Man-Size (man_size) wrote,
Man-Size
man_size

"Comics Industry Asks ‘NYT’ to Restore Graphic Bestseller Lists"

Here is a link to a Publisher's Weekly article about the comics industry asking The NY Times to restore Graphic Bestseller lists for graphic novels: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/comics/article/75998-comics-industry-asks-nyt-to-restore-graphic-bestseller-lists.html

I honestly have mixed feelings about lists like this. Artistic merits aside, it becomes a popularity contest for publishers with deep pockets, great business relationships, intensive marketing campaigns, and lazy consumers. These lists NEVER sway me to see a movie, read a book and/or listen to an album. Never have. Never will. HOWEVER, I have to assume lists like these influence A LOT of consumers. So, there is a lot of power in these lists.

Bottom line: let's give graphic novels their due; give 'em some space to share among books, movies, music and other popular media in our go-to-institutions for "what sells" (if not necessarily "what's cool"). Lord knows graphic novels SHOULD sit at the same table as the others. And, let's not forget the outliers and small comix publishers who fight the good fight and never even get a mention on them there lists while they continue to innovate the form.

In other news, when are we gonna get more webcomic reviewers? As much as I covet & crave print, the future is digital. The future is in your hands (literally). Let's tell our print comix fans more about it.

ADDENDUM:

A comix peer asked, "If anything it'll encourage competition among creators. I can't speak for the comics community as a whole but at CCS there didn't seem to be much encouragement of competition which I think is important in creation of anything your planning on selling."

I responded:

Healthy competition is good. But, there are games being played that a bunch of cartoonists and publishers don't have a rook, much less a pawn, to enter the game with.

The comix peer asked, "Do you mean going up against companies like Marvel and DC? Because now may be the perfect time to hit them as Marvel is losing a lot of its long-time fans due to poor characters and stories with their big-name arches like Iron Man and Miss Marvel."

I responded:

Actually, Marvel doing well makes everyone in comix do well. Their sales uplifts the industry. Marvel Comics is the product that saves most brick & mortar comix shops from going under. So, in a way, the NYT List I have some gripes with is, at the very least, keeping cats like me alerted to what consumers are consuming while I wrestle with art over commerce concerns. And, I have no beef with large corporations who finally broke through (historically, Marvel has been on the brink of shuttering every decade, until now). When DC Comics starts to make more successful movies & TV that rivals Marvel, therein lies a healthy superhero competition, but it's still an upward battle for other kinds of comix that DON'T have eons-old Intellectual Property to exploit via movies/TV/etc.

It's a bigger, longer, more complex discussion to have than I can muster online, but the NYT List -- and others just like it -- never represent what any given form has to fully offer, DESPITE sales. Everyone know you can't pay rent with critical acclaim.
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