Is the END of Marvel Comics coming soon? Would Disney ever decide to QUIT publishing Marvel Comics altogether? And what would that do to the comic book industry?!
ARTICLE LINK: http://thekingdominsider.com/will-disney-stop-publishing-marvel-comic-books/
Would the Walt Disney Company ever pull the plug on Marvel’s comic publishing business?
It sounds far-fetched, but it could be a possibility if you read the tea leaves.
The Comic Book Industry is being propped up by Corporate America.
What does this have to do with Marvel? Everything.
Marvel is currently the #1 comics publisher, but they haven’t been doing too hot this year. Marvel execs have been trying to explain away why sales have been down, even with explanations that included blaming diversity for Marvel’s shortcomings.
And sure, if you’ve been peddling comics to a predominantly straight white middle-aged male audience, they might not be interested in a book about a gay ethnic teenage girl. Props to Marvel for trying to expand its audience.
But despite an alleged increase in total dollars, I do not believe the comics industry is really finding the new audience it desires. Or at least, not in the number of new readers to make the industry truly viable on its own. Sales continue to slip. Too little, too late?
As it stands now, it would appear that Time Warner and, yes, Disney continues to publish comics not because they’re actually profitable, but because they can mine the IP for movies, TV and video games.
Without Disney and Time Warner propping up “The Big Two,” we’d probably have seen the implosion of the direct market by now.
Disney has a different definition of “success” than the rest of us.
The comic book industry reportedly made a little over $1 billion in 2016, with a little over half of that being sales to comic book shops.
Sounds pretty good, right? Well, keep in mind that’s total revenue — not profit — and those numbers reflect sales across the board for every publisher… not just Marvel. While Marvel undoubtedly makes up a good chunk of that number, we might be looking at a few hundred million dollars for Disney vs. $1 billion.
And again — that’s not profit. And I’m unsure of total units being sold. The cover price for most monthly comics now is $3.99, so an increase in revenue might not necessarily correlate to an increase in units.
So, great, Disney made a few hundred million off of hundreds of published comic books?
They’d make more money off one single Marvel Studios movie.
Seriously. These films tend to rake in $500 million to $1 billion a pop, and that doesn’t include merchandising or home video sales. Comic book sales look absolutely pathetic compared to an MCU release.
Disney has no qualms pruning profitable companies if they aren’t profitable enough.
And 2017 is off to a bad start already.
Disney really doesn’t need to publish comic books at all. And they know this.
The brand awareness that the comics brought to the films certainly helped almost a decade ago. But Disney has grown the Marvel brand considerably since then, with shows and movies that sometimes share very little with the source material that inspired them.
In short, the MCU has completely eclipsed the comic books in the mind of the public, and can exist independently from them.
Kids today love the Avengers, but that doesn’t mean they’re picking up the comic books. Sure, you might get some movie fans who were introduced to the characters wander into a comic book shop and start reading, but those fans might just buy a T-shirt instead.
And from what I’ve heard, the comic books have about as much value to Disney right now as a T-shirt.
Maybe even less, because T-shirts have a higher profit margin.
And you’re not having to do constant damage control on social media with T-shirt artists. Just saying.
Comics are ancillary merchandise.
“But doesn’t Disney still need the comics to strip mine for ideas?!” you cry.
Not really. The MCU has taken characters and concepts in a totally different direction than the comic books, and Disney could easily hire away the best “idea guys” to work directly for Marvel Studios.
Video killed the comic book star.
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