RSS Feed
Apr 1


Posted on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 by Paul in x-axis

So, what now? Marvel have stopped shipping comics, either digitally or physically, at least for now. This might last a couple of weeks until some other arrangement is put in place. Or it might last a while.

Either way, I’m finally going to clear some of the backlog by looking back at the Hickman-era titles. That should see us through until things start up again… assuming this is indeed just a brief interruption.

One plan that’s doing the rounds seems to be that some sort of stopgap arrangement could be put in place, so that direct market retailers will be able to sell digital copies now with a view to receiving physical copies in due course. How practical that is, time will tell – are they really going to ship what could be months of backlogged comics to direct market retailers in one go? How is that going to work?

But if something like that turns out to be the plan then presumably we’ll be back to regular comics fairly soon – even if they’ll all be taking place in a parallel universe. By that time we should be up to date on reviews. If the plan doesn’t work out then… well, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Bring on the comments

  1. Thom H. says:

    Thanks for the update, Paul. And for producing the annotations for much longer than you originally announced. I love the chance to discuss X-Men minutia will other fans.

  2. Ben says:


    This whole situation just highlights the bizarreness and borderline unsustainability of the comics industry.

    And pretty much all industries really.

  3. Chris V says:

    Well, really, who could have ever expected all revenue to dry up for a month or longer?
    It’s not even like an economic depression where profits erode, but you can still usually count on some customers.

    Comic books are a niche market though, and most comic book stores don’t make a huge amount of profit in the best times.

  4. Ben says:

    I’m honestly surprised any outside of large metropolitan areas have managed to survive as it is.

  5. Rob says:

    If this drags on, how about bringing back the Indexes?

  6. Moo says:

    What Rob said.

  7. Mark Coale says:

    I joked on Twitter that Paul should reviewing theSilver Age X Men #1 and go from there. Or Al should start annotating all the volumes of New Warriors..

  8. Jeremy says:

    What Rob and Moo said!

    But seriously, just thrilled to see the continued annotations and looking forward to the upcoming reviews.

  9. Rob says:

    @Mark Paul did years ago! Check out the X-Axis archive in the sidebar

  10. Evilgus says:

    I think that the meteoric rise of superhero movies as a genre, and associated geek culture merchandise, has really saved comic shops from the mid 2000s. I wonder what proportion of revenues comics themselves are for most of these businesses.

    But it is concerning, for all small or niche businesses.

  11. Voord 99 says:

    I’ve already contributed to a GoFundMe that appears to have succeeded in saving one small local independent bookstore for the moment, and am keeping an eye out to see if my local comics/gaming store launches a campaign along the same lines — although I buy very little physical product in either category, I value the presence of the store in the community.

    There are many ways in which comics stores are set up in a manner that makes them horribly vulnerable. But the fact that som much of their customer base are devotees who are personally invested is a potential strength, and might allow some store owners to tap sources of charitable support to get their business through this intact.

  12. the new kid says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the old indexes updated. A lot has changed in all these years.

    Assuming Paul even cares about that project anymore….

  13. Dave says:

    “are they really going to ship what could be months of backlogged comics to direct market retailers in one go?”

    They could/SHOULD use this situation, if it goes on for months, to get a good lad time on all future comics. Or at least comics for the next couple of years. But I expect they won’t.

  14. Joe S. Walker says:

    Re the idea of shops selling digital comics and getting physical books later, what would happen if a title’s sales went up or down dramatically? Say a mini-series sells twice as many of issue 1 as of the later issues.* Would Marvel or DC print exactly the number of copies sold of each issue? Would many people be bothered picking up the physical first or second issues of a series they’d dropped months before? Might it be simpler to print the whole thing as a TPB and give it to everyone who’d bought every issue digitally? Or to everyone who bought issue 1? Or simpler still to just publish long-running strong selling titles for the next year or so?

    *Let alone five or ten times as many.

  15. Pasquale says:

    Looking forward to the reviews! (esp Fallen Angels and Excalibur, which you clearly loved lol). Thanks for the continued annotations, they’ve been great.

  16. Adam says:

    Aaaaand the ComicsHub plan is off.

    Meanwhile, count me in as another reader looking forward to Hickman-era reviews. I’ve actually been missing them and would have preferred them to the extended period of annotations, but I understand there’s a lot of interest in those, and they are well-done.

  17. Jerry Ray says:

    Is it just me, or does this “X of Swords” thing sound really dumb. A 15 part crossover starring the X-Men using famous Marvel swords! Blech.

  18. Salomé says:

    Sooo happy to read reviews of yours. Strong nostalgic yearnings for The X-Axis abound, which was massive for me when I began engaging with the X-Men more in-depth. <3

  19. Thom H. says:

    Yeah, X of Swords just sounds like a diversion from anything to do with the new status quo.

    But the way that set-up has been paid off in tiny dribs and drabs so far, I expect it’s going to be years before we get back to the main plot.

    Also, I don’t really care about swords.

  20. Joe S. Walker says:

    There used to be a comedy bit on TV where they’d show ancient film clips of attempts at flying machines, which would spin their wheels and propellors for a second and then fall to pieces. Comic Hub was a bit like that.

Leave a Reply