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Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model "Myopic"

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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby nietoperz » Fri May 31, 2013 8:54 am

achilles wrote:Instead, Didio's (and it must be said Harras's, Johns' and Lee's) strategy seems to be to flood the market with mediocre books destined for poor sales, try to drive their overall sales up by producing more books, and hope no one at Warner Brothers notices or cares.


I think you're being incredibly generous in assuming these guys have a strategy in place at all. Over the past few years, essentially since Paul Levitz stepped down, DC have done nothing but react, act in haste and fumble the ball. The wrong people are at the helm and they are steering the ship toward the rocks.
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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby achilles » Fri May 31, 2013 9:06 am

nietoperz wrote:
I think you're being incredibly generous in assuming these guys have a strategy in place at all. Over the past few years, essentially since Paul Levitz stepped down, DC have done nothing but react, act in haste and fumble the ball. The wrong people are at the helm and they are steering the ship toward the rocks.


A fair point. None of them seems to have the slightest idea what they're doing. what there is of a strategy, if you can call it that, seems to consist of a strange devotion to the number 52. Possibly WB might have been wiser to invite people in with actual management and marketing experience who knew the industry well.
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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby David Bird » Fri May 31, 2013 9:18 am

achilles wrote:
But I don't get his point, considering this thread is about DC, and specifically its Vertigo unit.


His original point was to correct something said in the original NY Times articles.

Comic sales have fallen off substantially, Mr. Morrison said, and the qualities that defined Vertigo’s titles have become widely imitated. They have “bled into the mainstream in such a way that you almost didn’t need it anymore.”


I pointed out that Vertigo's sales have fallen substantially, not comics generally. In fact, over the last couple of years comic sales have begun to turn around.

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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby achilles » Fri May 31, 2013 10:50 am

David Bird wrote:
His original point was to correct something said in the original NY Times articles.



I pointed out that Vertigo's sales have fallen substantially, not comics generally. In fact, over the last couple of years comic sales have begun to turn around.


'Kay! Thanks for explaining! 8)
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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby SilverPhoenix » Fri May 31, 2013 11:34 am

David Bird wrote:Morrison's quote about comic sales falling off substantially should read Vertigo's sales have fallen off substantially.


I guess we read the article differently, because to me it seemed like that statement read as Morrison saying that sales are down in general, compared to when Sebastian O sold/ordered 90,000 copies. But remember, that was back in 1993, and the Industry WISHES it could move product the way it did 20 years ago.

Vertigo's decline, certainly sales-wise, predates Didio and DC Entertainment and I suspect is what has allowed Didio to exert control over the imprint. (Comic sales generally, by the way, are actually stronger than they've been in years.)

For a long while people excused its poor sales by arguing that the trades made up for it, but the only horse Vertigo really has in the race is Fables and its back list titles, many of which started at DC originally and then were brought under the Vertigo imprint. Vertigo hasn't been the leading edge in a long, long time.


Where do you date the beginning of Vertigo's sales decline, because Didio has been in company since 2002. If it begins around there, then it kind of defeats the point you're trying to make, which I actually think has some merit.

That being said, if the decline begins where I suspect it begins (Late 90s - Pre Didio 2000s) then Vertigo can't hold the bag of its' sales woes on its' own. You and I both know that the Industry's penetration contracted around this time with the mass closing of LCS and the general death of the spinner rack. With less eyes generally looking at Comic Books, there was no way for Vertigo sales not to decline.

As for the whole entire Trade/Collected Edition debate, it's generally accepted that the Early 2000s is where the collected edition became a big deal sales wise, and Vertigo's wares became one of the leaders in that market. The reason why Vertigo became known as one of the lords of the Trade Market had to do with the fact that the books move.

However, as the last decade progressed, Vertigo ran into the issue of not being able to live up to its' own legacy. Up until the late 2000s we all simply accepted that Vertigo titles came along, many would have a nice run, some wouldn't make it past the starting gate and a few would become superstars. It was a nice system until we all realized that the hits weren't coming in the same volume as they did in the past. As for what capacity is Didio responsible for this is definitely up to do debate, and I'm not sure you could implicate him totally. What you can blame him for is not creating an environment where Vertigo could compete with Image, Dark Horse and the rest of the Non Big-2 as a place where a creator could create, which is worth a lot more in this game than people realize.

I'm don't currently have any DC or Vertigo on my pull list and don't feel I'm missing anything.


Vertigo has like 4 ongoings left and the DC Universe is on an Express Train to the 9th Level of Creative Hell. You're not alone in this regard.

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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby habitual » Fri May 31, 2013 12:29 pm

SilverPhoenix wrote:
I guess we read the article differently, because to me it seemed like that statement read as Morrison saying that sales are down in general, compared to when Sebastian O sold/ordered 90,000 copies. But remember, that was back in 1993, and the Industry WISHES it could move product the way it did 20 years ago.



Where do you date the beginning of Vertigo's sales decline, because Didio has been in company since 2002. If it begins around there, then it kind of defeats the point you're trying to make, which I actually think has some merit.

That being said, if the decline begins where I suspect it begins (Late 90s - Pre Didio 2000s) then Vertigo can't hold the bag of its' sales woes on its' own. You and I both know that the Industry's penetration contracted around this time with the mass closing of LCS and the general death of the spinner rack. With less eyes generally looking at Comic Books, there was no way for Vertigo sales not to decline.

