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View Full Version : What's stopping TMNT comics from charting in the top 50?


TurtleWA
09-28-2017, 09:57 PM
I think TMNT hovers around in the top 150/200 zone. Why can't the comic book franchise climb up to the Batman and X-Men level? The potential is there in my opinion. What would need to happen in the future to be among the top and reach a larger fan base?

Powder
09-28-2017, 10:07 PM
I'd guess it has something to do with the masses not wanting to see the TMNT as anything other than pizza eating goofballs, whose only opposition are Shredder, Krang, B&R, etc.

ChosenOne
09-28-2017, 10:10 PM
I was going to say that the 90's cartoon might've done more bad than good when it comes to the public perception of TMNT but Powder beat me to it, after a fashion. There is such a thing as being overly kid-friendly. The recent movies did the franchise no favors either.

Otherwise, from a creative and narrative standpoint, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the IDW TMNT.

From what I can gather from this forum and other sources, many out there in the general public aren't even aware that Mirage TMNT is a thing...

oldmanwinters
09-28-2017, 10:17 PM
Well, Ghostbusters has always been seen as a franchise with adult appeal and nobody accuses the Real Ghostbusters cartoon of watering down the franchise into something silly only kids can enjoy. And the current comic has been great for years. And it's sales aren't much to write home about for whatever reason.
So I don't understand the argument that somehow TMNT's popularity is held back by their family-friendly image of the 1990s.

Quite frankly, the TMNT isn't Batman or X-Men and it never will be. But these days I.P.s and their merchandising appeal are far more valuable than the actual monthly comic book sales. How many copies does a top-tier Marvel book sell a month? 40k?

Most kids I know who like the TMNT today aren't comic book readers because the industry caters almost exclusively to adults, collectors, and specialty shops. Kids aren't gonna get interested in comics they find on a rack at the grocery market like I did a few decades ago. So comic publishers can only really hope to grow their readership through digital incentives rather than getting print copies into the hands of young readers.

TurtleWA
09-28-2017, 10:34 PM
How many copies does a top-tier Marvel book sell a month? 40k?

Batman #28 104,666

Secret Empire #10 86,123 units

All-New Wolverine #1 86,688

Amazing Spider-Man #31 54,102

TMNT #73 13,449

http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/2017/2017-08.html

Side note: I know Batman is not Marvel

oldmanwinters
09-28-2017, 10:40 PM
Batman #28 104,666

Secret Empire #10 86,123 units

All-New Wolverine #1 86,688

Amazing Spider-Man #31 54,102

TMNT #73 13,449

http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/2017/2017-08.html

Side note: I know Batman is not Marvel

I stand corrected! Glad to see Batman can still move glossy paper!

Is Wolverine officially back from the dead now?

ProphetofGanja
09-28-2017, 10:40 PM
Marketing budget, cross-platform synergy, et cetera

Ninjinister
09-28-2017, 10:51 PM
I stand corrected! Glad to see Batman can still move glossy paper!

Is Wolverine officially back from the dead now?

That Wolverine is Laura, but

Yes, he just came back yesterday

oldmanwinters
09-28-2017, 11:02 PM
That Wolverine is Laura, but

Yes, he just came back yesterday

And Phoenix Jean (https://comicvine.gamespot.com/articles/after-14-years-jean-grey-returns-to-marvel-comics/1100-156480/) too? What a banner week!

CyberCubed
09-28-2017, 11:49 PM
DC/Marvel have a hold on the majority of the top 50, that's why

TurtleWA
09-29-2017, 12:13 AM
DC/Marvel have a hold on the majority of the top 50, that's why

If I counted correctly there are only four comics in the top 100 (as of August) that are not a DC/Marvel book. How do you think TMNT would do as a DC title?

DestronMirage22
09-29-2017, 12:17 AM
As others have mentioned, thanks to the over-saturation of FW, people see the brand in a certain light. Any version that isnít like FW in tone and style are seen as odd and then avoided.

