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  • Comic-nomics

    There's a lot of talk on various threads about DH changing its plans either as a reaction to falling sales, or simply as a ploy to generate more sales. I thought maybe a thread dedicated to the subject -- tracking sales figures, etc. Might be useful.

    I also wanted to throw in my two cents, about a few things.

    First, to the extent that economic considerations are driving decisions, what matters is not revenues, it's profits. I've done a fair amount of online looking in a fruitless quest to figure out what the costs associated with producing a given issue are. As far as I can tell, a good chunk of it is distribution. And that leads me to my first point: To the extent that the sales of hard copies are dropping because of a switch to digital, the figures themselves are overstating the drop in two ways. First it's reporting as lost customers like me who are very much still customers. But second, it's not counting the fact that DH has to win every time a customer like me switches to digital -- because there are no distribution costs for digital. When I pay the 2.99 to the comic shop guy probably around half of it stays at the comic shop. When I pay 2.99 online, DH gets the whole thing. Even if only 50% of the reported drop in sales of hard copies was due to lost customers, the other 50% switching to digital would pretty much completely offset that lost revenue.

    That's also not including the long-run revenue stream that will be generated by having back issues easily accessible pretty much forever. A person coming late to the book no longer has to worry about trying to track down back issues. They are all right there.

    Because of that we just do not have the information it would take for us to say that DH is losing profits on the comics, let alone that those losses are prompting a frantic reshuffling in order to compensate.

    Second, the theory has been put forward that they are frantically putting out multiple titles in order to keep sales up. Sales on the main book are dropping x amount, but the two new minis will bring in sales and that will shore up the enterprise. But like I said, what matters is not revenues, it's profits. They have to pay the writer, the artist, the cover artist, the inker, the colorist, the letterer. Those are all additional costs associated with each issue. Other additional costs would be the marketing costs for each particular issue. Finally, for the hard copy side, there are the printing and distribution costs. A new title is only helpful if its' sales are to cover all those costs associated with producing the new title. Like I said, I find it hard to get much information about what these costs look like. I don't know how much a writer gets for a script, an artist for pages or covers and so on. But if a given issue is selling 10,000 copies -- and we (generously) assume $1.50 per copy actually gets to DH, that means they've got $15,000 with which to cover those costs. I'd guess that makes money. But it's not a lot. And if sales instead come in at 5,000 copies, they've only got $7,500 to pay all those guys, and do the printing (plus whatever distribution still hasn't been taken into account). I'm pretty sure I've heard that 7k or so is the benchmark at which a given project is deemed either worthwhile or not. Does anybody know differently? Of course, the switch to digital could be dropping that amount -- again because the revenue per issue to DH is so much greater.

    I'm pretty sure they said at the beginning of the season that there would be a couple of minis. Lo and behold, there are a couple of minis. The Willow mini has been set for a long time. The Spike mini is the new announcement -- though we hear that Victor already has had his first script approved. So it's not like the decision was made just yesterday. I'd love to know what drove the decision. But I think it's been too easy for people to throw around numbers about sales -- completely ignoring the distinction between sales and revenue; and the distinction between revenue and profits. And I think that leads to a picture of what's going on at DH that isn't fair to the creative people involved in the project, who might, you know, be making adjustments to the stories as they go for creative reasons not marketing reasons.
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  • #2
    I've no real insight into the business. However, it's worth pointing out that they planned for a Dru mini-series and thus had that factored into whatever business plan they had. That got scrapped/delayed and they rush a new mini-series to replace it. So it does read rather like trying to plug a gap due to one mini-series collapsing with another and for whatever reason it was easier to pull Spike out of the Buffy comic than to bring the Willow mini earlier (I assume because of the tie in with Angel and Faith).

    I have to admit I'd love to know what the original plan was for Spike if the Dru series had gone ahead. Would he have remained in the main book but be mostly absent (as we've had with Xander and Dawn in recent issues) or has his storyline been majorly altered to allow his mini-series arc. Sadly I've no real expectation of ever finding out.

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    • #3
      Maggie, are you talking about just the Buffy and Angel titles or are you talking about the entire operation at DH Comics?

      Comment


      • #4
        First of all, the profits always depend on the title. I'm sure Star Wars license cost much more than Buffy's, for example. Or that Buffy's title cost much more than Orchid's, so even if Orchid had less than 5.000 sales last month, it's still profitable. Then every artist and writer has his price. It all depends on how good and how famous and how much work one has, like every freelance work.

        Second, coming to your first point. DH is not the only company that has also switched to digital. Most companies, if not all, have already done that as well. And if Buffy suddenly lost 1.000 from one month to another, that should also apply to DH's other titles as well. I've made a list with the most popular titles that DH has, everything is from ICv2 whoever wants can check it. While Buffy's title has been dropping a lot, the rest of the titles seemed to be more stable, although they have also gone digital.


        Let's take the list with DH more popular titles. You said DH went digital in Buffy's #5, meaning last January. I begin with November.
        Spoiler:


        November



        BtVS[ #3 33,485
        A&F #4 18,855
        STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE III EMPIRE LOST #2 14,524
        PC CAST HOUSE OF NIGHT #1 13,860
        STAR WARS DARK TIMES OUT O/T 13,651
        STAR WARS INVASION REVELATIONS #5 12,632
        STAR WARS KNIGHT ERRANT DELUGE #4 11,407
        CONAN ROAD OF KINGS #10 11,331
        BPRD HELL ON EARTH RUSSIA #3 10,800
        DOLLHOUSE EPITAPHS #5 10,531
        GOON #36 8,757
        BALTIMORE CURSE BELLS #4 8,567
        MASS EFFECT INVASION #2 7,876
        ORCHID #2 7,868



        December


        BtVS[ #4 31,157
        A&F #4 18,356
        THE STRAIN #1 16,023
        STAR WARS AGENT O/T EMPIRE IRON ECLIPSE #1 15,700
        STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE III EMPIRE LOST #3 13,814
        CONAN ROAD OF KINGS #11 10,958
        STAR WARS KNIGHT ERRANT DELUGE #5 10,805
        BPRD HELL ON EARTH RUSSIA #4 10,517
        BALTIMORE CURSE BELLS #5 8,105
        DARK HORSE PRESENTS #7 (MR) 7,849
        THE GUILD ZABOO #1 7,762
        MASS EFFECT INVASION #3 6,941
        ORCHID #3 6,448
        PC CAST HOUSE OF NIGHT #2 5,315


        And now we come to the digital era..

