I’ve recently said goodbye to the New 52 and will be getting most of my super hero reading from Marvel. So I should be happy that some books ship twice a month, right? Wrong.
Marvel started shipping books twice a month towards the middle of last year, and started with Amazing Spider-Man. They were doing mini-series weekly, but ASM was the first ongoing that would ship two times a month, basically every other week. To help with the schedule they had a rotating cast of artist.
With the Marvel Now! initiative, they’ve started shipping multiple books out twice a week. Avengers, All-New X-Men, Iron Man and others. Other books have had a back-to-back shipping schedule. Cable and X-Force #1 came out, the next week #2 came out and only about 2-3 weeks later #3 is now out. Avengers Arena has had the same schedule as Cable.
We’ve seen 3 issues of the new Thor and we’re up to 6 issues of All-New X-Men.
This should be good right?
If you like a book, you want to read more of it right?
But, no. I think Marvel is making a big mistake, and possibly hurting themselves, with the increased shipping schedule for so many books.
Most comic readers are on a budget. That means they are limited in how many books they can get in a given month. Most comics are $2.99 to $3.99, that is getting to be pretty expensive. Fifteen books would cost around $60 bucks. Fifteen books.
Avengers, All-New X-Men, New Avengers, Wolverine And The X-Men, Cable And X-Force, Uncanny X-Force, Secret Avengers, Avengers Arena, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Superior Spider-Man, X-Men Legacy, Uncanny X-Men.
That’s without even getting into the other books: Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble, Deadpool, Savage Wolverine, Gambit, Fearless Defenders, Avenging Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, etc..
Now Avengers, All-New X-Men, Iron Man and Spider-Man all ship twice a month. That means those four books end up totaling eight of the fifteen books. So take four more books off the list. You’re now left with eleven titles you’re reading a month.
Marvel is costing themselves sales of other books. Yes, $3.99 spent is still $3.99 spent, but it’s only going towards one book instead of two. It’s only showing sales and support for one book. What ends up happening is the B-Level titles start to suffer and have low sales.
Why? Because people buy on a budget.
I said goodbye to the New 52 because most of the books are bad, they’re not good reads. But the main reason was I have a budget I buy under. I can only spend a limited amount of money on comics a month. I would have been willing to give a couple more a longer chance if the budget had allowed, but because of Marvel’s crazy shipping schedule, the budget is tight and sacrifices had to be made.
Sure Marvel is happy that I’m buying less DC books, but guess where the next sacrifice will come from?
Remember that fiscal cliff the US just got past? Remember the part about a raise in taxes? 2% I think the number is. That means I’ll be bringing less home a year. Bills aren’t going down. Guess where that money will have to come from?
Yep, the comics budget will get smaller. So I’ll need to drop more books. The B-Level ones will be the first to go.
And what happens when a new book appears like the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy or the just announced Brian Wood/Olivier Coipel X-Men? The budget doesn’t grow. To get a new one, will have to drop one.
One book can handle going on a twice-monthly schedule but not two or three. That’s asking too much of the fans wallets and budgets and it can only hurt Marvel in the long run.
Keeps up and the only books being published will be Avengers and All-New X-Men and you’ll get them weekly.