Festivus 2022: Airing of Comic Book Grievances!!!!

by Joseph Overaitis

121922C-1024x536 Festivus 2022: Airing of Comic Book Grievances!!!!I have waited for this holiday season for the whole year.  I have been preparing my list and now I am ready for an article that needed to be written.  Here it is, in the spirit of the season… Bring out that aluminum pole, because I am ready for Festivus!!!!  Here it is, people, my airing of comic book grievances!

1. It is not speculation if a character has already been announced for a film/tv show!

Speculators buy books that no one else is even looking at in hopes they will rise in value.  This bold move can produce great returns but also can mean losing a lot as well. Speculators understand that there is risk involved with their choices but still proceed because there is also a chance for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Investing in a book that everyone is targeting is not bold. Stop calling yourself a speculator if you’re buying books for already-announced projects!

2. Comic book companies should stop with plot gimmicks!

There is no problem with changing or killing off a character. The issue I have is when comic book companies do it because they are lazy!  I should not be told to buy a book ONLY because the character is different or because there is another death issue and yet the quality  is still subpar. Good storytelling and eye-catching art will sell more books than desperate ploys with bad art and poor storytelling.

This usage also trivializes the very subject matter that they are using as a means to sell books. Comic book fans are more sophisticated than ever, so stop it with the games and gimmicks.   If you make a change then spend some time and energy to make it for a quality comic.  A car manufacturer putting a Rolls-Royce hood ornament on a Pinto and telling people to buy it will not work.  This type of cosmetic change does not make it anything but a Pinto. I want quality and not tricks.  Save the tricks for Halloween!!!

3.  Collectors, please control your impulses!

Collectors are the lifeblood of the industry.  They also can be a problem.  The GoCollect numbers always reveal a sale that baffles the mind.  Unless the book is very rare or does not come to market, please bid reasonably, collectors.  One bad buyer skews the numbers for everyone.

Buyers should also not tell the world they are collectors.  Sellers then realize that you may overpay for a book.  Finally, the worst thing in the world is two collectors going at it for a book that is common key. Quit overpaying for books as if it is a badge of honor and using the excuse that you are a collector.  Pay less and add more books to your collection!!!

4. Sellers, please mail books like you would want to receive them!!!

Priority and media mail are great ways to ship an item… IF THAT ITEM IS NOT A COMIC BOOK!!!  Media mail is subject to searches to make sure that the item is compliant with media mail usage.  Many times, the person looking in the package is not as up-to-date on how to handle a comic book as you might think.  You would not let a buyer look at the book with Cheetos dust on their fingers, so why would you send it by media mail so a USPS could inspect that book with orange fingers?

Then, you have people who ship using the media mail flat rate box without protection.  The box usually comes as if an elephant walked all over it.  Using quality boxes and boards along with some well-spent time will insure that your buyer will be happy with their purchase.  Blaming the shipping company only works if you never heard a nightmare story about a damaged package.  The worst thing in the world is to have the book you have been waiting for come in damaged.  Respect your buyers!

5. A new comic book that is only a week old cannot be hot!

Fifty-two weeks a year, new comic books come out.  Every week, people chase the “hot” book of the week because someone said these books were hot.  Astronomical price jumps happen for these books as people chase them.  A few weeks later, many of these books sink like stones in a lake. No one bothers to talk about the drop because, for the most part, talking about the negatives of the industry is frowned upon.

Sadly, many people fall into the FOMO-driven undertow and buy into those books under the belief they will pave the way to riches. The industry needs new blood and yet the hobby seems to want to miseducate people with these hot takes.  Check out those hot books in a few months and what happens.  Buy smart!

6. The MCU is not a healthy patient!

Fans love all things MCU.  Disney puts out an MCU property and it is like printing money.  Quality and dedication to the product seemed to always be present.  Lately, that commitment to quality is waning. Instead, the MCU seems intent on following a formula of introducing future heroes in films/tv shows while gradually phasing out the existing heroes because people still are buying tickets or viewing the tv shows.

