Kurt Amacker in his Comicscape column on Mania points out 5 specific problems with American comic books:
1. Convoluted Continuity
2. Crossovers and Tie-Ins
3. Delays and Scheduling
4. Overemphasis on Superheroes
5. The Fans Who Encourage/Put Up With It
I think the mainstream comic book industry's investment in all of the above as a long-term strategy is a mistake. And I think the industry is sort of schizophrenic on the issue, producing a lot of the same old thing while at the same time undermining that with new stuff. Probably not so much schizophrenic as hedging their bets and seeing what shakes out.
Personally, seeing how much Big Media is putting the pressure on their print divisions to create more web content and less paper products -- with traditional print publications like TV Guide all but extinct in favor for their digital counterparts -- I don't understand how the writing on the wall could be more clear. At least as far as digital comics go.
I just don't see the changes in all these things going on in incremental baby-steps anymore. Used to be, at least where I sat, innovations were brought in and often quietly strangled in their cradle -- because they would ruffle too many feathers, cause too much awkward moments in the transitional process.
The traditional model of mainstream American comics is like planet Krypton. It's comforting, we have a lot of real estate there, and we just installed a swimming pool. But it's gonna blow.