#1 Posted by krspaceT (1463 posts) - - Show Bio

Here me out. Comic books are a far more limited medium than most entertainment industries. A 1000 people saying 'Give Storm an ongoing series or we will stop reading' or 'Get rid of the DC editor or else we will stop reading' would be a very real fear to DC and Marvel.

What do you guys think?

#2 Edited by akbogert (3202 posts) - - Show Bio

I think you'd be hard-pressed to get enough signatures to actually move Marvel or DC. They cancel books that have 12,000 readers on them, so clearly the opinions of that many people are irrelevant. You'd need probably 25-30,000 signatures to have anything worthwhile, and I can't imagine you'd ever make that happen. There have been some extraordinarily upsetting things in both major houses which you'd think might be able to get that level of support on a petition, but seeing as even that has never happened, I don't think petitions accomplish more than a little bit of self-satisfaction for the people who make and sign them.

If someone can point to a successful comic petition, by all means let me know.

#3 Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6155 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know if there was officially a petition, but Gail Simone got her Batgirl job back after a lot of complaints about her firing, as far as I know.

And sometime you do see comics being advertised as coming out, "because you demanded it". That must mean something.

I think if you really want something changed, it's probably worth a try. I've been thinking about trying it myself.

#4 Edited by danhimself (22313 posts) - - Show Bio

the top selling books at Marvel right now are selling 80-90k a month...do you honestly think that Marvel would care if 1000 people asked for a Storm series?

it's all about sales figures...Marvel has given Storm 3 miniseries and if any of them would have gotten decent sales then they would have given her a shot at an ongoing

the only X-man who is ever going to be able to sustain a long running ongoing series is Wolverine

#5 Posted by Queso6p4 (1430 posts) - - Show Bio

@krspacet: If you wanna start one let's get it going and spread the word.

@akbogert said:

I think you'd be hard-pressed to get enough signatures to actually move Marvel or DC. They cancel books that have 12,000 readers on them, so clearly the opinions of that many people are irrelevant. You'd need probably 25-30,000 signatures to have anything worthwhile, and I can't imagine you'd ever make that happen. There have been some extraordinarily upsetting things in both major houses which you'd think might be able to get that level of support on a petition, but seeing as even that has never happened, I don't think petitions accomplish more than a little bit of self-satisfaction for the people who make and sign them.

If someone can point to a successful comic petition, by all means let me know.

Sadly, this is how I feel too but a sizable united fan front could do something. We can always hope and try. One point I try to drive home with the comics book over at gameinformer is feedback. We owe it to ourselves and future readers to tell companies what does and doesn't work for us.

#6 Posted by akbogert (3202 posts) - - Show Bio

@queso6p4: Comic readers really need a union of sorts -- a group which speaks on behalf of readers and comes across as a more legitimate form of feedback than the mere random rants and whining of a handful of Internet kids. And that's coming from me -- one of the loudest ranters here. No matter how committed I or others may be to what we're saying, any illusion we have that our words alone are going to do anything is just that: an illusion.

A handful of people sending letters with varying degrees of quality and articulation and courtesy will never be effective in the way that hundreds of people sending the same, well-written and argued message might.

#7 Posted by Mercy_ (92635 posts) - - Show Bio

Okay....here's the thing. That stuff happens on forum boards/twitter/tumblr ALL the time and Marvel and DC couldn't care less. In fact, I have it on good authority that they know when people start getting up in arms like that, the book is generally going to sell well (Superior Spider-Man would be the prime example here).

Marvel and DC are businesses. They are in the business of making money. Losing a couple hundred/thousand readers (and let's be realistic, people say stuff like 'I'm gonna drop ___ if they do ____ or kill ___' ALL the time and rarely do people ever follow through on that. And for every one reader that they lose, they're gonna pull in a couple other readers who are going to pick up stuff up just out of pure curiosity.

They're not running democracies, like I said, they're running businesses. People have been complaining about Didio & Quesada forever. If they didn't get rid of Quesada after the whole Brand New Day or whatever debacle...it's not going to happen. Because again...it's a business, and these guys bring in money.

And going back again to the business side of things...if they thought that a character's ongoing was going to do well...they would give them one. The fact of the matter is that Storm has had multiple miniseries and none of them have sold all that well. They clearly don't think the financial burden of a Storm ongoing would pay off or bring in new readers.

