Harley Quinn Writer Makes Impassioned Plea to Hollywood Celebrities to Help Struggling Comic Book Industry

Jimmy Palmiotti and Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn writer and comic book veteran Jimmy Palmiotti made an impassioned plea to Hollywood celebrities and producers to help a struggling comic book industry.

And the comic book industry is indeed struggling. Bleeding Cool reported 50 comic book shops closed down since January 2017 and that was four months ago. Some of these shops had been doing business for decades like Zanadu Comics in Seattle, Washington. Even the famed Meltdown Comics, which boasted being the largest comic book shop on the West Coast closed down at the beginning of this month.

It’s not just retail stores that are shutting down. Overall sales trends haven’t looked good either. According to industry tracker Comichron sales were down 10% year-over-year in 2017.

But while the comic book industry struggling, the comic book movie industry is booming. Marvel Studios’ Black Panther which released on February 16 of this year is now the third grossing domestic film of all time with $665,355,740 in domestic sales according to Box Office Mojo. It’s also the 10th top grossing film worldwide, and even if you adjust for inflation the film sits in the top 40 all time. It probably won’t be sitting there for long as Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War comes to theaters on April 27, 2018 and the projections look strong.

But it’s not just comic book movies that are knocking it out of the park. Comic book television shows are extremely successful as well. The CW has created an entire DC Comics TV universe in the Arrowverse. They have four connected shows in Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. They also have Black Lightning. All of those shows got renewed for new seasons last week. Arrow which is on Season 6 is still bringing in on average 1.3 million viewers an episode.

Hollywood studios are also investing in more superhero TV and film content. Warner Bros. and DC Comics are planning their own streaming service with new programming including a live-action Titans series as well as a Young Justice animated series. There’s even a Harley Quinn animated show in the works. Marvel TV is also collaborating with FX on Legion. They also have The Gifted on Fox and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC. That’s not even including Runaways on Hulu and The Defenders series on Netflix which showcase Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the Punisher.

What do you make of the disconnect between the struggling comic book industry and the booming comic book movie and TV properties? Do you think celebrities will join in and give a boost to the struggling comic book industry?

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