The problem is that people do not care as much about those characters.  Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a well-made film that fans seem to like better than the last few MCU projects, but the passion is not there anymore for the new characters.   Kevin Feige must look past the numbers and see that if something is not done soon, even the X-Men and Fantastic Four cannot save the entire MCU.

Take the MCU audience for granted and they will put their money elsewhere.  I love the MCU, but to keep it going you must have quality over quantity!!!

7. DC Comics films should follow the advice of Tom  Brady

DC Comics film properties should stop trying to be like the MCU.  Instead, they should produce the best DC Comic film properties they can make. Zack Snyder had a good start, but a family tragedy caused his vision to be rewritten by Joss Whedon.   One misstep and nothing could salvage the future of the DCEU.  Think of quality again.

Fans loved “Batman Begins” because they liked the characters and were invested in them and the story.  The Joker was a financial and critical success because of its quality story and fine acting. Follow that path.

Finally, do not be afraid to be different.  DC Comics has all but ignored the horror and war characters in their library.  Give me a good war story with Sgt. Rock, the Unknown Soldier, and Johnny Cloud or a House of Secrets horror story.  Fortune favors the bold, so stop trying to be the MCU.  As Tom Brady said, “…you just need to be the best version of YOU”!

8. Stop blaming the third-party grading companies!!!

I want to say I do not like third-party grading companies.  The reason is that people who buy comics should be able to grade them at least somewhat accurately.  These grading companies serve a useful purpose.  How many eBay ads have a disclaimer somewhat to the effect of “…I am not a professional grader…” but then go on to base the price upon some grade a seller has affixed to the book.  You priced it as an 8.0, so tell me what you see already!

So many sellers are afraid to be told they over-graded raw books that they take the easy way out.  You may not like them, but 3rd party grading companies are essential to the hobby.  If you won’t grade your own books, then we need a 3rd party to tell us what the book’s grade is. That job is thus filled by those despised third-party graders. GoCollect readers should know that I also do not like my proctologist and dentist, but that does not mean I will not see them.  I just wish it was not the same person and he didn’t work out of a van down by the river!!!

9. Support your good local LCS!

I say this to everyone.  Support your local LCS and hobby retailers.  This means you too, publishers, distributors, and product reps!  Many good stores have shuttered their doors because of buyers shopping online, poor distribution practices, or a lack of quality retail items.  People can still shop online, but what is missing is the event of going to the local comic book store.

Buyers formerly conversed on the hobby and many were talked into impulse buys as a result. In addition, an informal community was constructed that brought a steady stream of new people to the hobby.  Parents and older siblings would take a young child and try to get them in, too, on the hobby.  That is not happening anymore.

Instead, the population is getting older and the products are getting fewer. Print runs are down because fewer people are buying new books. Brand awareness cannot be only formed by film and television shows.   Instead, younger fans will watch the movie and buy the t-shirt but will never ever buy the comic book that inspired it all.  Get out from behind the screens and at least once a month visit a local comic book store!!!

10.  I am staring right at you and I now want to hear from you.  This is our feats-of-strength time!

The GoCollect reader is one of the savviest hobbyists in existence.  I may not agree with them all the time but that does not mean I do not respect and value their input. Put down your holiday cookies and bring your best grievances.  Maybe Ryan Reynolds can come on and post how much he wants to be the new Green Lantern or make Deadpool 3 G-rated.  My only advice to him and (you) is to make sure he wears his brown pants, because I will come back just as hard.

“until you pin me… Festivus is not over!”

-Frank Costanza

000052721D-1-Footer Festivus 2022: Airing of Comic Book Grievances!!!!*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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22 comments

Matt December 23, 2022 - 7:57 am

That whole media mail thing is totally false, they only inspect 1 in every few thousand books and aren’t shipped any differently than anything else. Most people only believe it’s bad because people like you keep spreading this disinformation. Without media mail low price sales on Comics online would crumble.