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#8 Posted by danhimself (22313 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

@queso6p4: Comic readers really need a union of sorts -- a group which speaks on behalf of readers and comes across as a more legitimate form of feedback than the mere random rants and whining of a handful of Internet kids. And that's coming from me -- one of the loudest ranters here. No matter how committed I or others may be to what we're saying, any illusion we have that our words alone are going to do anything is just that: an illusion.

A handful of people sending letters with varying degrees of quality and articulation and courtesy will never be effective in the way that hundreds of people sending the same, well-written and argued message might.

we do have this....it's called sales reports....seriously the only thing that the companies care about is the sales numbers....you and hundreds of people can send in as many letters as you like but 9.9 times out of 10 those letters are going to do absolutely nothing....if a book is selling well then that's the only confirmation that Marvel or DC needs that the writer and artist are doing something right....you can see examples of this with books that are loved by the few who are reading them but are still cancelled...like DC's Demon Knights or Marvel's Gambit

#9 Posted by akbogert (3202 posts) - - Show Bio

@danhimself: If people continue to be upset, like, all the time about books either surviving or being cancelled, then clearly the mere act of buying or not buying is not adequately conveying fan opinions.

Let me use Avengers Arena as an example, because we've discussed it before so I don't have to try to be too detailed.

I'm boycotting the book. They're not getting money from me.

But what message is that sending? It's not telling them why I'm not buying it. It's also not telling them what they could do to make me start buying it. That information could be helpful. As it stands now, they could just as easily assume I'm not buying because I hate all the characters as assume I'm not buying because I love them all. Sending them a letter clarifies that. A thousand letters giving the same reason would help steer the company in a direction which could increase their sales; and that's what makes it worth it to them.

Arena loses thousands of readers every month. I think it would be in everyone's best interest to know why. Are people just getting bored? Too many events? Something else came up? Blew through the tax refund? Loved character x and now they're gone? Was hoping it would all be a virtual reality setup but now know it isn't? Was hoping for more frequent deaths?

There are a lot of reasons. The fact of sales alone is only helpful in the most utilitarian of senses, and I think if there's something that could be done which would both make fans happier and make Marvel more money, there's no reason why that route couldn't be pursued.

#10 Posted by danhimself (22313 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

@danhimself: If people continue to be upset, like, all the time about books either surviving or being cancelled, then clearly the mere act of buying or not buying is not adequately conveying fan opinions.

Let me use Avengers Arena as an example, because we've discussed it before so I don't have to try to be too detailed.

I'm boycotting the book. They're not getting money from me.

But what message is that sending? It's not telling them why I'm not buying it. It's also not telling them what they could do to make me start buying it. That information could be helpful. As it stands now, they could just as easily assume I'm not buying because I hate all the characters as assume I'm not buying because I love them all. Sending them a letter clarifies that. A thousand letters giving the same reason would help steer the company in a direction which could increase their sales; and that's what makes it worth it to them.

Arena loses thousands of readers every month. I think it would be in everyone's best interest to know why. Are people just getting bored? Too many events? Something else came up? Blew through the tax refund? Loved character x and now they're gone? Was hoping it would all be a virtual reality setup but now know it isn't? Was hoping for more frequent deaths?

There are a lot of reasons. The fact of sales alone is only helpful in the most utilitarian of senses, and I think if there's something that could be done which would both make fans happier and make Marvel more money, there's no reason why that route couldn't be pursued.

that would be great...but you'd be wasting your time....when a book fails the companies will take that as proof that one of a few things happened and they'll do their best to not repeat one of those mistakes...the common things would be:

1. writer....they may be less inclined to give that writer work again

2. artist....same as above

3. characters....the may be less inclined to use those characters again...sadly this happens far to often with newer characters....new characters are introduced all the time only to be shoved into limbo because the book they were in failed...or if it's a older character and what they often do is feature that character in a mini and if that mini fails then they know not to give that character an ongoing title

and 4. premise....they'll most likely be less inclined to do a similar premise in the future

#11 Posted by akbogert (3202 posts) - - Show Bio

@danhimself: I really honestly don't understand what you're saying.

I'd agree that it could be any of those things.

Which actually proves my point that telling the company which of those things was the actual reason would help because it would dramatically improve the likelihood that the "fix" actually addressed the real problem. No one's time is "wasted" if you take the guesswork out of the equation and 90% of the people who drop all say it was the premise or the writer or whatever that they couldn't handle.

#12 Posted by Queso6p4 (1430 posts) - - Show Bio

@danhimself:@mercy_:@akbogert: *Sigh* Yea, you all are right. I write at least one letter a month but it doesn't do anything. It just sucks we can't do more as fans besides arranging actual, effective boycotts. *Rubs chin thoughtfully* Hmmm...boycotts...