        January 2012




        BTVS SEASON 9 FREEFALL #5 30,146
        ANGEL & FAITH #6 17,800
        STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC WAR #1 16,179
        STAR WARS AGENT O/T EMPIRE IRON ECLIPSE #2 12,675
        LOBSTER JOHNSON THE BURNING HAND #1 12,004
        KING CONAN PHOENIX ON THE SWORD #1 11,338
        CONAN ROAD OF KINGS #12 10,727
        BPRD HELL ON EARTH RUSSIA #5 10,244
        GOON #37 8,789
        THE STRAIN #2 7,650
        MASS EFFECT INVASION #4 6,772
        ORCHID #4 5,803
        CREEPY COMICS #7 5,540


        February


        BTVS SEASON 9 FREEFALL #6 29,878
        CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1 20,569
        STAR WARS DAWN O/T JEDI FORCE STORM #1 18,797
        ANGEL & FAITH #7 17,852
        STAR WARS DAWN O/T JEDI FORCE STORM #0 17,260
        STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE III EMPIRE LOST #4 13,666
        STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC WAR #2 13,318
        STAR WARS DARK TIMES OUT O/T WILDERNESS #4 13,046
        STAR WARS AGENT O/T EMPIRE IRON ECLIPSE #3 12,442
        BPRD HELL ON EARTH LONG DEATH #1 12,258
        KING CONAN PHOENIX ON THE SWORD #2 10,185
        LOBSTER JOHNSON THE BURNING HAND #2 9,837
        DARK HORSE PRESENTS #8 7,936
        DARK HORSE PRESENTS #9 7,851
        STRAIN #3 (MR) 7,384
        DARKNESS #99 (MR) 5,893


        March


        BTVS SEASON 9 FREEFALL #7 28,908
        STAR WARS DAWN O/T JEDI FORCE STORM #2 18,118
        ANGEL & FAITH #8 17,690
        CONAN THE BARBARIAN #2 17,288
        STAR WARS CRIMSON EMPIRE III EMPIRE LOST #5 13,593
        STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC WAR #3 13,045
        BPRD HELL ON EARTH PICKENS COUNTY HORROR #1 12,420
        STAR WARS AGENT O/T EMPIRE IRON ECLIPSE #4 12,217
        BPRD HELL ON EARTH LONG DEATH #2 10,581
        KING CONAN PHOENIX ON THE SWORD #3 9,993
        LOBSTER JOHNSON THE BURNING HAND #3 9,576
        GOON #38 8,034
        RAGEMOOR #1 7,971
        DARK HORSE PRESENTS #10 6,881
        STRAIN #4 (MR) 6,767
        ORCHID #5 4,820


        Now, in this list, remember that there is always a huge difference between #1 and #2. So in some of them you'll see a huge drop, but it's because it's the first issue compared to the second.

        Anyway, Buffy has been losing a lot. And you can't blame it on digital. If Buffy has lost 1.000 buyers because it has gone digital, that means that A&F which is a similar title in the same universe should have been losing the same.
        Another tip is the Star wars title. Even if you see older ones, the sales haven't dropped a lot because of digital. In some cases it has moved up. The same thing has happened one month with A&F, although it was also available digital and although Buffy's title dropped. And the following month (March) A&F lost about 140 pieces, while Buffy lost 1.000.

        About the long run sales, or TPB sales or sales outside the USA. The Diamond list has never shown anything sold outside its system. We have no idea about digital sales or overseas. Not only for DH, but also for every company. But since the majority of the sales comes through the diamond ordering, it's a very good estimation. If Diamond's orders are dropping, that probably means that oversea sales must be dropping as well.
        And then more important. Diamond doesn't count the actual sales, but the orders. It counts what the retailers have ordered through its system. That means, for example, that in February, all the retailers in the USA have ordered 29,878 copies of Buffy. But since they didn't sell everything, the following month they ordered 28,908 copies, almost 1000 less. So those estimates actually include people that will buy the issues even much later.

        For your second point, see what DH has been doing with the Star Wars license. It's not just one title, it has multiple titles per month. Most of the profits actually pay for the license. But you do that once, DH already has Star Wars' and Buffyverse's titles, they don't pay the same amount every time they release another title. So let's take again Drusilla's example.

        Let's say that Drusilla would have sold an average of 15.000 copies (not including oversea or whatever outside Diamond's system). That means that in 5 months DH would have gained 225.000$. Let's say half of them go to the retailers, so we have 112.500$ profit. From that, DH must pay the writer, the artist, the cover artist, the inker, the colorist, the letterer. How much do you actually believe they take as a payment? If they take 1.000$ per issue each, that's a total of 25.000$ which leaves DH with a profit of 87.500$. If they take 2000$ per issue each, that leaves DH with a profit of 62.500$, if they take 3.000# per issue each, DH still has a profit of 37.500.
        In my opinion, I doubt they take an average of 2.000$ per issue each, some more, some less.

        And now let's look at Buffy's case, and A&F. At this time, both of the titles sale around 46.000 copies. That's 138.000 per month. In half, that's 69.000$ per month. Let's say that each artist and writer and colorist and letterer and cover artist takes 2.000$ per month, so we have to pay 10 people, 20.000$, we still have 49.000$. Let's say for the license we need an average of 10.000$ (here I'm guessing and I tried to put as much as possible) we still have 39.000$ profit in a month. Give another 9.000$ for various costs, DH gains 30.000$ per month thanks to A&F and to Buffy.

        Now, if you add another title to the story, you won't have to pay the license, it's already paid. From Drusilla's example, with an average of 2.000$ per month per writer/artist, with 15.000 sales per month, you have an extra 12.500$ profit. Add another title to the long run, since DH's plans are to sell a Buffyverse title each week, and you have another 12.500 per month.
        So yes, having more titles pays better than having just one. Do you think that it would have been better for DH to have one title instead of two? (Buffy + A&F). And if yes, why have they done it?
        And to all of that count extra money that will be gained from digital sales, oversea, TPB, etc. So of course it's more profitable to have multiple titles instead of one. Otherwise each company would publish only one comic title, and not as many as it can.
        So by having 2 titles, DH gains 30.000$ per month. With a 3rd title, it goes to 42.500$ per month. (Only from the Diamond's sales, not counting the rest). And with a 4th, to 55.000$ per month.
        Ask me again if it's more profitable to have various titles instead of just one.

