More Gemstone thoughts Part 2

deanmary deanmary at
Mon Oct 30 06:40:56 CET 2006

Geez!  First I double post, and now I sent off an email by mistake before it was done! :(  Just not my day!

Back to what I was writing about.  Yes, I realize there are people who would not buy a MM&F or DD&F at $7.50.  Whether that is too much for a title is up to each and every person and there is no right or wrong answer.  *If* it is true that all 4 titles sold about the same amount, I think that would bode well though that Gemstone could sell one or two more prestige titles and get a fairly close percentage sales rate as for its first two.

Also, even if they did not sell as well, they could *still* be more profitable.  Now I am *totally* making up these number from thin air, so bear with me.  Let us say that Gemstone made a 35 cent profit on each $2.95 title and $1.00 profit on each $6.95 title.  Now lets say they made a third prestige title a month for $7.50.  Even if the 3rd prestige title sold only about 75 percent of the $2.95 title, Gemstone would actually make more money as now their profit on a $7.50 title would be $1.55!  I apologize if I got the math somewhat wrong, but maybe I did at least a good enough job so you can see my point.

I like Leo have been frustrated that Gemstone could never get their $2.95 titles and pocket book titles into Borders and Barnes and Noble bookstores.  I could understand it if they only carried DC and Marvel comics.  But these bookstores also sell Archie comics and Simpsons comics!  To me if you could sell these types of comic books, I don't see why Disney comics could not be sold there as well.  That being said though, I imagine if it was easy to do, Gemstone *would* have got their comics into these bookstores.  I shudder to even imagine the crazy hurdles and logistics it might take to get your comic books sold in a large national chain bookstore.  I wish it were as easy at common sense would seem to make it, but I have no idea how these things work and imagine common sense unfortunately doesn't get involved much... :(

As for the future of comics in the USA, I am on the middle ground.  I think the days of the 32 page "pamphlet" comic book that we are all most used to are numbered, but I have no real idea of when their number will be up!   Perhaps 5 years, perhaps 10 years, etc.  If I had to guess though I would be very surprised to see "pamphlet" comics being sold a lot say 30 years from now.  Just my guess though.

However, comics in different formats are not going away at all in the USA.  I myself do not read any manga, but considering how big manga sections are in most bookstores, I imagine most comic books stores and DC and Marvel would be *thrilled* to sell half as many of their comic books as manga does!  So to me the future of comics in the USA (whether it includes Disney comics or not) is to be found mostly in trade paperbacks and books the size of the manga titles and the late Gemstone pocket books.  So while there is bad news from Gemstone, I think the idea of Gemstone producing a regularly published trade paper back title, Walt Disney Treasures, is a strong step in the right direction.  Will it work in the end?  Who knows, but it is well worth trying.

I also am intrigued by a Shonen Jump style title.  Over the weekend at the bookstore I looked at the most recent Shonen Jump issue and a similar one I think is aimed at girls called "Shojo Beat".  Each was over 300 pages long as were priced at either $4.99 or $5.99!  So these titles prove a *huge* bargain of what you get for the price you pay.  I think the key is whether it will make it bookstores like Shonen Jump does, or just sell in comic book stores or online.  If it is the later, I don't see it working but hopefully I am dead wrong about that.

Dean Rekich

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