The comic news, in links: Paul O'Brien looks at Marvel's September sales, while Marc-Oliver Frisch does the same for DC and the occasional indie and points out something that everyone was worried about: "Overall, the general trend at DC appears to be an overall increase of sales, achieved by an increased emphasis on the publisher's mainstream superhero line and at the expense of the Vertigo, WildStorm and Johnny DC lines." Not that everything is going well for Marvel, either, as the company lowers expectations in the wake of a drop in their Q3 earnings:
"As if that news didn’t have stockholders happy, Marvel’s projection for 2006 had them seriously depressed – the company is now scaling back its profit projections for 2006. How much? For 2005, Marvel is projecting full-year earnings to hit somewhere between $1.02 and $1.07 a share. For 2006 Marvel is projecting earnings of $0.37 to $0.52 a share. Chief among the reasons for the small projections, Marvel Chairman Morton Handel is quoted in Marvel’s report as saying 2006 will be 'a difficult year for both toys and licensing.' And that’s with the third X-Men feature film opening in May."
What Marvel need to do to make shareholders feel better, of course, is push the blame onto someone else for the drop, which is something that Alias are very, very good at:
"In reaction to the lateness and the continued mishandling of certain financial responsibilities, Alias Publisher, Brett Burner, has effectively bought out the partners responsible for these setbacks to instead assume all accounting and production duties internally... 'The problem was that these individuals were acting on their own judgment, making crucial decisions irregardless of our input,' said Burner. 'We are not, however, looking for a scapegoat.'"
I always find that when I'm not looking for a scapegoat, the best way to not look for a scapegoat is to put out a press release blaming unnamed third parties for my problems and then say that I'm not looking for a scapegoat.
Meanwhile, Heidi has more on Marvel's Q3 earnings causing trouble for the House of Ideas - although, personally, I think the entire stock market just read about (basis of the next big Marvel event, well, the one after Planet Hulk and Decimation, anyway) The Illuminati and realized that, if even the Tomb Raider movie did Illuminati stuff four years ago, then perhaps the whole Illuminati thing is, like, so over - and Speakeasy being partnered/purchased by a movie company. Over at The Engine, she also drops this nugget that I wish someone had followed up on:
"At least one of the two big publishers actively discourages by ANY MEANS NECESSARY mentioning any current events in their comics. No wonder mainstream comics are increasingly irrelevent."
On that bombshell, I'll shut up. Thanks for your kind attention, blogosphere. I'm Marvin Gaye and that's... What's Going On.