Mark Millar’s interview with comic book retailers continues where comic store owners confirm relaunches hurt the business and lose customers.
While back in the day comic book runs would go on for hundreds of issues, now many titles are relaunched, and as John Robinson of Graham Crackers Comics says, sometimes twice within a year.
John Robinson mentioned, “I think part of the inherent problem here, and I don’t see this being spoken about, and you may not like hearing this either Mark, but we need consistent long-term runs on books. We need people that stick with the title, and I need Publishers to stick with the title.”
He continued by highlighting the challenge retailers face.
“Publishers don’t realize how much time it takes to sell a single customer on signing up for a 4-issue miniseries, and that’s going to translate to me making eight dollars,” he said.
Moreover, Robinson emphasized the impact of continuity on readership.
“If I can convince somebody to buy a series if Marvel or DC would continue to publish them consistently and not relaunch every year if, I can convince somebody to buy say Amazing Spider-Man or Daredevil or Batman or whatever, they’ll stick through that title just out of habit even when a bad writer or someone they don’t care for takes over that book,” Robinson continued.
Robinson added about the challenges of constant relaunches, “But when these publishers constantly relaunch sometimes twice in a year, I don’t have the time to convince everyone ‘I know they stopped it I know it’s not the same creative team please sign up for this again’ and I’m just losing slivers and slivers. I’m getting killed by a million paper cuts every single week losing these customers because publishers will not stick with it.”
“It’s diminishing returns”
Mark Millar said for Kick-Ass, he would relaunch which would see a “massive spike” and “it would slowly tail down.”
“It’s diminishing returns,” said Robinson. “Every time you relaunch, you get a little less than the last relaunch.”
Retailer Phil Boyle agreed, “Every number one is a jumping on, but every final issue before that has a jumping off, and the jumping on is never equivalent to the jumping off. It is always diminishing returns. Decades of doing this I never seen a point where the sixth issue of the previous series was lower than the sixth issue of the most recent series. It is continually dropping every single series.”
“There’s always exceptions of course,” added Robinson. “Jason Aaron takes over a title and suddenly you get more readers, and sure, there are always exceptions but that’s again that’s the exception to the rule. Phil is absolutely right. It just keeps dropping. You’re giving people a reason to stop collecting which just kills me.”