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It's Over

DC Comics is relaunching its entire line-up this June.  After forcing the New 52 down our throats five years ago.

Marvel's "reboot" has halved its audience.

I am officially giving up on trying to break into comics as a writer.

There's no point.

The comic industry itself will be gone within 2-5 years.

I will not be a deck hand on a sinking ship.

Comments

sinetimore
Jan. 23rd, 2016 03:04 pm (UTC)
Doubtful. Remember, I cover comics and conventions, not the spin off media. The spin off media will survive for decades, but the actual source material?

As the publishers lose readers, the first to feel the pinch will be the indies (as no one buys just their stuff) and the comic shops. They will start consolidating because there aren't as many people to buy stuff and pay their bills. Not everyone will go digital (and as far as creators go, some will refuse because no company that pays is releasing sales figures so they can't negotiate a rate from it) and not all readers will go home delivery.

Few people buying books means publishers will be more reliant on expensive stunts and will cut more books because what is considered an "underperformed" has changed. Image will be worst -- you aren't just selling to make up your printing costs, you have to sell enough to make up for the Founders' printing costs (in case you wondered how Larsen's Savage Dragon can sell less than 5K for the past seven years and he still has his house and car). Fewer books other than those immediately popular means more people will walk away. And eventually the whole thing collapses in on itself.

If there is no one reading such news and no companies making such news, there will be nothing for me to cover and my position will probably be gone the day the industry is. I will be very surprised if C2E2 lasts more than two more years, and my visits to Wizard World will stop the day the press passes do.

Selling a comic story would be a pyrrhic victory at this point. Maybe I can do it before the doors close, but as a career? It's a dead end. I need to get back to work on the Hannah Singer books, maybe write a couple more with a more general interest (people here Hannah is a Christian series and they balk). That one book proposal those two publishers passed on? I know I can make it work, I just have to get it out there, and I have an idea for a political satire.

If I want to write and sell comics, I'll probably have to go with the page-a-week model that comics like Looking For Group do. It's a slow business model, but it can work. I'm also talking with a couple of web comic hosters about reviving Stress Puppy, since the audience can expand quickly and potentially bring in ad revenue. All I know is, if I want to be a writer, and I don't want to spend the rest of my life working in a warehouse, I need to think of something else. And fast.

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