Speaking of the party’s over, Brian Hibbs looks in the industry mirror and doesn’t like what he sees:
Even the Big Books are much less Big than they used to be. Our sales on what used to be dependable mega-hitters, like, say, “Uncanny X-Men” are at historical lows. We’re selling fewer copies in total than we would have sold just from pre-orders alone as little as five years ago.
What we’ve done, as an industry, is to break the very habit of comics collecting for a distressingly large number of people.
The thing is: this is a self-inflicted wound. Event marketing, line expansions, overproduction of minis and new #1s, price increases — these were all things that publishers chose to do in order to make as much money as they could. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se — we live in a system of capitalism, and capitalism demands greater profits. But we’ve systematically made what seemed like sound short-term decisions that largely gutted the long-term market for most of the product within it. Ooops!
Hibbs isn’t calling all doom and gloom — he says sales are up year over year for November and hopefully December. But are we really on the right track?