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Dumarest

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Just in case anyone wants factual information on how Disney makes its money (i.e., "Do they really make all their money from theme parks?"):

They've also never had a larger market share of the box office:

They're doing just fine:
 

JRT

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I'm not going to try and convince you to alter your perspective in any way, but just as a counterpoint, I remember seeing the original Sea Lab cartoons as a kid...and absolutely loathing them. They were so mind-numbingly boring to me. And at that age, I was still entertained by Polka Dot Door. OTOH, I dearly love Adult Swim's Sea Lab 2021, easily one of my favourite TV shows of all time.(and featuring The Pub's own Erik Estrada in his finest role!).

To also clarify, the issue for me isn't even the existence of the parody--Sealab 2020 wasn't a big hit--so much as that is the ONLY thing they do with the characters. There is no attempt to re-introduce even the most popular characters to a modern audience or re-show the cartoons. The Flintstones was the precursor to the Simpsons, and they can't figure out what to do with them? I mentioned Johnny Quest--that was considered one of the better animated action series at the time.

Are you telling me the only thing of value in the entire HB library is Scooby-Doo? It's like a bunch of shallow Gen-X generation thinkers were put in charge of the library, then decided SD was cool and everything else wasn't and could be mocked. That's the major objection I have, and why I contrasted them to Disney.
 

JRT

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  • They've also never had a larger market share of the box office:
  • They're doing just fine:

Most of the coverage about Disney doesn't hint at any sort of economic failure, most of the other folks are scared that Disney's stuff is eclipsing the rest of the market.

If Star Wars or the MCU is ever in serious trouble--the other big media empires will either be "Yay!" because it means they are now ascending (nobody is on top forever)--or "No!" because it will be a recession-type event that will be a reduction in the market in general.
 

Kilted Rob

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Going by the tweets from several comics professionals the general consensus is DC Comics related merchandizing brings in about 5 billion per year. It costs ATT/Warner roughly about 10 million to run the company. Annual print sales are about 1 billion.
The costs of tv series and movies are separate from the costs of running/producing the monthly comics and collections.
As an IP generator, that is a hell of a return after factoring in costs....

Rob
 

TristramEvans

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Going by the tweets from several comics professionals the general consensus is DC Comics related merchandizing brings in about 5 billion per year. It costs ATT/Warner roughly about 10 million to run the company. Annual print sales are about 1 billion.
The costs of tv series and movies are separate from the costs of running/producing the monthly comics and collections.
As an IP generator, that is a hell of a return after factoring in costs....

Rob


can the comics really to be said to be the IP generators anymore though?
 

Endless Flight

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Comics would generate more IP but the creators don’t have rights to their creations working for the big two. What's the incentive to create characters if you get screwed in royalties? If Stan Lee actually owned his creations, he might have been one of the richest men in the world.
 

Kilted Rob

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can the comics really to be said to be the IP generators anymore though?

Yes, the amount of material that appears in merchandise, tv, movies etc, that did not appear in some form at one time in a comic is minuscule. Until you start seeing a large percentage of IP appearing first in any format other than a comic, they will remain the IP generstors.

Rob
 

TristramEvans

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Yes, the amount of material that appears in merchandise, tv, movies etc, that did not appear in some form at one time in a comic is minuscule.

The "at one time" was my point; it seems to me like it's been at least a generation.
 

TristramEvans

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Comics would generate more IP more but the creators don’t have rights to their creations working for the big two. If Stan Lee actually owned his creations, he might have been one of the richest men in the world.

One of the reasons Dark Horse is heads and tails above the big two IMO
 

Oculus Orbus

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So what would be some of the essential DC comics to check out? Preferably available digitally or TBP. Both superhero and otherwise.

One of the best books DC put out during the 90s (low bar, I know) was Garth Ennis and John McCrea's Hitman. I like to think this cover sums the series up fairly well-

ICO001135._SX360_QL80_TTD_.jpg
 

urbwar

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Not to mention the Black Adam movie right before that's supposed to tie-in to Shazam 2.

Starring Dwayne Johnson. With him attached, they should at least have a good opening weekend, if not a few weeks
 

Dumarest

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Yes, the amount of material that appears in merchandise, tv, movies etc, that did not appear in some form at one time in a comic is minuscule. Until you start seeing a large percentage of IP appearing first in any format other than a comic, they will remain the IP generstors.

Rob
The "at one time" was my point; it seems to me like it's been at least a generation.
The only Marvel and DC superhero comics characters of remotely recent vintage I can think of who have caught on at all are Deadpool and Harley Quinn, both of whom are nearly 30 years old and the latter of whom was not from the comic books. (I could be wrong, though, as I stopped reading superhero comics before either of their debuts and I'm not keyed in to current comic books.)

