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LordOfLore
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(04-21-2017, 06:02 PM)
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Download link. Tweet.

Marvel Comics has recently been in a rough spot, with flagging sales, and interrogated some on the matter in a meeting with retailers, who let out their own grievances in the difficulty lately in selling some of Marvel's books. One possible culprit among others got attention: Diversity in their titles, and readers turning up their nose at them.

This did not sit well with others, the idea that retailers and Marvel would blame these books for low sales - and it didn't sit well with me, either. So I've hunkered down and put in the hours researching sales data reaching back over a decade in Marvel, and looked for what could possibly be the true culprit in their sales problems.

"Shut The Fuck Up, Marvel" is a nearly 30k long essay, a spiritual sequel to The Problems With Comics, a deep dive into the true issues with Marvel's economics and business - and how an obsession with short term profit, the constant renumbering and relaunches and events, all compounded by a complete inability to understand basic marketing techniques or outside audiences, has absolutely destroyed the sales stability of many of their former best selling books, all as they condescend to those who criticize them on their stories, or on how they try to sell comics.

It's really long so take breaks.
jstripes
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(04-21-2017, 06:13 PM)
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A Twine essay? Really?

Why not just post it on Medium or something for those of us who want to read it on break at work?
NandoGip
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(04-21-2017, 06:18 PM)
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Uh interesting landing page there...

Gonna read this and report back.
Kurdel
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(04-21-2017, 06:31 PM)
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If 30,000 word Twine essay doesn't get you excited, I don't know what will.
Slayven
gimme some o dat God-crafted alabaster greatness
(04-21-2017, 06:32 PM)
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What is twine?
Sgt. Kabukiman
Member
(04-21-2017, 06:33 PM)
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I'm not reading your essay, Dan Didio. Nice try.
PeskyToaster
(04-21-2017, 06:34 PM)
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wtf is twine just post it on your own website jesus it's not that hard to host something
excelsiorlef
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(04-21-2017, 06:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by Slayven

What is twine?

A text based adventure game engine...


Choose your own adventure based system.

It's what Zoe Quinn used to create Depression Quest.

Why write an essay like that? Fuck if I know.
sqwarlock
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(04-21-2017, 06:36 PM)
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Twine is a sort of "Choose Your Own Adventure" engine. It's not just an essay but an "interactive story". That's why it's on itch.io, and it's why they can't just host it on a blog site or their personal page.
ReAxion
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(04-21-2017, 06:36 PM)
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i wrote a 30k essay and then i threw it down a well. go read it.
DoctorFling
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(04-21-2017, 06:36 PM)
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DCGAF what have you done jk
Slayven
gimme some o dat God-crafted alabaster greatness
(04-21-2017, 06:37 PM)
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Originally Posted by excelsiorlef

A text based adventure game engine...


Choose your own adventure based system.

Why write an essay like that? Fuck if I know.

If you don't want people to read it, why even make it?

When i release my Carol Danvers thesis, i will put it into Zork 2
Lord Fagan
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(04-21-2017, 06:37 PM)
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I'm sympathetic to these arguments, but there are better ways to distribute this, yeah?
Makonero
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(04-21-2017, 06:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by sqwarlock

Twine is a sort of "Choose Your Own Adventure" engine. It's not just an essay but an "interactive story". That's why it's on itch.io, and it's why they can't just host it on a blog site or their personal page.

twine can be online...I played The Writer Will Do Something in a browser.

Weird that this isn't. I'll wait to hear from others, can't download it at work
excelsiorlef
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(04-21-2017, 06:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by sqwarlock

Twine is a sort of "Choose Your Own Adventure" engine. It's not just an essay but an "interactive story". That's why it's on itch.io, and it's why they can't just host it on a blog site or their personal page.

Except no it's not... there's no paths, it's just a link at the end of every page (of varying lengths) to take you to the next one.
ElBoxyBrown
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(04-21-2017, 06:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by ReAxion

i wrote a 30k essay and then i threw it down a well. go read it.

Lol, basically.

If you look through that person's twitter you'll see some well thought out rants every time Marvel tries to talk about their sales.
Kanik
Sonic handles my blue balls
(04-21-2017, 06:39 PM)
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Originally Posted by excelsiorlef

A text based adventure game engine...


Choose your own adventure based system.

It's what Zoe Quinn used to create Depression Quest.

Why write an essay like that? Fuck if I know.

Can't wait to read it while drinking a nice cup of deconstructed coffee.
Slayven
gimme some o dat God-crafted alabaster greatness
(04-21-2017, 06:39 PM)
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Originally Posted by ElBoxyBrown

Lol, basically.

