Aug 16th, 2010, 11:12 PM
Here's the economics of printing in the U.S.
First, the creators of any of the big 2 books charge on a PAGE RATE. At average, those rates on a 24 page book are going to cost $10,000! And that's NOT including the editorial staff or other overhead into the equation....
Next, there's the hard cost to produce a comic. The AVERAGE comic book these days sells only 10,000 - 20,000 copies. Marvel's probably paying (if they're lucky) $0.50 per book to print, but likely (by the time they add in shipping charges to the distributors) they're close to $1.
Now, the distributor takes a 10% off the COVER price as well, so we'll need to factor that in.
AND you have to give a DISCOUNT of up to 50% off the cover price to your stores (because they have to make money too.
So, add all of this up. On a $3 book... they only get $1.20 ($1.50 to the comic shop and $0.30 to the distributor). Let's go for a 20,000 selling book... So that's $24,000 gross revenue.
Remember, it COST them at LEAST $10,000 to print and at least another $5,000 to ship. Also, it cost them $10,000 for the creators. So even without overhead, they're LOSING $1,000 to print that $3 book. At most, lowering the paper grade to crap would save them $0.10 a book. That's still (at best) breaking even on a 20,000 unit comic.
So how do they make money? Well their overhead and a small profit are made on advertising... but the big money maker for them is in licensing their products. Movies, merchandise, cartoons, T-Shirts, etc.
So when you want to complain about the cost of your comic, the only people making money off of it are the distributors and retailers. And believe me, they're not making much.
Those back-issue bins full of comics? Those are all filled with tied up capital. That's money that they paid out that they may never see a return on. Many comic shops, in fact, have MORE back issues piled in the BACK. It's sad.
Nobody's screwing you, unless you want to count the print industry... in which case, I'll heartily agree.