Only bigger fans appreciate this kind of TMNT and support it. Unfortunately, that isnít as much as it should be, so sales levels will never be able to get as high as Marvel or DC, who have a much bigger following.

That Wolverine is Laura, but

Yes, he just came back yesterday

And Phoenix Jean (https://comicvine.gamespot.com/articles/after-14-years-jean-grey-returns-to-marvel-comics/1100-156480/) too? What a banner week!

And Scarlet Spiderís back too.
Donít you just love comic book ďdeathsĒ? :roll:

Redeemer
09-29-2017, 04:56 AM
DC/Marvel have a hold on the majority of the top 50, that's why

I do agree they are a major hurdle, but look at the walking dead, outsiders can break through

Chris
09-29-2017, 05:59 AM
There's also the age of the book to consider. Sad but true books lose readers over time. Sure big events and special issues (#50, #100) can pull in more readers but nothing bumps up sales like a new #1. Relaunches make news, get more coverage on comic sites and new readers perceive them to be more new reader friendly. It's the reason Marvel rebrands once a year or more (though the effects do seem to be lessening now as they've done it so much). DC does it as well, though less frequently than Marvel.

DrSpengler
09-29-2017, 08:22 AM
Well, this has been sort of an open secret for a while now, but Marvel inflates their Diamond numbers by overshipping to retailers on all their orders.

Comic Shop A orders 20 copies of Spider-Gwen, Marvel will ship them 30 copies.
Comic Shop B orders 5 copies of All-New Wolverine, Marvel will ship them 15 copies.
And so on.

It artificially brings their numbers up while giving "free" copies to shops... "free" copies which the shops have to pay the additional shipping costs for, even though they didn't ask for them (and often times can't sell them).

I haven't heard of DC doing this from the retailers I've talked to at cons; it seems to be a mostly Marvel scheme. And smaller press publishers certainly don't do it. But Marvel overshipping on orders to artificially inflate their numbers is a way of making sure they're always #1 on the charts, even if the retailers aren't actually ordering that many comics and consumers certainly aren't buying them. So always keep that in mind when you look at the sales numbers; big companies are very smart about how to fudge them to make their sales look better or to fake retailer/consumer interest in certain books for promotional purposes.

TurtleWA
09-29-2017, 09:48 AM
I do agree they are a major hurdle, but look at the walking dead, outsiders can break through
Yeah The Walking Dead as well as Saga, Robotech and Seven to Eternity. Are the four from August in the top 100 other than DC/Marvel titles. Not sure what those four books have that TMNT doesn't?
Well, this has been sort of an open secret for a while now, but Marvel inflates their Diamond numbers by overshipping to retailers on all their orders.

Comic Shop A orders 20 copies of Spider-Gwen, Marvel will ship them 30 copies.
Comic Shop B orders 5 copies of All-New Wolverine, Marvel will ship them 15 copies.
And so on.

It artificially brings their numbers up while giving "free" copies to shops... "free" copies which the shops have to pay the additional shipping costs for, even though they didn't ask for them (and often times can't sell them).

I haven't heard of DC doing this from the retailers I've talked to at cons; it seems to be a mostly Marvel scheme. And smaller press publishers certainly don't do it. But Marvel overshipping on orders to artificially inflate their numbers is a way of making sure they're always #1 on the charts, even if the retailers aren't actually ordering that many comics and consumers certainly aren't buying them. So always keep that in mind when you look at the sales numbers; big companies are very smart about how to fudge them to make their sales look better or to fake retailer/consumer interest in certain books for promotional purposes.
I wonder how much "number fudging" occurred with DCs Dark Nights Metal #1? It had 261,997 est units in August. I can't find the article but I thought I read the other day that this was the issue DC implemented some type of returnability aspect for retailers. But it could be a reasonable number of actual sales considering Rebirth #1 went on to multiple printings and went over 300,000 units.
It sounds like a growing consensus that the publisher plays a big role in the comics rank. I am curious what kind of bump DC could give TMNT. Triple the current numbers? I don't remember the last crossover stats but I think the number almost doubled.