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Joseph Overaitis December 23, 2022 - 8:43 am

Matt

Welcome to the boards!! I always value EVERYONES opinions. I can tell you that that you may have not realized this from my previous posts but in my other job I am an attorney who has had postal employees as clients. I also have had friends and peers who have taken positions with law enforcement and governmental agencies such as the secret service, FBI, and others. The media mail may not be searched with great frequency but they are searched and you authorize such inspections by using the reduced service. I have had heard stories of the inspections. The other issue with media mail is risk of loss. IF YOU SHIP A COLLECTIBLE COMIC BOOK AND IT IS LOST OR DAMAGED AND YOU MAKE A CLAIM YOUR CLAIM WILL ALWAYS BE DISALLOWED BECAUSE YOU USED AN IMPROPER SERVICE. The post office can insure it but then when you file your claim it WILL be disallowed because it violated terms of service. This is much the same way you can insure anything but when you file a claim those darn attorneys get you. So many people have been using media mail to ship their comics and filing claims that the post office actually put a clause in their media mail information page that tells people that comics books do not qualify.

https://about.usps.com/notices/not121/not121_tech.htm#:~:text=Media%20Mail%20rates%20are%20limited,such%20as%20CDs%20and%20DVDs.

Low prices are nice. Getting a damaged book that is the dealer blames on the USPS that you cannot get made whole is a big issue. Sometimes you get what you pay for and a low price online comic market may be impacted but people also want their books in great condition.

I again have researched this issue for clients but nothing in my post shall serve as legal advice and I advise everyone to consult with an attorney in your own state that can advise you further on the topic.

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steve December 23, 2022 - 8:13 am

Race switching, gender switching…characters being gay(coming out of no where) …Woke nonsense disguised as clever writing (The Colonizers? Buffalo Soldier?) and ask me why a 9 year old girl cannot be the smartest person in the MCU.

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Joseph Overaitis December 23, 2022 - 8:54 am

Steve

Some of the writing may be deemed to be what some call “woke”. Sometimes some publishers just want to be do something different and not have a political slant. The problem with either of these is that their has to be some dedication to this plot line. Years ago Northstar came out as gay and the book was hot. This was a character reveal in much the same way Tony Stark came out as being an alcoholic. The difference was the dedication and quality of the two stories. Northstar coming out was just a way to sell some books and was a cheap ploy. Tony’s plot was impactful. I may not agree with the long term investment potential of miles morales but the difference was his story plot was much more thought out than others. We deserve quality an not ploys to make us buy books. I wish publishers would get to know their target audiences because they would realize that comic book readers are very sophisticated and demanding. Even variants will not work if poorly conceived. Steve, everyone hates it for their own reasons, but for the love all that is good do comic book fans deserve better? A single issue costs a lot now so give us the good stuff!!!

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Steve December 23, 2022 - 2:12 pm

In the MCU, they even gender switched a dog. (Cosmo, for those who haven’t heard) and the answer to my previous question: because she just hasn’t had the time to physically consume enough knowledge to be the smartest person in the MCU.

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twolittlebears December 23, 2022 - 9:35 am

I have been collecting for a lifetime. I enjoy it. It is relaxing, especially if I am hunting for a book or books in the wild (garage sale, library sale, estate sales…), which today is truly hard. I like putting together my collection.
1st: Your comments on great content and strong story line are perfect. All writers are not rock stars, they have a hit and then a bunch of misses. Buying a book for just the cover art is bonkers especially if the story really stinks. 2nd: Third party grading should simply be a tool in your colleting and not an absolute. I have seen many CGC’d 9.8’s that could never be more than a 9.4 with visible 1/4″ color breaking corner bends on the cover or ugly thumb bends! This rivalry between CGC and CBCS is wasted energy. CBCS literally birthed from CGC. Same graders and many managers breaking off to create another option. I’ve passed CBCS books to CGC only to receive a higher grade and vice versa. Never a down grade. Examine the book, even in the case. A solid 9.8 is a solid 9.8 for both companies. Neither would risk a reputational hit by downgrading a book to simply spite the rival. So, I buy major keys in CBCS cases for the priced discount. Finally, I run the other way from Comic Tom. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy his channel, I really do! If he and others are talking about a book(s), it’s over for me. I have my own radar and list. I find loads of cool books in MCU/DCU/Indie. I only enjoy crowds if we are chatting about a storyline. ;p Cool story

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Joseph Overaitis December 23, 2022 - 1:20 pm

Thanks for the comment….Third party grading is a tool but sadly people should be able to grade books themselves too!! Does anyone even bother looking at the books anymore…come on people. And a great cover can only get you so far. We should be giving some more love to the writers.