Either way, you'd be a fool to give away any good ideas to Marvel or DC nowadays when there are so many other ways to gain an audience while retaining ownership. Jack Kirby realized it way back in the late '60s when he deliberately stopped creating new IP for Marvel.
 

TristramEvans

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Gee, ya think?

Yeah, I do.

Just as I think Deadpool is really just Deathstroke the Destroyer mixed with Spider-man. So, kinda half a creation. It was only Joe Kelly's brief run on the character that gave him a unique identity as Marvel's Bugs Bunny.
 

Endless Flight

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Before Deadpool, you’d have to go all the way back to Wolverine (1974) to come up with a tent pole character.
 

TristramEvans

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Before Deadpool, you’d have to go all the way back to Wolverine (1974) to come up with a tent pole character.

Well, I think the X-men circa the 90s animated cartoon fared pretty well disseminating into pop culture, but none as stand out individual characters ike Wolvie.

Interestingly, Punisher (granted a blatant Mack Bolan, The Executioner etsy) was also '74.
 

TristramEvans

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I was trying to think of more recently created superheroes by the big 2, and it reminded me of the Marvel series II trading cards, which I still have a set of . They had a "Rookies category", which was newly-introduced characters, and they all disappeared right into obscurity within a year or two.

Big surprise SuperPro didn't catch on...

81ZqIdL3U2L._AC_SY445_.jpg
 

Endless Flight

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I should have added that if the New Universe was his biggest stumble, he didn’t do a lot wrong. He at least was trying to do something new that didn’t destroy an already established universe.
 

Voros

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Just a counter point to comics not being something the kids are into. You're wrong. They friggin love them in trade paperback form. From Big Nate to Wings of Fire kids are consuming this like no tomorrow. And parents are loving it because it makes reading easier and engaging. My wife who is no geek was worried at first about comics until she read an NYT article talking about all the benefits. Now she's worried the kids spend too much time reading. I think she spends to much time worrying but that goes over like a lead balloon. If they have good stories accessible to children they can be best sellers.

This is actually true and the sales numbers back it up, kids are reading lots of comics just not superhero comics but then why would they when they haven’t really been written for kids since the early 90s?
 

Voros

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Comics would generate more IP but the creators don’t have rights to their creations working for the big two. What's the incentive to create characters if you get screwed in royalties? If Stan Lee actually owned his creations, he might have been one of the richest men in the world.

That’s why I find most comic creators do their best and most original work on their own titles for Image, Icon or what-have-you. Of course I mean modern Image not 90s Image.
 

tenbones

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Kinda funny to look at stats as presented... without looking the *other* side of profits.

AT&T for example... is carrying $158 BILLION in debt. This is after lowering that long-term debt from $166-billion. AT&T owns DC Comics... fyi.

Disney by comparison is carrying $50 billion in debt. Which increased from 2014 where it was $14 billion in debt. The jump was from the assumption of Fox's media acquisition. But it has massive market-cap, of $235 billion because it has kept its outstanding shares flat, which has increased their value. The Debt to Equity ratio for Disney is still not good, but it's a HELL of a lot better than AT&T and other media giants that are getting soaked.

The issue here is that Disney's new acquisitions are not performing as good as they needed to meet the new debt-load. But their competitors are drowning. It might sound unintuitive, but this is not good for Disney either... because ultimately if these other companies bite the dust, there is a significant risk that trust in these IP's will crumble - there is evidence that it already is happening as consumers leak away from many traditionally strong IP's (I'm one of them). Disney ain't going anywhere soon. But the death of their peers could hurt them.
 

Bunch

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But as I recall all this debt is at extremely low interest rates. Servicing it should be fairly easy.
 

Dumarest

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Kinda funny to look at stats as presented... without looking the *other* side of profits.

AT&T for example... is carrying $158 BILLION in debt. This is after lowering that long-term debt from $166-billion. AT&T owns DC Comics... fyi.

Disney by comparison is carrying $50 billion in debt. Which increased from 2014 where it was $14 billion in debt. The jump was from the assumption of Fox's media acquisition. But it has massive market-cap, of $235 billion because it has kept its outstanding shares flat, which has increased their value. The Debt to Equity ratio for Disney is still not good, but it's a HELL of a lot better than AT&T and other media giants that are getting soaked.

