Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Comics Need To Be More Disposable


This week, DC Comics released solicitations for their July releases. I immediately noticed that a number of titles had jumped from $2.99 to $3.99. I noticed the pattern was this seemed to only hit the monthly books. The titles DC releases every 2 weeks still have the $2.99 price point. Other than the inclusion of a code to redeem for a free digital copy of the book, there is no other indication there are any additional story pages for the extra dollar.

 

Comics are too expensive.

 

I’m old enough to remember that for $3.99, I could buy up to 20 different comic books. 400 pages of story and art. $3.99 for a mere 20?

 

I’ll say it again: Comics are too expensive.

 

I’m not some old fogey in a cardigan puffing pensively on a pipe while muttering about how things used to be. Prices go up on things! That’s the way the economy works! I don’t expect to buy my comic books for a mere 20 cents an issue. Those days were gone by 1975!

 

But…

 

Comic books used to be a more disposable form of entertainment. Comics would get rolled up in back pockets to be read, maybe re-read, the discarded or passed on to a friend or kid brother. Jerry Seinfeld once said that TV Guide was the most tossed magazine in the country. Behind TV Guide were comics. That’s why old comics are so expensive, because the good ones in good condition are so rare.

 

Today, you’re not going to spend $3.99 on a comic and roll it up in your back pocket. 

 

Comics are not made to be disposable anymore. Printed on slick paper with sleek production values, comic books are made to be collected, not read. And therein lies the problem. Comics are pricing themselves out of their own future.

 

A few yerars ago, DC put out an excellent limited series called Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures In the 8th Grade. My daughter loved these comics. She read them and read them again until they were in liquid form. I paid good money for those comics and she wore them out. But I wasn’t bothered. She was enjoying the hell out of those books. She could care less about variant covers and digital coloring.

 
We need more books like that, comics that kids can wear out. In order for comic books to last, we need more of them to be disposable

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