@danhimself: I'd have to naively think that if a majority of those fans wrote in and voiced their complaints DC would do something.

#13 Edited by roboadmiral (538 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

@danhimself: If people continue to be upset, like, all the time about books either surviving or being cancelled, then clearly the mere act of buying or not buying is not adequately conveying fan opinions.

Let me use Avengers Arena as an example, because we've discussed it before so I don't have to try to be too detailed.

I'm boycotting the book. They're not getting money from me.

They might not be getting your money for Avengers Arena, but they're getting someone's. We, in the internet age, live in an era of the vocal minority. While some may speak loudly against the book, the fact that it is still showing no sign of stopping would suggest a much larger group of people are buying the book and say nothing because they feel they have nothing to complain about. The opinion of you and those who think the same as you, while being much louder than your opposition, clearly does not financially outweigh your silent, but buying, opponents in the eyes of Marvel.

#14 Posted by SC (12731 posts) - - Show Bio

For Marvel, petitions won't work - not as well as hand written letters posted to them. One persons letter won't do much mind you, especially when you factor in that if every fan who wrote a letter on what they wanted - got what they wanted, no one would get what they wanted. So you actually need numbers because enough numbers and enough effort could meant potential money - but its not as easy as having 20 thousand letters asking for a Domino series, because 20 thousand letters don't necessarily mean 20 thousand people buying 20 issues of a Domino series. Then there needs to be a writer and artist in place who can write the series that will be profitable there and not somewhere else with another character. Who knows what the magic number is - 25 thousand snail mail letters with 30 thousand online emails? 90 thousand online emails and assuming only a third will pay up? 300 thousand snail mail letters and Marvel is confused about where all these passionate Domino fans came from? All I know is that Spider Girl fans were motivated, organized and tenacious enough to get a whole lot more Spider-Girl issues than was planned or anticipated. So it can be done - you just have to be smart about it.

It gets trickier when it comes to creative decisions because then you need the sort of numbers that have to counter any projection estimates of fans who may be enjoying the change from Marvel - so the numbers required to prompt change will have to unnerve and unsettle them - make it not so risky financially to change and even then.

Usually the problem with these sorts of things is people overestimate how other people feel about the things they do. That and Marvel and DC tend to play defensively - and don't like to admit when they make a mistake - when its easier to just ignore and retcon/move on. Another potential way to influence change is try and make your own product. Support indie books that have writers and artists that treat subject matter or characters you want your fav DC and Marvel comics too etc

Moderator
#15 Edited by SC (12731 posts) - - Show Bio

@roboadmiral said:

@akbogert said:

If people continue to be upset, like, all the time about books either surviving or being cancelled, then clearly the mere act of buying or not buying is not adequately conveying fan opinions.

Let me use Avengers Arena as an example, because we've discussed it before so I don't have to try to be too detailed.

I'm boycotting the book. They're not getting money from me.

They might not be getting your money for Avengers Arena, but they're getting someone's. We, in the internet age, live in an era of the vocal minority. While some may speak loudly against the book, the fact that it is still showing no sign of stopping would suggest a much larger group of people are buying the book and say nothing because they feel they have nothing to complain about. The opinion of you and those who think the same as you, while being much louder than your opposition, clearly does not financially outweigh your silent, but buying, opponents in the eyes of Marvel.

I agree with you both. This is why Marvel and DC have been bleeding fans and profit for the last couple of years because they know fans of their product have a shelf life and that some will leave no matter what and also they know that many fans who will complain will buy books because of completist natures of fandom and that people will also complain no matter and drop books no matter. Which means they know to accept some loss but its hard to actually gauge exactly how much. Most big decision makers at Marvel/DC are probably using in there experience in the industry to try and counter losses, pointing to things like recession and illegal downloads as the problems probably unaware that the generations younger than them really actually just have more choice these days and so spend there money with Marvel/DC's competition which isn't Image or any other comic company but the internet and anime, and stuff you can access on your phone or computer or Ipad and video games. I wonder what videos games Joe Q and Dan Didio played as teens? To counter this though Marvel and DC rely on enticing new readers/consumers - the highly coveted new reader - the ones who don't know too much so need to be treated with safety gloves. The ones who supposedly got excited about Thanos in the Avengers movie and so want to jump in for a big event all about him.

