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Author Topic: Are Comic Books an Endangered Species?  (Read 3953 times)
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CameraManSWAIZE
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« on: Wed, March 16, 2005, 04:20:49 »

Well, they can't be Endangered Species, but it seems that there is very little going on in the Comic Collecting world. I have been collecting for about 12 years, and in 2004 began selling on Ebay.

Does anyone else find the interest in Collecting has become something like an Endangered Species? If so, why? What are your reasons?

My own reasons are, simply, it seems there is very little interest in many once highly prized books. Especially Shi, and Tucci. Surely the diehards collect, but where are the NEW FANS?

Even this message board seems to have very little going on, and few members. I would imagine that this site should have 100's of people on it daily, from all over the world, due to the Internet's greatness alone!

Where are you fans? Let's here from you! Sound off!
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Delvie
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« Reply #1 on: Wed, March 16, 2005, 05:22:33 »

I can't really claim any expertise on the subject matter as I collect few things NON-Shi related in the comic world.

In spite of that, I have my opinions on the matter. I don't think it is as much endangered as it is diluted. I do know that lots of experts in the field say that comic sales have fallen since the 80s & 90s & there seem to be differing opinions on whether it is bouncing back or not. But, for what I've seen... there are far more independent publishers publishing an ungodly amount of different titles I've never heard of. I've also noticed that even the big publishers (DC, IMAGE, MARVEL, etc) are producing several simultaneous storylines (how many spiderman stories are coming out in the next couple months?) @ once & producing countless variants for those.  Also, I've noticed lots of publishers have their entire catalog partially downloadable online so you can view 1/2 the issue or a portion of the issue online & go out & buy the entire issue.

Shi lost a lot of fans during the time of Shi: The Series because the vision of Shi went from being a complex character that we could all relate to her feelings & confusions to the typical scantily clad hero fighting werewolves & vampires & such. Shi fandom then took another big hit when Avatar & Comic Cavalcade were producing them because they weren't getting the advertisement needed & Christensen was refusing to  produce in color.

Why do people not post or visit this forum more? That's a quandry that I've yet to place my finger on. I'm certain that 2 things partially contribute.


  • 1) Billy should add a comment  to the page in the Shi comics which focuses on this website. "Interact w/ the creators & other fans."  There is only a tiny spot that pictures a button "message boards."
  • 2) Entrance to this forum is set up wrong & promptly discourages a lot of visitors. Most forums allow visitors to view the boards w/out signing up. This forum, however, requires visitors to sign up before viewing.  Most people do not want to commit to something unless they see what they are committing to 1st.  Even though I visited this forum on January 12th 2001 (before it became public) ((GOD! HAVE I REALLY BEEN HERE 4 YRS?!)), I didn't visit the forum until probably my 6th or 7th trip to the website. IMHO, more hubbub about interacting w/ Shi's creators & fellow fans needs to be made on the front page. I guarentee MOST Shi fans don't even realize 1/2 the Shi stories & merchandise that's out there. Collectors here can shed a lot of light on what a newbie is missing.
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Another contributing factor to the seemingly minimal growth in Shi fandom is this website's lack of self promotion. For instance:
  • Less than 1/2 the Shi variants are listed anywhere on the main website.

  • The last news update was May 2004

  • The Illustrated Warrior has variants to each of the 7 issues.
    There are
                  3 #1s
                  2 #2s
                  2 #3s
                  2 #4s
                  2 #5s
                  2 #6s
                  4 #7s
    The store shows 9 of the 17 & the comics section shows 8 of those 9.

  • Ju-Nen is not promoted anywhere on the website since it's release. There is mention of the 1-3 releases on the 2004 solicitations page, but none in the store, none in the news, none in the comics section since the issues have come out. Most people do not know that Ju-Nen #1 has 2 variant covers. Most people do not know that Ju-nen #2 has an alternate cover coming out in 2 months.

  • None of the Avatar Shi comics are publicized on this website. There is a certain animosity between some Shi fans & Avatar/Comic Cavalcade as well as one between the creators & Avatar/Comic Cavalcade but still, promoting Shi in the store & news & comic section at the very least, lets the fans know that SHI didn't just die for 3 year lapse between Akai & Illustrated Warr'r; & at the best, creates a greater revenue for Crusade.

  • The Crusadefinearts Shi cover gallery ends w/ 1997

[/color]

Billy & the other creators are very busy & current news & releases ARE promoted here in the forum, but if fans never make it to the forum... they're screwed.  I offer my services any way I can to help any way I can & I am sure other fans here would as well, if given the opportunity.  


This is only one person's opinion.
« Last Edit: Thu, March 17, 2005, 03:29:42 by Delvie » Logged

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CameraManSWAIZE
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« Reply #2 on: Wed, March 16, 2005, 06:41:46 »

 :D Hello Delvie.
Thanks for answering my post. This kinda answer is exactly what I was hoping to get. Now, I hope many others come up and reply as well.

