No One Wins
February 21st, 2014

No One Wins

Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for making comics easily accessible for new and casual readers, but when everything seems to have a giant “#1″ on it, those of us that are keeping up with these things on a regular basis (but are also easily confused) start feeling a little bewildered.

We’d like to think that this is all done with good intentions, but more than once is the time we’ve accidentally bought an issue we didn’t mean to because of a deceptively confusing header or banner on a cover.

And don’t even get me started on those issues that were “#7.INFINITY” or whatever.

Lotta good comics out there though.

Lotta crappy ones too, I guess.

There’s a new New Warriors #1 that just came out this week. Can you believe that? I thought it was pretty good.

That “last” issue of Daredevil that just came out this week was great.

If you’ve got something you’re really enjoying reading lately or can explain all the crazy numbering, feel free to drop us a comment.

Extra special thanks to our friend Jessica for coloring this!

Check out Euge’s tour schedule. He’s a travelling maniac.

If you want to buy some original art from me, that would be awesome!

Follow us on Tumblr!
Follow us on Twitter!
Listen to us on that podcast we do until we unleash these LBFA podcasts we’ve been recording in not very much secret!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

xo
ch

^ 29 Comments...

  1. Nick

    She-Hulk #1
    Ms. Marvel #1
    Black Widow #1,2,3

    ALL ARE AWESOME!!!

    [Reply]

  2. Super Ninja Clone

    Really digging both the stories Bendis is doing with Uncanny X-Men and that All-New X-Men/Guardians crossover

    She-Hulk #1 as stated above was fantastic, some brilliant artwork in there too!

    And SupFoes continues to amaze me with how surprisingly fun it is

    [Reply]

  3. Jasmine P

    I’ve had a hell of a time trying to find Ms. Marvel #1, which is great that it’s selling well but sucks because I never buy monthlies, I generally wait for trades, but I want to support it. I have a few number ones for this reason, not that I bag and board. I also don’t visit shops often, the nearest is inconveniently distant, so it’s more of a once a month thing than an active weekly visit thing for me.

    [Reply]

  4. Super Ninja Clone

    And I think rather than labeling it ‘Point One’ to tell new readers that it’s a new jumping on point, they’re slapping that huge #1 thing on instead to indicate a new jumping on point……which I just…. Marvel have so many good books out right now and I feel they’re spending way too much time worrying about their marketing

    Though I will admit, with the latest issue of Thor God of Thunder it was pretty awesome how Marvel gave out a free digital download of Volume 1 The God Butcher for people who may be interested in starting from the beginning.

    It’s a neat way to say ” here’s a free entry point to the beginning of the series, if you dig it, you can buy more to fill in the gaps, if not, you got a free paperback as a digital download!!! “

    [Reply]

    chrishaley Reply:

    Totally agree there. That dropping a free digital trade in with an issue is a brilliant move that I hope does really well for them.

    [Reply]

    chrishaley Reply:

    I think beyond the Point One or Now #1 or etc, the thing that bugs me is stuff like how there’s a new Amazing Spider-Man #1 coming out soon, then the same month that Amazing Spider-Man #2 comes out, Amazing Spider-Man #1.1 also comes out.

    My understanding is that this will continue all the way through #1.5.

    This is clearly a Spider-Man mini-series they wanted to do, put out in a confusing way in an attempt to trick people (who wouldn’t buy it as a separate mini-series) into buying it because they think it “matters” (which seems to be all some people care about) and is part of the actual Amazing Spider-Man run.

    [Reply]

    Super Ninja Clone Reply:

    Yeah, I agree, I’ve been a reader of the flagship Spidey series for nearly a decade now and that totally confused me when it was announced

    I think what they’re trying to do is emulate the sales that DC has been getting for Zero Year by doing this whole ‘Year One Learning to Crawl’ origin story. Though rather than have the entire title be an origin story for the whole year like how the flagship Batman series is doing, Marvel is doing an issue of Learning to Crawl and an issue of Amazing per month.

    I think the reason why they’re using that stupid decimal numbering system is to include it as part of the main series (like Zero Year) but still have an issue per month which takes place in the present.

    I agree that they should have just titled this as a seperate miniseries but I guess the positives is that overall there is still the same number of Slott-written Spider-man issues per month, instead of two Superior issues it’s gonna be one Amazing issue and one Learning to Crawl issue.

