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View Full Version : Has the economy hurt comic sales?


CessnaDriver
08-10-2009, 02:09 AM
That question gets asked here from time to time.
Lots of anecdotal evidence and negative thoughts are generally expressed, but I never really saw any data that suggested the bottom was falling out of the market, rather holding steady or slow growth.

So I have eagerly awaited the latest chart updates.

One thing for sure, trade paperbacks are growing in popularity.

http://www.comichron.com/vitalstatistics/alltime.html

http://www.comichron.com/vitalstatistics/graphs/AM1Units.jpg

http://www.comichron.com/vitalstatistics/graphs/AM3TPB.jpg

http://www.comichron.com/vitalstatistics/graphs/AM4CT.jpg

protector2814
08-10-2009, 10:34 AM
I'd love to see the industry take a substantial hit, forcing them to readdress their bottom-line costs as if a gun were at their head. A few of us have waxed nostalgically about a return to newsprint and cheaper production costs, but I for one really mean it. This whole Wednesdays Comics book and experiment has reminded me just how good art can look on cheaper paper. Bring back staples, newsprint, bi-monthly books if you have to; anything to lower the costs of my funny books. I want this industry to continue on, and that also means making it affordable to new readers.
Salaries for writers and artists who repeatedly churn their books out late, should be lowered to reflect this.
I simply can not afford to buy many of the books I'd like to. I sometimes feel foolish paying $4 for a comic I read in 10 minutes. Enough is enough.

Teague
08-10-2009, 11:12 AM
I'd love to see the industry take a substantial hit, forcing them to readdress their bottom-line costs as if a gun were at their head. A few of us have waxed nostalgically about a return to newsprint and cheaper production costs, but I for one really mean it. This whole Wednesdays Comics book and experiment has reminded me just how good art can look on cheaper paper. Bring back staples, newsprint, bi-monthly books if you have to; anything to lower the costs of my funny books. I want this industry to continue on, and that also means making it affordable to new readers.
Salaries for writers and artists who repeatedly churn their books out late, should be lowered to reflect this.
I simply can not afford to buy many of the books I'd like to. I sometimes feel foolish paying $4 for a comic I read in 10 minutes. Enough is enough.

Ditto.

There are also lots of crutches that the current industry now relies on in order to make up the difference between the old audience (larger, more diverse, younger) and the new (specialized, older). Mini-series and "event" books have become de rigeur for the big two, because it basically allows them to artificially increase the numbers of books sold.

CocoPUFF
08-10-2009, 11:27 AM
the economy hasn't hurt it enough in my opinion. 4 bucks a book is absolutely stupid! When I started collecting in the mid 80's I remember buying 15 books for under 15 bucks! I know that its the nature of economy for prices to go up to reflect current cost of living and inflation, but 4 bucks???!!! 15 books nowadays will come in just under 60 bucks! I remember thinking Dark horse was out of their mind charging 2.50 for a book! Oh well. Its bad enough they lose readers all the time, but nowadays alot of people just can't afford to read comics anymore unless you collect just a couple of titles a month. I think printed comics will be a thing of the past pretty soon. Its going to cost too much to print them, hardly anyone will be buying, so they'll have no choice but to submit. Only the die hards are buying comics nowadays. I don't even see kids in my LCS which has made me think about the marketing of these books nowadays. Kids just dont read comics anymore like they used to. They've managed to lose the demographic that got them where they are today as far as reading comics goes. But they cater to them now in the form of movies and action figures. Just some random thoughts...

protector2814
08-10-2009, 11:27 AM
Ditto.

There are also lots of crutches that the current industry now relies on in order to make up the difference between the old audience (larger, more diverse, younger) and the new (specialized, older). Mini-series and "event" books have become de rigeur for the big two, because it basically allows them to artificially increase the numbers of books sold.

I so agree ... and really feel I'm being played like a fiddle. I wasn't born yesterday yet feel like I'm being punished for even signing on to events like Blackest Night. I'll not being suckered into buying all the scraps connected to it so, I'll end up paying more than $100 for an incomplete story. Thanks big two...thanks a lot. Lower your freakin's costs...figure it out soon 'cause this is crazy. I sometimes find Silver & Bronzed -aged at shows cheaper than the cover price of new books.

CessnaDriver
08-10-2009, 12:16 PM
It is interesting that other industrys offer incentives and the comic industry does not.

Free comic book day is all there is.

If they could paint themselves as a cheaper alternative to movies....

But they cannot. How many comics does it take to get two hours of entertainment?
At least you have something to collect after you read it is the benefit.

THECLOWN KNIGHT
08-10-2009, 01:47 PM
Comic Sales? Comic readers I say.

