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June 13, 2007

Comments

David Rathert

I loved the 7-11 spinner racks! Getting some new comics gave me that same excited feeling in my stomach as Christmas morning. Of course, my purchases were a whopping 60 cents per comic when I was a lad...

adam barnett

Ah, the spinner rack. I loved going to Safeway with my mom because she'd dump me there while she shopped. Comics were about a quarter each when I started, so it was pretty easy to get away with putting 5 or 6 in the cart. I *hate* that comics cost so much now. I blame the distribution method - where your purchases were just a tiny part of the grocery store's income, you are now expected to support an entire Comics Shop. I hate that for kids.

Mark Engblom

You know, one could make the argument that comics have just risen with inflation, and that proportionately a kid today is spending as much as a 1977 kid was spending for a 30¢ to 35¢ comic book...but I suspect that's not the case. The Direct Market business model really does seem to have distorted the pricing beyond normal inflation rates, in that comic book companies are now catering to a very, very narrow niche market instead of a mass market.

Sure, they're starting to play catch-up now (with trade paperbacks in bookstores), but we're definitely (and literally) paying the price for all those years of apathy from the Big Two and Diamond's distribution racket.

Siskoid

I don't think inflation is a fair excuse. In still wax romantic about the days when the change from my lunch money would pay for a comic every day (with tax, that was 83¢ Canadian in the mid-80s).

Would a kid really have more than 3$ of lunch money left every day?

Mark Engblom

Siskoid-

Thanks for the anecdote. It helps make it clearer that it's NOT the inflation excuse. You're right...the occasional comic book here and there was pretty easy to swing for a kid back then. Now? Comics definitely aren't an impulse or casual purchase.

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