Comics Creators

How do you feel about ads in your comics?


The Twix ads REALLY suck, there is no way around it.

Aside from the fact that they’re distracting, they just feel like DC waving the white flag on the monthly comic. And if they don’t have faith in it, why should you?

New Comics Thread - 17th June

As if anyone is unaware of Twix!

:bookmark: :book: :shit: :book: :shit: :boot:


I’m honestly not a huge fan of the ads but they do represent some mainstream ad revenue coming back to comics. It seems to be an area that has been lacking for a while and really the only way print prices are ever going to come down.


Don’t believe print prices will ever come down :smile:

I see the logic though and think it may well help them not go up anymore.


That’s true. Just about everything else in the periodical realm runs on a three-way model. With it, you only pay a small fraction of the cost of the magazine.


right, but comics are already veeery pricey compared to a magazine. Think of all the people, all the hours, that go into a single issue of Vanity Fair or the New Yorker; they only sell for double the price of a single issue of a 22-page comic book.


It helps to be specific though which fiction isn’t. The likes of GQ and Cosmo have more ads than editorial pages but they know people buying them are interested in fashionable clothes and accessories.

A case in point is I have an old college pal who has made a very good living sells ads in dental magazines. They have a very limited audience, a real tiny fraction of DC’s audience, but one that buys expensive medical equipment.


That’s what I’m saying. Magazines likely cost a lot more to produce than a comic but end up being less expensive for more content because the advertisers are paying most of the cost of content and production.

@garjones - That is a problem. There used to be a market for those things like the old Hostess ads and the novelty stuff. Some comics even started as an outlet for certain ads.


It’s similar to just selling books. The biggest sellers are almost always fiction but it is also the easiest way to crash and burn and sell nothing. If you publish any half decent books about railways in the UK I can guarantee you will get your money back and sell a few thousand copies. You’ll never make a fortune but always make a profit, enthusiasts seek them out.

Even if you look at the old days comics had some cheap ass ads for a product that across the line sold several million copies. Targeting is a very key aspect, if you have 2000 eyes on an ad and 50% of them will buy the product that’s worth a lot more than 20,000 and 1% will take it up.


Watch your mouth! Those X-Ray specs were worth every penny.


That’s another funny one with magazines because they sell distribution numbers. When I ran the magazine department at my local B&N, we would get a glut of Maxim and certain other magazines that you could tell were trying to up their numbers for ad sales. I assume it was cheaper for them to eat the printing and shipping costs for a chance at extra sales than printing to order. New comics are not strippable. So it creates another barrier there too.


There’s a lot of funny practices at play at times that are outside the seemingly normal logic of sell as many copies as you can and then increase the ads and ad rates.

In the UK for decades they launched new titles with the intention of cancelling them. What they’d do is after they’d picked up new readers was merge them with an existing title and get a bump in readers from those that got carried across. It worked too, it always resulted in more sales, at least for a while.

There’s an example here:

In fact the orginal plan was to axe 2000ad and replace it with Starlord but plans changed and 38 years on 2000ad is still the only adventure comic of its era still being published.

In newspapers the London Evening Standard was losing money until they gave it away free, now it makes a healthy profit from ads.


I don’t see ads any more as I only read trades and digital.

The DC Twix ads do seem massively distracting though. Which I guess is partly the point.


The Chief was talking about these UK magazine models last weekend. He said essentially they used to have you from the cradle to the grave with each of the magazines promoting the next that you would age into. Then, someone came on board and axed lower selling titles, broke the chain and wrecked sales on higher selling titles…


One good gimmick in the UK comics and magazine market, that I’m amazed is rarely used in American comics, is selling the first issue as cheaply as possible. This is especially true of partwork magazines, where they can take a hefty loss on the first issue knowing that they’ll make the money back on subscriptions for the rest of the run. American comics only seem to do this with reprints and for a while there Marvel was doing over-sized first issues that cost more than normal, which was particularly dumb.


Marvel have occasionally tried that. They had a 9c issue of Fantastic Four at the start of Mark Waid’s run, and I think a relatively early issue of Bendis’ DD only cost a quarter (to encourage people to jump on to a book that had been receiving a pretty good buzz).


They did it as a response to the Batman 10¢ issue. :wink:


Ah, did they? I had forgotten that. I thought it was just so they could use the tagline “the world’s cheapest comics magazine”. :slight_smile:


The twix ads are a watershed moment in advertising - I don’t know what anyone was thinking as I doubt it will help their perception in the market and may piss off as many people as those who suddenly want to buy one.

The bigger problem to me is that with all their merchandise, all their shows and media choices, all their product tie-in’s, all their trades and other books - DC still need to resort to bloody Twix. Why not market your own damn products?


I have dozens, no, hundreds, of comics with half-page adverts in them. It used to be pretty common practice and I didn’t care one bit.

Now, I find any form of advertising in my comic extremely annoying and intrusive. I’m not sure why, but I have come up with three possible theories:

  1. I’m older, more cynical, and more easily annoyed.
  2. In the 70s, adverts were fun. I didn’t mind them, because I used to read them. Now, ads are mindless crap. (I may think this because of (1).)
  3. Modern ads look too much like comic pages. I don’t know if it’s because of the colouring, the style, the bleed, or what, but I commonly read one page, look at the facing page, and my first thought is that I’m still reading the comic. This makes it even more annoying when I realise it’s an ad. (To be fair, this mostly tends to happen with house ads.)