I want to admit, I am an Internet Junkie, more than a Comic Book Junkie. I spend alot of time online. Playing games, working, reading, chatting, meeting new people all over the world. I would say, I spend as much of my free time online, as most people spend in front of the TV.
Even with my career, a major part of it is online.

As for Comic Collecting, I started doing so before the internet took off. I also stopped collecting before the internet got huge, and my collection stayed in storage for many years. Many of the titles you mentioned are NEWS to me as well. What happened was I noticed last year, the power of Ebay in selling things. So, naturally, I began selling my comics.  As that process grew, I began to find incredible bargains on Ebay for lots of Back Issues of many great titles from the 90's. But sadly, I am beginning to wonder if there is any interest at all in back issues. I have picked up large runs of books, 10 to 50 copies of each book, for pennies each.  An example, is Shi: Way of the Warrior #7 NM/M 25 copies for $10.50.

Shi # 7 was hard to find when it came out in stores. It was one of my missing issues also. I have had them listed on Ebay for 3 months now for .99 cents, and only one sale

A few things I am wondering if true or not:
1. I got so many of these cheap cuz nobody wants them
2. No one wants them cuz nobodyis collecting anymore
3. Ebay is way to competitive for selling back issues
4. where are the fans?

Anyway, I am rambling now.

Let's here from some more members.

BTW, you made alot of great points. I am just begining to explore this site myself. The Message Board was hard to find, though the link was right in front of me. I was looking for a button across the top like the other areas, not a link in the text of the front page.

As far as Tucci posting here alot. I was surprised and excited just to even see he did! But I bet he does not have much time to CHAT on them like many mesage boards have are becoming these days. That's a good thing though. I remember back in the early days on AOL, the chat rooms were very difficult to keep up with. A CHAT/Message Board, is slower, yet still closer to LIVE Timewise.

Anyone?
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« Reply #3 on: Wed, March 16, 2005, 07:39:44 »

I believe the need to make money has made comic collecting a distatefull venture for most folks.  The cover price is hard to pay for when a kid has no income but an allowance.  Adult readers can afford it, but the new stream of kids would rather go on line, read anime, play games vs read books.  It would be interesting to see some demographic numbers from Marvel and DC.

Some trends I have noticed in the last year are that the opportunists are in full force on EBAY (buyers just following the movies that are coming out and selling those characters) and that true collectors are becoming more selective in what they buy.  I do not know if this is due to the finances for individuals or a desire to make money vs collecting, or what.

For SHI auctions, you will see the poacher who just buys  the nicer items for resale later, along with true collectors and people just trying to get a good deal on something to read.

Collections and lots for sale get more search hits than individual comics.  I know this because I tracked it for many of my auctions over a 1 month period.  
pre-1980 comics are worth more in general than the 80's/90's comics due to the amount of material in circulation as the printed quantities were massive.

Many people have graduated to comic art collecting vs comic collecting.   This area has blossomed in the last 5 years.

In summary, I hope comics are not endangered, although being down to only Diamond as a distributor is not a good sign.
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« Reply #4 on: Wed, March 16, 2005, 07:48:13 »

Yes, Diamond being the only, is a very good point.

That could also explain why advertising and promoting could be way down.
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« Reply #5 on: Thu, March 17, 2005, 15:53:22 »

I've been enjoying and collecting comics since the early 80s.  The field has cycled up and down over the years, and has stagnated the past few years.  While there are many great comics being produced, it seems that they are getting less attention than in past years, and that has to discourage the writers and artist out there trying their best.  Then, along comes some hot artist who thinks his sh*t is gold, and throws out all sorts of material that isn't any good to make a quick buck.  Then you get someone who really is putting out quality work, but takes literally years between issues.  That discourages the comic fan.  
I really appreciate a well written story with the art that moves the story along, with art that is a realistic portrayal of the story.  Too often I see something that just looks thrown on paper (which is one of the main reasons I just can't get into magna) that really disappoints me.  Money has been getting short for me, and I really have to be careful where I throw it.  I would love to take my collecting to the next level, by purchasing original art and attending more shows out of town, as I think that is something that I really would enjoy.  There are too few shows here in St. Louis to  draw much in the way of crowds.  I think that hurts comics, as well as cuts back on the exposure comics need.  
There are few racks in the supermarkets with comics on display for the casual fan, ones that could bring the business back to life.  I know that the bookstores are bring in strong sales on graphic novels, but there must be something else out there that could help comics.
I have been weaning my son into good comics, but so many are too violent or sexually orientated for a 12 year old.  So, he ends up looking for anything Transformers or anything that has a show on Nick.  We have some battles, but since he is too tight to spend his own money on comics, I think I'm winning.  I buy him a couple of titles a month, and throw any of the good books I buy that I think are age appropriate to him.
Just a couple of thoughts to throw out. Talk amongst ourselves now.
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