    [Reply]

  5. Garrett

    The number one-ing has been frustrating with the new run of Marvel books. Thor was off to a great start with the fake #1 issue. Loki : Agent of Asgard was written by Al Ewing and that’s all you need to know of it’s awesomeness.

    [Reply]

  6. Tobias

    Why does Guardians of the Galaxy 11.NOW say “The Trial of Jean Grey #1″ even though it is clearly part 2!?

    [Reply]

  7. Brandon Schatz

    Marvel numbers and markets the way they do because they are selling to retailers, and not to readers. Comics purchased by retailers are, by and large, non-returnable, which means that Marvel and DC’s actual customers, are retailers. After they’ve parted with their money, the transaction is done, and they go onto the next batch of comics to promote.

    Now, as for why the big number ones? I wrote a more in depth article about this for Comics Alliance, but the short version is this: each month, I have to go through an order book that’s over 500 pages long, and determine what things I want to by (and in what quantity) for over 2500 seperate order codes. Even the laziest of all retailers, when they see a big number one in their order information, is going to stop ordering on auto-pilot, and consider what they want for shelf. That’s what Marvel is going for here. Smarter retailers are going to see marketing potential in a company like Marvel clearly marking good jumping on points for their customers. And hey, if they slap on a free digital collection of 5-6 comics? For $4? On top of the REGULAR free digital download? That’s even better.

    As for the .NOW business, minus IRON MAN #20 and IRON MAN #20.INH, each of the recent .NOW and .INH books have actually just been the regular issue with a suffix attached. This demarkation is actually less for the retailer and more for the retailer. Retailers have been seeing these suffixes for YEARS on their books, as they make said items infinitely easier to search when someone wanders up and asks for, say, every book in the FOREVER EVIL crossover. In the Diamond system (if a company is doing their job correctly… I’m looking at YOU, DC. Make with the tags for your stupid BLIGHT crossover in FOREVER EVIL), you’ll be able to pull up every book that’s part of a certain inititive just by typing in that initiative’s suffix. In the case of INHUMANITY, it’s INH. In the case of FOREVER EVIL, it’s EVIL. It allows for even the dummest of dummies working a comic shop able to get you what you want, in terms of crossover. And in terms of the Marvel.Now initiative, (which this round, is being labelled ANMN), it allows a retailer to pull out exactly where all the great starting points are for people asking what a good place to start reading CAPTAIN AMERICA or THOR or THE AVENGERS would be. That short hand saves a retailer a TON of time, which they can then use to… well, get their orders done properly.

    Finally: as for the ASM #1.1-5 thing – if a retailer tells you they don’t like the numbering, tell them I told you to call them a dummy. For the low, low cost of having to explain why a book is numbered that way, they are going to sell twice as much of this mini-series than they would have had the book been cast out on it’s lonesome – IF they are selling the series properly. Case in point, Marvel solicited an anthology Spider-Man series for December, in which 5 issues shipped in over the course of thee weeks, and numbered it ASM #700.1-5. They also had a title called Marvel Knights Spider-Man coming out at roughly the same time. All things considered equal, if the Spider-Man anthology had just been called something random, shipping the way it did with unconnected stories, it would have sold less than MKSM. As it stands, ASM #700.1-5 sold an estimated 59-65,000 copies per issue, and MKSM launched at an estimated 38,000 and was down to a little less than 23,000 by it’s third issue. Marvel and retailers know that names and numbers have power. And smart retailers know that ASM #1.1 or 700.1 are going to be filed in with the regular series where they will be able to sell back issues for a decent price, instead of off to the side in a “misc Spidey” section where they will sell for less – if they sell at all. The book would be the same REGARDLESS of the numbering, but the effects would be night and day.

    And at the end of the day, Marvel is doing this because it sells comics, and keeps them in business. It’s rare for a comic to increase in sales after a launch, so it’s in their best interest to start as strong as possible, and plot out when a relaunch or marketing push will be needed to maintain or increase sales. This, unfortunately, is the way things are, and it’s the reason why comics aren’t doing as poorly as the magazine industry as a whole right now. So, complain away, but there ARE reasons for this, the best being “everyone keeps publishing comics”.

    [Reply]

  8. somuchforthat

    So the comic’s dead again? Removing from bookmarks.

    [Reply]

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    [Reply]

  10. PCLemons

    Seriously? no new comics in 4 months?

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