Robot 6

The Fifth Color | Mr. Brevoort, Tear Down These Prices!

How Many of These Will You Have to Read?

Robot 6′s Charismatic Mr. Collins assisted Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort in asking a particular question back on Monday to our assembled Robot readers. After hearing a lot of frazzled fans at this year’s Baltimore Comic-Con, Mr. Brevoort wants to know what readers think of event books. Enough news and views have happened in the week, but this question is super important and cannot be ignored by Yours Truly.

Event books are a touchy subject. One one hand, they sell a lot of comics based on the sturm und drang of their stories; on the other hand, they ruin a sense of stability for the reader. Some of them have been truly game-changing events, and others have been World War Hulk. Now, you can dress up an event book in the uniform of a particular character and call them more ‘localized’ events like Curse of the Mutants and Shadowland, but people picking them up off the shelves and taking them to the sales counter know what they really are: an event book, just like all the others have been.

I would like to thank Mr. Brevoort for being brave enough to unleash such a subject into the wilds of the internet. We of the internets are an opinionated and passionate bunch who will tell you exactly what we think (sometimes to our own detriment). Event books are the holofoil covers of our time, just another way to promote a book and perpetuate interest, and it’s cool that a Real Live Editor(tm) might really want to know how much interest they’re perpetuating. I hope he reads each and every one of our readers wonderful comments; I know I’ll be certainly going over a lot of the stuff they originally said over here but in the end, it’s all going to come down to one answer.

This answer will make both long-time readers happy, interest new readers and generate sales in the long term for our House of Ideas. It will slice, dice and also make Julian fries. The answer is HERE, my friends! Not a dream, not an imaginary hoax, the real true answer to the event book question is live and in person and right below that continue reading link! It’s there! Get yours today!

*****

First off, I think we should take a moment to see things from Mr. Brevoort’s point of view. He felt, along with editor and proud former San Franciscan Axel Alonso, that Marvel was putting away the Story of the Century for more localized attention. And he’s right (Man, another column, another Editor is Right pull quote from me, I’m such a shill…), Marvel has finally stopped the company-wide mega event. The roller coaster ride of Avengers: Disassembled to Civil War to World War Hulk to Secret Invasion to Dark Reign to Siege has finally pulled to a stop with the Heroic Age. Not so much an event as a state of mind, that Heroic Age banner is just a way of say that the Marvel Comics Group is giving you their best. In a way, you could argue that if readers don’t have an event book, they could feel a little cheated in their sense of story. Why should I pick this book up if Spider-Man’s going to only do Spider-Man stuff and not, say, go to the moon and tackle an alien symbiote with Wolverine and Deadpool? And if Wolverine and Deadpool are on the moon fighting Spidey’s Big Event, then what are they doing back in San Fransisco tackling a god like being of infinite power that will test Logan’s resolve to remain a mutant? And if that’s going on, why is Deadpool teaming up with the Avengers to see where I’m going with this long convoluted metaphor that will result in the death of a beloved character (hint: it’s Dr. Strange)? The coordination for these kinds of stories must be hellish on editorial and the writing staff, because it can be a very special kind of hell for the comic retailer and reader.

Smaller event books have no gun to your head, and should require a very small checklist but also give you that “This Book Counts” feeling. Sometimes, like with Doomwar and The Thanos Imperative, they don’t need you, but from the scope of story and the quality of characters, you need them. They require little of your budget and deliver on something large enough in scope that you’re getting that all-important money’s worth. In events like Shadowland and Curse of the Mutants, it starts to be a little less clear. Tie-ins have a fantastic purpose in that they give you a very choice cut of the Big Beef story. You really like Civil War, but want to know more about Tony Stark’s intentions through the registration process? Go read Civil War: Iron Man. If you think Gambit is dreamy (who doesn’t?) and want to see what he’s doing during every minute of the vampire invasion? Go read Curse of the Mutants: Storm & Gambit. Tie-ins should never be required reading, as the story should be contained within the main title itself. No one would read Hamlet if they first had to put the book down in the middle of it to go read Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead #1. It would get confusing to try and juggle where everyone was at what time, and some would never want to read Hamlet in the first place with that kind of responsibility. I want to read a story about Hamlet, not Hamlet and his buddies fight pirates in the sea only to be harassed by actors. So a lot of people are getting exhausted already by the very thought of Chaos War, and it hasn’t even come out yet! Just the oncoming train of tie-ins and one-shots and god-level battles are causing a Pavlovian response in comics readers as an event isn’t something you look forward to anymore, you endure it.

