One thing I think comics really lack nowadays is the feeling that you could simply throw them out if you needed to. That may sound weird, but, basically, what I mean is that comics are too expensive, even at $3 a piece. This applies to most trades as well, and, if something happened to them, you aren't that likely to replace them since they are so expensive. Simply put, 22 pgs. of content for $3 isn't really a good content to cost ratio and, while trades are usually cheaper than the singles, they are not that much cheaper in the grand scheme of things.
This was made obvious to me when I bought a copy of Yen Plus, a monthly manga anthology magazine which cost around $9 for about 450 pgs. of content. There were 12 stories that were being serialized and then a 13th short story. You could say that they have an unfair advantage since they are only reprinting material that they license, but 1) Marvel and DC add a $1 to all of their licesnsed stories and 2) Yen Plus was running two original series, at 32 pgs. of content each, and the short story was an original story at 29 pgs of content. All of the original content, if it was from Marvel or DC, would probably cost around $12, given the page counts.
Anyway, the point I'm getting at is that if my issue of Yen Plus, or any of the manga I own, actually, was lost or damaged, it wouldn't be that big of a deal because they are cheap enough to be disposable entertainment, but comics aren't because they cost too much for the amount of content they provide. Yeah, fans, myself included, might be willing to pay that price, and even then there are some that are not, but most casual fans aren't. Digital comics are an obvious way that can help to bring down the cost of comics and, hopefully, trades as well. Of course, the comics industry would actually have to show something more than a passing interest in the idea for that to happen.
Minis Should Be Trades
A common complaint with comics, particularly with Marvel and DC comics, is that many are just chapters for the eventual trade collections and not proper single issues. This is even more true for miniseries. My question is why not just make them OGNs to begin with? I know there is a cost factor involved, but I think it would work better for the stories since they can be written a little more organically and not have to conform to arbitrary page counts per issue.
That said, I think most indie miniseries actually work well as both single issues and parts of a larger story. From what I've seen, this is mostly a problem with Marvel and DC. Obviously, event miniseries would be exempt from this since the two ideas don't work well together.
Sometimes, People Just Don't Care
Usually, when a low selling book with a cult following, think the most recent volume of Blue Beetle or Captain Britain and MI:13, is cancelled, there are usually complaints that the book was one of the better books Marvel or DC was putting out, people asking why no one was reading it, etc., etc., etc. You know the drill.
Of course, the answer is obvious. It's because no one cares. Most comic readers would rather read, for example, a mediocre or, sometimes, even a bad Batman comic rather than a really good Blue Beetle comic. Sad? Maybe, but true. People are not necessarily looking for what is the "best", but typically what they enjoy, or think they'll enjoy, the most, which is not always the same thing and, with Marvel and DC, this is usually the big name characters like Batman over newer characters like Jaime Reyes.
There's also the whole cost factor I spoke about above. If a trade was $5-9, I think more would be inclinded to pick it up compared to the $15-20 range they currently sit at. Same for a $2.99-3.99 comic. Most agree they'll enjoy their favourite character regardless of how bad a story may end up being, but few are willing to take the same chance on a new title.
If you took a look at Marvel's MAX Imprint these days, you would think it's entire purpose is to put out one Punisher book. Of course, there used a lot of potential for the MAX line. At one point, Punisher MAX, Supreme Power and Alias were all being published. That's a good foundation for a strong line, but Marvel moved two of books, Alias and Supreme Power, out of the imprint and didn't replace them with anything and wasted a lot of the potential the line had. In fact, as already mentioned, other than to publish a Punisher comic, I'm not really sure why Marvel still bothers with the whole thing. Of course, they could decide they actually want to do something with the imprint but that seems incredibly unlikely at this time.
Continuing with the idea of failed imprints, one of the problems new imprints at Marvel or DC that makes them successful is often times applied to the main lines which only serves to undermine the smaller imprint. This is a problem that the Marvel Knights and Ultimate imprints both experienced.
Marvel took a lot of what made them work, like the writers and types of stories they told, and then used them in the regular Marvel books, which only served to weaken the imprints since there was less of a reason for people to get them over the regular books.
Another perfect example of this would be Civil War and, currently, Dark Reign. There were always political undertones with a lot of the stuff in the Ultimate Universe, but when that was co-opted by the main universe, it only served to weaken the Ultimate books since they became more like the regular books and therefore gave people less reason to buy them.
Readers will probably always buy books like Amazing Spider-Man or Uncanny X-Men, but they will not always buy books like Ultimate Spider-Man or Ultimate X-Men, so giving them a reason not to just seems stupid to me.
Daredevil - Marvel Proving Grounds?
If you look at some of the most recent writers for Daredevil, you will notice that they eventually went on to bigger and better things. Brian Bendis is currently the Marvel Universe's driving force, headlining many of their biggest titles, including New Avengers and Dark Avengers, and Ed Brubaker is writing Marvel's current summer event, Captain America: Reborn, as well as The Marvels Project, which could have some big ramifications for the Marvel Universe in the future. Will upcoming Daredevil writer, Andy Diggle, be destined for a similar future?
In the November solicits, Marvel solicited two oversized collections for some recent events that either collects the entire event (Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia) or nearly all of the event (War of Kings). If Marvel deems these successful I wonder if we will see more small and medium sized events, which are the perfect size for these types of collections/mini-omnibus which is about 15 to 20 issues. Personally, I like the idea since it allows people to get all of the event for a pretty reasonable price and in a nice package.
Are the current Superman titles the perfectly monthly comics?
I'm not saying that the books, in and of themselves, are perfect, but, rather, it seems to me that the current World of New Krypton books are perfectly designed to be read in single issues. A new issue come out every week, or there about, and slowly moves the overall plot forward. They are all interconnected yet independent of each other, so you can read as few or as many as you want. You can follow the World of New Krypton main title or just Action Comics or Superman or any combination of them all and get a satisfying story without the need to collect every book. Sad thing is, it seems like DC realizes this and they now have a line wide crossover in effect to fix that "mistake".
Are there any popular characters that you just can't like no matter what?