I apologize for this taking forever.

§ January 16th, 2015 § Filed under predictions § 4 Comments

This is taking a lot longer than I was planning, friends, for which I apologize…real-life type stuff has been occupying my time, not leaving a lot of room for these more labor-intensive posts. Thanks for being patient.

Anyway, here we are at part three of looking back at your predictions for 2014, so let’s see how far we get this time.

Don’t forget to add your 2015 comic industry predictions to the list, too!

• • •

Michael Grabowski gets a hold of me with the following:

“DC’s September 2014 line-wide event will include multiple comics vital to the big story that are available only digitally at first, with a printed trade collection made available several months later.”

DC wasn’t quite ready to make that jump yet…and I suspect the industry will have to be in drastically different shape to move the publishing focus that much over to digital. Not looking forward to that, frankly.

“DC will scale back its serial comics publishing schedule by cutting low-selling titles and not replacing them with new ones, and by introducing serial OGN trades (starting with Batman) that tie into ongoing continuity.”

Well, DC did cut a bunch of titles recently just prior to this whole “Convergence” hoohar, but I think the “New 52”-mandated number of titles will hold sway for at least a while longer. Serial trades (probably in that $9.99 thin TPB format DC uses) is a likely destination for the periodical market, though, I would think.

• • •

Roel Torres rolls out the following:

“1) The best stories will come from Image. The worst stories will come from DC. Marvel will stay the course and be fine in general.”

That’s all subjective, so there’s no real way to claim hit or miss on this. But people certainly act like DC Comics are, to use a phrase I’ve used in the past, “made of Hitler” based on all the hate DC seems to get. Well, yeah, DC brings it on itself sometimes, but every company has their moments, good and bad. DC’s just the online world’s whipping boy at the moment, like Marvel was not too long ago.

But really, the best company is IDW based solely on their Popeye reprints.

“2) There will be more comic book movie fatigue.”

This year, I think it’s more like pre-fatigue, with DC and Marvel unveiling slates of films taking us a decade or so into the future and everything thinking “holy crap, that’s a lot of superhero movies.” And that’s not even including all the TV shows currently running and about to be unleashed soon. I can’t even keep up with the ones on the air now, and that includes a TV show based on a spin-off character from my favorite comic book series that I still have yet to watch.

“3) I will spend all year hoping that the industry will stop cranking out dark and serious stories, and get back to fun and cheerful ones at some point.”

Well, you have to tell me…did you spend all year doing that? I think there are some fun comics out there still!

• • •

Chance pulls the following out of the community chest:

“1. Elfquest returns, edgier and more Now! than ever before.”

Hey, it did come back! Don’t know that it’s “edgier,” but it’s here!

“2. The Walking Dead will end.”

Still the most popular anything in the history of everything. That spin-off TV series feels like “one season only,” though; “The Walking Dead in Wonderland” they could call it.

“3. Deadpool/Punisher/Wolverine team-up miniseries called ‘Marvel Makes Money.'”

The judges would also accept “Marvel Hits Diminishing Returns on These Characters…Again.”

• • •

Snark Shark bites off more than he can chew with

“1) The New DC will continue to SUCK.”

Now, now, it occasionally blew, too. (Now click here.) OKAY EVERYONE RELAX IT WAS A JOKE – I enjoyed plenty of books from DC, so I don’t think, quality wise, they’re on average better or worse than Marvel. Everyone’s mileage varies.

• • •

Stevonicus predicticuses

“Dark Horse and Archie’s superhero line relaunches will both breach the Diamond Top 50 with multiple titles each.”

Sadly, not even close, as far as I can tell. Well, there was only one Archie superhero series out that I can recall, and, okay, it was in the Top 300 for March, but only barely. The other superhero books are coming this year, and we’ll see how they do…but it’s a tough market to crack.

“Valiant will crossover with Dynamite’s Gold Key properties.”

Honestly surprised we didn’t see this. Just a matter of time, most likely.

“Charles Soule will continue to absorb the chi of comic writers past and present, and will soon write 2/3rds of all superhero comics, half of the Archie titles and at least five weekly indie books.”

I’d have been totally okay with this. As it is, the guy’s apparently invented the 40 hour day just to do what he’s been doing.

• • •

The Prankster pulled the following:

“1. One of the recent new Image books will be optioned as a movie. I’m guessing Saga because I think with Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming new Star Wars movie that space opera will be hot, but The Manhattan Projects is a likely contender as well.”

A quick look seems to show Mark Millar’s MPH and Starlight have been optioned, which should come as no surprise as Millar seems to have his foot in Hollywood’s door in regards to most of his comics now, anyway.

According to the Wiki Saga is not intended for adaptation into other media by the creators. But aside from that I’d be surprised if most comics didn’t get studios sniffing around for the next Walking Dead or Avengers.

“2. Harras and Didio will finally get the boot from DC editorial (or leave ‘voluntarily’).”

They’re still hanging in there, far as I can tell.

“3. Hot new superhero look for 2014: SWEATERVESTS.”

There’s only one true sweatervest superhero, and that man is:


• • •

googum googummed

“1. I’m guessing a mild implosion of licensed titles. I thought there was a fair amount of churn for those anyway; but I think a lot of the books that don’t make the top 300 will quietly disappear. Dynamite and IDW might cancel a bunch, and Marvel will ditch anything non-Disney that they might have to pay for.”