        And the decision wasn't made yesterday. Some time between December and beginning of February, they decided to separate Spike from the main title. It's probably also the reason why Espenson had to change the story she had written for #14 (or #15). If she had written a story with Spike appearing, she would have had to change it since at the time that #14-15 will be published Spike will be in his own title away from Buffy. And there was something for Spuffies to remember in #8. If you have read something like that, I rest my case, but I haven't.

        Also the fact that they admitted it themselves that Dru's cancellation was the main reason that things had to be rushed, and a title which was "supposed" to appear much later came now, only proves that the creativity is not their main reason but profits are.
        Last edited by zianna; 19-04-12, 04:44 AM.

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        • #5
          [QUOTE=zianna;618081]
          Second, coming to your first point. DH is not the only company that has also switched to digital. Most companies, if not all, have already done that as well. And if Buffy suddenly lost 1.000 from one month to another, that should also apply to DH's other titles as well. I've made a list with the most popular titles that DH has, everything is from ICv2 whoever wants can check it. While Buffy's title has been dropping a lot, the rest of the titles seemed to be more stable, although they have also gone digital.
          First the problem isn't the drop -- it's whether the drop is enough to cause a massive overhaul in story design. Second we can't compare to the other titles easily because the markets are different. BtVS fans are atypical. That does mean there should be a comparison between A&F and BtVS, however, because those are probably about the same (but see below).

          I took the trouble to calculate the percentage declines and I have to say your characterization of the data is heavy-handed to say the least. Here are the basic numbers:

          The first month it looks like you have a bang up case. There was a 7% drop for BtVS and only a 2.6% drop for A&F. That's before digital, which came out at #5 for BtVS (January).

          So what happened in January? BtVS dropped 3.2% and AtF dropped 3%. Basically that's about the same. The switch to digital means that these drops are exaggerated at least some. And since revenues are higher off of digital sales it's impossible to say what's happened to revenue. Do let that sink in. You do NOT know if revenue is up or down and you have no way of knowing based on these figures.

          January to February? BtVS dropped 0.1% and A&F rose .2% Basically both titles held steady. This probably means a net improvement on revenue if more switches to digital are happening at a time when sales are pretty much flat on both titles.

          February to March. BtVS dropped 3.2% and A&F dropped 0.1%. So basically you've got numbers from 2 of 4 months you consider that might be concerning. That's not a slam dunk case for OMG the sky is falling on season 9 sales sorts of arguments.

          And even if we said that BtVS had a decline in sales problem that was worrisome compared to A&F your argument still isn't home free.

          1. BtVS starts at higher figures and even with this OMG THE SKY IS FALLING data, it's still got higher sales by a long shot. It's the more profitable title. Why would they pitch everything on the concern that a trend that shows up intermittently in a small data sample will continue on unless they change everything right away? It makes no sense to be that sensitive to small SR changes.

          2. We would expect BtVS numbers to fall faster. The casual person interested in what Joss is doing is going to pick up season 9, not A&F. The casual fan is also going to drift out more easily. Do you really want to argue that BtVS has a floor BELOW A&F? Cause even if they have yet to find a floor, it'd be nuts to say there isn't one, and I think foolish to assume it's lower than the floor for A&F.

          Anyway, Buffy has been losing a lot. And you can't blame it on digital. If Buffy has lost 1.000 buyers because it has gone digital, that means that A&F which is a similar title in the same universe should have been losing the same.
          No, it doesn't. BtVS starts at a higher level. In percentage terms the differences aren't nearly as stark as you make out. And you aren't accounting for the floor effect. That A&F started at its floor isn't a sign of strength.

          About the long run sales, or TPB sales or sales outside the USA. The Diamond list has never shown anything sold outside its system. We have no idea about digital sales or overseas. Not only for DH, but also for every company. But since the majority of the sales comes through the diamond ordering, it's a very good estimation. If Diamond's orders are dropping, that probably means that oversea sales must be dropping as well.
          No it's not a good estimation. For starters by definition it can't tell us anything about digital since there's a switch from the diamond measure to digital. Second you need to show me evidence that oversees sales and domestic sales are closely correlated. Different economies, different audiences, different sensibilities. You can make up the correlation out of your head (which is all you're doing) but what can be gratuitously asserted is gratuitously denied.

          Also, you still haven't hit the crucial issue which is that it's revenues that matter, not sales. We don't know what's happening to the digital sales. The revenues produced on digital are probably twice as high per unit as the revenues produced on hard cover.

          Finally, it does not matter if BtVS is doing better or worse than other titles. What matters is whether it's profitable and expected to remain so. Check and check. If it falls through the floor established by A&F come back and let's have a chat. I, at least, am willing to admit when I'm wrong, so if BtVS plummits to a lower floor, I'll come out and say so. But meanwhile it's not close at all. I mean, you do realize that season 9 is considerably more profitable than A&F, yes? Well, I haven't seen them panicking about A&F -- why should they panic about season 9. There's every reason to think that the worst case scenario is that it hits the same floor. But I think that worst case scenario is itself extremely unlikely.

          For your second point, see what DH has been doing with the Star Wars license. It's not just one title, it has multiple titles per month. Most of the profits actually pay for the license. But you do that once, DH already has Star Wars' and Buffyverse's titles, they don't pay the same amount every time they release another title. So let's take again Drusilla's example.
          That's helpful. What we need to know is how big the licensing fee is. Do you have this information? And do you know for a fact that it's a single license that's good for unlimited issues?

          Let's say that Drusilla would have sold an average of 15.000 copies (not including oversea or whatever outside Diamond's system). That means that in 5 months DH would have gained 225.000$. Let's say half of them go to the retailers, so we have 112.500$ profit. From that, DH must pay the writer, the artist, the cover artist, the inker, the colorist, the letterer. How much do you actually believe they take as a payment? If they take 1.000$ per issue each, that's a total of 25.000$ which leaves DH with a profit of 87.500$. If they take 2000$ per issue each, that leaves DH with a profit of 62.500$, if they take 3.000# per issue each, DH still has a profit of 37.500.
          In my opinion, I doubt they take an average of 2.000$ per issue each, some more, some less.
          Georges is doing a total of what 8 or 10 issues a year? It's a full time job for him. On your most generous estimate your saying he's getting between 24k and 30k per year. Is that your claim? I don't know anything about how poor these guys are, but that's poor. I grant you, Georges has to be the bigger ticket item because of how much time it takes. But they're also getting in professional writers like Chambliss who work in TV. They can't be paying them chump change. I have no idea how much work a colorist or letterist, etc. can do in a month. Maybe they do so many jobs they could survive on the paltry sums you allocate them. Basically we don't know nearly enough to go further, and unlike you I'm not interesting in making up made up figures. My basic point stands -- you do NOT know what you are talking about. You have partial data on revenues and nothing on costs. The partial data you use on revenues isn't nearly as dire as you make out. Basically you are making up made up things and getting a lot of people upset in the process.

