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What the h___ is going on with comic book pricing?


yojoebro82
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First let me point out that one of the main things that is killing comics is the outrageous and unjustified pricing. Most books now are $4 per issue. Compared to this time last year, I've cut my comic buying in half.

 

Now, I was looking at the February 2011 solicitations for both marvel and DC.

 

Most all of Marvel's books are $4. Some like X-Factor, Thunderbolts, Iron Man are, for some reason, still $3. Then you have books like Uncanny X-Men, Captain America, and Wolverine that are $4 but with extra content (40 pages instead of 32)......until February, that is. That's when those three books drop back down to 32 pages. According to the solicits. Does that mean the price drops back down? Keep dreaming. They'll still be $4. The vast majority of the Marvel books are $4 per issue, every month for a standard 32 page book. WHAT keeps the price of three random (but good) books like X-Factor, Iron Man, and Thunderbolts low when the rest of the line is jacked up???

 

Now, on the flip side you have the DC books. When I looked at their Feb solicits, my jaw droped. From what I can tell, ALL of their monthly books are $3. For books like Action Comics, Detective Comics, and GL Emerald Warriors, that means a $1 decrease!

 

How can DC publish their books at a FAIR price when Marvel asks their readers to bend over and take it every month??? Must be because DC is backed by a major company like WB...can they afford to charge less? I mean, I know Marvel isn't owned by a multi billion dollar company but.....oh, wait....they ARE!

 

WTF??

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It's been a couple of years since I've collected comics, but Marvel would always use glossy paper while DC would use a cheaper kind of paper (at least it felt that way to me). It's probably not the reason, but I'm glad I got out of collecting comics. I'll pick up trades of series I like (Secret Six, Fables, Jack of Fables, etc.), but these prices are crazy.

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It's like everything else these days: paying more to get less. The reason they transition (first add more content when they bump up to $4, then drop back to 32 pages for the same price) is so people don't notice it. They're intentionally deceiving us to minimize backlash.

 

It's the same thing with groceries: increasing prices or even leaving them where they are but decreasing package size. They just don't make it very noticeable, so you don't realize you're getting less (who pays attention to how many ounces of cereal were in a standard box of Trix?).

 

I was at Target yesterday, and they're charging nearly $5 for a gallon of milk. I couldn't believe it.

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I just wait now and buy backissue lots on eBay. I practically cut down my comic collecting down to almost zero when I had my baby girl 2 years ago so there are quite a few books I need to catch up on. Luckily you can still get the books on eBay for under cost. I was even looking at some subscriptions that are about $24/12 books.

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To be fair printing is very expensive. I used to be a reporter and now I'm in the construction field. In both instances paper is a costly item, obviously why newspapers are switching to Web Sites and construction documents are sent electronically so someone else has to print them out.

 

However, two years ago when I was actively buying comics and they began to shoot up to $4, I noticed it was only a select few titles. Namely first issues and guaranteed reads like New Avengers. In my opinion that was kinda sh*tty on Marvel's end.

 

I don't recall DC doing this at the time but I could be wrong. But from what YoJoe is saying I'm probably right.

 

And YoJoe, I would define Marvel's parent company Disney as a major company.

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It's been a couple of years since I've collected comics, but Marvel would always use glossy paper while DC would use a cheaper kind of paper (at least it felt that way to me). It's probably not the reason, but I'm glad I got out of collecting comics. I'll pick up trades of series I like (Secret Six, Fables, Jack of Fables, etc.), but these prices are crazy.

 

Marvel jacks up the price of their trades too.

 

Look at the price of a DC HC and count the number of issues in it. It usually adds up more than the price of individual issues. Basically if I wasn't clear I'm saying it's cheaper to wait for a collected edition.

 

Marvel HC are usually the opposite. If I recall it was Joe Quesada who instituted the collected edition barrage we see today so that doesn't surprise me.

 

I just finished that mess called Blackest Night. I will read Siege over the holiday break and with the exception of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I think I'm going to be finished with comics for a while.

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I've noticed they're releasing the collected editions much sooner than they used to. I think that's because they realized people would wait for the trade paperbacks rather than buy all the issues. It figures they'd bump up the prices on those, too.

