Gimmicks and the state of the comics industry…
Above: THE GOON © and TM 2012 Eric Powell. Click here for a larger view. I think this cover to THE GOON #39 says it all.
In the early and mid-1990s, gimmicks ruled comics. Instead of having quality artwork and well-written stories to sell comic books, many publishers relied on the increased sale of multiple variant covers, polybagged books, enclosed trading cards, and embossed covers. This caused the creation and burst of the Comic Book Speculation Boom.
In the last couple of years, comic book gimmicks have made a horrible return to the comics industry. Corporate-owned comics are using more gimmicks to sell their books. Characters are increasingly dying and then becoming alive again. Characters are getting new outfits. Titles are renumbered over and over again. And let’s not forget about the reboots and retcons.
How does all of this help long-term sales of comic books? It really doesn’t. But, narrow-minded marketing people (and others) at the big publishers still look to increase short-term sales of their books while the comic book market continues to suffer.
All of this ain’t new news.
So, when will some folks learn?