The issue here is that Disney's new acquisitions are not performing as good as they needed to meet the new debt-load. But their competitors are drowning. It might sound unintuitive, but this is not good for Disney either... because ultimately if these other companies bite the dust, there is a significant risk that trust in these IP's will crumble - there is evidence that it already is happening as consumers leak away from many traditionally strong IP's (I'm one of them). Disney ain't going anywhere soon. But the death of their peers could hurt them.
But as I recall all this debt is at extremely low interest rates. Servicing it should be fairly easy.
Vis-à-vis Disney, their current debt is a negligible factor when you take into account they spent over $70 billion acquiring 21st Century Fox and the debt is already down to less than $50 billion. That's a long-term investment. Additionally, a lot of their spending is on content, another long-term investment in themselves that, for a large part, will translate into an evergreen revenue source. If you think their acquisitions are underperforming, you are mistaken. Purchases such as Star Wars and Marvel have already paid for themselves, as will 21st Century Fox, by all indications sooner rather than later.

Untitled.png
 

tenbones

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Oh sure - they're doing good now. But there is no guarantee it will last given the direction they're going with the movies. AND their movies are only the third largest profit-center for them by a LARGE margin. They make far more on their property holdings and amusement parks.

But they're going to be around for a while.
 

Ladybird

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I was trying to think of more recently created superheroes by the big 2, and it reminded me of the Marvel series II trading cards, which I still have a set of . They had a "Rookies category", which was newly-introduced characters, and they all disappeared right into obscurity within a year or two.

Big surprise SuperPro didn't catch on...

81ZqIdL3U2L._AC_SY445_.jpg
Was that actually intended to be an ongoing thing? It looks like the kind of marketing tie-in that only lasts a couple of issues at best, particularly with that NFL licensing.
 

Stan

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It's also a cruddy ROI compared to any real investment strategy. If someone wants to make money, there are thousands of better ways than buying comic books, sealing them up and locking them away for 30 years, and crossing your fingers in hopes that maybe some of your hoard will be worth more than cover price someday.
Not only that, the really valuable examples of most collectibles are made during a period when the item was not normally collected and preserved. Things made to be collected tend to have to many copies around in mint condition to ever rise much. I think even most comics of the 70s were too commonly collected to have improved much beyond inflation.
 

TristramEvans

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Was that actually intended to be an ongoing thing? It looks like the kind of marketing tie-in that only lasts a couple of issues at best, particularly with that NFL licensing.

It was an attempt to appeal to a new demographic I think. It was presented as an ongoing series, rather than simply a promotional thing, but who knows?
 

Apparition

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It was an attempt to appeal to a new demographic I think. It was presented as an ongoing series, rather than simply a promotional thing, but who knows?

Yeah. I think it went for twelve issues or something before being canceled.
 

Gabriel

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Big surprise SuperPro didn't catch on...

I was surprised when I looked that up and saw it was from 91. It looks like the kind of thing Marvel did in the early/mid 80s with the rash of movie adaptations as well as things like Rom, Micronauts, Transformers, Starriors, etc. I guess I should have been tipped off by the $1 price tag and the 50 year direct sales box.

I even dimly remembered the title, but never had any idea it was anything beyond a one-shot.

NFL SuperPro launched the same month as X-Men Vol 2 #1 hit. It had no option beyond being lost in the X-deluge.
 

Endless Flight

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I remember when the X-Men comic hit. I have five copies of #1. I guess I was even part of that craze that I make fun of now. The only thing I remember about that run was Wolverine getting his Adamantium ripped off his skeleton by Magneto in #3.
 

TristramEvans

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I remember when the X-Men comic hit. I have five copies of #1. I guess I was even part of that craze that I make fun of now.

It was a cool gatefold cover.

xmen1e.jpg

Not gonna lie, was a bifg fan of Lee's art in that era. Nowadays his stuff bores me, because he's descended so far into his own style and gotten too comfortable with (once again Joe Kubert's words echoing through my head - "style is just mistakes made on a regular basis"), but back then his stuff had a very visceral, raw energy I admired.

This was before a generation of Jim Lee clones as well. (Once again, Kubert's admonition - "learning to draw by aping someone else's style just means adding their mistakes to your own")

The only thing I remember about that run was Wolverine getting his Adamantium ripped off his skeleton by Magneto in #3.

pretty sure that was later - I can picture the hologram cover. IIRC, X-men 1-3 was the X-men showing up on asteroid M to bully Magneto, and then there was the Omega Red storyline
 

TristramEvans

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I actually like Lee's gatefold for Uncanny 275 better...

Uncanny-x-Men-275-jim-lee-full.jpg


but I think this was my favourite cover by him..

Uncanny-X-Men-270-jim-lee-full.jpg
 
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