As for the whole entire Trade/Collected Edition debate, it's generally accepted that the Early 2000s is where the collected edition became a big deal sales wise, and Vertigo's wares became one of the leaders in that market. The reason why Vertigo became known as one of the lords of the Trade Market had to do with the fact that the books move.

However, as the last decade progressed, Vertigo ran into the issue of not being able to live up to its' own legacy. Up until the late 2000s we all simply accepted that Vertigo titles came along, many would have a nice run, some wouldn't make it past the starting gate and a few would become superstars. It was a nice system until we all realized that the hits weren't coming in the same volume as they did in the past. As for what capacity is Didio responsible for this is definitely up to do debate, and I'm not sure you could implicate him totally. What you can blame him for is not creating an environment where Vertigo could compete with Image, Dark Horse and the rest of the Non Big-2 as a place where a creator could create, which is worth a lot more in this game than people realize.



Vertigo has like 4 ongoings left and the DC Universe is on an Express Train to the 9th Level of Creative Hell. You're not alone in this regard.






It would've had to have happened after the start of Y: the Last Man as it's been stated that this started with the change in ownership rights of Vertigo characters is what prompted Vaughn to leave.

At least that's the way I read what's been said.

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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby David Bird » Fri May 31, 2013 12:49 pm

A lot of good points.

I think that Vertigo's problems predate Didio's increased authority over the imprint and that its problems resulted in the current power structure and not the other way around. I think framing Vertigo's decline in terms of the power structure at DC also ignores other problems inherent in the imprint. Namely, that it was never what it seemed to be. It was never truly an independent publisher. The rights to the material were essentially co-owned by Vertigo. Why would creators go there now, when places like Image allow them to actually own their own work?

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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby habitual » Fri May 31, 2013 2:08 pm

David Bird wrote:A lot of good points.

I think that Vertigo's problems predate Didio's increased authority over the imprint and that its problems resulted in the current power structure and not the other way around. I think framing Vertigo's decline in terms of the power structure at DC also ignores other problems inherent in the imprint. Namely, that it was never what it seemed to be. It was never truly an independent publisher. The rights to the material were essentially co-owned by Vertigo. Why would creators go there now, when places like Image allow them to actually own their own work?


I'd like to know more about the change in creator rights that spurred Vaughn to leave.

It seems like Willingham and Carey are the only real big names left in the stable.

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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model "Myopic"

Postby Arion » Fri May 31, 2013 3:13 pm

S.F. Jude Terror wrote:This doesn't bode well for Vertigo.


I know.

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RE: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model "Myopic"

Postby Michael King » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:52 am

The failure on so many levels that is the New 52 should've had DiDio shown the door long ago.

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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby Herald » Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:43 pm

David Bird wrote:The rights to the material were essentially co-owned by Vertigo.


Actually, in many cases, the rights were completely held by the creators. If you check the indicia in each book, you can see that, in such cases, both the copyright notice and the "All related characters are trademarks" notice cite the creators, not Vertigo/DC Comics.

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Re: RE: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby Draco x » Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:24 pm

FBtron wrote:The failure on so many levels that is the New 52 should've had DiDio shown the door long ago.


This-in spades.

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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby jeremy » Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:15 pm

This statement really shows the problem with the corporate attitude (not just with DC, but in general) because it's quite the opposite.

Vertigo books (IMO) are definitely something I would want as a publisher to have for sale years down the road. They usually stand the test of time, unlike the gimmick of the week we usually get in most superhero comics from the big two.

Now, I guess I can see that Vertigo may not have been doing well when Didio first got to DC outside of one or two books, but I think that should have meant they needed to focus more on the line, not virtually destroy it. I also wonder if maybe they have to pay the creators of some of the Vertigo books more since they are more private projects, so maybe as a company they just don't see the profit margin on that line.

This is why we get characters killed off in an issue just to come back a short time later, or we get foil and 3D covers, or half-assed relaunches of an entire comic book line, because only the short term matters.

But that's what caring about shareholders over readers does for you. They will make decisions based on the extra nickel it makes them in the short term, for the next quarter earnings, instead of the long term. In fact, I don't think anyone talking about corporate business should be allowed to even use the term myopic because they don't know what that really means, it's just not part of their world. And it's only going to get worse with Man of Steel drawing focus on DC, but will the shareholders be asking "what good stories are the putting out this quarter" or will they be asking "are the turning the biggest profit they can?" Those don't have to be mutually exclusive, but when you only care about one, the other suffers (and yes, that means they shouldnt ignore the money issue either).

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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby David Bird » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:16 pm

Herald wrote:
Actually, in many cases, the rights were completely held by the creators. If you check the indicia in each book, you can see that, in such cases, both the copyright notice and the "All related characters are trademarks" notice cite the creators, not Vertigo/DC Comics.


The imprint has been asserting more and more control over what it publishes. It doesn't effect earlier contracts, but they now keep a share of media rights, even on things like the Boys, which moved to a different publisher. And royalties were recently changed so that the creators aren't entitled to anything unless the monthly sells better than 50,000. Effectively, that means no royalties.

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Re: Dan Didio Calls Vertigo Sales Model

Postby alaska1125 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:50 pm

Whatever the issue (and I don't believe that Vertigo had issues before Didio came sniffing around), it's a loss in my mind. I'm unclear why the powers that be seem to think they have a winning business model with the DCnU.

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