Not too long ago I was looking at Marvel’s sales and thought: “Oh that’s pretty good for a week I guess” and then the person made me aware they were the sales for that month. Why were sales so low? I went into a deep dive of data and information wondering how Marvel was killing it on film, on Netflix, TV and so many other products but their core product comics were flopping.
It made no sense, when Marvel was so influential even shwarma sales went up due to a mention in Avengers why their comic book line was performing so abysmally with over 30 titles selling under 20k monthly month over month losing sales. We’re seeing so many comic book stores closing their doors including London’s Oldest
What factors are playing into this? It obviously isn’t branding or advertising Marvel is as much a household name as parent company Disney.
Many are saying Marvel has a preoccupation with badly designed “diverse” heroes along with poor writing and a disrespect for the characters and fans that made Marvel what it is.
Writing that has lead to decisions like making Captain America a nazi, replacing Iron Man with Riri Williams a black female teenager. Replacing Thor with a female lead and many more.
“[A lot of misogynistic filth]”, “[Red Pill MRA Meninist Casual Racism]”, and even “[Unsolicited Opinions on Israel???]” were all speech captions in Angela: Queen of Hel, a Marvel comic that was cancelled after failing. The comic started with nearly 40,000 sales on its first issue, but dropped to just below 25,000 on its second.
By the third issue, Angela: Queen of Hel was at just above 20,000 sales, and by the last issue, issue seven, just over 14,000 people bought a copy. That’s right: the comic lost over half of its audience within seven issues.
In a recent interview during the Marvel Retailer Summit, Marvel VP of Sales David Gabriel said:
What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not. I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales. We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against. That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.
“We’re seeing the worst falloff of Marvel and DC sales in the store’s 38-year history,” complained one comic book store owner in an industry forum. “Both companies are losing established readers who no longer feel that the company’s output reflects the sort of comics they enjoy.
Diversity & Comics is just shy of 40,000 subscribers. He has more viewers than “The Avengers” comic book had readers in August.
The comic book press have joined in. These are both bleeding cool writers speaking publicly about trying to get D&C’s patreon account taken down as well as his youtube channel banned.
If you ask me these writers should spend more time on their craft than chasing down these youtubers because the numbers don’t lie and the only thing keeping my comic book store open is anime, Pokemon, & Yu Gi Oh cards. Creators attacking fans doesn’t help an industry in critical condition. Attacking customers doesn’t give them an incentive to spend money. Only you can’t tell SJWs this. They’ll watch you go out of business, not buying the product you’re pandering to them with and move on to the next thing.
So what is #Comicgate? To understand that you have to look at GamerGate:
Gamergate started out with a reasonable complaint – game journalists are too cozy with developers, both indie and AAA, and so their coverage and reviews often turns into advertisements for their friends or advertisers (depending on if it’s an indie game or a AAA game). This was something that everyone kind of knew but ignored, and the Zoe Quinn thing was just too obvious to keep ignoring. Then game journalists started saying that people were only mad at Quinn because she was a woman, attempting to censor, block, ban, blacklist and even get people fired for talking about it.
Comicgate is similar, comic book fans are disappointed with the product Marvel is putting out, and we see the comic writers as well as the comic book press attempting to censor the people speaking out about it. But like GamerGate and the devs, studios, and games that flopped the numbers and economics here don’t lie. It’s not going to be Marvel that pays for this Disney and their other products will keep them going. It’s the comic book stores that invested in a brand they trusted as fans and to sell for their livelihood that are going to be hurting.
Here’s a free tip for Marvel you wanna make something that appeals to black folks? Study whatever secret sauce Dragon Ball, Jojo’s Bizarre adventure, Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, Boruto, Sonic, and Boku no Hīrō Akademia have. Pull some magic and get Gundam localized over here. That’s what we’re picking up in the stores.
Create authentic heroes not performative heroes we can smell the gimmick a mile away. We know female Thor isn’t lasting until the next movie and by the time Avengers 3 comes out everyone will be right back in their traditional roles to synergize sales. Make diverse characters that are original, authentic and want to be the best versions of themselves. Not wear someone else’s hand-me-downs. On a personal note it’s just weird to see a character like the Falcon who was a hero in his own right rush to wear Captain America’s outfit.
That’s like if Jay Z dropped everything to rush to be the “new” Chester Bennington. But what do I know I read manga…