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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Comic Book Publishers DO NOT Value Their Customers!


In a previous blog where I checked a fanboy I stated that comic book publishers do not value their customers.

I don’t take that back. Because it’s the sad but horrible truth.

The comic book industry regularly shits on its customers giving them poor quality products for their money. The comics Marvel and DC charge $3 and $4 for don’t have the same entertainment value of the comics of thirty years ago.

Now way back in the 1970’s and 1980’s when I started collecting the customer was valued by the industry. Story arcs ran three to six issues, and comics cost 75 cents to $1.50, even $1.75 to $2.00 for some high end publishers like Fantagraphics Books and some NOW Comics.

But the reader always felt like they got their money’s worth. At the end of the 32 pages, the reader got a complete story. A beginning, a middle, and an end. Short exposition, a sublplot then an inciting incident but then the hero went into action and kicked some ass or in the case of Archie, or some of the indies I read, worked towards resolving the conflict. Characters stayed in their place and did their thing. By the 32nd page there was a resolution to the main plot and the subplot and the story arc moved forward towards its conclusion.

Today what does the reader get? Decompressed stories where a single 32-page issue is padded with exposition. Entire books where people just sit around talking about doing stuff or what they want to do. At the last page a hero going to put their costume on. Then in the next issue instead of going out to kick some ass, we get more exposition and more bullshit. Stories stretched out to meet the quota for print pages in trade paperbacks. In some cases the first volume of a series of trade paperbacks. Milking the customer for all their worth without giving them anything of value.

I can’t see how comic fans waste $30, $60, even $100 on this shit. And I can’t see how they’d defend companies where the people who work there regularly take down their pants along with their skid mark draws and shit on them.

Seriously, how much does a company value its customers when it makes them pay $3-$4 for a 32 page book that goes nowhere? How does it show that a company appreciates its readership by making them pay for close to 100 issues to see a single storyline pay off at that price? And how does a company show its gratitude to the loyal customers who dedicated themselves to supporting its products by constantly cancelling the titles they follow and restarting them at a new #1 issue every 24-36 months or in the case of DC Comics destroying the entire universe they follow and starting completely over on a regular basis?

Do you think Honda would do that to its customers? Do you think Apple would do that to its customers? Do you think Toyota would do that to its customers?

HELL NO.

Why? Because they value their customers. They know that every person who buys an Accord, an ipod, or a Corolla will come back and buy another in a year or a few years. Moreover, they’ll tell their friends to buy one too.

They understand that word of mouth builds a brand and a reputation. But no one in the comic book industry understands this.

Because its customers don’t value themselves enough to speak up by voting with their wallets.

And because comic fans don’t value themselves or their money, The comic book industry doesn’t make any efforts to improve their products.

In the comic book business the customer is just an ends to a means. Most of these writers and artists these days are just auditioning for screenwriting and storyboard jobs, and looking to break into Hollywood (Thanks Ricky for the insightful observation). They could care less about the craft of comic books or the comic medium. So they publish glorified fanfiction instead of well-crafted stories and laugh all the way to the bank these days.

Here’s the horrible truth comic fans: Your money doesn’t mean shit to these comic book publishers. Dan Didio and Axel Alonso wipe their ass with your dollars.

Because they know you’ll be stupid enough to put up with whatever shit sandwich they serve you and come back for another freshly plated turd.

I look at the way comic book publishers treat customers and it boggles my mind. I wish that any other businessperson could get away with acting all smug and aloof at a panel where they addressed the public. I wish they could get all sarcastic and condescending when asked a simple question. I wish they could sit around and delay a product or be late with a product.

Because their customers would HAND THEM THEIR ASS.

And the competition would capitalize on their ratchet ass behavior by telling the world how unprofessional they are while offering their customers their products.

In the rest of the business world, customers don’t put up with bullshit. But in the comic book industry bullshit is standard operating procedure.

Why? Because the customer buying comic books is the biggest BITCH out of all the consumers in America.

They don’t have the BALLS to DEMAND BETTER for their dollars. They give the publisher power over them. They never TAKE THEIR RESPECT.

Which is why they get the least value per entertainment dollar out of any entertainment medium out there. The comic fan spends hundreds of dollars for five minutes of entertainment while people in other industries pay far less and get more. They make the manufacturer work for their dollars, but the comic fan just hands theirs over like lunch money to a bully.

Comic fans, your money is valuable and your time is precious. Don’t waste either on companies like Marvel and DC that don’t value you enough to give you their best. Ask yourself: Why should you drop $30, $60 $100 or $300 a month on books that you don’t like then bitch on message boards about them? Why should you take money you busted your ass for and drop it on product that you feel is absolute garbage?

If these comic book publishers don’t care enough about you as a customer to give you a quality reading experience why should you care enough to spend money on it?

Comic fans need to Man Up. Because if you settle for less, you’ll never get the best. People never have to step up their game if you keep accepting shit that’s lame.

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