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TheCoolinator TheCoolinator is offline
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Old Aug 16th, 2010, 06:47 PM        $2.99 for a Comic? Too Much?
Hey all,

Just opened up the ol' long boxes for another go at getting all the old back issues I neglected to purchase a decade ago and I'm finding out very quickly that inflation has turned comic book collecting into a luxurious activity. I mean, are they serious? $2.99 for a freaking comic book? I have issues in my collection that went for 25 cents back in 1966.

Does anyone have an issue with this (no pun intended ) ?

I think the ceiling for comic prices should have been $1.99, anything above this should be at least "giant" sized or something gimmicky like that.
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Old Aug 16th, 2010, 07:40 PM       
I haven't bought a comic book in over 10 years but even then they were $2.50. You should be happy that back issues are that cheap. Do you have a job that pays you in nickels and sugar packets or something?
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TheCoolinator TheCoolinator is offline
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Old Aug 16th, 2010, 07:43 PM       
I'm definitely not happy with them being over 2 dollars an issue. I think they should go back to printing them the way they used to back in the 80's / 90's. If they would go back to that manufacturing technique the prices would drop and more people would get into collecting because of it.

IMO....

OR

You can just get a subscription from DC or Marvel right from their website and they take 30 percent off. Which I think I'm going to do. Only problem with this is that your only allowed to subscribe to a finite number of titles.

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Old Aug 16th, 2010, 09:09 PM       
Didn't some show already do this joke?

The fact is that as a medium, comic books just aren't packing the punch they once did. (wizbenny brought that fact up recently here http://www.i-mockery.com/forum/showt...php?t=69704778) Webcomics, trade paperbacks, and just plain less and less interest every day are hurting monthly comic books as a whole. When you start selling less, you create less as a result, then to cut losses, you charge more per unit. It is a basic iron law of business.
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Old Aug 16th, 2010, 10:12 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.
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Old Aug 16th, 2010, 10:19 PM       
I think the internet and digital medium usurped alot of comic's marketshare. There were times when even non geekish kids would read comics to pass time on the bus or stripmall. Nowadays, its wifi, PSP and gameboys
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 12:11 AM       
There's something to what you just mentioned.

Portable game systems have pushed reading aside in the "killing time" department.

Time was you read magazines or comic books. But more and more you see people with PSPs, DS, or even their cell phones looking at that instead.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 12:56 AM       
I used to read comics on the plane to Hawaii when I was a kid, I wouldn't do that now.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 11:09 AM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizbenny View Post
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.
Nice info,

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?
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 02:30 PM       
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Only problem with this is that your only allowed to subscribe to a finite number of titles.

WHAT A CRISIS.
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TheCoolinator TheCoolinator is offline
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 07:46 PM       
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WHAT A CRISIS.
Final Crisis!
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 09:57 PM       
SODIUM FLUORIDE. GO.
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 10:04 PM       
are there comics about fluoride
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 10:16 PM       
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgCbegtw0JM

Forget fluoride, get some SMILEX!
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Old Aug 17th, 2010, 11:43 PM       
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Originally Posted by TheCoolinator View Post
Nice info,
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.
OK that's again, NOT how printing works. If they split the paper types then the cost would actually go UP.

And at BEST they'd save $0.10 MAXIMUM per issue going from glossy to crappy paper.

I could point to a lot of culprits that led us to this point... and there's no SINGLE one. A TON of mistakes have been made industry-wide over the past couple decades. From abandoning the newsstands for Direct Market, to Marvel's ill-fated purchases of numerous companies including Heroes World, to Diamond's monopolistic tactics, to stories that pander to fanboys instead of trying to reach new audiences, to the advent of video games, to, to the gouging of printers and their price-fixing tactics....

That list goes on and on. In a word, short-sightedness, greed, and an overall unwillingness to adapt are why comics are $3 and circling the toilet bowl.

They're at a point now where they frankly HAVE to charge $3 for the comic to lose LESS money. They're still losing. Make no mistake. They simply cannot afford to sell those comics for less than that.

It's sad.
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 06:10 AM       
wizbenny, you are wasting your time telling Coolie anything. He is arrogant beyond anything I have ever seen. He thinks that everything he believes is both fact and infallible. No evidence you post to the contrary will sway him.

Rather than explain it to him you should do like the rest of us and mock him mercilessly
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 11:40 AM       


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TheCoolinator TheCoolinator is offline
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 01:44 PM       
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Originally Posted by wizbenny View Post
OK that's again, NOT how printing works. If they split the paper types then the cost would actually go UP.

And at BEST they'd save $0.10 MAXIMUM per issue going from glossy to crappy paper.

I could point to a lot of culprits that led us to this point... and there's no SINGLE one. A TON of mistakes have been made industry-wide over the past couple decades. From abandoning the newsstands for Direct Market, to Marvel's ill-fated purchases of numerous companies including Heroes World, to Diamond's monopolistic tactics, to stories that pander to fanboys instead of trying to reach new audiences, to the advent of video games, to, to the gouging of printers and their price-fixing tactics....

That list goes on and on. In a word, short-sightedness, greed, and an overall unwillingness to adapt are why comics are $3 and circling the toilet bowl.

They're at a point now where they frankly HAVE to charge $3 for the comic to lose LESS money. They're still losing. Make no mistake. They simply cannot afford to sell those comics for less than that.

It's sad.
Yep,

I agree with a lot of what you said. There are way too many people at the top of the totem poll who only know how to do one thing....run the dam thing right into the ground.

Bad business decisions made at the top that negatively effect the employees, distributors, retailers, and finally us...the customers. In Manhattan I still see some comics at news stands but they are few and far between. They should have diversified their retail sectors. It shouldn't just be the comic shop that have comics it should be every single stationary store, Deli, book store, toy store, and anything else you can think of.

I like how you summed it up. Greed, short-sightedness, and overall unwillingness to adapt.

So what titles are you into? I just got back on the wagon and I've been doing my usual back issue foraging. Other than the new Warlord series I haven't really picked one to sink my teeth into.
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wizbenny wizbenny is offline
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 10:07 PM       
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are there comics about fluoride
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TheCoolinator TheCoolinator is offline
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Old Aug 20th, 2010, 01:53 AM       
I must say that is impressive.
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Old Aug 20th, 2010, 07:44 PM       
I USED TO BE ABLE TO BUY A STEAK DINNER FOR TEN CENTS
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Old Aug 20th, 2010, 10:59 PM       
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I USED TO BE ABLE TO BUY A STEAK DINNER FOR TEN CENTS
Welcome to the wonderful world of inflation.
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wizbenny wizbenny is offline
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Old Aug 21st, 2010, 12:16 AM       
Continuing the battle...

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