Originally Posted by wizbenny
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.
I know what you mean regarding the piles of back-issues. I know a comic shop that doesn't even deal with the older stuff anymore. He has no space for it. He just put them all in the backroom and will probably sell them by the box when he finally closes up shop for good. I can't even imagine having that much overhead after I purchase a lot of comics from a distributor.
Regarding the whole printing / manufacturing stuff. I really think they need to drop the quality of some of these comic books. End the use of high gloss paper, end the use of expensive inks, we don't need any of that. I fully enjoy 80's / 90's manufactured comic books equally if not more than the ones out today. I think they should have both and let the people decide on which they want to buy.
but know that I think of it, the real crux of the issue here is that (and correct me if I'm wrong) but not many people are buying comic books these days. If more people would buy them then the prices would go down. They would have more sales, more variety, and so forth. I think we've come to the point of diminishing returns here. A little comic book that should be worth a $1, $1.50, is now $2.99. Now, I know that if I buy 3 comic books that $9 dollars and do you know what else is $9 dollars? A used video game, a book that has over 300 pages in it, gas money for the car, a shirt, and the list goes on and on.
Comic books were great when you can throw a dollar and change on the counter and have something to flip through and collect but like I said before...we're at the point where every comic book that someone buys they probably get this euphoric feeling initially but then when they are done with it they ask themselves.....did I really just spend 3 dollars on this?