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Gold Key characters relaunch with Dynamite!

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  • #31
    Just watched the Turok animated movie, it was really good, man Feb can't get here fast enough.

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    • #32
      G'day,

      Wasn't Mighty Samson Gold Key too. He was another favorite of my youth. Perhaps they can bring him back too. There was a Lost in Space series which had nothing to do with the TV show.

      ta

      Ralph

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      • #33
        Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
        G'day,

        Wasn't Mighty Samson Gold Key too. He was another favorite of my youth. Perhaps they can bring him back too. There was a Lost in Space series which had nothing to do with the TV show.

        ta

        Ralph
        Mighty Samson was part of Shooter's revival at Dark Horse a couple of years back.

        Space Family Robinson was Gold Key's space-age version of the Johann Wyss classic novel "Swiss Family Robinson". It predated (1962) the television series. Various sources attribute the idea to Carl Barks (!) or Western editor Chase Craig, although the series was written and drawn by Del Connell and Dan Spiegle. It lasted 59 issues, during which time Irwin Allen premiered a suspiciously similar concept in his TV series Lost In Space. Some of the differences between Gold Key's comic and the TV show were that SFR had parents Craig and June Robinson (instead of John and Maureen) on Space Station One (instead of the Jupiter 2) become lost in space with their adolescent children Tim and Tam (instead of Will and Penny) and their pets, dog Clancy and parrot Yakker. When they needed to visit a planet's surface, they used one of the compact, streamlined Spacemobiles stored in the station (instead of the TV show's LEM-inspired Space Pod).

        When Gold Key learned of the show, they were nonplussed. Allen had not sought a license to their comic book. It was a conundrum because Gold Key derived their major income from licensed comics based on TV shows like Irwin Allen's earlier series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (even after LIS appeared on TV, Gold Key would continue to adapt Irwin Allen properties like The Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants). Ultimately Gold Key decided NOT to pursue any legal action, but when the show proved popular, they decided that "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" and on their own initiative attached the subtitle "Lost In Space" to Space Family Robinson. As the issues wore on, the Space Family Robinson logo shrank while the Lost in Space logo increased in size. And that was the only connection. Gold Key didn't attempt to add such characters as a robot or a traitorous Doctor (Smith or otherwise).

        Whether Irwin Allen was guilty of ripping off Gold Key's idea is debatable. The comic book was in existence for 3 years before Allen's TV series premiered, so it's more than possible he was aware of it, especially since Gold Key was then adapting his own Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Then again, Gold Key had based the idea solely on giving Wyss' public domain novel a sci-fi spin, and Allen may have rightly reasoned he could claim to have independently conceived the same idea. All things 'space-age' were in the public mind in the early 1960s, and "Swiss Family Robinson" had been made into a very successful film adaptation by Walt Disney Studios in 1960, which would have lent weight to Allen's claim. Another independent producer/screenwriter, Ib Melchior (The Angry Red Planet, Journey to the Seventh Planet, Robinson Crusoe on Mars) claimed to have shopped his own independently-conceived film treatment for "Space Family Robinson" to various movie studios some years earlier, and documentation exists to verify his claims. It's even more likely that Allen may have been aware of the Melchior treatment and liked the idea.
        Last edited by pulphero; 10-19-2013, 05:53 AM.

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        • #34
          I would like seeing Space Family Robinson return, as well as MARS Patrol and Brothers of the Spear.

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          • #35
            Can I take the opposite view without being dumped on TOO badly?

            I like many of the characters. No problem there.

            But I liked a lot of the Super Powers chanracters too.

            And the Kirbyverse characters.

            Dynamite has a history of getting into their new projects with huge enthusiasm...then letting them drop for the next hot thing. Did they do anything to promote Black Bat beyond the first issue?

            Now they HAVE improved a great deal there. Green Hornet looked to be close to falling off the face of the earth, but he's been in a bunch of books lately, for example. And I have no reason to believe that Vampirella will disappear even if her regular series ends at #38.