ProphetofGanja
09-29-2017, 10:24 AM
There's also the age of the book to consider. Sad but true books lose readers over time. Sure big events and special issues (#50, #100) can pull in more readers but nothing bumps up sales like a new #1. Relaunches make news, get more coverage on comic sites and new readers perceive them to be more new reader friendly. It's the reason Marvel rebrands once a year or more (though the effects do seem to be lessening now as they've done it so much). DC does it as well, though less frequently than Marvel.

And remember, with the new Marvel Legacy roll-out, Marvel is reverting back to the classic numbering for almost all of their titles, some of them as high as 6 or 7 hundred, which is a complete 180 turnaround from their strategy of rebranding every year (Marvel NOW! All New, All Different Marvel! Marvel NOW Again!, etc.) Who knows how long this numbering will last though, I guess it'll be determined by sales.

Prowler
09-29-2017, 11:06 AM
I'd guess it has something to do with the masses not wanting to see the TMNT as anything other than pizza eating goofballs, whose only opposition are Shredder, Krang, B&R, etc.
/thread

I love it when the first reply in a thread covers everything that needs to be said.

plastroncafe
09-29-2017, 11:11 AM
The ridiculous premise?

Bobby Curnow
09-29-2017, 11:13 AM
My two cents, which will probably sound defensive, but not my intention:

Most everything said above is accurate. But I'll also add that Walking Dead and Saga are exceptions, as they are written by two of the most talented/influential creators of the last 15-20 years. Those books have caught fire in a way that is really rare.

Other than that... we're at issue #74. I can't think of another book outside of the Walking Dead that has been around as long, charting as high, without restarting with a new #1 (or returning to legacy numbering which doesn't count!). I'm sure even without renumbering things like Batman and Spider Man and some others would chart higher, but hopefully the general point makes sense. The popularity of TMNT is what has kept us afloat all this time. I mean, I think we do a good job and everything, but I think a large part of that longevity is due to the brand.

I'm sure we'd get a good sales boost in the short term from a new #1, but our sales level has been consistent so it hasn't made sense to do that. And we don't have big time "names" on our books. (Kevin sorta counts, but I doubt the average comic book reader really knows who he is-- he's not a major draw outside the world of TMNT). If Brian K. Vaughn wrote some TMNT, our numbers would go up I'm sure.

In short, let's see where something like Seven to Eternity is in two years. There's been a lot of books that have charted higher that have come and gone in the six years we've been on the stands.

Other than that, I think it's just a matter of TMNT not being around as long, or as visible in the comics medium as consistently as something like X-men or Batman. TMNT has been around for 30+ years, but there's a good chunk of time in those years where TMNT comics were not getting wide distribution. So it makes sense that the fanbase isn't as wide as something like X-men.

oldmanwinters
09-29-2017, 11:19 AM
Thanks for chiming in, Bobby!

Prowler
09-29-2017, 11:20 AM
The ridiculous premise?
Isn't that same "ridiculous premise" also the reason why the franchise ended up being more successful than Eastman and Laird could have possibly imagined? :P

TurtleWA
09-29-2017, 11:34 AM
My two cents, which will probably sound defensive, but not my intention:

Most everything said above is accurate. But I'll also add that Walking Dead and Saga are exceptions, as they are written by two of the most talented/influential creators of the last 15-20 years. Those books have caught fire in a way that is really rare.

Other than that... we're at issue #74. I can't think of another book outside of the Walking Dead that has been around as long, charting as high, without restarting with a new #1 (or returning to legacy numbering which doesn't count!). I'm sure even without renumbering things like Batman and Spider Man and some others would chart higher, but hopefully the general point makes sense. The popularity of TMNT is what has kept us afloat all this time. I mean, I think we do a good job and everything, but I think a large part of that longevity is due to the brand.

I'm sure we'd get a good sales boost in the short term from a new #1, but our sales level has been consistent so it hasn't made sense to do that. And we don't have big time "names" on our books. (Kevin sorta counts, but I doubt the average comic book reader really knows who he is-- he's not a major draw outside the world of TMNT). If Brian K. Vaughn wrote some TMNT, our numbers would go up I'm sure.

