It isn’t the first time that I’ve said this, but this month’s “Tilting at Windmills” column by retailer Brian Hibbs is a must-read for everyone interested in the comics industry, as he looks at the ways in which product oversaturation is slowly killing the direct market:
It kills me, it literally kills me as I watch publisher after publisher, time and time again, walk up to their customers and say to their face, “Please stop buying my comics!”. Whether that’s feast-or-famine shipping, completely blowing the scheduling on new lines, not balancing a production schedule over the month, whatever. Behavior that we tolerate in the DM would never ever fly in any other medium. Can you imagine a TV show succeeding with the kind of stop-and-start, constant change-in-scheduling kind of production that we have in comics? No, the mass audience wouldn’t be interested in those kinds of shenanigans.
Again, it would be one thing if we were dealing with a market of big hits, in a healthy economy, where the losses from the dumb stuff could be ameliorated. But we’re not in a market of big hits any longer. We’ve lost most of our buffer.
So, so much more at the link. Seriously: This is something that everyone should read. Even if you don’t agree with what he’s saying – although, really, I’d be surprised if that was the case and curious to hear why – these are issues that need to be addressed, and sooner rather than later.