          And the decision wasn't made yesterday. Some time between December and beginning of February, they decided to separate Spike from the main title. It's probably also the reason why Espenson had to change the story she had written for #14 (or #15). If she had written a story with Spike appearing, she would have had to change it since at the time that #14-15 will be published Spike will be in his own title away from Buffy. And there was something for Spuffies to remember in #8. If you have read something like that, I rest my case, but I haven't.
          In other words, before the sales had gotten through the initial settling in period (at the start of the season), and before Spuffy even got going at all, DH got so rattled by things that they rewrote the entire story? With the attendant EXTRA costs of having to pay everyone for the rewrites?

          As for the Spuffy moment we're supposed to remember, I think it's the hand holding moment with the meaningful stare. That's Allie's response to a tweet about the panel in #4, and I think he's right that this one is comparable. It is, at any rate, well within line of Allie's usual estimation of how things will seem to fans.

          Also the fact that they admitted it themselves that Dru's cancellation was the main reason that things had to be rushed, and a title which was "supposed" to appear much later came now, only proves that the creativity is not their main reason but profits are.
          They were never going to do more than three minis according to their own account. Shifting timing has ZIPPO to do with their overall profits from the season as a whole.
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          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Maggie View Post


            First the problem isn't the drop -- it's whether the drop is enough to cause a massive overhaul in story design. Second we can't compare to the other titles easily because the markets are different. BtVS fans are atypical. That does mean there should be a comparison between A&F and BtVS, however, because those are probably about the same (but see below).

            I took the trouble to calculate the percentage declines and I have to say your characterization of the data is heavy-handed to say the least. Here are the basic numbers:

            The first month it looks like you have a bang up case. There was a 7% drop for BtVS and only a 2.6% drop for A&F. That's before digital, which came out at #5 for BtVS (January).

            So what happened in January? BtVS dropped 3.2% and AtF dropped 3%. Basically that's about the same. The switch to digital means that these drops are exaggerated at least some. And since revenues are higher off of digital sales it's impossible to say what's happened to revenue. Do let that sink in. You do NOT know if revenue is up or down and you have no way of knowing based on these figures.

            January to February? BtVS dropped 0.1% and A&F rose .2% Basically both titles held steady. This probably means a net improvement on revenue if more switches to digital are happening at a time when sales are pretty much flat on both titles.

            February to March. BtVS dropped 3.2% and A&F dropped 0.1%. So basically you've got numbers from 2 of 4 months you consider that might be concerning. That's not a slam dunk case for OMG the sky is falling on season 9 sales sorts of arguments.

            And even if we said that BtVS had a decline in sales problem that was worrisome compared to A&F your argument still isn't home free.
            First of all my maths are a little bit different than yours, but since it's not that huge it doesn't matter.
            Second and most important is that your basic argument is that Buffy's digital sales have raised so that's the reason the diamond's dropping. Well, you're wrong. Since all DH's titles have gone digital at the same time, if Buffy's fallen 3% then every title should have dropped the same. Since Buffy's continues dropping because of digital sales, then every other title should continue dropping at the same amount. It's called statistics.
            And thirdly and even more important, A&F's sales went up in February (not every person on Earth was aware about the digital in January) while Buffy dropped. And A&F's title was stable in March, while Buffy's again dropped by 3.25%. And we're talking about 2 titles under the same universe with Whedon's name on it. So the rate should have been the same.

            If we take it from the very first issue, A&F has lost about 25% while Buffy has lost more than 32%. And what makes the difference here is that A&F's title seems to have stabilized the last 3 months while Buffy's hasn't. A title that sells around 30k per month and drops more than 3% isn't stable. It's dropping.



            1. BtVS starts at higher figures and even with this OMG THE SKY IS FALLING data, it's still got higher sales by a long shot. It's the more profitable title. Why would they pitch everything on the concern that a trend that shows up intermittently in a small data sample will continue on unless they change everything right away? It makes no sense to be that sensitive to small SR changes.

            2. We would expect BtVS numbers to fall faster. The casual person interested in what Joss is doing is going to pick up season 9, not A&F. The casual fan is also going to drift out more easily. Do you really want to argue that BtVS has a floor BELOW A&F? Cause even if they have yet to find a floor, it'd be nuts to say there isn't one, and I think foolish to assume it's lower than the floor for A&F.
            And there was a time some years ago that Buffy was selling more than 80.000 per month. And just 7 issues ago it had sold 42k and after 7 months it dropped to 28k. No matter how you see it, it's a lot of money. Don't count the copies, count dollars. DH gained 45.000$ LESS in March than what it had gained in September. It has lost 25% of what it was gaining from the same title 7 months ago, while it still has to pay the same amount of money for the license, for the artist, the colorist, the covers, the writers etc. And the price of the comic is still the same.

            So if you lose 25% of your income in 7 months, while all the expenses remain the same (and even more if you count things like, paper costing more, ink costing more, electricity costing more etc) you won't worry at all. Really?
            And you keep on having a tendency of losing 3% of the remaining income every month since nothing seems to be yet stable.
            And you have the history of S8 which has shown and proved that Buffy's title has NEVER been stable, but it drops month by month. While you started at 240.000$ 4 years ago and now you are to 45000$, nothing will ever worry you. Never.



            No, it doesn't. BtVS starts at a higher level. In percentage terms the differences aren't nearly as stark as you make out. And you aren't accounting for the floor effect. That A&F started at its floor isn't a sign of strength.
            Yet you take into consideration the percentage here, but in Diamond's estimates the percentage and the statistics don't seem to matter to you. Although the overwhelming majority of the sales that a comic book has is through the Diamond's system (at least until now).