Marvel and DC are going to do a lot of what they can to make their product float (extend the honeymoon period of new readers, appeasing medium readers before they both become cynical and quit) but it/they has no real way of knowing what succeeds when something succeeds or failing when something fails because there are too many components with a stable test to parallel differences. Plus its too risky to try and find out so just have more events that promise to be bigger than everything else before it ever. To add more complications is the nature of short term success compared to long term success. Controversy in all mediums can be used to try and sell but more often than not it ends up backfiring, because the lowest common denominator in terms of selling doesn't tend to be very loyal. Marvel/DC if they were being smart should either create competition within themselves (I would pay money to tell Marvel Avengers Arena is stupid and bad for business heh heh) and or just realize that DC/Marvel aren't the only competition they have anymore and haven't for the last 10 years.

Look at how many people just fan fiction, RPG or draw fan art stuff for Deviant Art and don't give Marvel and DC anything because they love the characters but are fed up with how they are being treated. 20 years ago those fans didn't really have a choice - now they do, but Marvels big decision makers are all operating with a huge delay. Unfortunately when they do try to get with it you end up with DC's WTF month which was hilariously bad and prime for mocking.

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#16 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes and No.

It would be a great help to publishers but Marvel/DC don't deserve help.

#17 Posted by akbogert (3202 posts) - - Show Bio

@roboadmiral: You literally cut out 60% of what I said in your response. Which really isn't "responding" to me at all.

If you want to talk about your silent minority and majority, consider how many people have stopped reading the book. Since the second issue, 15,114 people stopped reading (I'm using Comichron numbers here). That's 35% of them. Note that that's from the second issue, not the first, because a massive drop from issue one to two is normal. More than a third of the readership has dropped the book. I think it's in Marvel's interest to determine why people who initially supported it stopped. A book selling < 28,000 copies in the Marvel NOW initiative is definitely something they should be worried about, especially since the book has lost an average of 2,000 readers an issue over the last five issues.

And for all Marvel, you, or I know, there could be fifty thousand people who aren't reading the book who would have been if it were different. There's no guarantee that the people currently reading would drop if such changes were made. And even if all of the people currently enjoying it dropped it, they'd still be making more money if they appeased those non-readers and all of them (or even 60% of them) started reading. And since it's highly unlikely that all the current readers would drop, that means that appeasing the non-readers is virtually guaranteed to increase sales.

As SC points out, there is a ton of risk involved which encourages Marvel and DC to stick to what they think they know and to target brand new readers because it's a lot easier than pleasing longer-term fans. Which is why all I said -- and if you go back to the first post I was asked to defend, you'll see I said -- that while petitions and things don't work, having some sort of feedback system which allowed readers to efficiently tell Marvel what they like and don't like would be great. Because it would mitigate the risks -- obviously not entirely, but certainly far better than the current (nonexistent) system does.

@sc said:

Look at how many people just fan fiction, RPG or draw fan art stuff for Deviant Art and don't give Marvel and DC anything because they love the characters but are fed up with how they are being treated. 20 years ago those fans didn't really have a choice - now they do, but Marvels big decision makers are all operating with a huge delay. Unfortunately when they do try to get with it you end up with DC's WTF month which was hilariously bad and prime for mocking.

QFT.

#18 Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale (10180 posts) - - Show Bio

Hippies

#19 Edited by akbogert (3202 posts) - - Show Bio
#20 Posted by XImpossibruX (5170 posts) - - Show Bio

I really wondered how come it took so long for Batgirl to get a series, but Powergirl got one so early on.

#21 Posted by Rabbitearsblog (5772 posts) - - Show Bio

The thing about how petitions affect the comic books really comes down to the sales of the comics. Marvel and DC will mainly look at how well the comics are selling rather than listen to the petitions that fans try to put up to voice their disapproval on how the comics are being written. I think the only way that Marvel and DC will listen to the petitions is if the petitions start affecting the sales of the comics, such as many fans refuse to buy a comic book series and it causes the sales of that comic book series to drop because fans are not buying the comic book series.

#22 Edited by BlueLantern1995 (2448 posts) - - Show Bio

Petitions don't work, sorry to have to break it to ya. Wish they did but they don't. If they did I would start one for Black Panther, Ghost Rider, Silver Surfer, and Doctor Doom to get a ongoing Marvel Title. And for Doom Patrol, Star Sapphires, Blue Lantern Corps, Metal Men, and Dr. Fate to get ongoing titles, but alas they don't so I never tried.

#23 Posted by Jnr6Lil (7689 posts) - - Show Bio

I really wondered how come it took so long for Batgirl to get a series, but Powergirl got one so early on.

Because Power Girl has sex appeal.