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And YoJoe, I would define Marvel's parent company Disney as a major company.

 

Oh, I would as well, that was sarcasm on my part.

 

I'm still not seeing an answer for why DC can keeps its books low and Marvel feels the need to rip you off. I must assume that there is none and the only reason they do it is because people will still pay...which is BS.

 

I've cut books that have risen in price to $4. This unfortunately includes Uncanny X Men which is sad seeing as how I'm a huge X Men fan, but I'm done. I assume I'll be priced out of the hobby before long.

 

Sad.

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And YoJoe, I would define Marvel's parent company Disney as a major company.

 

Oh, I would as well, that was sarcasm on my part.

 

I'm still not seeing an answer for why DC can keeps its books low and Marvel feels the need to rip you off. I must assume that there is none and the only reason they do it is because people will still pay...which is BS.

 

I've cut books that have risen in price to $4. This unfortunately includes Uncanny X Men which is sad seeing as how I'm a huge X Men fan, but I'm done. I assume I'll be priced out of the hobby before long.

 

Sad.

 

I can't give you an answer other than they probably do want to rip you off.

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It's been a couple of years since I've collected comics, but Marvel would always use glossy paper while DC would use a cheaper kind of paper (at least it felt that way to me). It's probably not the reason, but I'm glad I got out of collecting comics. I'll pick up trades of series I like (Secret Six, Fables, Jack of Fables, etc.), but these prices are crazy.

 

Marvel jacks up the price of their trades too.

 

Look at the price of a DC HC and count the number of issues in it. It usually adds up more than the price of individual issues. Basically if I wasn't clear I'm saying it's cheaper to wait for a collected edition.

 

Marvel HC are usually the opposite. If I recall it was Joe Quesada who instituted the collected edition barrage we see today so that doesn't surprise me.

 

I just finished that mess called Blackest Night. I will read Siege over the holiday break and with the exception of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I think I'm going to be finished with comics for a while.

That's true, but I always get my trades from Amazon or when online stores have sales so I don't pay the cover price.

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It's been a couple of years since I've collected comics, but Marvel would always use glossy paper while DC would use a cheaper kind of paper (at least it felt that way to me). It's probably not the reason, but I'm glad I got out of collecting comics. I'll pick up trades of series I like (Secret Six, Fables, Jack of Fables, etc.), but these prices are crazy.

 

Marvel jacks up the price of their trades too.

 

Look at the price of a DC HC and count the number of issues in it. It usually adds up more than the price of individual issues. Basically if I wasn't clear I'm saying it's cheaper to wait for a collected edition.

 

Marvel HC are usually the opposite. If I recall it was Joe Quesada who instituted the collected edition barrage we see today so that doesn't surprise me.

 

I just finished that mess called Blackest Night. I will read Siege over the holiday break and with the exception of Buffy the Vampire Slayer I think I'm going to be finished with comics for a while.

That's true, but I always get my trades from Amazon or when online stores have sales so I don't pay the cover price.

 

No of course one should do that. In this day and age there's really no reason why anyone should pay full price for any kind of book. That wasn't really what I was trying to point out.

 

Those books are a price tag minus a certain percentage. And what I'm saying is Marvel jacks up the price of their trades. You could get it for less if they weren't so greedy.

 

I should say that the tpb's shouldn't be more expensive than the issues that total it (meaning if it has nine issues and they were $3 apiece, the trade should be $27).

 

But then again I'm the one who said printing is expensive, so who knows. All I know is DC collections are generally cheaper than Marvel's.

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Marvel charges more for their books because people pay more for their books. As soon as it becomes cost prohibitive and sales dip below their expectations, the prices will drop. But since that isn't happening and their books are selling the same Marvel's prices will remain high.

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Marvel charges more for their books because people pay more for their books. As soon as it becomes cost prohibitive and sales dip below their expectations, the prices will drop. But since that isn't happening and their books are selling the same Marvel's prices will remain high.

 

I've been a believer of that for some time. Companies charge more because they know people will still buy (I believe the same absolutely holds true for action figures, but that's a different story).

