The [irrational & annoying] price of comics.

Ice

Teh Sexy Monkey Queen
I know we have had a thread on this before, but I think it's a really old one and of course the search isn't helpful at the moment.


But LitG reports:


So. To $3.99 or not to $3.99? That is the question that Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image are facing. A number already have certain monthly comics at that price level... but will their whole line join them soon?

Marvel are to set the price of a small handful of top-selling regular monthly books, including "New Avengers" and "Dark Avengers" (but not "Mighty Avengers") at $3.99. The intent is that the price rise here will keep other ongoing titles in the Marvel Universe at $2.99, which should come as a welcome relief to many.

The $3.99 books will be defined as "event titles" to keep interest in them as high as possible. There will be considerable marketing push behind them, presumably on the basis that there were few price complaints and lots of sales for the likes of "Secret Invasion," "World War Hulk" and "Final Crisis."

There has been some commentary that Marvel's publishing is already in a good way, with a 40% profit margin on their titles already. However, as a publically traded body, their responsibility is to their shareholders. Which means maximising revenue - not without an eye on the long term, but certainly finding a balance. If enough people are willing to pay $3.99 for specific kinds of comics, then it's Marvel's duty as a company to charge that price.

And Top Cow's statement guaranteeing their books would stay at $2.99 in 2009 did read to a cynical comics commentator as myself as "Top Cow To Raise Price Of All Comics To $3.99 In 2010"...

"Watchmensch" will be $3.99. And it's black and white. It's disgusting, it really is.

Now comics are an in-elastic commodity - doubling the price doesn't mean you halve the sales. So many comic shops may find they bring in more money overall. This may however reduce the amount of customers shopping to some extent and further marginalise the comics consumer base. Some may jump to waiting for the trade. Others may drop buying comics completely.

At some point, we’re going to find out.




So it looks like the comics in February are indeed priced at $4 for those certain issues for still 32 pages with ads. But the whole "only certain issues for 3.99 to help other books stay at 2.99" is the same thing Marvel said for when 2.99 became the new price form 2.50. The 2.99 for the other books won't last for very long after February.
 

SSJmole

Face-Punching As Foreign Policy
Re: The rising price of comics.

If the prices stay up then they should STOP the cross-comic continuity events. Imagine say Civil war at in your money $4 an issue and they make you get all issues to know what the hell is going on.
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
Re: The rising price of comics.

"Event titles". Pathetic.

I guess I'll stick to downloading.
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
Re: The rising price of comics.

The key, as stated, is that if there are enough people willing to pay it, Marvel has a duty to its shareholders to charge that.

I would almost bet that there AREN'T enough people willing to pay that.

2.50 to 2.99 wasn't too bad because it was half a dollar, times weren't too tough, and, oh yeah, books didn't suck for the most part.

But they are putting out an inferior product at a time when people are cutting back on this type of spending. It's asinine.

I too hate the "event title" mentality but I get why it has to be done. Like the article says, they have to appease the stockholders. Events make money, plain and simple. It would be nice if the events weren't total **** like has been the case for the last 3 years or so, but there are enough fanboys out there that will buy the books regardless.

I just don't think they're going to do so for $3.99.
 

ultimatedjf

Well-Known Member
Re: The rising price of comics.

For now, I'll still be purchasing all the comics I usually do, thanks to the 20% off discount at my LCS. But once it goes past $3.99, I'll probably start to think about switching to trades.
 

Jaggyd

The member formerly known as skotti-chan
Re: The rising price of comics.

I switched to trades a while back, it's generally the better deal.
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
Re: The rising price of comics.

I switched to trades a while back, it's generally the better deal.

I did too, and yes, it is. Especially from Amazon/UC Store on new releases, whic are often 35% off or so and free shipping over $25.
 

SSJmole

Face-Punching As Foreign Policy
Re: The rising price of comics.

I did too, and yes, it is. Especially from Amazon/UC Store on new releases, whic are often 35% off or so and free shipping over $25.


Oh E and your cheap plugs of the UC store :lol:
 

Jaggyd

The member formerly known as skotti-chan
Re: The rising price of comics.

I still wish they'd collect the original New Mutants into trade.
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
Re: The rising price of comics.

See, I've always believe that the best way to resolve the increasing prices of mainstream comics is to develop renewable comics sources that are not only sustainable, but do not adversely impact the environment.

To that end, I suggest stabilizing the prices of mainstream comics through the form of a non-revenue tax so as to encourage the development of comics and stabilize the market so that any comics maker who can create material at a price below the set price, they have essentially developed a market competitive renewable comics alternative.

(/policy wonk)
 

SSJmole

Face-Punching As Foreign Policy
Re: The rising price of comics.