            No it's not a good estimation. For starters by definition it can't tell us anything about digital since there's a switch from the diamond measure to digital. Second you need to show me evidence that oversees sales and domestic sales are closely correlated. Different economies, different audiences, different sensibilities. You can make up the correlation out of your head (which is all you're doing) but what can be gratuitously asserted is gratuitously denied.
            For starters, if DH has had such a big difference in sales ever since it has gone digital, that means that the month that Marvel went digital it should have had the same drop in sales. And so every other company. You really can't support that argument unless you have actually proof to give me about that. And besides, every other title that DH has hasn't dropped that much when it went digital, because it went digital, but this applies to the Buffy title. Seems to me that all you do here is try to justify it but only with words, without any actual proof. And second, what does economies and whatever outside the USA has to do with any of that? Oversee sales are just a plus to the profit, since DH basically doesn't market those audiences, it's an extra profit. That's why there are no cons outside USA, no marketing, no advertising, no big interviews happening in Europe, and even if there is it's ignorable. Take for example Belgium, that has a tradition in comics. Only in Brussels you'll find hundred of comic books and festivals throughout the year about the comics. When has ever DH tried to promote itself in that country? The No1 country in comics in Europe? If DH was selling a lot in Europe, digital or not, believe me they wouldn't have missed any opportunity to promote themselves there. Look at the list with the comic book stores which will have the free comic in May. Compare the list of USA to the list of the rest of the world. And then come again to talk with me about oversee sales and how much DH gains from that.

            Also, you still haven't hit the crucial issue which is that it's revenues that matter, not sales. We don't know what's happening to the digital sales. The revenues produced on digital are probably twice as high per unit as the revenues produced on hard cover.
            And you still haven't realized that the revenues have droped A LOT.
            Let's do an example, again. Let's remove everything, and suppose that DH from every comic sold has a revenue of 0.30$ (hypothetically).
            When S8 began, DH had a revenue of 80k * 0.30 = 24.000$
            When S9 began, DH had a revenue of 42k * 0.30 = 12.600$
            In March, DH had a revenue of 28k * 0.30 = 8.400$

            Let's make that a dollar.
            When S8 began, DH had a revenue of 80k * 1$ = 80.000$
            When S9 began, DH had a revenue of 42k * 1$ = 42.000$
            In March, DH had a revenue of 28k *1$ = 28.000$

            Because the contracts are the same. DH still has to pay the same amount of money to the artists, the writers, the letterist, the electricity, the paper, etc. But the revenues have been dropping as well. Unless you're claiming here that the expenses have dropped as well.
            I'm not saying that Buffy isn't profitable. But it used to make a lot of money and now it just makes money.

            Finally, it does not matter if BtVS is doing better or worse than other titles. What matters is whether it's profitable and expected to remain so. Check and check. If it falls through the floor established by A&F come back and let's have a chat. I, at least, am willing to admit when I'm wrong, so if BtVS plummits to a lower floor, I'll come out and say so. But meanwhile it's not close at all. I mean, you do realize that season 9 is considerably more profitable than A&F, yes? Well, I haven't seen them panicking about A&F -- why should they panic about season 9. There's every reason to think that the worst case scenario is that it hits the same floor. But I think that worst case scenario is itself extremely unlikely.
            Look, I don't know what your job is, my guess is that you have a salary, right? If you have a store and you get good money out of it, but every month you make less and you don't do something about it or you don't worry, there is something wrong and soon you'll close it once and for all. You remind me of a friend and her father, I'm not going to say any details about it, just that her father had a store and he used to make around 1000 per day. But the clients started decreasing while the profit was remaining the same (some of the clients were buying a lot and more every month). Her mother was very worried about the situation, while her father was satisfied saying that since the profit was still the same they had no problem. But the mother was thinking about the future. What would happen in the remaining very good customers stop coming. Her father wasn't worried and in a way he was happy about it, less work for him. Finally, a day came that they had to shut it down, because the remaining good customers stopped spending so much money and there wasn't any profit. And without new customers coming to the store, they couldn't handle the expenses anymore.

            Same thing happens here. You have a very profitable title. Which gives you a lot of money every month. Maybe thanks to it you also pay the expenses of other titles as well, trying to promote them so they can start giving you some revenues as well. And this title is dying. It has never been stable and it has always been dropping. So you try to find solutions. You change the story. You go back to the basics, but to the show instead of superpowered Buffy. You bring back Spike. You give Spuffy. But instead of becoming stable, it's dropping. To raise the sales it's not an easy thing. It takes time and effort, good art, good stories, and a lot of patience and promotion. On the other hand you have the option on multiple titles. Of characters that can give you what A&F has as revenues, of what your other biggest titles (Star Wars) give you every month.

            And you tell me that they won't do it for that, especially when we have the living example with Star Wars that they have been doing it for so much time now. Instead of one title selling 17k, they have 3, 4, sometimes even 5 titles per month.

            That's helpful. What we need to know is how big the licensing fee is. Do you have this information? And do you know for a fact that it's a single license that's good for unlimited issues?
            Sorry, I don't, and I don't think they'll share it. But Star Wars' license costs more than Buffy's that's for sure. As for the second question, it's for limited time for sure. That's why IDW lost Angel's license whey DH bought it.



            Georges is doing a total of what 8 or 10 issues a year? It's a full time job for him. On your most generous estimate your saying he's getting between 24k and 30k per year. Is that your claim? I don't know anything about how poor these guys are, but that's poor. I grant you, Georges has to be the bigger ticket item because of how much time it takes.
            You forget the covers, extra money for that, plus the sketches, plus appearances in comic cons, etc. If he works with getting paid per issue, let's say 8 issues per year plus 12 covers, that's 40k per year without counting any extras he may have. On the other hand, he may be working with percentage. From the 3$, let's say he has 0.1$ per issue (only for the drawing). That means that he had around 2.800$ in March, while in September he had 4,200$. It depends on the contract, the agreement, the company, etc.
            But I really don't think they gain more than 2.000$ per month, because there is extras as well, plus doing something else at the same time, because I doubt he draws Buffy 40 hours per week, more than 160 hours per month for just one issue. I've seen people drawing, the professionals can easily draw an issue in just one week.

            But they're also getting in professional writers like Chambliss who work in TV. They can't be paying them chump change.
            Yeah, but don't think he earns the same as in TV. TV shows are more popular, more people watch it, advertisements, more script to write, more stories to write, etc. Otherwise he would have stayed only writing Buffy and doing nothing else.

