Do you even buy comics, bro?

We have another cancellation, this time Black Panther and the Crew. After all of two issues Marvel decided it was time to pull the plug, with the upcoming sixth issue being it’s last.  This is on the heels of BP: World of Wakanda getting cancelled after four issues, and Nighthawk meeting it’s fate pretty quickly last year.  

For all the hype and hoopla around Black Panther’s excellent on screen debut, and the highly successful relaunch of his solo series penned by Tanehisi Coates with artwork by Brian Stelfreeze it seems that in 2017 there’s a ceiling on how much business he can actually do as a character and that any hopes of a Panther-verse may have been too ambitious.  

And the question that leaves me and a lot of other people with is…….are these books ever gonna sell as much as they get talked about?  There is so much talk across various social media platforms about the need for more diverse characters and creators and yet when Marvel very much answers said call the sales numbers don’t match the number of tweets or thinkpieces that are written about the need for such books. 

This his frustrates everyone from the creative teams for those books to those of us who do try to support these efforts, because there is lot of noise being made by people who apparently have no intent of putting their money where their mouths and keyboards are. Every time we see comic bros rail about too much change and forced diversity and social justice warriors, we want to hit back hard but it’s kinda hard to do that when they talk with their wallets and too many of us don’t.   

If you’re one of those folks who wants more diversity in comic book land but isn’t really about buying books…..y’all gotta stop talking loud and not backing it up.  Look here, me and everyone else who does buy comics has financial and/or physical space limitations to deal with.  We can’t buy every book featuring a person of color along with all the books we get that feature white guys.  Y’all gotta do something here, especially after making all the noise you did. 

If you aren’t about buying and reading comics, fine.  It is a time and organizational commitment that you may not be up for. But if that’s so then find someone who might be and buy some books or a digital subscription for them. You gotta have a niece or nephew or cousin or neighbor or somebody who is interested but doesn’t have a local comic store or maybe can’t afford the hobby.  Do something because otherwise you’re putting the onus on us to do all the heavy lifting to make your diversity push work. And most of us don’t have those kind of resources at our disposal.

Comic book companies are retail businesses; they sell what people buy.  As long as there’s a much safer return from Batman, Spider-Man, etc than Luke Cage,  Nighthawk, Mr. Terrific, etc the incentive is going to be give us more of the former before some of the latter.  If you’re going to demand more images like this: 

Then you you’re gonna need to show that they bring in the money. Period. Some of us are doing as much as we can but we need your help to make this thing work. And the end of the day money talks and BS runs the marathon so y’all gotta put up or shut up.

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