Friday, July 12, 2019

Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

I've thought of Stan Lee as the person always willing to take credit for other people's work. This book doesn't dispel that. However, it does show that the business side really is what matters. They were the ones that have made a killing. There have been many people that have contributed to the various characters in the marvel universe. Very few received anything more than small payments for their work. However, they helped contribute to the overall value of the product. The value would have been less if each character had an individual owner. Also, without the correct moves on the business side, the value would have disappeared. (The many poor moves made by the business nearly did evaporate the value.)
Comic books did experience an early 1990s mania in collection, followed by a popping of the bubble. Marvel helped fan the flames of the bubble by introducing many new titles with multiple variants and crossovers . (This helped provide momentary gain, but also led to buyer fatigue and a glut of product. Value increases based on rarity, making it ludicrous to think a best selling run could be super valuable. My comic book collection dates from the early part of this mania. Looking at the current values, It seems it is mostly the oddballs that have gained in value, while the "sure things" have stagnated.)
During the last few decades, there has been an increased emphasis on "artists", with certain comic book creators drawing name recognition and earning big paydays. Comic book distribution has also focused on specialty shop, with significantly higher price points and print quality. The casual comic book reader is now out of the picture. Comic books are now just an IP factory to be mined for movie characters.

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