Archie Co-CEO Says Their Periodical Comics Don’t Make Money

Brigid Alverson interviewed Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater about the year past and the one ahead. Most of it is standard promotional stuff — what came out that did well or got news coverage, what’s coming up that they want to plug — but I found this quote revelatory in its frankness:

Archie's Girls from MAC

[The monthly comics] are important in the fact that we are able to create new stories, and it’s really for us something that is more a promotional tool than something that is generating any revenue of significance. It is not generating any revenue that is meaningful, but it is a fabulous promotional vehicle for us. That is how we use the traditional comic books going forward. If we could figure out how to monetize them, that would be fabulous. I’m still trying to figure out how to make that happen.

Digital, for us, that’s the diamond mine that needs to be mined.

It’s rare that a publisher will be so honest about the fall of print, but it matches what I’ve been seeing over the past year, with declining sales and dropping titles from their lineup.

I also find it significant that their next big deal, “Archie’s Girls” makeup from MAC Cosmetics, is being promoted with art that looks like the 1940s Archie, as shown here, instead of anything more modern, especially since they want it “to rebrand Archie on a global level.” That goes along with Best of Archie doing so well for them — for a lot of people, this is a nostalgia brand.


4 Responses to “Archie Co-CEO Says Their Periodical Comics Don’t Make Money”

  1. Anthony Says:

    Least they’re being honest, though I assume it refers to the single-issue “floppy” comics not selling well—assume the digests still sell?

  2. Jim Perreault Says:

    It’s not clear about the digests, but I think he was comparing it to digital distribution. That is reaching a much bigger audience.

    A very interesting comment, indeed.

  3. Dwight Williams Says:

    I remember reading in the Toronto Star or the Ottawa Citizen about a slow resurgence in “bricks and mortar” shops of various kinds – including among shops that up to now had been strictly Internet-only – getting underway. Elsewhere, thanks in part to either Elizabeth Bear or Emma Bull over on Livejournal – I’m not sure of the details – a slow revival of the independently owned bookstore.

    Wondering if this digital growth might find a way to loop back ’round to reviving print sales down the road, given such a context.

  4. Archie Should Not Have an Earring » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] know I said before that Archie shouldn’t be using overly retro imagery to promote this effort, but this goes too [...]

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