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Mark Streacker December 23, 2022 - 12:25 pm

Shipping costs on eBay! Who do these domestic sellers think they are fooling when they slap a $15-$20 shipping charge on a book? Especially a raw book that has no weight to it. Anytime I see someone charging more than $10 for shipping, I move on.

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Joseph Overaitis December 23, 2022 - 1:17 pm

Mark

Welcome to the boards!!! I agree with a caveat.. Those that charge less than $10 and ship in bubble mailers!!! Get shipping right people!!!!

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Ed Dee December 23, 2022 - 4:49 pm

Matt, I ship priority mail envelope with cardboard surrounding the book. Once every 2-3 years I’ll experience damage. Priority mail comes with $50 insurance already and if you need more it can be purchased. The cost keeps going up, right now priority mail envelope is about $9.50ish.

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Jeffrey Simoneau December 23, 2022 - 12:44 pm

Book prices are too high to garner interest from a new generation of young readers and collectors. Bring back more in-book ads to defray cover costs so that kids aren’t expected to pay $4 per issue, and often $5 or $6 for an issue #1.

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Joseph Overaitis December 23, 2022 - 1:15 pm

Jeff

Way to bring it…I love it…Hulu and some streaming services have ads for lower tier price points.. Why not comics?

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Sean December 23, 2022 - 2:22 pm

Under Disney, Marvel has gotten away from the formula that made their movies great. Ever since Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel movies have gotten overly silly. They’ve become a parody of themselves, which is the worst change that could’ve happened. If a movie is a comedy, serious moments lose their impact, which leads to viewer apathy and no longer taking the story seriously. Even the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel was overly silly. Marvel has lost it’s way and who knows how much Disney has played a part in that misdirection.

And can we please have a Spider-Man that doesn’t look like a kid in Spidey underoos?!?!! Seriously! I’m tired of all the “I Was a Teenage Spider-Man.” Ongoing ridiculousness! I want a Spider-MAN that reflects the developed character in the comics of the last 40 years!

And, of course, Marvel has been bought by “woke” Disney, a formerly family friendly children’s movie company that now sees nothing wrong with guys, trannys and drag queens being in movies for children. The LGBTIQ doesn’t like parents at school board meetings calling drag queens who do strip shows for children at school “groomers,” but that’s exactly what they are. Disney is now part of the LGBTIQ’s push to bring, not only perversion, but pedophilia upon America’s most vulnerable and innocent children. They turn a blind eye to what is going on on phone cameras in schools all across America right in front of everyone’s faces. Disney is not only complicit, but is unashamedly siding with the sexualization of children It’s wrong and it has to stop!

As for Marvel comics, I haven’t collected new comics in many years and nothing being produced today by Marvel or DC makes me want to come back. The covers of Marvel comics are just plain weird looking. I don’t like the format that has lost the simple appeal of past covers of the 80’s and 90’s. And the art is often childish and weird, and looks like an amateur drew it rather that someone who knows the craft. There will never be another Luis Dominguez, Nick Cardy or Neal Adams. Artists don’t go to art school and learn the old school art techniques anymore. Now, the art in many comics looks like a child drew it. The old school techniques are gone and the craft has been lost There will never be an awesome cover like Swamp Thing #11 by Luis Dominguez. Some of what passes for art nowadays is downright embarrassing. And Marvel wants 4 bucks for it?? The art has changed and so has the writing, which everyone knows is just as bad. As long as the product is sub par and not what the readers want (including all the injected and unnecessary “woke” garbage), comic book sales will continue to suffer.

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Joseph Overaitis December 24, 2022 - 2:06 pm

Sean

I totally agree with the interior art. I hate to say but again publishers believe that if they put a nice cover on a poorly drawn issue then that will not mater. Friend said it is the lips stick on a pig view. Quality seems to be lacking as corners are being cut everywhere.

