In my looking around at various web sites and YouTube videos, I came across the term ‘ComicGate’ recently. While there was a video a few months ago that I viewed that talked about the comic book industry ‘inching its way towards its own comic gate’ ( The Comic Book Industry is Inching Its Way to Its Own Gamergate By Just Some Guy, published Aug 08, 2017 ) The term ComicGate or #ComicGate I assume is a reference to the #GamerGate of a few years ago.
There is definitely a problem with comic book sales, especially with the fact that even years after the 2008/2009 financial crisis has been over, for about a decade now, numerous comic book stores continue to close. Over a number of years I have compiled reports on comic book store closings which I sent out to a few people; friends that worked their own stores, in the industry or are interested in the industry.
From my viewing of the reports over time, what I have found alarming is that stores that survived the 2008/2009 financial crisis, and the Borders closing in 2011, do not appear to be ok or financially stable. I would have normally expected that those stores were now safe or ok, in that the economy and industry was back to a more normal state where a store should be able to stay in business without any serious problems.
Instead, what I have seen, and reported on in the subsequent years is that a number of stores are on the edge financially and either end up closing once they get to the end of their lease and/or the owner retires and is unable to sell the store as a going business because it is not making any money. In a few cases, the store ends up ‘financially imploding’ where the store is evicted from its retail space.
While I have looked at this years sales numbers, and I do see some declines in sales, my initial looking at the numbers do not seem to show the decline as huge, but does show a decline on top of a decline on top of years of declines.
While I do think that the changes in many comic book series are contributing to these declines and these additional declines in sales is pushing a number of comic book stores ‘over the edge and into a financial abyss’, causing them to close. (i.e. The stores are so close to not being able to stay open that an additional decline cause by changes in a number of comic book series causes the store to close.)
In the coming days I am going to look at the comic book sales numbers and see if a simply charting of total dollars and total units shows anything of interest.
After that I think an ecometrics look at the numbers would be interesting to see if the recent declines are all due to changes in a number of comic book series or if something else, such as a downturn in the economy, could explain the changes or if it is a combination of factors, all of which are working together to cause the declines.
One big advantage of an ecometrics look at the numbers is that a properly done multivariable look would give us an idea as to how much each factor is helping or hurting sales and how the factors relate to each other.
Why would the or a competent man would be interested in this topic? The reason I would put forth, is that if there is some kind of #ComicGate going on, or about to start, is that it would be an interesting study in if a business or an industry would be able to correct sales declines or, if a number of critics of the comic book industry are correct, that an ideology and feelings of a group of people is now allowed to override facts and logic; and in the process destroy an entire industry.
Agree or Disagree, Like or Dislike, I look forward to the discussion about comic book sales and its effects on stores and the industry as a whole.
Good Luck and Take care,
Louis J. Desy Jr.
Sunday, December 10, 2017