Why do we endure? Why are event books the continual topic of conversation when comic fans feel over-saturated with them? The hard-to-bear answer is that event books work. Go look at the Distinguished Competition over there and tell me that that ever-rotating color wheel they employ isn’t selling books. Batman has died, been reborn and is now getting his own franchise within his own franchise of titles, and people are going berserk for more. To a more casual comic reader, event books tell them when a book is “good,” good being the subjective term that it is. With so many titles on the stands, how does a reader know which one to buy? How do they know they’ll be getting the biggest bang for their buck out of all the other books out there? Well, the book with the most characters they like is a good start. The book where the most stuff happens that will echo throughout the ages is another. A book that continues a storyline they’ve already enjoyed is also a good indicator that a comic reader’s grabbed an event book off the stands. Holofoils were obnoxious and expensive but man, did they make your comic cooler in the ’90s. Not to mention more speculative in the comic collectibles market; an event book normally means a note in the Overstreet Price Guide, which might result in a price increase to fund your kids’ college tuition on.

But what I’d really like to say here, as well an answer as definitively as a humble reader and retailer can, is that Tom Brevoort should work as hard as he and all the editorial staff can to lower the price of Marvel’s comic books. This $3.99 thing is killing me, guys. Books need to be cheaper. This event stuff and all is nice, but at the end of the day, what really gets my attention is how much I’m spending on comics. If books were cheaper, then I could try something new or pick up something on a whim without feeling like this is not the best way to spend my hard-earned cash. If books were cheaper, budgets would unwind a little more and be less tied to what needs to be read in order to get by. It’s a huge disappointment when you read a $4 event tie-in only to have no key information inside of it and no feeling like you’ve gained anything by spending that money in the first place. Sure, it might have been a fantastic Ben Ulrich story but when ol’ Ben isn’t in the main book everyone’s reading? It feels like a waste, especially for cash that could have gone to something better.

You could even make an event out of the lowering of prices! Come one, come all to the Mighty Marvel Money Movement! Buy all these titles at the low price and learn a little something about Marvel’s merry mutants! Spider-Man swings in to your wallet, along with his amazing friends, and there’s room to spare!

Okay, that’s corny, but you could definitely come up with something better. Marvel is always king in my book for cutting edge decisions that change the industry. Mr. Brevoort, I challenge you to do it again and find a way to lower the prices of your books.

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For every three books that were bumped up to $3.99 on a pull list, someone dropped a Moon Knight or a Hercules or a Captain Britain. I second the motion.

1) “With so many titles on the stands, how does a reader know which one to buy? How do they know they’ll be getting the biggest bang for their buck out of all the other books out there?”

2) “This $3.99 thing is killing me, guys. Books need to be cheaper.”

The answer to #1 is its connection to #2.

The $3.99 price point was a watershed moment for me as a reader: that was when I literally cut my spend by 60%! I went from SAMPLING MANY titles to FOLLOWING only a CHOSEN FEW. As a result, both DC and Marvel have lost 2/3 of the dollar they got from me, while I’m enjoying what I buy more.

How do I decide what makes the cut? Easy: author (+ signature character or extended story).
I follow the writer who’s carrying the backbone of a character I want to read.

In cases like Batman, that’s Grant Morrison. Whatever title HE’S writing is the one I buy. Since HIS tale is the defining backbone of the character, like it or not, no matter how good Tony Daniel and Paul Dini’s work is elsewhere, I’m only buying Morrison’s Batman story.

Ironically, that’s meant that taking Superman and Batman OUT of their core titles (like Cornell’s Luthor in Action and Rucka’s Batwoman in Detective) actually FREED me up to buy more books. Since they’re no longer Superman or Batman titles, I tried out the Kate Kane and Lex Luthor stories and love them immensely.