            I have no idea how much work a colorist or letterist, etc. can do in a month. Maybe they do so many jobs they could survive on the paltry sums you allocate them.
            And I really doubt that a colorist for example needs a whole month, working 8 hours for 5 days to color a single issue. It's obvious that they do other things as well.

            Basically we don't know nearly enough to go further, and unlike you I'm not interesting in making up made up figures. My basic point stands -- you do NOT know what you are talking about. You have partial data on revenues and nothing on costs. The partial data you use on revenues isn't nearly as dire as you make out. Basically you are making up made up things and getting a lot of people upset in the process.
            And you can't seem to understand that the revenues keep on dropping while the expenses stay the same or have been rising. Just because Buffy's title is probably still profitable, that doesn't mean that DH shouldn't worry about the drops because it's still profitable. Unless their intention is to one day shut it down.


            In other words, before the sales had gotten through the initial settling in period (at the start of the season), and before Spuffy even got going at all, DH got so rattled by things that they rewrote the entire story? With the attendant EXTRA costs of having to pay everyone for the rewrites?
            Where have you been the first 4 issues? The only issue that Spike wasn't the one appearing in most of the panels was #5. Spuffy was alive and kicking ever since #1. The rewrites were done by Scott, not Chambliss. Probably because he was too busy doing it himself. As for Espenson, it's an ongoing title. If she wrote her story more than 8 months in advance, there is always the possibility of a rewrite. And it's not an actual rewrite, only change whatever it has to be changed.

            As for the Spuffy moment we're supposed to remember, I think it's the hand holding moment with the meaningful stare. That's Allie's response to a tweet about the panel in #4, and I think he's right that this one is comparable. It is, at any rate, well within line of Allie's usual estimation of how things will seem to fans.
            And I can assure you it wasn't. I'm not gonna say what it should have been, because Pointman will start saying I'm imagining things again and this time I don't have something to prove myself even if I want to. But that wasn't what the tweet was about.

            They were never going to do more than three minis according to their own account. Shifting timing has ZIPPO to do with their overall profits from the season as a whole.
            Look at the timing. Dru was supposed to stark in June. After 5 months, over, in October. Next month Willow begins for 5 months, until March. And we end up with a 4th one, starting on April until August. That was the plan, 3 minis. Anything extra would be considered. Spike wasn't supposed to have a mini. Or at least not now. With Willow appearing in A&F, she couldn't be used before October. So, Spike was rushed to get a mini instead of Drusilla. I mean, they have a cover for Willow for next November issue, and nothing for Spike for August.

            Whatever...

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            • #7
              I guess that begs the question...maybe...but has the series really jumped the shark with the end of season 8?

              Or has the season suffered from Joss' absence? (I enjoyed Chambliss, but he wasn't a veteran writer for Buffy and had a big job to tackle on his own.)

              What was the reason for the drop in sales? And what could have been done to have avoided this?


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              • #8
                Originally posted by zianna View Post
                First of all my maths are a little bit different than yours, but since it's not that huge it doesn't matter.
                Second and most important is that your basic argument is that Buffy's digital sales have raised so that's the reason the diamond's dropping. Well, you're wrong. Since all DH's titles have gone digital at the same time, if Buffy's fallen 3% then every title should have dropped the same. Since Buffy's continues dropping because of digital sales, then every other title should continue dropping at the same amount. It's called statistics.
                Well a person who actually does statistics knows enough to take into account relevant differences. The average purchaser of BtVS is not the same demographic as the average purchaser of Star Wars. One should not just assume (as you do) that all comic book purchasers would have the same reaction to the change in format.

                I did acknowledge that BtVS/A&F probably have a similar demographic, which is why I took that comparison seriously. However, they aren't perfectly the same, since BtVS almost certainly has more casual purchasers. And as I said, you have been very biased in your presentation of the differences. What we'd have to do if we were really serious is get comparisons that take into account the fact that A&F is one issue further in; and that there have to be different rhythms through arcs as opposed to between them. In short, real statistics takes some work -- not just looking at raw data, interpreting in a strongly biased way and making big assertions without fact about your conclusions. If you'd have ever been in one of my statistics classes, I'd have made sure you knew that. But even before we began fine-tuning your analysis of the data about hard copy sales, I'd flatten you with the complaint that you have zero information about revenues because you have zero information about what's happening with digital. The whole exercise is bogus once you realize that.

                And thirdly and even more important, A&F's sales went up in February (not every person on Earth was aware about the digital in January) while Buffy dropped. And A&F's title was stable in March, while Buffy's again dropped by 3.25%. And we're talking about 2 titles under the same universe with Whedon's name on it. So the rate should have been the same.
                (a) See above about the difference w/respect to casual readers.

                (b) There is NO meaningful statistical difference in sales between the two issues in February. +.2% vs. -.1% is not a meaningful difference given the variations across month.

                (c) Anybody worth a 1$/hr as a consultant would know that what matters is where you think the projections are going. Do you seriously think BtVS has a lower floor than the one A&F is currently sitting on? Cause I sure don't, and I'd need some market research data before I took seriously the case that BtVS will end up crashing through A&F's much lower numbers.

                If we take it from the very first issue, A&F has lost about 25% while Buffy has lost more than 32%. And what makes the difference here is that A&F's title seems to have stabilized the last 3 months while Buffy's hasn't. A title that sells around 30k per month and drops more than 3% isn't stable. It's dropping.
                For now. It's also the issue that started up with much higher numbers, and as I have said three times now, there are reasons to expect that audience to stabilize more slowly.

                And if I can interrupt this back and forth -- can I say that your whole premise here is whacked? Even IF they thought there was a problem with falling sales, they'd be grossly incompetent if they plunged into HUGE seasonal changes based on the data you have. It's too early. Above all it's far more likely to do more harm than good -- they'd be paying additional costs for all the rewrites; they'd have hoisted the plotting away from the story they wanted to tell to the one calculated to make money, and that rarely goes well, etc.

                Now -- maybe they've done some focus groups; maybe they're judging from an avalanche of "we hate Spuffy" mail. Maybe there's actual data they're responding to. What they can't be doing if they're even slightly competent is responding to the data you present in the fashion you suggest.

