This is from January, but still very relevant as in-shop sales continue to be pretty abysmal. I was that reader, pulling upwards of 30 books a month 2 and 3 years ago. And that tapered off to zero last year.
“The most disturbing trend involves established readers who have sufficient disposable income that they can afford to buy what they like to read. A significant portion of these readers are trimming their title lists by 50% or more because they don’t enjoy the current output. When a dedicated DC customer who was buying EVERY New 52 title in 2011 and 2012 is now buying no DC titles, or a dedicated Avengers/Captain America/Iron Man/Thor customer has dropped all of these series, it’s troubling.”
Lolllllll. They deserve every drop. Fuckers.
Corporation *produces something that the audience does not need, want, or enjoy*
Audience: I do not want this tasteless poison for my mind.
Corporation: You will not give us your money?
Audience: No. You have nothing to offer. Nothing that I need, want, or enjoy.
Corporation *dares to be offended*
Buy what you LIKE TO READ.
When I read articles about how “fandom is broken”, how we fans think we can demand whatever we want, I’m always astonished. Isn’t that… how it’s SUPPOSED to work? We, the consumers, buy what we like, not what we’re force-fed.
And when we consumers make a statement that we collectively don’t like something by not buying it, instead of bitching about how no one’s buying, maybe try to produce something that WILL sell. How is that not the natural order of commerce?
I mean, we comics fans are TELLING Marvel and DC what we want, but they keep insisting, NO, you want THIS, so why aren’t you buying it?
^ This is exactly what blows my mind. I actually saw another comics fan suggest it’s the fans fault comics sales are failing. That’s not…how this works…dude. People WILL buy things they want and no one is fucking obligated to buy something that they don’t want and isn’t enjoyable. If I bought a product, brought it home, and it fell to pieces in my hands and didn’t work at all as it was suggested, or simply didn’t suit the purpose I needed it for…people would think me stupid for just buying the same product again. And again. Expecting something different.
Artistic integrity matters and of course they are free to make whatever art they want…but if one is also trying to sell that art as a product, it complicates matters, and you have to take into account what buyers want. It being an ongoing/shared universe further complicates matters because you need to keep the stories and characters recognizable. You can’t just swap things in and out that don’t fit and then tell consumers they’re full of shit for noticing. We know when we’re being played, and being lied to, and we’re under zero obligation to just passively accept whatever they dish out. This isn’t what I want. It’s not fun for me. So I’m not buying it, or reading it. The end.
Right? I mean, take the publishing world, for example, since it’s what I’m more familiar with. Yes, authors are encouraged to write whatever they want and to have their own voices, but most publishers will usually not take a chance on something that isn’t already selling or expected to take off shortly. Something that isn’t marketable. Because the market drives the content, in most cases.
Because that’s how it works.
If an author wants to write something that’s not accepted as easily marketable, they are free to write it anyway and self-pub it on Amazon or whatever, but they KNOW the sales won’t be spectacular unless miraculous lightening strikes. Or they write fanfiction, where no expectation of money comes into it, and people either read or don’t read, as they wish.
Why would comics, which is as much about the story as the pictures, be any different? Why do they think we, the consumers, should just buy what we’re given and be happy about it? That is NOT how entertainment media works.
Even Hollywood is starting to realize that, and they are glacially slow on the social uptake.
Very well said. And I’m so tired of people making excuses for these companies making shit decisions and instead blaming the fans for being too picky. If it’s not enjoyable it’s JUST NOT ENJOYABLE we actually do WANT to enjoy and buy these things. But if it’s endless disappointment, we’re gonna start looking elsewhere, or stick with older canon, or fanworks, or indie books. We’re just not that desperate that we’ll take literally anything AND like it.