See, I've always believe that the best way to resolve the increasing prices of mainstream comics is to develop renewable comics sources that are not only sustainable, but do not adversely impact the environment.

To that end, I suggest stabilizing the prices of mainstream comics through the form of a non-revenue tax so as to encourage the development of comics and stabilize the market so that any comics maker who can create material at a price below the set price, they have essentially developed a market competitive renewable comics alternative.

(/policy wonk)


Like Marvel's digital comic service?
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
Re: The rising price of comics.

See, I've always believe that the best way to resolve the increasing prices of mainstream comics is to develop renewable comics sources that are not only sustainable, but do not adversely impact the environment.

To that end, I suggest stabilizing the prices of mainstream comics through the form of a non-revenue tax so as to encourage the development of comics and stabilize the market so that any comics maker who can create material at a price below the set price, they have essentially developed a market competitive renewable comics alternative.

(/policy wonk)

I hate when I can't tell if you're joking or now.
 

Ice

Teh Sexy Monkey Queen
Re: The rising price of comics.

From Marvel's NYCC Mondo Marvel Panel:

- Why are the prices of comics so high?

Quesada
: "There's an argument. When you look at the amount of work that goes into a comic book. We tend to ghettoize ourselves. We do everything we can to keep our prices down. But we live under this crucible that comics used to be ten cents. But when you look at the amount of effort and manpower and artistic talent that it goes into it, it really is a miracle that we can produce them for $2.99 and $3.99. There are lots of other places to go for artists and writings to make more money. But the truth of the matter is I remember handing a comic book to an executive who was dumbfounded that we could produce it for $2.99. I think we suffer from that. I'm not saying we should be charging twenty bucks an issue, but we do work really really hard to keep it at $2.99 and $3.99."







"We tend to ghettoize ourselves."

Hahaha! :lol:
 

Gemini

Well-Known Member
Re: The rising price of comics.

Wow, for once Q actually might have a point

it costs alot to attract talent to comics and I'm not even talking the big names

Koi Pham used to be a lawyer for example, he quit to follow this path, now I imagine he's taken a bit of a pay cut, but come on. and Koi's not exactly that fantastic an artist anyway.
 

E

Moderator
Excelsior Club
Re: The rising price of comics.

Wow, for once Q actually might have a point

He's not doing much but rationalizing the massive and needless increase in price from the 90s, both shortly before and during the Ronald O. Perelman years (and made worse with the idiotic hologram and die-cut covers). Comics have not increased in price at a rate equal to the rate of inflation.
 

Gemini

Well-Known Member
Re: The rising price of comics.

He's not doing much but rationalizing the massive and needless increase in price from the 90s, both shortly before and during the Ronald O. Perelman years (and made worse with the idiotic hologram and die-cut covers). Comics have not increased in price at a rate equal to the rate of inflation.

I was mainly impressed that he got a whole paragraph out without saying "status quo" "upside down" "nuff said" or ....well you get my point
 

ourchair

Well-Known Member
Re: The rising price of comics.

From Marvel's NYCC Mondo Marvel Panel:

- Why are the prices of comics so high?

Quesada
: "There's an argument. When you look at the amount of work that goes into a comic book. We tend to ghettoize ourselves. We do everything we can to keep our prices down. But we live under this crucible that comics used to be ten cents. But when you look at the amount of effort and manpower and artistic talent that it goes into it, it really is a miracle that we can produce them for $2.99 and $3.99. There are lots of other places to go for artists and writings to make more money. But the truth of the matter is I remember handing a comic book to an executive who was dumbfounded that we could produce it for $2.99. I think we suffer from that. I'm not saying we should be charging twenty bucks an issue, but we do work really really hard to keep it at $2.99 and $3.99."
See everything Joey Q says makes sense if you actually replace $2.99 with $1.25 and $3.99 with $1.95.

Considering that $1.25 was merely two cans of soda in the late 80s to early 90s, the price of comics rose faster than the rate of inflation. The only way I can really rationalize comic prices now to people in the Philippines is by reminding them that the dollar-inflation is at work these days, an that comics are now under a "periodicals tax" which is cheaper than when they were taxed as luxury merchandise.

Also... "I remember handing a comic book to an executive who was dumbfounded that we could produce it for $2.99."
I'm guessing that this executive never has a problem making the rent.
 

SSJmole

Face-Punching As Foreign Policy
Re: The rising price of comics.

I believe the reason the prices have increased is because the price of paper has increased since the trees followed the writers strike idea and demanded they get paid higher for their work. Here is proof :



Take note at how the trees are standing there doing nothing. This is because they were on strike. And that is why comics cost more.
 
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