In short, let's see where something like Seven to Eternity is in two years. There's been a lot of books that have charted higher that have come and gone in the six years we've been on the stands.

Other than that, I think it's just a matter of TMNT not being around as long, or as visible in the comics medium as consistently as something like X-men or Batman. TMNT has been around for 30+ years, but there's a good chunk of time in those years where TMNT comics were not getting wide distribution. So it makes sense that the fanbase isn't as wide as something like X-men.

Very insightful. It's great to have the perspective of someone in the industry! The superb fan engagement and approachability is also a factor in the longevity of the current TMNT run. Thanks for taking time out of your day to weigh in. :)

plastroncafe
09-29-2017, 11:42 AM
Isn't that same "ridiculous premise" also the reason why the franchise ended up being more successful than Eastman and Laird could have possibly imagined? :P

Yup. The very same.
:D

It's said with love!

TurtleWA
09-29-2017, 01:07 PM
I never realized until today that Saga has won the Eisner award for four out of the last five years in the Best Continuing Series category. TMNT needs more recognition. A nomination would be nice at least. A five-member panel making decisions seems kinda small.

AquaParade
09-29-2017, 07:51 PM
IDW does deserve recognition for their quality consistency with this series. It hasn't pulled me in lately, but watching the industry as a whole, it's really easy to respect what they are doing with the turtle property. I'd still like to see them free of Nickelodeon though.

That said, it's my hope to see some big names write some tmnt stories for IDW. The kind that would bring in the big numbers. There's so many writers and artists working today for Image, Marvel, and DC that I would be absolutely hyped to hear are collaborating with IDW on the turtles.

Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Gerard Way, Jonathan Hickman, Dan Slott, Rick Remender, Jerome Opena, Greg Capullo, John Romita Jr, Paul Pope, Frank Miller, Jason Aaron. Yeah, these are all very large requests but TMNT deserve it. At least in some type of anniversary or special event. I'm not saying it's really possible for IDW to get these artists though - just wishing.

ToTheNines
09-29-2017, 08:20 PM
Rick Remender did several Tales back in the day.

pferreira
10-05-2017, 08:45 AM
I don't think it really has anything to do with the FW cartoon. I think the problem is that as a comic TMNT has always been relatively niche compared to other big hitters like Batman and Spider-Man. TMNT started as an underground comic and I guess that reputation has unintentionally carried over the years, not allowing the stuff produced from getting a bigger audience.

AquaParade
10-05-2017, 10:36 AM
Rick Remender did several Tales back in the day.

True. I think it'd be great now because he never writes anything without a superb artist drawing it, he has more experience, and possibly more wiggle-room/creative freedom, given his reputation.

Powder
10-05-2017, 05:47 PM
I don't think it really has anything to do with the FW cartoon.

Of course you don't.

Bruz
10-09-2017, 10:50 AM
TMNT as a comic series doesnít have a great history for modern readers to base off of.

Vol. 1ís main storyline, more specifically the E&L issues, were awesome. But the guest issues often sucked or were too weird, and the storyline was all over the place.
Vol. 2 was short and ďehĒ
Vol. 3 was typical ridiculous over the top Image stuff
Vol. 4 was ďehĒ
Archie was targeting children

IDW is the first to create an awesome series with a consistent ongoing story from the first issue onward. I just donít think enough people gave it a chance based on its history.

Just my theory and personal opinion.

CyberCubed
10-09-2017, 11:41 AM
The Archie series was actually the best selling TMNT comic consistently. It coming out during the height of the TMNT fad and kids who watched the show reading it obviously helped.

myconius
10-09-2017, 01:04 PM
people that don't contribute to sales (buying the comics physically or digitally) hurt the numbers.

that and greedy tactics from the big two squeezing every nickel and dime from their readers is a factor, i'd imagine.

would have also been a good push if we'd gotten a better set of movies in the theatre upon the last film reboot.