If you look through that person's twitter you'll see some well thought out rants every time Marvel tries to talk about their sales.

What is your avatar, cause right now it looks like Ronald Regan as venom
Father_Brain
Samus made me a Widower :(
(04-21-2017, 06:39 PM)
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This is a fantastic read and I highly recommend it.
The Kree
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(04-21-2017, 06:40 PM)
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Originally Posted by ReAxion

i wrote a 30k essay and then i threw it down a well. go read it.

LOL
ReAxion
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(04-21-2017, 06:40 PM)
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Originally Posted by ElBoxyBrown

Lol, basically.

If you look through that person's twitter you'll see some well thought out rants every time Marvel tries to talk about their sales.

that's the thing, i want to read this. but not enough to figure out how the hell i am supposed to.
John Kowalski
#thor2thedarkworld
(04-21-2017, 06:40 PM)
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I mean i don't care about comics but i'm enjoying this.

Originally Posted by ReAxion

that's the thing, i want to read this. but not enough to figure out how the hell i am supposed to.

You, uh, download the html, open it with a browser and then click on the blue text on the bottom to go to the next page.

This isn't Europa Universalis.
Carcetti
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(04-21-2017, 06:41 PM)
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Reading this and loving it. I can smell the anger and the frustration in the writing.

And seriously, Twine is basically just html and sequential hypertext. It's not like it's rocket science to read it. You open it in a browser.
SpaceWolf
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(04-21-2017, 06:41 PM)
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Has making threads become, like, your day job now LordofLore? You're a machine!
ElBoxyBrown
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(04-21-2017, 06:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by Slayven

What is your avatar, cause right now it looks like Ronald Regan as venom

From Deadly Class #15:

LordOfLore
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(04-21-2017, 06:47 PM)
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Originally Posted by SpaceWolf

Has making threads become, like, your day job now LordofLore? You're a machine!

Hey, I spend hours on the bus or waiting at the job for people to show up. Have to do something with my time after I finish a book or show.
ReAxion
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(04-21-2017, 06:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by John Kowalski

I mean i don't care about comics but i'm enjoying this.



You, uh, download the html, open it with a browser and then click on the blue text on the bottom to go to the next page.

This isn't Europa Universalis.

i said i want to read it, not google europa universalis.
Slayven
gimme some o dat God-crafted alabaster greatness
(04-21-2017, 06:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by ElBoxyBrown

From Deadly Class #15:

I like my guess better
Aurean_Mentat
(04-21-2017, 06:50 PM)
Honestly, this is well worth a read, as its well thought out and he makes some good point. As far as people complaining about the engine, I think that it actually works here, and is a lot more readable. Here's a point about the way comics are actually sold, as a small excerpt:

Let's talk a little more about the economics of the direct market pre-order system, and how it all shakes out in a way that doesn't help anybody at all in the chain. It's not great for the reader, it's not great for the retailer, and ultimately, it also deeply hurts the publisher's ability to make and sell comics themselves. Top to bottom, the system sucks shit.

So, we know already that the way a comic is actually sold is through a 3 months early pre-order system, done specifically to comic stores. This already isn't great, but we really need to detail how this fragments the potential comic market to a pathetic sliver.

Let's imagine we have a brand new comic coming out! Number one issue. New hero, old hero, doesn't matter, it's a new comic, so, retailers have to start making those pre-orders ASAP! So let's break down how the hypothetical audience of this comic gets cut down.

First off: Anybody who doesn't have a comic shop in their area, doesn't know they have a comic shop in their area, or their comic shop is too far away for them to make the regular trip over, is cut out of contributing to the sales of this book. This is of course unsurprising, but it also means a massive amount of potential readers and buyers are cut out of the equation from the very beginning. Diamond, the distributor that has a monopoly on the distribution of comics, had over 2,600 accounts with them in 2013. Numbers have gone up since then, but still - that's not an awful lot of comic stores across the entirety of the United States. The odds of someone who might like some comics actually having a dedicated comic store in their area become pretty slim.

So, already, the potential audience for this comic is cut significantly.

Next, we need to cut out the people who do know they have a comic shop in their area, and are close enough to go to it easily, but don't want to go to it. Whatever the reasons - maybe they don't like the employees, maybe it's messy, maybe they just don't like the atmosphere in there, maybe they've been treated poorly or rudely - this cuts out another chunk of the potential audience who can support this book, and in turn, the comic industry as a whole. Maybe they end up buying the comic through online or through a trade, but this does nothing to impact the retailer's order numbers for issue one of that comic, which is what so much of the survival of said comic depends on.

