Sunday, November 16, 2008

DC Comics Epic Synergy Fail

That Blue Beetle? Canceled.

This Blue Beetle? Just got major exposure in the debut episode of the latest Batman cartoon.

You know, it isn't like the Blue Beetle series was kid-unfriendly. They couldn't just wait a few months more?


  1. Do you really think B&B was going to at least double Blue Beetle's numbers? The series was allowed to go on far longer than it should have. It wasn't even selling in the lower 20Ks it was selling in the mid teens.

    All books that specifically tied in to other animated shows sold as well as Blue Beetle is selling now. Teen Titans Go, The Batman, LoSH in the 31st Century all sold less that Blue Beetle is selling now. Add to that the fact that Blue Beetle is at best a recurring character and not regular on the show.

    I'm all for books like BB but there's a lot Monday morning quarterbacking going on. 30+ issues isn't really that bad.

  2. When was the last time that kids were a major component of the direct market? The performance of Marvel Adventures and the DC animated comic material shows that they are the token minority here. Those 18 and up seem to be the primary consumers today and their buying habits and proclivity for serious material over lighter fare are not going to be changed by a secondary role in a kids cartoon.

  3. Anon: Both Marvel and DC have said that their kid-focused books are more subscription-based and there are trade paperbacks (i.e. book chain offerings) for the title. But, regardless, when you essentially have several blocks of free advertising on Cartoon Network for your property, it seems an inopportune time to make this move. And the show just premiered; we don't know what audience it has successfully captured yet.

    Kwaku: Who has said a doubling was necessary? Again, you're, also, going complete off DM estimates when the kids books were angled for subs, I believe.

  4. I agree with Kevin here about the market differences. Kid-focused comic books sell better outside of the direct market, which is why they remain profitable selling below 20K direct.

    Something else to consider ... My sister is a public school teacher here in New York City, and she told me that at most book fairs, there are one or two promotional Marvel Adventures titles. So yes, those books serve their purposes.

    I don't know if Blue Beetle is a book that necessarily moved in this fashion, but to dismiss kids' titles in general is a huge mistake. They serve as the "gateway drug," so to speak.

  5. SO how much would the DM sales estimates need to go up to keep the book alive? Last time I check BB sold 12000+ on estimates.

    I don't know the ins and outs of the this stuff but I do know that compared to other books that have been canceled by DC, BB was way way below cancellation levels. Maybe a lot of kids will see the show and decide to get the comic book(which they don't know about).

    Also, Blue Beetle is not a Johnny DC book, there is a Johnny DC book for Brave and the Bold coming out and I doubt it will sell as much as Blue Beetle is selling now.

    My problem with arguments like this is that there are people who get paid to figure these things out. People whose jobs depend on these things. For all I know you may be one of these people but it seems like every time something is canceled everyone suddenly know just what was needed to keep the book going.

    I hope 3 months from now sales on Blue Beetle have jumped up to the point that DC decides to not cancel it.

  6. I'm not paid to know these things. I'm just an outside observer that thinks you should take advantage of the opportunity to have a 22 minute repeating commercial on the channel that probably best fits your demographic.

    I'm just saying you keep it around a little longer than that so that, if there is a bump, there will be no extended absence of the product.

    Totally unrelated note, but I think that the publishers should start letting fans know what books are on the hot seat directly. That way all these campaigns after the fact can be started prior to a cancellation.

    Oh, btw, Batman: B&tB will sell lower in the direct market, but might just sell more through avenues not tracked by Diamond.

  7. Blue Beetle appears each month in the pages of Teen Titans, a youth-oriented property also aided by a TV cartoon.

    Also this blog is teh ghey. LET IT BE KNOWN

    -Davey Red

  8. Ha...nice Ron & Fez reference. But I'll remind you that a book with BLUE BEETLE titled on the cover is much easier to find for a new reader than one with Blue Beetle in between the covers.


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