Not any kind of big die-off that I noticed…like you said, they come and they go. In fact, one or two came back that kind of surprised me, like Lone Ranger. Marvel still seems to being doing a few licensed books, like their original graphic novels based on Revenge and Once Upon A Time (well, okay, the latter didn’t come out this year, but they announced a new one, I believe).

“2. Someone–maybe 2000 AD?–decides to try the $1.99 price point, like Fell did. With a proven name like Ellis or character like Dredd, it’d be a slimmer book but could move some sales. (New characters or creators trying it, hit or miss!)”

It seems to me a couple of small publishers tried this, but I can’t recall who did on what titles which should show you how well it went over. Interestingly, Marvel has tried out a $1.99 anti-bullying Avengers book which came out last week, and that seemed to sell better than I was expecting.

“3. Long shot: DC decides to go nuts in shoring up their new 52 titles. Instead of another Batman book, or old standby, they do what some hoped they were going to do in the first place and go for variety. Maybe even a romance book this time around!”

Almost the opposite. They are trying the occasional oddball title, but nothing’s really sticking. And one of the old standbys, Green Lantern, is losing several periodical members of the franchise due to cancellation, so that’s one less publishing crutch for DC to lean on.

• • •

I’m sorry, dave, but I’m afraid I have to look at your predictions:

“1. DC will regain some fans’ goodwill with its weekly Batman book, which will be great, along with the Five Years Later stuff. (I say that as a consumer currently purchasing zero New52 books).”

Batman Eternal has been pretty great, hasn’t it? And reaction has been positive! New 52 Futures End doesn’t have quite the same traction…it took me a while to get into it, personally, but it seems to be slowly gathering a readership again after dipping pretty low after its debut. Earth 2 Worlds End is the weakest creatively of DC’s weekly series, but the following on that seems to be pretty strong as well.

“2. Dynamite will crossover its Gold Key line of characters in the Summer with Valiant and it’ll be a smashing fun success.”

Like I said an entry or two back, really surprised this didn’t happen yet.

“3. The Ultimate Universe will still be around, and Miracleman will show up.”

Yeah, the Ultimate Universe is just barely hanging in these, primarily as a support system for the new Spider-Man Miles Morales. A Miracleman appearance would be just what was needed to perk things up a bit, but I’m going to guess the character ain’t goin’ nowhere else in the Marvel Universe until the Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman Miracleman story is good and completed.

• • •

kid nicky ain’t kiddin’ with

“1. More creators will leave DC due to poor treatment by editorial, sales for DC titles will remain about the same.”

I was trying to think of any specific blow-ups this year, but most of the examples I was able to turn up were from 2013 or before. I’m sure someone wasn’t happy and split DC because of editorial issues in 2014. Sales for DC seem to be steady, as you suggest…there was a sizable bump in September for the 3D covers, as expected.

“2. The big 2 and maybe Image will really be pushing digital over floppies for monthly issues. They’ll still MAKE floppies, but they’ll be like tapes in 1993. Floppy sales will be an afterthought from Marvel and DC because even if digital sales aren’t beating physical sales yet (and I have no idea if they are) the focus will be on pushing the consumer to a future that the publishers want.”

I think it’s still a little early for companies to be throwing all their digital eggs into the online basket just yet. I’m sure they’d be perfectly happy to do that, and cut out all that messy “printing on actual paper” stuff and its attendant costs, but old people like me still want their funnybooks on stapled-together pieces of dead trees.

“3. Even though Batista wins the world title at Wrestlemania and Disney uses that for promotion, Guardians of the Galaxy will be the first Marvel Studios movie that doesn’t wow. I’m not saying it will bomb, but it’ll be the first that proves you can’t just base a movie on ANY comic and get a blockbuster. People like us can handle Groot and Rocket Raccoon, but John and Jane Public will laugh. Unfortunately this means Warner Bros. never makes a Space Cabby movie.”

I think we were all surprised by how well Guardians went over, and by the fact Groot and Rocket Raccoon are now much beloved. I have Groot and Rocket cardboard standees in the window of my store, and I promise you, everyone from tiny children to little old ladies get a kick out of seeing them there.

But don’t dismiss the idea of an eventual Space Cabby movie…even if it’s a fanfilm by S.C.’s biggest fan!

• • •

The King of the Moon doth decree

“An Octobot containing Peter Parker’s consciousness will restore Peters mind to his body in time for the premiere of a amazing Spider-Man 2”

Pretty sure that wasn’t exactly what happened, but Peter Parker was back as Spider-Man for a brand new Amazing Spider-Man #1 and, yes, for the premiere a few days later for the silver screen debut of Amazing Spider-Man 2.

• • •

Max pushes it to the limit with

“1) Marvel will open (or announce the opening of) a chain of brand-dedicated stores.”

There are already Disney stores, so that’ll probably be good enough.

“2) Comixology will face its first real contender in the digital comics market, and it will be from an entity that we haven’t even heard about yet.”

Its first real contender was Amazon, who bought them, so that was that, I guess.

“3) Warner Bros. will shut down “DC Entertainment” and ‘relaunch’ it as ‘WB Superheroes Bedsheets ‘n Stuff.’ Or something. :)”

I’d be down with some Swamp Thing sheets.

• • •

That’s enough for now…to be continued shortly!

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