                And there was a time some years ago that Buffy was selling more than 80.000 per month. And just 7 issues ago it had sold 42k and after 7 months it dropped to 28k. No matter how you see it, it's a lot of money. Don't count the copies, count dollars. DH gained 45.000$ LESS in March than what it had gained in September.
                To repeat ad nauseum -- you do NOT know anything about their revenues. Not a blessed thing. They could have had a huge pick up of digital readers who bought the whole back catalog and it wouldn't show in your data. Heck, *I* bought their whole back catalog. Seriously. This could be boom times for all you know. People like my bro who wouldn't go to a comic shop could be clicking on that button in the privacy of their own homes and catching up on the story. My entire argument here in a nutshell: you do NOT have enough data to make the claims you are making.

                It has lost 25% of what it was gaining from the same title 7 months ago, while it still has to pay the same amount of money for the license, for the artist, the colorist, the covers, the writers etc. And the price of the comic is still the same.
                But this was equally true in season 8 which didn't have a big massive rewrite either. In fact it was more true. The early sales dropped off quite quickly.

                And all of this, as I says rests on the faulty premise that the way to respond to dropping sales is to scrap everything and do a bunch of last minute changes with costly rewrites etc. etc. And all of it rests on the further faulty premise that anybody at DH would sacrifice the integrity of the story they want to tell because they are trying to maximize profits. Because really, as long as they are making money -- which they clearly all -- they can tell the story they want without going out of business. IF they were sticking their fingers in the wind every month or two and rewriting the entire story just to try to get their sales higher, they'd almost certainly never stabilize their own audience -- because too many changes of direction would just alienate everyone. And that image isn't consistent with what these guys are doing. And if it were, it's an argument you should have been making four years ago when the decline in sales first started. Maybe they decided to do Wolves at the Gate at the last minute in hopes of fanning some sales with Japanese audiences. Maybe they chose to set Retreat in Tibet in order to woo people who are into Buddhism. Why not go for it and just dismiss everything they've done as a botched attempt to maximize sales? There's nothing unique about their numbers now, and the core of your argument is that these numbers are unique and alarming and therefore have produced these huge changes.

                And I'm pretty much done -- the rest of your arguments are either you making up more numbers, or ignoring points I've made which refute the arguments you are relaunching here. I don't expect you to change your mind. But at least I've put out there for others to see that it would be fool-hardy to draw the conclusions you're drawing based on the limited information you have at your disposal. A person with a real devotion to statistics would point-blank refuse to make any claims at all with the evidence you have available.
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                • #9
                  I think the problem started with S8. Dark Horse, and Whedon of course, tried to make Buffy into a comic book character, not the continuity of the TV show. Super powers, global, multiple enemies coming from every side, many extraordinary plots in just one season, etc. Especially with no budget limit to stop the "creativity" and imagination, things went wild.

                  People started buying the comics because they wanted to read what happened to Buffy after Chosen. Instead they found her more than 1,5 later with plots unexplained (how and why Willow left the scoobies? how Xander mourned about Anya? what was his exact story with the Dracula? how did Buffy decide to create an army and how she ended up on Scotland's castle? did she learn about Spike? did she actually mean the ILY? etc). All of those things just didn't matter anymore, some were only mentioned in a couple of lines. But that was exactly what the buyers wanted to read, not giant Dawn etc. And at the beginning the stories were nice, after issue 15-18 things went wild even more. People were complaining and dropping it. The spuffies had realized that Spike wasn't coming back and that Buffy didn't actually mean it. Or DH didn't have the intention of giving it. So they lost a huge amount of buyers. Then twilight comes, and Angel's character gets ruined. And all we had as an explanation was 10 pages, most of them not in a numbered issue, but in an one shot that many (according to the sales) missed. By the end, Buffy from more than 80k sold half.

                  Then S9 comes and they decide to go back to the basics. But the problem was that the remaining customers that bought #40 actually loved the story of S8, that's why they kept on buying it. They loved having Xander as the main male character, Buffy turning on him, and all that craziness of S8 didn't matter to them, instead they loved it. Look at posters here like Mogs or Emmie. They loved S8.
                  So, in S9 they go back to basics. No more superpowers, just same old Buffy like the tv show. But the story changes now. No scoobies, Willow not appearing very much and all she does is complain about the seed, Xander and Dawn appearing even less and no story about them. It's all about Buffy trying to be normal (when she was anything but normal in S8). Spike gets back, to attract potential clients. But Spuffies don't believe it. The don't buy, they wait and see. So the sales drop, people that actually liked S8 don't like S9 so much now and stop buying, while the potential new customers don't have faith to start buying. Plus many of them don't care anymore. They have lost their interest.

                  So, for me, that's the problem. They went from one scenario to the next one very quickly both times. When it should have been gradual. Take Spuffy for example, it happened too soon. They didn't believe it and they were expecting it not to last long, and they were proven right. Like I said, it takes time and effort to raise the sales or even to make them stable. They should have done it way back in S8 when they still had the luxury. Now the don't, because if things continue like that and Buffy doesn't get stable, she will sell as much as A&F does in some months, maybe a little bit more, that means like the possibility that any Star Wars title has.

                  So instead of having one title selling lets say 25.000, they get another one and another one. Which probably won't be able to reach Buffy's sales, but it will still be profitable and the revenues of all the titles joined will be higher than having BtVS as only one title and everyone in there.


                  ETA
                  @Maggie,
                  sorry but I didn't even read your post and I have no intention of reading it. I explained the situation more than enough, and I explained how the revenues have dropped a lot while the expenses keep on rising. If you don't understand so far, you'll never will.

                  And sorry, but I have no intention of spending more time explaining to you especially when my back hurts. I've already lost my night sleep because of trying to explain to you, don't have the intention of losing more time.
                  Last edited by zianna; 19-04-12, 08:48 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by zianna View Post
                    And I can assure you it wasn't. I'm not gonna say what it should have been, because Pointman will start saying I'm imagining things again and this time I don't have something to prove myself even if I want to. But that wasn't what the tweet was about.
                    I'd like to know what it was. I'd also like to know what the Spike/Xander scene Allie mentioned was supposed to be about. That's disappeared too.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Morphia View Post
                      I'd like to know what it was. I'd also like to know what the Spike/Xander scene Allie mentioned was supposed to be about. That's disappeared too.
                      Why? So people can start saying or thinking again that I am a lunatic or a liar or that I'm imagining things or making them up?
                      Or so that I can have people again threatening me to give spoilers or else they'll send e-mails to Scott to inform him about it so that he can find and fire my source?