            But any time Dynamite takes on a new project, I always wonder if (a) it isn't at the expense of another, and (b) how long it'll be until they're directing their attention to the next one. It's much more of a concern when the project involves several characters. So I don't quite share the enthusiasm for that reason.
            Last edited by Captain Canuck; 10-24-2013, 11:17 PM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Captain Canuck View Post
              Can I take the opposite view without being dumped on TOO badly?

              I like many of the characters. No problem there.

              But I liked a lot of the Super Powers chanracters too.

              And the Kirbyverse characters.

              Dynamite has a history of getting into their new projects with huge enthusiasm...then letting them drop for the next hot thing. Did they do anything to promote Black Bat beyond the first issue?

              Now they HAVE improved a great deal there Green Hornet looked to be close to falling off the face of the earth, but he's been in a bunch of books lately, for example. And I have no reason to believe that Vampirella will disappear even if her regular series ends at #38.

              But any time Dynamite takes on a new project, I always wonder if (a) it isn't at the expense of another, and (b) how long it'll be until they're directing their attention to the next one. It's much more of a concern when the project involves several characters. So I don't quite share the enthusiasm for that reason.
              Valid concerns, I too also wish that Dynamite put more effort in the IP's they own, as much as they do the license stuff.

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              • #37
                The following hypothesis has nothing to do with quality, just sales and numbers:

                I think part of it might be that--perhaps especially a few years back--Dynamite, being a smaller company than many others (it's still not listed in Diamond's main "big name" category, like DC, Image, Marvel, Dark Horse, and I think IDW, and I'm not entirely sure what Diamond's criteria for that is), has perhaps had to try to pick and choose what to focus on, and when interest might drop in a series (however devoted many fans might be), quickly shift gears to another one just to stay afloat. Mind you, this is mainly guesswork! I'm hoping that this might settle a bit more as Dynamite has been picking up more licenses, getting more big-name creators on board (they've had some but not a huge number all at one time), and so on--currently for January I think they have Simone, Willingham, Waid, and Parker, and just a couple of years back, none of those names were attached to Dynamite at all.

                Of course, it's a sort of vicious circle--not being in the front of Diamond's Previews, getting sporadic mention when solicits start coming out (I've finally had to settle on Comics Continuum just to have a stable place to find the upcoming solicits--meanwhile, you can always find the other "big names" at CBR, Newsarama, and so on), all of that affects people's awareness of Dynamite's books, but the sales numbers are what get them more spotlights in Previews and round and round again. Again, ideally, as Dynamite grows, this will hopefully make things stable enough to be able to keep supporting some books when the sales aren't high enough.

                (Again, all a hypothesis, but it makes sense to me.)

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Captain Canuck View Post
                  Can I take the opposite view without being dumped on TOO badly?

                  I like many of the characters. No problem there.

                  But I liked a lot of the Super Powers chanracters too.

                  And the Kirbyverse characters.

                  Dynamite has a history of getting into their new projects with huge enthusiasm...then letting them drop for the next hot thing. Did they do anything to promote Black Bat beyond the first issue?

                  Now they HAVE improved a great deal there. Green Hornet looked to be close to falling off the face of the earth, but he's been in a bunch of books lately, for example. And I have no reason to believe that Vampirella will disappear even if her regular series ends at #38.

                  But any time Dynamite takes on a new project, I always wonder if (a) it isn't at the expense of another, and (b) how long it'll be until they're directing their attention to the next one. It's much more of a concern when the project involves several characters. So I don't quite share the enthusiasm for that reason.
                  On the other hand, there's a bit of a circular cause-and-effect there. The more people that feel that way, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I agree as far as the aim should be to build sales, so later issues sell better than earlier ones. That's not always possible though, and cash flow to keep the company afloat often has to come by sacrificing the old for the new. I wish it were otherwise, but I also wish to not be sitting around someday saying "Too bad Dynamite went out of business. They had some great titles. If only other people had bought them too."

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                    The following hypothesis has nothing to do with quality, just sales and numbers:

                    I think part of it might be that--perhaps especially a few years back--Dynamite, being a smaller company than many others (it's still not listed in Diamond's main "big name" category, like DC, Image, Marvel, Dark Horse, and I think IDW, and I'm not entirely sure what Diamond's criteria for that is)
                    I think the cutoff for being a Diamond Premier Publisher is 3% total market share in dollars. Any comic book company below that gets listed in the "Comics & Graphic Novels" section behind the "Premier Comics" alphabetically. I think there are a few other requirements as well, regarding technical stuff like solicitation dates, final order cutoff dates, etc.

