Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Why the Iron Man Movie matters (and the comics don't)


That's it, just numbers. This movie is going to have a viewing audience of what? 10-20 million? And then on DVD and on-demand and Blu-Ray and whatever the hell else comes out as a format for movies, plus airings on networks for decades to come?

How the hell do the comics compare to that?

The market for corporate super-comics? It's tiny- maybe what, a million? Two million?
They're too expensive ($4 US? Are you nuts? For 1/6th of a story?), they are paced for another format entirely which also isn't cost competitive because while a $20 Trade Paperback is comparable to the DVD price when the movie is first released on DVD, the DVD price will eventually drop with demand - this does not hold true for the TPB.

Oh, don't get me wrong; I love comics, or I wouldn't do this blog...but the atrophied market says something and we might as well say it now.

OK, you know people like Chris Sims? Sure you do - heck, I like him, and think he's probably one of the top (if not the top) comics blogger out there. Heck, I've probably discovered a few comics thanks to him. I love how he talks about the comics he loved when he was growing up and how they influenced him.

And there's the problem - 20 years from now? There's probably no next Chris Sims. And if there is, he'll be talking about how the Iron Man movie "totally rawked" - he won't be talking about Matt Fraction's "epic run" because he won't have read it. Very few will, because the corporate supercomic groups aren't marketing to him, and have no idea how to get a comic into his hands at anything resembling a sane price.

A lot of people I know call this "The Fanfiction Age of Comics", but the more I think about it, the more I think another label is appropriate.

Welcome to the Forgotten Age of Comics.

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