Another chunk of audience cut out.

Follow up on that, anyone who buys digitally or buys in trade exclusively, they're cut out. They might help a book survive overall late in the game, but since they can't/don't impact the most significant factor of a book's survival - the deep, early pre-orders - their purchase's impact is minimal, and of course, does nothing to help the comic shop stay open in the first place, which is what so much of the comic industry depends on to begin with.

Then, we even need to cut out the people who do have a comic shop in their area, who live close enough to it, who do want to go to it, and they do buy this new number one comic... but they buy it off the rack. All they're doing at that point is helping the retailer move out their stock of the comic. This has little to no impact whatsoever on the overall survival of the book, barring a massive sellout and swoop in of demand for more of the comic. The casual rack buyer is more or less meaningless to the survival of any individual comic and much of the comic business as a whole, despite the fact that they're putting their money where their mouth is. Again, a massive part of the potential audience for making this book survive, cut right out.

The only audience member who truly matters, the ones that make this industry and its books live or die, that determines whether this all new comic book survives or not, are the ones who know they have a comic store in their area, it's close enough to go to regularly, they want to go to it, they know about this new number one comic, and they not only buy it, but they express their interest to the retailer as far back as three months in advance or more, that they want to buy this comic.

This is the consumer that matters the most to the comic industry. They are the foundation of the direct market. Which makes the direct market incredibly unhealthy, and as I've stated and explained here, cuts the potential comics buying market to an incredibly tiny group. Even if you know about the comic, even if you buy the first issue right off the rack, your purchase ends up meaning a big fat nada if you didn't tell the retailer you wanted to buy that comic far before it gets anywhere near their shelves. So much of the industry's survival has the onus put on a consumer who knows the system in and out and is willing and able to work with it, and often, to do research on upcoming books themselves.

Like I said. This is an incredibly tiny group of people. A very small group of buyers.

And things actually get even worse from there.

BoogieWoogie
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(04-21-2017, 06:56 PM)
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Dear Marvel,

You're doing a lot of shit wrong, but $10 for a comic book? Seriously?
Baron von Loathsome
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(04-21-2017, 07:02 PM)
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Oh god, the writer is invoking Homestuck. Fucking Homestuck.
Platy
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(04-21-2017, 07:06 PM)
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Originally Posted by Baron von Loathsome

Oh god, the writer is invoking Homestuck. Fucking Homestuck.

mreddie
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(04-21-2017, 07:08 PM)
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For those wondering, he says Marvoo doesn't market books correctly, doesn't strike while the iron is hot, doesn't let some books breathe and complete a storyline without a tie in no one cares about and of course, the relaunches that kills a books momentum, the prices for a book have gotten overboard for some in a economy that can barely afford rent.

But the key factor, doesn't tell folks about a system that dictates how the books are sold.

When Digital TV and gaming give you more for 10 bucks, you need to convince people why the comics are good. DC is doing that right now and Rebirth is selling like fire.
Last edited by mreddie; 04-21-2017 at 07:10 PM.
Mabase
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(04-21-2017, 07:08 PM)
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Gonna read it later in the evening, but fuck me just post it on a website! It opens in a browser, is very long and DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A TABLE OF CONTENTS OR PAGENUMBERS. This could be longer than Zelda and I wouldn't even know it!

This is a bit disrespectful towards any potential reader's time.
//rant
Metroidvania
People called Romanes they go the house?
(04-21-2017, 07:09 PM)
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....why on earth would someone make this into a downloadle text-click 'game', rather than just putting it up on some other medium?

That being said, only just started, but some good points already.
Aurean_Mentat
(04-21-2017, 07:20 PM)
Man, the dude makes a pretty damned good case that Brevoort and co are being disingenuous at best when they say to go buy the issues of something to support it. Your buying the book doesn't matter one fucking bit in terms of un-canceling the series and it continuing with the same author.

I mean, it's clear that the dude took some damned time to research this.

Also spits fire at just how hard it is to keep up with what you like (as a former X-Men fan, I almost want to buy the guy a beer.)

Seriously, this is well worth your time, and while I don't love the format, is a lot damned more readable than if he just posted it on a blog somewhere.
Akainu
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(04-21-2017, 07:23 PM)
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Originally Posted by Slayven

What is your avatar, cause right now it looks like Ronald Regan as venom

So Ronald Reagan?
ElBoxyBrown
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(04-21-2017, 07:32 PM)
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Originally Posted by Akainu

So Ronald Reagan?

