What is #Comicgate? and why are Marvel's Sales Slumping?

in #comics3 years ago (edited)

Not too long ago I was looking at Marvel's sales and thought:
"Oh that's pretty good for a week I guess" and then the person made me aware they were the sales for that month. Why were sales so low? I went into a deep dive of data and information wondering how Marvel was killing it on film, on Netflix, TV and so many other products but their core product comics were flopping.


It made no sense, when Marvel was so influential even shwarma sales went up due to a mention in Avengers why their comic book line was performing so abysmally with over 30 titles selling under 20k monthly month over month losing sales. We're seeing so many comic book stores closing their doors including London's Oldest

What factors are playing into this? It obviously isn't branding or advertising Marvel is as much a household name as parent company Disney.

Many are saying Marvel has a preoccupation with badly designed "diverse" heroes along with poor writing and a disrespect for the characters and fans that made Marvel what it is.


Writing that has lead to decisions like making Captain America a nazi, replacing Iron Man with Riri Williams a black female teenager. Replacing Thor with a female lead and many more.

“[A lot of misogynistic filth]”, “[Red Pill MRA Meninist Casual Racism]”, and even “[Unsolicited Opinions on Israel???]” were all speech captions in Angela: Queen of Hel, a Marvel comic that was cancelled after failing. The comic started with nearly 40,000 sales on its first issue, but dropped to just below 25,000 on its second.


By the third issue, Angela: Queen of Hel was at just above 20,000 sales, and by the last issue, issue seven, just over 14,000 people bought a copy. That’s right: the comic lost over half of its audience within seven issues.

In a recent interview during the Marvel Retailer Summit, Marvel VP of Sales David Gabriel said:

What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity. They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not. I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales. We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against. That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.

“We’re seeing the worst falloff of Marvel and DC sales in the store’s 38-year history,” complained one comic book store owner in an industry forum. “Both companies are losing established readers who no longer feel that the company’s output reflects the sort of comics they enjoy.


Along come Youtubers "Diversity & Comics" and "Capn Cummings" who review comics and talk about these issues regarding their politics and the effect on sales.

Diversity & Comics is just shy of 40,000 subscribers. He has more viewers than "The Avengers" comic book had readers in August.


To make matters worse and more embarrassing for the SJW crowd of comic book writers, a secret Facebook page was revealed where writers plotted to target Diversity & Comics with harassment meant to incite violence.


As well as attempting an industry blacklist against anyone who watches his videos.

The comic book press have joined in. These are both bleeding cool writers speaking publicly about trying to get D&C's patreon account taken down as well as his youtube channel banned.


If you ask me these writers should spend more time on their craft than chasing down these youtubers because the numbers don't lie and the only thing keeping my comic book store open is anime, Pokemon, & Yu Gi Oh cards. Creators attacking fans doesn't help an industry in critical condition. Attacking customers doesn't give them an incentive to spend money. Only you can't tell SJWs this. They'll watch you go out of business, not buying the product you're pandering to them with and move on to the next thing.

So what is #Comicgate? To understand that you have to look at GamerGate:

Gamergate started out with a reasonable complaint - game journalists are too cozy with developers, both indie and AAA, and so their coverage and reviews often turns into advertisements for their friends or advertisers (depending on if it's an indie game or a AAA game). This was something that everyone kind of knew but ignored, and the Zoe Quinn thing was just too obvious to keep ignoring. Then game journalists started saying that people were only mad at Quinn because she was a woman, attempting to censor, block, ban, blacklist and even get people fired for talking about it.


Comicgate is similar, comic book fans are disappointed with the product Marvel is putting out, and we see the comic writers as well as the comic book press attempting to censor the people speaking out about it. But like GamerGate and the devs, studios, and games that flopped the numbers and economics here don't lie. It's not going to be Marvel that pays for this Disney and their other products will keep them going. It's the comic book stores that invested in a brand they trusted as fans and to sell for their livelihood that are going to be hurting.


Here's a free tip for Marvel you wanna make something that appeals to black folks? Study whatever secret sauce Dragon Ball, Jojo's Bizarre adventure, Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, Boruto, Sonic, and Boku no Hīrō Akademia have. Pull some magic and get Gundam localized over here. That's what we're picking up in the stores.

Create authentic heroes not performative heroes we can smell the gimmick a mile away. We know female Thor isn't lasting until the next movie and by the time Avengers 3 comes out everyone will be right back in their traditional roles to synergize sales. Make diverse characters that are original, authentic and want to be the best versions of themselves. Not wear someone else's hand-me-downs. On a personal note it's just weird to see a character like the Falcon who was a hero in his own right rush to wear Captain America's outfit.

That's like if Jay Z dropped everything to rush to be the "new" Chester Bennington. But what do I know I read manga...


Marvel became really really bad. It almost seems like a social experiment !

I think sales are failing because comic book pricing is really expensive, people can read comics online cheaper and too much sameness with the look and feel of the characters.

This is what I've been preaching. What happened to the characters we used to read about? And Hulk is my favourite character and I don't how many times tey going to keep changing the way he looks. Lol and don'tforget Bleach...we love Bleach and Ichigo :')
Thanks for the post.

Diversity is not the problem. Bad stories and cash grabbing reboots and delayed events is the main culprit of Marvel's problem. The Diversity issue is complicated because you HAVE to diversify to exist in the new climate of change but you don't want to do it in the name of MONEY. Create new diverse characters instead of remixing old ones. Show originality and creativity buy creating new ones and putting your advertising cash behind it and see where it goes. Stop making the old traditional characters Black, LGBT, Asian, Female, etc..... Create new ones for the upcoming generations. STOP RE-Mixing Heroes. Leave the re-mixing for DeeJays!!

Although most don't know this, since the 1980s comics stopped being a huge 'cash cow'. They began working more as a IP marketing tool for branding and awareness.

Case in point: In the mid to late 80s at the height of comic sales Superman peanut butter made more profit for DC then the Superman comics did.

Looking at the sales of Angela: Queen of Hel and saying people are "turning their noses up" at female characters and not buying because of that assumes that the 40,000 people that bought the first issue had no idea that a main character in a comic called Angela: Queen of Hel would be a woman. That's dumb and clearly far removed from reality.

SJW'S ruined everything!

Yes and with CM it’s only getting worse

I read manga also, and it's because it's more imaginative. Marvel and D.C. are so lame-brained that they can't come up with something other than Wolverine. And all the characters that they DO invent are mostly tired copies; flyers, teleporters, strongmen. We see none of the innovation that Naruto has displayed for the last decade.

Also, when trying to attract young female readers why put a girl in a man-suit? Most girls and women are not attracted to the rough and tumble, fighty adventure that boys are. M. and DC could learn from "Fruits Basket," "The Devil Wears Prada," and "Pretty In Pink."

Alita is amazing manga and a great movie. Marvel should pay attention.