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Thread: Where's the punchline?

  1. #1
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    Where's the punchline?

    I'm curious what everyones thougts are on the this weeks specualtor mess over Punchlines 1st appearence in batmand and YOTV #3
    Looking for Infinite Heroes Robin and Catwoman
    And Super Powers Batman

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    ^Say what? I guess I'm totally out of the loop, because I don't know who Punchlines are/is, and what Batman and YOTV is either.

    Chris
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riffster View Post
    I'm curious what everyones thougts are on the this weeks specualtor mess over Punchlines 1st appearence in batmand and YOTV #3
    I don't understand your sentence...no idea what you're talking about.

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    Okay, I just looked it up. Year of the Villain, and she looks like the Mime and Harley Quinn had a love child.

    Well, DC told us Bane would be a big deal nearly 30 years ago, and he was, so...
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    I am kind of on board with Brian Hibbs

    For those who don't know Hibbs..

    Brian Hibbs owns the Comix Experience chain of comic stores in San Francisco. In his time, he has managed to sue Marvel Comics and get them to change their publishing policy. He is also the author of the regular column on comic retailing titled Tilting at Windmills (found at the Comics Beat currently) and does a yearly analysis of sales of comic material in the book trade as opposed to the direct market using date from the Bookscan app. He is one of the more prominent (and often reasonable) voices on comic retailing.

    He writes about the Hell Arisen #3 situation (which was picked up by Bleeding Cool)

    Once again there is a speculator-driven comic coming out this week that forces us to limit sales or change our natural way of doing business.

    This week it is HELL ARISEN #3.

    Here's the thing: unlike last week's BATMAN, where there were a good number of potential people-who-bought-earlier-issues-from-the-rack, my point-of-sale system shows me that virtually none of you bought copies of #1 or #2 from the shelf — this comic was a *massive flop*. And so, really, the only reason for most of the phone calls and such we're getting is because we've got a bunch of greedy people trying to buy it from us for $4, and flip it for $40+.

    I can't countenance this as a retailer (Seriously folks, we're not suckers), and so I have to try to deflect you all. This week our plan is this: if you're not already subbed for YOTV (and you aren't), THEN IN ORDER TO BUY #3, YOU HAVE TO BUY #1 & 2 ALONG WITH IT. We're only interested in facilitating the reading of a story.

    Let me go one step further: I've owned a comic book store since 1989, and I've worked comics retail since like '85. I've heard this same record many many times before: In point of fact I've personally watched the comic book industry ALMOST BE DESTROYED MULTIPLE TIMES by speculators and greed — through the B&W boom, through the 90s spec crisis, and it's happening again right now. People trying to "flip" comics are making it so PEOPLE WHO ONLY WANT TO READ THEM CAN'T DO SO.

    It's not right; and it's certainly nothing I'm willing to participate in.

    Please listen: if you are buying comics with the goal of flipping them for a greater price you are HURTING the comics medium, you are HURTING small businesses, you are HURTING creators and publishers….. and, more importantly, I DON'T WANT YOUR MONEY TO DO SO.

    Seriously: **** the **** off. Go shop somewhere else. You don't like comics, you're not good for comics, and your money is worthless to me because what I, and every other, comic book retailer needs are ONGOING READERS. Your spending $4 today is dwarfed by a regular stable purchaser spending that every single month. On the non-returnable comics that form the backbone of the Direct Market your ONE TIME purchase is *genuinely* HURTING comics and comics stores who then have a harder time figuring out how to serve their regulars. Your purchases are WEAKENING the market, and so you are not welcome in our doors.

    When I opened in 1989, there were 24 comic book stores in San Francisco, and now there are (barely) 8 — that two-thirds went out of business largely because of these bull**** speculator games that hollowed out the actual readers market, despite the local economy BOOMING beyond all rationality in that time.

    You suck. You destroy the thing you claim that you value. And Comix Experience simply won't stand for it (nor have we, consistently, for the last thirty years!)