                    Since I went to the trouble to find them, here are Diamond's market share listings from September: (sorry I couldn't get the columns lined up, but you'll figure it out)

                    PUBLISHER MARKET SHARES - September 2013

                    Publisher Dollar Share Unit Share
                    DC COMICS 40.39% 45.17%
                    MARVEL COMICS 28.49% 29.83%
                    IMAGE COMICS 6.87% 7.00%
                    IDEA & DESIGN WORKS LLC 4.89% 4.12%
                    DARK HORSE COMICS 4.76% 4.04%
                    DYNAMIC FORCES 2.27% 2.19%
                    BOOM ENTERTAINMENT 1.83% 1.65%

                    Don't ask me why Dynamite Entertainment is still listed as "Dynamic Forces". Probably goes back to before 2006, when they were just doing business with Diamond selling limited-edition collectibles.

                    And yes, that's correct. DC's "Villains Month" one-shots beat the pants off Marvel's offerings that month. Generally, the two are close, with Marvel having the slight edge on average. But sometimes, a particular marketing stunt can cause a huge gap, or flop the picture completely, as in this case. Percentages for all the other companies seem pretty typical. They generally won't vary by more than 1% (even less for those below the 3% threshold). The huge gap is more comprehensible when you realize that DC published each of it's New 52 universe titles in 2 versions that month: $4_3D cover, and $3_regular cover. That's 104 comics, before they add the non-52 titles, TPBs and HCs, and merchandise. DC could have sold even more 3D covers if they'd been able to fill all the preorders. But they may have made out even better by allocating them, forcing dealers to order the other version in addition to cover the shortage. Of course the overlap in orders was greater than needed, so many of the regular cover versions are still sitting on dealers' shelves.

                    Diamond's Previews catalog actually doesn't list Marvel solicitations, even though they're considered a Premier Publisher. Marvel gets its own printed catalog, Marvel Previews. This goes back to the mid-1990s, when Marvel got too big for their britches and bought their own distribution company, Heroes World Distribution. But why not, they bought their own everything else. Card companies, sticker companies, toy companies. They also bought their way into bankruptcy when the bottom fell out of the holographic, sparkly-shiny, metallic, foil-stamped, die-cut and embossed cover market. Which is why it's nice to see DC bringing them back. One can only hope they have the same piper to pay. Anyway, Marvel booted themselves out of the regular Diamond Previews catalog (ingrates that they were to Diamond) to go exclusive with Heroes World, and even when they were begrudgingly welcomed back into the fold, it was with a segregated-but-equal catalog of its own.

                    I actually didn't realize that Dark Horse had already slipped behind IDW just a tad, but they're still close enough for that to change any time. I didn't bother listing any of the other publishers with market share (in dollars) below 1%. Bet you can't guess what the next biggest publisher is in dollar sales. It sure surprised me.
                    Last edited by pulphero; 10-25-2013, 03:43 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                      I think the cutoff for being a Diamond Premier Publisher is 3% total market share in dollars. Any comic book company below that gets listed in the "Comics & Graphic Novels" section behind the "Premier Comics" alphabetically. I think there are a few other requirements as well, regarding technical stuff like solicitation dates, final order cutoff dates, etc.

                      Since I went to the trouble to find them, here are Diamond's market share listings from September: (sorry I couldn't get the columns lined up, but you'll figure it out)

                      PUBLISHER MARKET SHARES - September 2013

                      Publisher Dollar Share Unit Share
                      DC COMICS 40.39% 45.17%
                      MARVEL COMICS 28.49% 29.83%
                      IMAGE COMICS 6.87% 7.00%
                      IDEA & DESIGN WORKS LLC 4.89% 4.12%
                      DARK HORSE COMICS 4.76% 4.04%
                      DYNAMIC FORCES 2.27% 2.19%
                      BOOM ENTERTAINMENT 1.83% 1.65%

                      Don't ask me why Dynamite Entertainment is still listed as "Dynamic Forces". Probably goes back to before 2006, when they were just doing business with Diamond selling limited-edition collectibles.

