State of Comics in 2023?

Elodan

Adventurer
I used to pick up and read Trade Paperback comics, but had to give them up for about a year due to vision problems. Vision has been fixed and am looking to get back into picking up TPBs again. There's been so many reboots and restarts, I'm not sure where to start anymore.

Are there any series you'd recommend or individual TPBs you'd recommend?

Generally a Marvel / DC reader.

Thanks.
 

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I used to pick up and read Trade Paperback comics, but had to give them up for about a year due to vision problems. Vision has been fixed and am looking to get back into picking up TPBs again. There's been so many reboots and restarts, I'm not sure where to start anymore.

Are there any series you'd recommend or individual TPBs you'd recommend?

Generally a Marvel / DC reader.

Thanks.

Dying, Marvel & DC survive only to provide possible materal to cinematic universes.

Comic shops are going out of business rapidly, etc...
 

bloodtide

Legend
They sure feel dead.......

I started reading Marvel Comics in the 70/80s. Lots of action, but also a big back drop of very ADULT storytelling. Tony Starks alcoholism, the Armor Wars, Hank Pym abuser, Hank Pym almost taking his own life, and Mockingbird killer the foe that abducted her and hiding that from her 'never kill' husband....and more.

The start of the 90's brought even more "graphic" content. The days when Cable, Deadpool, Bishop, Wolverine, Ghost Rider would outright KILL foes. This did not last. Soon enough Cable and Bishop would miss when shooting their guns...or set their guns to "stun". Wolverine would do the INSANE move of "saying a one liner" and popping out his claws, run towards his foe, SHEATH HIS CLAWS, and then just punch the foe. Maybe my favorite was Ghost Rider, who in issue #3 punches and SLAUGHTERS a ninja with a sword. Only to have that be reconed in like issue #34 that "oh that ninja was a demon hiding among the human ninjas and Ghost Rider could "sense" that he was not human and THAT is why he (did not) kill him.

I got to read all the mostly well done "Summer Crossovers" that really made Marvel famous. I read the Silver Surfer with the loooong Thantos story arc. Then the Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War and Infinity Crusade.

Then....we get to 2000 ish. Most of the books I read are cancelled. Only a few new ones hold my intrest, doom 2099 and Thunderbolts. I keep on with the Avengers and Thor....though they both get canceled. All the older creators are gone. Some of the newer ones are good, most are average....or worse. By 2010 I just stop reading.

I flip through some at the library
from time to time.......and it's pure gibberish. Infinity this, War that, Secret that and whatever else. Everything is a big huge event with tons of characters. And everything is like Marvel Cinematic: a huge page of just one character saying a one liner, zing! Thantos steals the Phoenix Force, but Odin is best friends with cave woman Jean Gray Phoenix and barbarian Ghost Rider who rides a Wolly Mammoth...and they 'stop' him by talking about how cool they are......or something. And it gets worse from there.



So, I can only get my comic fix from reading all the old stuff...that they nicely put out in books for me to read.
 



FitzTheRuke

Legend
I used to pick up and read Trade Paperback comics, but had to give them up for about a year due to vision problems. Vision has been fixed and am looking to get back into picking up TPBs again. There's been so many reboots and restarts, I'm not sure where to start anymore.

Are there any series you'd recommend or individual TPBs you'd recommend?

Generally a Marvel / DC reader.

Thanks.
Do you want Marvel/DC, or do you want GOOD comics?

(I say this as a HUGE fan of both Marvel & DC's characters).

But seriously, though: If you want to read some good comics, I'd recommend that you check out Reckless (Image) by Ed Brubaker. He's doing his noir-thing that he does so well.

@WayneLigon is right, though: Nightwing has been really good for awhile now. Most of the recent "Dawn of DC" books have also been good (in particular, I find that Superman is the best it's been in about 15 years).

I'm mainly a Marvel guy, and I think that House of X/Powers of X was the last Marvel book (and this is a few years ago now) that I actually enjoyed, and its story never really managed to properly (IMO) get to its conclusion.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Yeah, yeah. People have been saying THAT since 1978.
So seriously how is business going? I do remember a lot of Comic Shop closures in the 90s/00s, but have things picked up? Are sales steady, falling, improving? Is there still in store sales or mostly online? Whats the current customer demographics?
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
So seriously how is business going? I do remember a lot of Comic Shop closures in the 90s/00s, but have things picked up? Are sales steady, falling, improving? Is there still in store sales or mostly online? Whats the current customer demographics?
The pandemic did weird things to collecting. For awhile there, it seemed as if everyone had decided to spend all their unused travel money on collecting back issues. 2021 was the only year in the 30 years that I've been in business that I sold more money worth of Marvel Back Issues than I did of new comics!

On top of sales, high-end back issue prices skyrocketed. Like, they went truly insane. 2022 calmed down a bit, and 2023 is much more normal. So... right "now" is a little bit of a slump after two years of craziness. New comics aren't selling great, but they're not selling badly, either. The overall state of the industry is "fine". The late 90's, for example, were far far bleaker than "now" is. Most stores that survived that time know what they're doing.

I don't sell anything at all online. I'll leave that to Amazon, or stores that want to do that sort of business. I prefer to speak directly to my customers. As far as demographics go, I would say that there's probably more younger people lately than there was for awhile. Many of my customers are the same people they've always been (for 30 years!) but the overall demographic has always been a range of ages. Not many kids, though. That's because they don't really make comics for kids, do they?
 

Old Fezziwig

a man builds a city with banks and cathedrals
I've enjoyed most of Tom King's limited series for DC recently. Mister Miracle, Adam Strange, and The Human Target were all a lot of fun. For Marvel, the recent Sins of Sinister storyline in the X-Men comics had some neat moments, but I think how interesting it'll be for you will be a function of (1) how much you like the X-Men, (2) how much you like alternate timeline X-Men stories, and (3) how much you like Kieron Gillen. Personally, I'm a big fan. And I feel like I'd be remiss if I also didn't recommend Die, especially as this is a D&D messageboard. Also, I'll second @WayneLigon and @FitzTheRuke for the current Nightwing book and Ed Brubaker's stuff.
 

I find that Superman is the best it's been in about 15 years
I haven't followed the Superman titles regularly since the triangle era, but I'm tempted jump back in. Seems to be some interesting things going on in the extended family as well; a Power Girl ongoing, Steelworks by Michael "Worf" Dorn, and of course the Fire & Ice mini-series taking place in Smallville.
 

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