Post by wildfire2099 on Jul 30, 2014 10:56:51 GMT -5
Someone mentioned this needed a thread in Shax's MoKF thread, and I agree.
I was just reading some Conan's of the time, and the bullpen/letter pages were super excited about Giant Sized stuff... I had thought that they were really just annuals re-named, but apparently this was actually a big marketing thing... perhaps a test?
There's a column (or perhaps a letter response) from Roy Thomas somewhere around then that talked about how they were trying to give people whatever they wanted.. bigger, more expensive comics, or shorter, cheaper ones... as if Marvel was hedging in case DC was, in fact, correct in their way of doing things (I think this is when they started having giants and lots of re-prints and such).
I'd really like to know what it was like at the time.. I'm sure you old-timers have lots to say on the subject.
I know back 10 years ago I found the Giant Sizes annoying from a collecting standpoint, but now that Marvel has done FAR worse (with .1s, .INHs, a billion restarts, ongoings stopping for minis during events, etc), it seems more quaint than anything.
Post by Slam_Bradley on Jul 30, 2014 11:23:56 GMT -5
The Giant-Sizes were being phased out just as I started buying comics so they really didn't effect me. My guess is that even if they'd have stuck around longer I wouldn't have bought many because of the cost. I seldom bought Annuals in my early days of reading because I didn't want to spend the money.
A lot of the impetus for the multiple reprint titles was to flood the newsstand and push out other books. If Marvel had seven reprint books on the stands that didn't cost them much to put together that was seven books that the competition couldn't get on the stands.
Post by Crimebuster on Jul 30, 2014 11:38:07 GMT -5
It's my understanding that the move to giant sized books was an attempt on the part of the big two to appeal more to newsstand retailers. Because they were so cheap, comics didn't provide much profit for retailers compared to magazines, so they were given less space and attention. Marvel and DC thought that by raising the price, they could get more space on the stands and appeal more to retailers. Despite what Roy said, I don't think Marvel was aiming to give readers what they wanted - Marvel was aiming to give retailers what they wanted.
In the 70's DC experimented with many different formats: 100 page Super Spectaculars (20 page new story w/ rest being reprints), Giant Sized (new story + reprint), Dollar Comics (all new material - 64 pages w/ no ads).
Marvel stuck w/ the 32 page model w/ extra sized Annuals & Special Giant Sized issues. Marvel was dominating in sales except retailers loved DC's 100 pagers & their Dollar Comics. So Marvel was making the move to increase the # of their Giant Sized issues. About this time story pages dropped from 24/issue to an all time low of 17 per 32 page book.
Then the DC Implosion happened. Over 2 dozen DC titles were canceled & 40% of staff was cut. DC revamped & came back stronger. Their story pages jumped from 17 to 25/issue. Their sales went up despite their books being slightly more expensive than Marvel's. Marvel had no choice to react & followed suit.
Personally I loved extra sized books. I got a new story & a reprint to read past stories. Back issues were hard to find then.
Absolutely! The first time I ever saw Syd Shores inking Gene Colan was in a reprint in the back of Giant Size Defenders.
The preponderence of 100 page Specials,Giant Size issues and other formats that mixed new and reprint material caused me to quit comics for a few years in the mid-70s. I had already been reading them for over 12 years and so much of the reprints was stuff I owned. Comics were getting too expensive and I didn't like buying the same stories again in order to get a new one
Post by dupont2005 on Jul 30, 2014 17:00:31 GMT -5
Giant sizes could have worked if they put their top talent on it and dedicated it to new material. It didn't have to be a single hundred page story, but say a forty page done-in-one (in continuity), a twenty page serialized story (ongoing, in continuity), and a couple short stories from up and comers, out of continuity with more creative license. Sort of mixing the old Heavy Metal formula with the shared universe.
You could have even had a team book giant size, with a forty page team tale and then a couple solo tales from characters that didn't have their own series. Not all the X-Men or Avengers had their own books.The Justice League is an allstar cast. Imagine that as a hundred pager complete with solo stories, all in continuity.
Last Edit: Jul 30, 2014 17:01:07 GMT -5 by dupont2005
When I was a new reader I loved reprinted stories. I loved reading the stories from the past. It helped me learn the history of the characters. I noticed when LCS popped up & back issues became easier to find the "allure" of reprints became less attractive to me.
Post by wildfire2099 on Jul 30, 2014 19:14:49 GMT -5
That retailers would like the bigger and more expensive ones makes total sense.. md hit it on the head I think with reprints, too... there's really little point in them once the original (or trade, or whatever) can be had..that's probably why stuff like Marvel Triple Action and such aren't around any more.
md hit it on the head I think with reprints, too... there's really little point in them once the original (or trade, or whatever) can be had..that's probably why stuff like Marvel Triple Action and such aren't around any more.
What's your opinion of reprints that just add a few extra pages inside the story? Like the classic X-men of a few years ago, or Byrne's FF annual 1? Fun and good? Heresy? Did many people buy them?