 

I hate to say it, and I'm not trying to knock anyone here who buys multiple titles a week, but a lot of fanboys are tools. Even with the increased prices, I can still go to a comic store and find fans who go down the rows and grab just about one of everything without even looking inside, bring a stack to the register, and ring up a bill of $50, $60, $80....just for that week!!! They don't care about the price, they just take the hit.

 

As long as that's the case, there will be no price decrease.

 

I think the only hope would be the competition, like DC, keeping their prices low so that MAYBE fans buy their books instead....like Target vs Walmart. Wouldn't hurt for some other publishers to bring their prices down too.

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I'm one of those guys that drops $50 a week. ;)

 

But I also recognize overpriced crap and will wait and pick those books up once they go into the 50 cent bins. And hunting for back issues is half the fun of collecting. Since I already own just about everything released since 1985, I have to artificially create something to hunt for by skipping certain new books when they come out. :D

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DC announced at NYCC that they were cutting all books back to 32 pages and that they would make all (regular) books 2.99. This means no more back up stories, but all books would be "fairly" priced.

Marvel announced the same deal the next day.

Annuals and specials and deluxe books would naturally be higher priced, but most monthlies will remain at 2.99 for the foreseeable future.

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DC announced at NYCC that they were cutting all books back to 32 pages and that they would make all (regular) books 2.99. This means no more back up stories, but all books would be "fairly" priced.

Marvel announced the same deal the next day.

Annuals and specials and deluxe books would naturally be higher priced, but most monthlies will remain at 2.99 for the foreseeable future.

 

Say whaaaaattt????

 

If that's true about MArvel then I'm a happy camper and everyone can ignore my bitching :D

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That's not quite what Marvel has said and they have got quite a bit of flack from the fans community for it. First what DC said is that they are going to price all DC books at $2.99 but that storys will go from 22 pages a month to 20 pages. Marvel then made a statement saying that all new series and most new mini's will be priced at $2.99 for 22 pages but that it might not stick to that price point on all new books. So basicly, DC will all be priced at $2.99 and Marvel is going to keep the prices where they are except on new titles debuting in and after Jan 2011.

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Comic books are dying because Moms aren't going to pay that amount of money for those books. Since the advent of the direct market, the hobby as a whole never understood who controlled the household money. Yes, it takes household money for little Jimmy to buy a stack of comic books. Pamplet comics are dying. Who really collects monthly books? I say complete death within ten years. Digital content downloaded to a tablet is the future for reading a monthly title.

 

For adults, collecting coffee table art books is the future of the hobby. There is something about holding a DC Absolute volume or art book in your hands. A digital picture does not compare. It's probably very blue state elitist, but true.

 

 

Comic book stores are evolving into media stores with tpbs, hardcovers,props/replicas, toys, dvds, posters/prints, and statues. Back issues will quietly die in the back of the store.

If these stores play their cards right, they will make the atmosphere very mommy friendly. "Will that be credit or debit?"

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C

omic books are dying because Moms aren't going to pay that amount of money for those books. Since the advent of the direct market, the hobby as a whole never understood who controlled the household money. Yes, it takes household money for little Jimmy to buy a stack of comic books. Pamplet comics are dying. Who really collects monthly books? I say complete death within ten years. Digital content downloaded to a tablet is the future for reading a monthly title.

 

Kids don't buy comics anymore. They haven't for almost 20 years now--the industry acknowledged this a LONG time ago. Yeah, they still publish some titles for kids........but look hard at those books......they don't sell a lot, and there's not a lot of them. The primary market is all adults.

 

Digital comics are going to be the thing of the future. Going digital cuts out the two most expensive aspects of the medium: printing and distribution. With those gone, comics can IN THEORY be offered digitally for $1 per issue. There's a point of diminishing returns with print that says that cover-price, advertising costs, and production costs ( printing/distributing) will add up to price comics out of their audience.

By going all-digital, the talent on the books can offer the same production values, up the pages counts as needed.....and offer books to subscribers at cover-prices lower than what they are today, while making it viable to do the books in the first place.

Everyone wants more for less, and the easier it is to buy and read comics on-line....the more people will LIKELY flock to them.

All the publishers have to do is get readers to give up their love of paper.....

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