Former ‘Nightwing’ Writer Tim Seeley Says Comic Books Being “Pillaged For IP And Collectible Graded Crap With No Investment In Building New Readership” To Blame For Industry’s Decline
In the opinion of Hack/Slash creator Tim Seeley, the ongoing struggles of the American comic book industry is not the result of some sudden and unforeseen development, but rather the consequence of publishers’ own corporate greed.
Seeley, whose career credits include stints as the writer on DC’s Green Lanterns Vol. 1, Nightwing Vol. 4, and Grayson as well as the artist for the now defunct Devil’s Due Publishing’s G.I. Joe line, offered his take on the industry’s current death spiral in response to a tweet made by his fellow super hero scribe Mark Millar.
Baffled by the announcement that the long-standing Manhattan location of NYC-based comic book shop JHU Comic Books would be closing after roughly ten years, Millar tweeted on September 26th, “Jim Hanley’s store in New York is closing! UNTHINKABLE news and surely to God a wake up call to the Big 2. Marvel, DC and all the US indie companies ADDED TOGETHER are now 9% of the American domestic market. How does this happen when the characters are more famous than ever?”
“Cut to: The usual suspects saying everything is fine. But look at the shelf space in Barnes and Noble,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “Talk to your retailer about cuts he’s making. A strong Marvel and DC urgently required again for the health of the overall American industry. This is an iceberg tip!”
Hoping to offer him some insight into the situation, Twitter user @SaiyanQuad92 in turn informed Millar, “Manga and Scholastic are obviously moving more because the audience has changed. In recent reports and complaints I’ve seen, fans want more self-contained stories, fewer tie-ins for events, lower price for single issues, and/or give Peter Parker actual development.”
“‘The market is changing’ is no excuse,” the original The Ultimates writer asserted in reply. “Geoff Johns can move a million units of his Joker story so the market is there if the stories are good. People just want better mainstream comics. This is the fiscal backbone of comic stores and it’s breaking.”
Eventually taking note of Millar’s confusion, Seeley would proceed to reply with his own explanation for the industry’s failing health.
Retweeting Millar’s initial question, the Batman: Eternal co-writer declared in a since-deleted tweet, “My guess is because comics as an industry was pillaged for IP and collectible graded crap with no investment in building new readership and now the chickens are coming home to roost, Mark.”
The first trade paperback collection of Seeley and Marvel Comics variant cover artist Tony Fleec’s original Image Comics series, Local Man, is set to hit shelves on October 3rd.
“Once, JACK XAVER, star recruit of the media sensation super-team THIRD GEN, had it all,” reads its official synopsis. “But when controversy sends CROSSJACK crawling back to his mom and dad’s basement in the Midwest, Jack struggles to fit into a world he left far behind. And then the bodies start piling up.”