The Comics Are All Right: The Truth is Out There, We’re Going to Find It

Call this a manifesto, a vision, but this to me is to get my thoughts about where I’m taking my writing and particularly this column. Launched two years ago, the concept of “The Comics Are All Right” was to give a data driven take on the comic industry. Much is written out there but much of it is opinion or shallow deep claims. Very little analyzes what’s underneath, really crunches the numbers without agenda, or takes a different perspective on things. That’s where this comes in.

There’s much been written and buzzed about lately about how the comic book industry is full of doom and gloom, a broken system that needs to be torn down before being corrected. So many digital pages have been spent blaming certain publishers without much context or deep dive into the what or the why of it all. The industry as a whole is presented as an over simplified problem with blame focused squarely on the main comic distributor Diamond Comics, and as a conspiracy by the big two, Marvel and DC Comics, to squeeze out smaller publishers making it difficult for them to publish or they’re to blame for all of the woes.

The reality is further from the truth.

The reality is, it’s complicated.

The comic industry has issues, don’t get me wrong. From publishers and creators through distribution to stores and fans, everything can be improved, but that will always be the case as marketing, business, technology, and more evolve.

I’m about data and coming up with solutions. I’m returning to this weekly column looking at the reality of the comic market both good and bad, and offering actionable solutions, not just griping. Any claims will be backed up with facts.

You won’t fine claims like “Marvel is sinking in sales and destroying the industry” without a hard look at the numbers not just this year, but decades past, and more importantly how that compares with other publishers or even other years. When we discuss the sales of each month we’re going to go beyond the percent of the market. We’re going to challenge the “wisdom” that pervades the industry.

And most importantly, there’s no agenda here.

I don’t have it out for any publisher, I want them all to succeed. But, we’re not going to pull punches and most importantly, we’re going to let the data take us to wherever it does. This may back up beliefs from the chattering class. It may contradict that. But, what we’re going to absolutely be doing is providing the hard numbers and data to back up any claims we make.

This’ll be interesting and I’ve been gathering the data to set us upon our journey in the next column for some months now and have no idea what I’ll find. What I know is, it’ll be based in reality, not opinion, and it’ll actually ask the tough questions and speak the truth about where the industry has been and where it’s going.

I’ll be back next week with the first real entry for this column with a beginning dive into the year that was.

 

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