                      When I was screaming and posting over and over again for 2,5 months that Buffy wasn't pregnant, I didn't see anyone posting a bit of a doubt about the pregnancy that maybe Buffy isn't pregnant but something else was going on last January when #5 was published. On the contrary, everyone forgot me, probably thought that I was lying, I even remember posts mentioning me indirectly that I had fooled them and convinced them that Buffy wasn't pregnant.

                      Actually, only one poster once gave me the benefit of the doubt saying that maybe Buffy wasn't pregnant and maybe something else was going on. That poster found out about #8 with a pm a few hours ago and it's the only reason why I told him/her. The only one that even with the pregnancy test revealed still believed in me even just a little bit.

                      So no, I'm granting Maggie's wish not to give away any spoilers or else she'll run to Scott, at least not in public. If I want to say anything to anyone, I'll do it with a pm. And if I ever decide to say something, it will be because of my decision to give a spoiler. Nothing against you, don't take it personally, but in the end of day I prefer having my source intact with his job not in jeopardy than saying anything and risk that. And believe me, if I was lying, the easiest thing would be for me to cook up a some story about #8 that was changed, and nobody could prove me wrong, not even DH itself. With proof, not just words.
                      Last edited by zianna; 19-04-12, 12:11 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Why? So people can start saying or thinking again that I am a lunatic or a liar or that I'm imagining things or making them up?
                        I suspect that wasn't directed to anyone specific, but just voicing a bit of curiosity, as I'd liked to have known too, even though I doubt the real reason will ever come to light.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sueworld View Post
                          I suspect that wasn't directed to anyone specific, but just voicing a bit of curiosity, as I'd liked to have known too, even though I doubt the real reason will ever come to light.
                          It's not difficult to imagine the real reason, even if you don't know anything. Just read their interviews and what they have been saying, or tweeting. What you can't imagine of course, is what would have been the story if Spike wasn't given a mini-series. In the long run I mean. That, even I can't answer it, since my source is not that well advanced in the story. And the way I see it, probably they don't even know themselves, other than the end of the season. The rest of it, probably however it flows...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by zianna View Post
                            Why? So people can start saying or thinking again that I am a lunatic or a liar or that I'm imagining things or making them up?
                            Or so that I can have people again threatening me to give spoilers or else
                            No, I just want to know what I've missed. That's all.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by zianna View Post
                              People started buying the comics because they wanted to read what happened to Buffy after Chosen. Instead they found her more than 1,5 later with plots unexplained (how and why Willow left the scoobies? how Xander mourned about Anya? what was his exact story with the Dracula? how did Buffy decide to create an army and how she ended up on Scotland's castle? did she learn about Spike? did she actually mean the ILY? etc). All of those things just didn't matter anymore, some were only mentioned in a couple of lines. But that was exactly what the buyers wanted to read, not giant Dawn etc.
                              That is, IMO, exactly what had been the biggest problem with S8. I didn't have a big problem with all the big stuff, like the helicopters and guns and the whole army thing as such, and I did like the first four arcs (then it went down hill). But I did have a huge problem of just skipped 1,5 year. I really missed the story to how they came to this and most importantly how the characters thought and felt about things that had happened to them. the move from S7 to S8 was too fast and, for example, we were never shown what drove Buffy to bank-robbery. So, instead of leaving questions unanswered they put in new unanswered questions as well.

                              Originally posted by zianna View Post
                              They went from one scenario to the next one very quickly both times.
                              Way too quick. Though I do think that Andrew fleshes his scenes more out than Joss would done. That makes it better readable. I also think that Dowling is rushed in to heavily, though the stuff what has been written about him was good. IMO it is better to bring new characters slowly. Like how they did with Satsu.


                              I'm worried, for a while, about how the sales are dropping. It's not a good sign of how well the comics show is recieved.

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                              • #16
                                Question: does anyone think the Spike mini would be happening now if the Dru mini hadn't been delayed/cancelled?

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by kitt View Post
                                  Question: does anyone think the Spike mini would be happening now if the Dru mini hadn't been delayed/cancelled?
                                  No.
                                  I don't know about later, but certainly not in August.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by kitt View Post
                                    Question: does anyone think the Spike mini would be happening now if the Dru mini hadn't been delayed/cancelled?

                                    Buffyfest: Us too! Will that mini-series be moved up now?

                                    SA: Actually, yes and no. And I'll tell you guys this. It's two series. One is being moved up slightly, one is not. For a couple reasons-in part because of the scheduling change on Drusilla, and in part because of where and when we need that character doing other stuff in the two main books. While we started with a detailed outline, a lot changed over time. Things changed for the characters in ways we didn't initially predict or understand, and so where each character is, what they're doing, has changed as the story has gone on.

                                    In the same interview Buffyfest said to expect some more tidbits tomorrow there.

                                    Look out for some extra tidbits about that C2E2 announcement here on Buffyfest this Friday!

                                    ***
                                    They moved it up slightly because of Dru -- which of course implies that it was in the works in any case. The other reason for the shift in timing was because of when Spike would be needed elsewhere. If that's right, he'll show up either in A&F or season 9 shortly after his mini concludes.
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                                    • #19
                                      I have always sort of assumed that a lot of Buffy fans who are reading the digital format are not also buying the print version because they have no interest in collecting comics for the sake of collecting comics. Buffy does have a different readership, people like me, who have never read a comic book until Buffy season 9 and have no particular attachment to the pages outside of the story.

                                      The guy at my comic book store explained to me that die-hard comic book lovers will never give up buying the print version for their collections, even if they also buy the digital comic. In fact he said that the digital version was very appealing to serious comic book collectors because it meant their paper comic could be kept in pristine condition it it's special wrapper.

                                      I didn't want to lose face with him by revealing that my comics had been used as coasters and had coffee and wine stains on them. I was solely interested in the story between the pages, not the pages themselves.
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                                      • #20
                                        I'm one of the biggest S8 fans you'll find and I haven't bought an issue since WatG #15. Just sayin.' I feel pretty guilty about that but I wait for the TPB's and even then I can't always justify to spend the cash on them. I read the issues through 'other means' so I can keep up with discussions.

                                        I'm not saying the huge drop in numbers means that everybody else is just doing the same thing as me. Although, the TPB's still sell incredibly strongly so that would suggest a lot of people actually are. But I'm just saying that it'd be a mistake to believe that just because the numbers drop that it automatically means dissatisfaction with the story. I contributed to that drop in sales and I'm living proof that it's not always the case. Far from it.

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