Another factor we have to consider is the Quality of the Book/Title/Comic. I know that times change, prices change but the majority of them are NOT worthy the retail price.

tedmic
08-10-2009, 02:17 PM
I think twice before shelling out $4 a comic. I buy about 2 comics a week on average. I am amazed at those who get 12-15 issues a week!

Fannymac
08-10-2009, 03:21 PM
Yep, the comic industry has hurt itself....rising prices (the back-up stories at DC are pointless....they've tried this two or three times before....IT DOESN'T WORK!!!!), "events" that go on forever, that don't lead anywhere and cross over WAY too much, and the general attitude of writers and artists who are so busy with other projects that could give a damn about getting a book out on time.....no, the industry has hurt the industry!
(Oh, yeah....and the attention span of the younger generation just isn't what it used to be....reading is now somewhat passe!)

bat_collector
08-10-2009, 04:57 PM
I think they need to explore options on making comics cheaper

nbr3bagshotrow
08-10-2009, 05:32 PM
Paying full value for books is unthinkable!:D

Vince-Vell
08-10-2009, 05:36 PM
Wonder what the hell the suits are thinking when they raised the books to $4. Hell even when they were raised to $2.50 i had to limit myself, $4 is like a nail in the coffin for a lot of people on budgets.

protector2814
08-10-2009, 05:41 PM
Then these same suits, artists, writers and editors go to the big Summer cons and are treated to thousands of adoring fans telling them how great their events, stories, art and books are. They go back to NYC thinking that they're the bee's knees and bump their books up fifty cents or charge a ton more to grace a book w/ their presence.

Egos are killing this industry. They think if "They Build It...We'll Come". and we do.

Mad4Busts
08-10-2009, 05:48 PM
I am down to 5 books per month. The $4 per book made me trim. I used to buy around 30 titles per month.
Green Lantern
Amazing Spiderman
Fantastic Four
Uncanny Xmen
Cable


There are a ton of characters I would love to follow, but now I have to follow writers I enjoy and move on when they leave.

ratchet
08-10-2009, 05:52 PM
Wonder what the hell the suits are thinking when they raised the books to $4. Hell even when they were raised to $2.50 i had to limit myself, $4 is like a nail in the coffin for a lot of people on budgets.

My friend talked to a source at Marvel who told him that he was at the meeting discussing the price hike - and it was not due to economy or paper price - it was just about the bottom line - just plain profit. That's why only the more popular books got hit with the price increase - because they knew people would still pick them up.

patrickwm68
08-10-2009, 06:03 PM
I used to spend about $150.00 to $200.00 a month on books, now I'm down to about $50-$60.

THECLOWN KNIGHT
08-10-2009, 06:05 PM
My friend talked to a source at Marvel who told him that he was at the meeting discussing the price hike - and it was not due to economy or paper price - it was just about the bottom line - just plain profit. That's why only the more popular books got hit with the price increase - because they knew people would still pick them up.

The Awful Truth.

McLovin'
08-10-2009, 10:47 PM
I can tell you firsthand that it's hurt some companies' ability to take a chance on new talent and new properties...

:(

Davidian
08-11-2009, 01:04 AM
I used to spend about $150.00 to $200.00 a month on books, now I'm down to about $50-$60.

Yep same here, unless I see a few trades that I missed or that just came out...then I'm spending a little more.

rilynil
08-11-2009, 01:26 AM
I couldn't afford to buy as many comics as I did as a kid if I were a kid today. I probably should cut back but I'm just not willing to. I try to spend no more than $50 a week on comics, but I frequently go over by $10 or $20. I just love comics too much.

supahman
08-11-2009, 07:16 AM
Uggh.. my pull list this week is huge.. :banghead:

And with the Singapore Con this week.. ( My first con:D ) i dunno.. i think i am gonna inject some cash into the economy.. :thumbs2:

twoferflinchin
08-11-2009, 02:32 PM
I'll live off of Mac & Cheese if I have to, but I ain't skippin' my comics!

ABDGUY
08-11-2009, 03:39 PM
If it was for online stores like DCBS I would have got out of comics a long time ago.....

Primal
08-12-2009, 10:03 PM
http://www.comichron.com/vitalstatistics/graphs/AM1Units.jpg

Man. The industry really took a hit after the clone saga in 1996 :confused2

Lord Loki
08-12-2009, 10:34 PM
My Lcs just stoped getting new books in an went to an outlet type store. Cus of how much the orders were as to what they were making.

CessnaDriver
08-12-2009, 10:40 PM
Man. The industry really took a hit after the clone saga in 1996 :confused2

Would love to see the data back to pre Burton Batman. Things really exploded then, I remember comic shops popping up all over.

Primal
08-12-2009, 10:45 PM
Would love to see the data back to pre Burton Batman. Things really exploded then, I remember comic shops popping up all over.

When Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane & Rob Liefeld (yes, he was huge back then kids) came to prominence the comic shops really went into overdrive.