                      And yes, that's correct. DC's "Villains Month" one-shots beat the pants off Marvel's offerings that month. Generally, the two are close, with Marvel having the slight edge on average. But sometimes, a particular marketing stunt can cause a huge gap, or flop the picture completely, as in this case. Percentages for all the other companies seem pretty typical. They generally won't vary by more than 1% (even less for those below the 3% threshold). The huge gap is more comprehensible when you realize that DC published each of it's New 52 universe titles in 2 versions that month: $4_3D cover, and $3_regular cover. That's 104 comics, before they add the non-52 titles, TPBs and HCs, and merchandise. DC could have sold even more 3D covers if they'd been able to fill all the preorders. But they may have made out even better by allocating them, forcing dealers to order the other version in addition to cover the shortage. Of course the overlap in orders was greater than needed, so many of the regular cover versions are still sitting on dealers' shelves.

                      Diamond's Previews catalog actually doesn't list Marvel solicitations, even though they're considered a Premier Publisher. Marvel gets its own printed catalog, Marvel Previews. This goes back to the mid-1990s, when Marvel got too big for their britches and bought their own distribution company, Heroes World Distribution. But why not, they bought their own everything else. Card companies, sticker companies, toy companies. They also bought their way into bankruptcy when the bottom fell out of the holographic, sparkly-shiny, metallic, foil-stamped, die-cut and embossed cover market. Which is why it's nice to see DC bringing them back. One can only hope they have the same piper to pay. Anyway, Marvel booted themselves out of the regular Diamond Previews catalog (ingrates that they were to Diamond) to go exclusive with Heroes World, and even when they were begrudgingly welcomed back into the fold, it was with a segregated-but-equal catalog of its own.

                      I actually didn't realize that Dark Horse had already slipped behind IDW just a tad, but they're still close enough for that to change any time. I didn't bother listing any of the other publishers with market share (in dollars) below 1%. Bet you can't guess what the next biggest publisher is in dollar sales. It sure surprised me.
                      Is it Valiant or Zenescope?

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                        On the other hand, there's a bit of a circular cause-and-effect there. The more people that feel that way, the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I agree as far as the aim should be to build sales, so later issues sell better than earlier ones. That's not always possible though, and cash flow to keep the company afloat often has to come by sacrificing the old for the new. I wish it were otherwise, but I also wish to not be sitting around someday saying "Too bad Dynamite went out of business. They had some great titles. If only other people had bought them too."
                        True, mind you I didn't swear off the Gold Key stuff in some sort of protest. I'll get it if it looks good. It just dampens my enthusiasm somewhat.

                        I wil reiterate too that I find Dynamite has improved a great deal there. Miss Fury is a good example, with her digital-first book and her appearance in Noir. Lords of Mars, too. So maybe on they're on the way to flipping that perception.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by rasx View Post
                          Is it Valiant or Zenescope?
                          Nope. Valiant was #10 in dollar share for September. Zenescope was #13.

                          I'll give you a clue, though. This company had a .95% dollar share, but only a .15% unit share for September. Their year-end 2012 average dollar share was 1.15%, with a .26% average unit share, so they've slipped a little. This could be because they ended their longest-running and best-selling series with its 200th issue, and replaced it with 2 new series this year.
                          Last edited by pulphero; 10-25-2013, 08:37 AM.

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                          • #43
                            I'm assuming Archie...

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                              I'm assuming Archie...
                              Archie was tied with Zenescope at .53% dollar share for September, although Zenescope squeaks slightly ahead in unit share, at .66% to Archie's .51%.

                              Waitaminnit... you think Archie's only been running for 200 issues?

                              Here's another clue. The publisher immediately following Boom! Studios in September's market share isn't even based in the U.S.
                              Last edited by pulphero; 10-25-2013, 02:37 PM.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                                Bet you can't guess what the next biggest publisher is in dollar sales. It sure surprised me.
                                You appear to be correct.

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