Why Is The Comic Book Industry Failing So Badly?

Comic Books are in the decline. This is no surprise anymore. I’ve also noticed that more and more people, primarily in the comic industry, are being hired for their politics, rather than on their merit and skills. Because of this, the core essences of what made comic books so damm popular has all but faded away and now, we are left with a hollow husk of its former glory.

Make no mistake, just because the MCU is booming, does not mean that the comics that inspired them are doing so hot themselves. From what I’ve been able to gather, many have attributed the failure of comics to two prime things:

  1. The new writers are more focused on politics and virtue signaling than narrative, and as a result pushing those that are looking for an escapism out of the hobby.
  2. There’s a constant influx of single new issues & not enough trade paperback to bring in new fans, thus making it difficult for them to start their journey.

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These are the core reasons why I think the comic book industry has been struggling to survive and stay relevant so far. For the politic side of things, that’s an rather easy one to observe. The quality of writing in comic has shifted greatly, much to the dismay of veteran fans. Make no mistake, comics have always been political, heck that’s how Superman was born, but there was this nuance to it that made it easier to deal with. At its core, story and narrative was their main priority and the message was sprinkled on top of it to complete the package. Nowadays, it seems that the story is what’s being sprinkled and the priority now is to virtue signaling.

As for the second point, there is an argument to be made that the medium is quite difficult to get into if you’re not knowledgeable of previous events. Yes, there are amazing comic book channels that make videos to help digest the stories so that newcomers can have a springboard to begin their comic journey but this still won’t help the sales of comic. I believe that once a series or storyline has concluded, it should be made into a Trade paperback, which is a collection of previously published comic books. Now, these already been done but not as frequent or marketed as much as I’d like.

The trade paperback is a nice solution but even with that, there’s no denying that a huge portion of the problem within comic books right now is the writing. If this keeps up, then we may see the extinction of a well beloved medium that has changed the world as we know it.

4 Replies to “Why Is The Comic Book Industry Failing So Badly?”

  1. This might be the first time I heard politics being a reason for low sales, but I haven’t dived that deep into things. I do however feel that declining sales are due to the comics industry practice of trying to sale multiple copies of the same issue just because it has a new cover and relying on huge crossover events that grow tiresome over time.

    And, by comic industry, I mean DC and Marvel. See? That’s another problem, everyone thinks superheroes when thinking comics. The comic industry needs a full marketing overhaul. They need to advertise themselves as a medium with many different kinds of stories to help remove the stigma it’s just kid books with people in tights running around.

    If they can market themselves as a legit industry meant for anyone with any taste in genre, like manga (Seriously, they need to copy as much from the manga industry as possible.), and stop their BS multi-cover antics, I think they will improve.

    1. You actually make a really good point, I was actually thinking about that, that Comics do have other themes aside from superheroes but rebranding it now is going to be damm near impossible at this point. It’s too ingrained in peoples mind.

      In terms of politics, I’m referring to writers not focusing on telling engaging stories but instead using that platform to “preach”. Nothing is wrong to get a message across but it’s getting kinda out of hand.

      Yeah, the single issue cover gimmick and crossover is another good point.

      1. Yeah, there’ll always be writers who aren’t subtle but I just don’t think that’s a huge problem. But that’s just me. Maybe the huge amount of comics I don’t read is different.

        I don’t think it’s impossible to re-brand the comics industry, just really hard. That’s where marketing and advertising comes in. It’d be a long process for sure, but if manga can be considered a medium filled with all manner of genres, so can the comics industry. It’s all about breaking social assumptions. And, with comic book movies being the cool thing, now’s the perfect time to take advantage of their success and promote the crap out of comic books, or graphic novels, since people in the industry are embarrassed by the word “comic”.

      2. Yeah, maybe embracing the graphic novels (GV for short if you wanna be cool) could pave the way for more comics outside the super hero norm to be seen.

        Not gonna lie, I like that GV abbreviation just now lol

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