That would imply he was radical.
LordOfLore
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(04-21-2017, 07:36 PM)
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Why twine.
Kart94
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(04-21-2017, 07:37 PM)
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LOL Twine.

Also Marvel just doesn't to admit the books they are making suck and their event crossovers is too much and sucks.
ryseing
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(04-21-2017, 07:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by Metroidvania

....why on earth would someone make this into a downloadle text-click 'game', rather than just putting it up on some other medium?

That being said, only just started, but some good points already.

He could have literally put it up on Medium. They're pretty good at hosting long form essays.
ibyea
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(04-21-2017, 07:45 PM)
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I already read some of it and their business model is quiet shocking in its stupidity.
Candescence
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(04-21-2017, 07:50 PM)
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Marvel has been addicted to line-wide events (only Secret Wars was any good, Civil War 2 was an even worse catastrophe than the first one, whereas Monsters Unleashed was more contained and pretty damn fun), amongst other missteps.

Really, while Twine might not've been the best way to do this, it does highly how utterly fucked up western comics are as a market. Manga is a mainstream medium in Japan partly because of its market accessibility, though also because of its appeal because you can get comics in entire magazines weekly that are good to read to and from work and such.
Metalmarc
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(04-21-2017, 07:52 PM)
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Is the correct answer younger people don't care so much for comics anymore? There are a percentage but they are just getting older and the younger ones dont care, its like print magazines, im guessing sales of these are declinign rapidly also, hence so many are closing

Why read when everything is on the internet almost , plus with so many t.v shows and films now they just wait for the adaption?
Metroidvania
People called Romanes they go the house?
(04-21-2017, 07:53 PM)
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Somewhat related (link from one of the guy's tweet threads), but...I didn't realize it was quite this bad.

http://www.cbr.com/no-diversity-didn...s-comic-sales/

Originally Posted by Comic Book Reader

Between October 2015 and February 2017, Marvel launched or relaunched at least 104 ongoing superhero series, for an average of about six new #1s a month.

Why on earth would you take a shotgun approach and burn through all your ideas at once, lol.

Unsurprisingly, a very large number of these series have failed to find an audience: roughly a quarter (25) were canceled with 10 or fewer issues published; at least another seven books (7 percent) launched in late-2016/early-2017 appear to be very likely to meet the same fate, even if their cancellation has not yet been formally announced.

Like.......no shit
Aurean_Mentat
(04-21-2017, 07:55 PM)
Just finished the whole thing and there were a lot of things I wanted to quote up here. If I thought it would be respectful to simply make a series of posts quoting the whole damned essay, I probably would. Seriously, go read it!

The thing I probably appreciated the most about the essay is that he backs up his arguments with data. A lot of data. Also some tweets, facebook posts, and the like that are goddamn hilarious in retrospect.
mreddie
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(04-21-2017, 07:56 PM)
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Originally Posted by Metalmarc

Is the correct answer younger people don't care so much for comics anymore? There are a percentage but they are just getting older and the younger ones dont care, its like print magazines, im guessing sales of these are declinign rapidly also, hence so many are closing

Why read when everything is on the internet almost , plus with so many t.v shows and films now they just wait for the adaption?

Comic sales are actually up last year, have been since 2013. Walking Dead and Batman are selling. It's just the Big Two think they know how to sell but both and others still dicate sales based on preorders and selling them in stores that you can barely find.
BenjaminBirdie
(04-21-2017, 07:57 PM)
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Man I don't know whatever someone needs to do to actually have a shot at getting paid for their hard work. Put it on Twine, Spotify, Bleep, I don't give a fuck.
Sgt. Kabukiman
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(04-21-2017, 08:01 PM)
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Originally Posted by Metalmarc

Is the correct answer younger people don't care so much for comics anymore? There are a percentage but they are just getting older and the younger ones dont care, its like print magazines, im guessing sales of these are declinign rapidly also, hence so many are closing

Why read when everything is on the internet almost , plus with so many t.v shows and films now they just wait for the adaption?

US comic-book sales are a joke compared to what they are in countries like Japan and France. The difference? Comics are everywhere, they're cheaper and they don't fall into pieces unless preserved in a plastic bag. You won't find a single kid who doesn't read comics in my country. American publishers decimated their own market with shitty practices. There's still a readership and it's growing but Marvel just isn't in a good place right now.
Last edited by Sgt. Kabukiman; 04-21-2017 at 08:05 PM.
Kinyou
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(04-21-2017, 08:04 PM)
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I'll wait for the visual novel

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