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November 17, 2008


David Morefield

No, I won't quit at $3.99. But only because I already quit at $1.95. Given that the only things that don't end up in a trade paperback are the three or four books a year even Marvel and DC can see for the garbage they are, there's no point in ever buying a monthly.

In fairness, though, I still remember swearing comics off when they went up to 35 cents. So it did take a while to wear me down. It didn't help that quality seems inversely related to cost.

Wes C

I stopped buying singles on a regular basis in the early 90's. I think the price was either $1.00 or $1.25 when I got out of comics. Of course it wasn't the price that made me abandon ship - blame that on age and the "imagization" of the mainstream field.

I found the prices prohibitive when I felt it was ok to return, I 've bought maybe 6 singles in the last 10 years.

I'm still amazed that a comic could pick up new readers at the prices they charge now - $3.99 just seems that much more likely to turn a kid off from getting into comics.

I know printing is expensive, but is there no way to keep the price down on some titles?
Just as a way to get new readers on board?

One more nail in the coffin of the medium?

Mark Engblom

" $3.99 just seems that much more likely to turn a kid off from getting into comics."

Sad thing is, I don't think they're even thinking about the kid market anymore. That ship seems to have sailed at some point in the mid to late 90's.

"I know printing is expensive, but is there no way to keep the price down on some titles?"

I'm fine with lower quality paper (such as the stock they use for DC's Billy Batson) but, again, I think that ship has sailed, in the sense that the ultra-deluxe coloring technology requires a glossy stock to justify the cost...so it all becomes a self-perpetuating, locked-in format with very little room for price variation.

"One more nail in the coffin of the medium?"

Absolutely. I will probably keep buying comics, though I'll cut back on the number of titles to keep my costs the same (or less). I'll definintely stick with the Superman titles (especially with their high quality of storytelling these days) and Justice Society...but beyond those titles, all bets are off.

Ralph C.

I believe there are a line of comics, at least at Marvel, that are for kids (I think it's called "Marvel Adventures") that have a lower price.

I do think it's true, though, that the days of catering to younger kids is long gone, and comics have gone more towards an older audience, for they have the income levels possible to afford the books. There's printing costs, of course, plus the cost of the talent (who get a higher level of pay if they are high-profile).

There will be a day, way, way in the future, where mainstream comics will not be printed by the comic companies. They will be available digitally only. We see the seeds of this at Marvel right now, don't we? There will always be those who print comics, those being your independent or underground creators who will use whatever archaic ways are still available to do so. The comic book shop as we know it will be gone, perhaps replaced by a thrift-shop kind of thing, where you can find old comics as well as other ancient artifacts of long-gone eras of technology and pop-culture. We'll be long dead by the time this becomes wide-spread (yes, yes... no need to tell me how comforting a thought this is).

It will take a couple of generations for this to become a reality. The portable devices one might use to read comics are still in their infant stages. The adaptation, the wide-spread acceptance of this type of delivery system for our reading pleasure, will take a long time. Some say the physical act of holding a comic and turning its pages is nearly as wonderful as the reading of the comic, itself. That's why it will take a long, long time for the adaptation, as there has to be a culture, a society, that is very far along into the adaptation of reading stuff on electronic portable devices.

I don't buy many monthlies now and it will be that much harder for me to want to do so. If I find there are enough comics that I like that are available in digital form, and they are cheaper, then I can see myself purchasing them in that format.

If I am right, and if digitization becomes the norm, what will happen to the comic collectors, those who collect the printed material in the hopes of it becoming more valuable? That will pass on, too. The extinction of two sets of people-- collectors and comic shop owners. What will become of them?

Thoughts? Is the writer of this comment a crackpot? What does he know??? Thanks.


I'm definitely out if the norm becomes $3.99. You would think a digital option would be available at a lesser price by now (since printing is no longer a cost and the distribution model is much much cheaper).

ShadowWing Tronix

Unfortunately, I already have been paying those prices, but Transformers and Doctor Who are comics I can't let go. I'm wondering if I'll keep getting the Ghostbusters comic, though.

However, I gave up on Marvel (except for Adventures titles) and DC a long time ago for non-price reasons.


I'm fortunate to have a decent enough income (and a pathetic enough life that I don't have a lot of competing expenses) that a price hike probably *wouldn't* affect me much. As long as I don't go totally nuts and buy every Omnibus/Absolute/Archive/Masterworks thingy that strikes my fancy or somesuch, I can pretty much afford whatever I'm interested in.

I probably would accelerate something I'm already doing, which is shifting a lot of purchases that aren't for "main line" DC Universe titles to trades.

John Nowak

My comic book purchases in dollars are down -- way down -- over the last year or so. It really hasn't been a conscious decision: it's much more to do with not having a lot of interest in what's coming out. But there's always someone saying that, isn't there?

The Mutt

I had a subscription to Star Spangled War Stories back in the 12 cent days. The comics were mailed to me folded in half lengthwise, creased, and slipped in a brown paper sleeve.

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