    And more than that…. honestly? You're an idiot. I sell comics for a *living*, and I watch these variant flash-in-the-pans and they NEVER (*ever*) hold their value. There are a small cartel of folks who are using public-facing apps, and trading back and forth between puppet accounts to MAKE IT LOOK like there's demand for these comics featuring "Punchline", but as a guy who has been selling this stuff for decades: this moment is 100% false and manufactured. We've yet to have a SINGLE *reader* show the slightest amount of non-fiduciary interest in the character, and any comic that "every knows is going to be worth money" never ever is a month or three after it drops.

    Maybe "Punchline" will be an interesting character, with an involving storyline that leads to dynamic story-telling and tales for the ages. I sincerely hope so. But speculeechs driving up the price before anyone has ever read a single page of content is a massive red flag that "Punchline" will end up no better than "The Joker's Daughter" (which was also white hot for about 45 days in 2013, and now no one would give you a dime for her eponymous comic)

    Don't be a sucker. Don't help destroy what is left of the periodical comics market (idiot!) And don't think you're welcome in our stores. We've been there, we've done that, and we've had it proven again and again and again that you are the stone cold enemy of the Medium of comics.

    Right now, you have a LOT of people trying to sucker and shake you down and get you to buy their comics because so many of them see a Hollywood Play, and are willing to use speculators and the worst excesses of the "collector's Market" to try and leverage that play. They too, are the enemy. Don't fall for it! Don't support them!

    If you have any issue with any of this, take it up directly with me. I can always be reached at brian@comixexperience.com. Leave my staff out of it, please — this is a top-down statement.
    I actually subscribe to the current Batman writer, James Tynion IV's newsletter as I like a lot of the creator-owned comics he does, and he has been talking about the creation of Punchline there for a couple of months (as soon as the solicitation was released and he was allowed to by DC). He seems to be coming at it from the right place, trying to be additive to the mythos instead of just recycling the same old same old ad infinitum, and he really wants to get people reading (not just buying) comics, so I don't think this was a ploy by him to hype up the book (now the way DC marketing has handled it and comics media sites have handled it is another thing altogether).

    I am not looking to get a copy. I am intrigued by the possibilities of his Batman run as a whole after reading his newsletter and creator-owned stuff, but I will wait and either read it in trade or via the DC Universe site which I subscribe to when it hits.

    I wish people were excited to read the new material, not just flip it, but the direct market is a niche collector's market now, no different than people buying collector toys to own or flip rather than play with. It's the nature of the beast in 2020 and has been for quite some time. The reading market is in other formats, not periodicals, and the direct market was always intended to service collector's who knew what they wanted rather than a general mass audience of readers, that's what Phil Seuling and friends were trying to do when they created the direct market distribution system and why non-returnable sales worked in it. They succeeded spectacularly. The problem is that the direct market is no longer additive to the overall comics market, it is that it is the core of the comics market now. The additive arena now (and the only one that is showing growth) is the book trade, and it doesn't deal in periodical comics. What's left in the direct market is people (publishers, distributors, retailers, speculators, etc.) trying to milk as much sales out of the collector's customer base as possible, and that in and of itself is going to create an environment where speculation can thrive.

    -M

  6. #6
    It seems the Punchline is retooled Batman villain Camilla Ortin aka Mime from the 80's
    Camille_Ortin Mime.jpgPunchline.jpg
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  7. #7
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    It seems the Punchline is retooled Batman villain Camilla Ortin aka Mime from the 80's
    Yep, which is why I mentioned her above. I guess folks are expecting Harley-level heat as well.

    Chris
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    when are monthlies going to implode?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earth 2 Chris View Post
    Okay, I just looked it up. Year of the Villain, and she looks like the Mime and Harley Quinn had a love child.

    Well, DC told us Bane would be a big deal nearly 30 years ago, and he was, so...
    Why not? The Miles Morales first appearance was heavily promoted and that never stopped spectators from making money on that book the past 2 years.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earth 2 Chris View Post
    Well, DC told us Bane would be a big deal nearly 30 years ago, and he was, so...
    yes, but as I recall, there was really no advanced promoting of that initial Bane one shot. it was just another of many Batman one shots/mini series hitting the shelves at that time and so Both Vengeance of Bane, and the Sword of Azrael miniseries were under ordered by retailers because no one knew who the characters were or how they were soon going to be used in the Batverse

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