is aimed with a laser at one purchasing group in particular.

Why are they investing energy with products that in the very best case scenario a tiny percentage of their already shrinking client base will purchase?

It reminds me of that $2,500 model of Serenity that was recently offered by QMX. Sure they may sell a handful and that may be their goal which is fine. Obviously they understand their market but Marvel sure doesnt. Marvel obviously doesn't understand their market. Thank God for the movies or Marvel would be in big trouble these days. (Maybe with Disney at the helm now, they will take better advantage of their endless possibilities).
From what l've read, lt seems pretty cool to me. l wish l could be there to see it.
I think I came across one of those popup books once. I don't believe they were actually comic issues proper so much as just an introduction to the characters and property.

Plus pop up books are generally on the pricer end of books given the amount of content right? Generally I thought they sell based on the degree of artistry. Like that one alphabet pop up which was just 26 letters with surprising artistry.

As for motion comics... I still don't get the point but since they're using existing art I imagine it can't be too ridiculously cost inefficient. Then again, this seems like an unexpectedly big deal launch. It's sort of nice to see them give such a big push, I just wish it were a slightly more impressive or weightier endeavor (like a properly animated version of Astonishing)

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