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Redskydigger December 23, 2022 - 4:03 pm

Merry Christmas Joseph and everyone! Have a wonderful holidays.

I’m not to worried about the woken group because I don’t give them any of my $$z and if we all did the same Disney and the like would focus on great stories and characters not garbage.

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Joseph Overaitis December 24, 2022 - 1:56 pm

Redskydigger

If they do it for political reasons or cheap stunts it is lazy if they do not do it with quality. I have no problem with a good story or well written but it seems publishers believe that comic book buyers are as lazy as they are in today’s society. We demand quality period. It reminds me of the beanie baby craze where I was supposed to buy them because everyone else was doing it. I need more than “just because” to buy something.

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Rain of Terra December 23, 2022 - 6:52 pm

Grievances

1. Zaslav cancelling Batgirl when it was nearly complete for a tax break. Dude disrespected fans and creators.

2. Deathstroke. Character is a pedophile. Drop him. Having Black Canary work with him was such an insult to her character.

3. DC comics’ treatment of female characters. Women outside the Batman line can support a series. You tease us with miniseries then go back to the bat-sausage fest. Stop it.

4. Girl hating fan bros. Women read comics. Women watch comic book movies and shows. She-Hulk was fun and true to the comics. Get over it.

5. The KKKomiks fans. Miles Morales is Spider-Man too. Don’t suddenly get crazy when a character you never knew about is played by a black actor. Go away.

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Joseph Overaitis December 24, 2022 - 12:35 pm

Rain of Terra

Welcome to the boards. I love your posts. I do want to comment on the last two
4. It is rare than fans hate any segment of the hobby in my observation. The more the merrier because it means more fans that buy and sell books. The numbers are down so any help. She-Hulk though was not good. The story seemed rushed and the fact that they did not give her a good villain to deal with for the series. The jokes were ok but again a whole episode was focused on her dating life in a trial. And as an attorney I am flabbergasted that they did not have an attorney on as a consultant. It could have helped. Even the director said corners were cut including for special effects. The series was fun but many fans were accept because they wanted better quality.
5. I dont think fans hate Miles because of his ethnicity. More and more fans are hating that people on this site are proclaiming him as the next big thing and thus his 1st appearance is a cannot miss book to own. Many, including myself, look at the number of high grade books available and the fact that many of the people holding this book are people waiting to dump it once he hits the MCU. Miles is Spiderman is not the problem for many. He has been developed over the years to make him a compelling character. The problem is does that make him a sure thing when it comes to investing? I have known people who love him as a character but hate him as an investment or spec book.

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Kaliklak December 23, 2022 - 8:52 pm

Hey Joe!!!!!
Let me air one of my greatest grievances!!!!!!
The unnecessary proliferation of exclamation points!!!!!!
You’ve employed more of these in your one page article than most 1000 page novels!!!!!!!
And then you even double-down on your comment replies!!!!!!!!
Seriously though, despite your reckless enthusiasm, you are my favorite go collect blogger!!!!!!!!!

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Joseph Overaitis December 24, 2022 - 12:22 pm

Kaliklak

Welcome to the boards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank You for the shout out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In all seriousness I love writing for our readers. The GoCollect readers are the best of any comic book site hands down.

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Randy W DeBower December 24, 2022 - 10:17 am

Thanx 4 informing everyone on media mail rules. I have had many comic “dealers” argue to send media rate instead of standard or priority, EVEN when I offer to pay the difference!! If your package is inspected, the BUYER will be stuck paying the extra shipping plus having the risk of damage by the inspector. The MEDIA RATE was designed for NEW current magazines, NOT vintage materials!! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing in favor of the Postal Service. –But it’s their rules so you can get burned by ignoring them!!

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Joseph Overaitis December 24, 2022 - 12:20 pm

Randy

I always say it is only a problem when it becomes a problem. So many people get burned on this and yet they do not know the rules. IF you want to pay extra the seller should accommodate you.

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