BUT flipside: when a character really is one and the same with the initial creative team, as soon as the author I love is gone, I am too. [Sounds fickle, but think of it this way: Animal Man was a great series, but did anyone REALLY read it after Morrison left?]
I left JSA after Johns ended his run.
No matter how good the new Batwoman series, it ain’t Rucka, so I don’t “need” to read it.
Same with Power Girl. It was the Palmiotti/Gray/Amanda Connor run that I cared about, not anyone else’s take on the character. Judd Winick’s probably doing a great job, but I don’t NEED it. I’d rather try something else now.
Same would be true for Secret Six should Simone ever leave.
Doing so frees up my spend for their next work, or someone else’s new experiment.

Which ultimately boils down to one thing: beyond PRICING, the other thing that needs to change is the PUBLISHING MODEL. If other people buy their comics this way, then it means not every series NEEDS to be ongoing. Intermittent minis, allowing the signature creators to return to their pet characters and projects, can sustain interest.

Certainly Hellboy has been none the worse for this approach under Mignola’s pen.
Did Power Girl or the Freedom Fighters REALLY need an ongoing, or could they just be allowed to lay fallow until Palmiotti and Gray had another 8-issue idea?

Laying fallow: I’d like to see that analogy apply in comics. Letting whole characters and franchises fall off the grid for a couple years (like Thor) until “their” author returns to them. Imagine the creative contracts needed to enforce that: no one gets Batwoman until Rucka comes back to tell the next part of his story.

In my opinion, not only would it foster greater creativity and diversity among titles (while killing the whole “Wolverine/Deadpool/Batman in every book” phenomenon), it would also be better than STARTING ongoings that are destined to be canceled later as soon as their signature creator leaves (ahem: Blue Beetle).

Great post!

Two points:

1. Make comics more disposable. As the collectors market ain’t what it was in the 90′s, I’d be fine with a cheaper cover price even at the expense of worse paper quality, and even more stripped-down color separation. WATCHMEN was on newsprint originally and didn’t suffer. Stop trying to make floppies coffee table books. Ironically, if they fell apart easier, the ones that survived would probably be worth more!

2. No backsies on “Universe-shattering events”. “Event” books lose their luster when the “epic” alterations in continuity are immediately undermined. Heroes die, become evil, fall in love, age, expose their identities… until it become inconvenient. DC seems more guilty of this, but Marvel does a fair amount of investing readers in edgy storytelling, only to hit the “reset” button. It spits in the face of the most loyal readers and heads off truly interesting, organically progressing storytelling. Having recently re-read the first ten years of Amazing Spider-Man (indoctrinating my 8 year old son, via the ESSENTIALS collections), it’s amazing how that universe grew, developed, matured and became increasingly more nuanced and dramatic, while serving a kid audience and an adult audience and working through stand-alone stories. Now, with unlimited storytelling freedom, Spider-Man’s life has been radically “reset” (ONE MORE DAY, CIVIL WAR, etc.) multiple times — basically invalidating sometimes years of (decompressed) storylines… at $4 a month per title.

This is my first comment to Robot 6 – great job, this is the best comics blog, hands down.

$3.99 is too much for a book. Its not a big industry and its not growing, so there’s the proce hike, however I feel as if the publisher’s are pricing themselves out of business. Every decade seems to bring a new form of greed for the industry. It seems they find a hook that sells and then milk it until the fans get frustrated and lose interest.

I’ve cut down a lot on my books, I plan on waiting for the trade collections to come out, see what the reviews are of the book and then decide, based on the creative team too, if Im going to purchase the title. especially with some of the silly storylines being written today with the big two. They don’t seem to care what the fans would like and they stretch the dollar too far for them. I too would like to see the price come down. I dont think the quality of paper needs to go down, but costs have to be cut somewhere. Maybe the ultimate plan is to go digital and go digital cheap, while the paper books go up.

My problem with the event comics is how sprawling they’ve become, preventing readers from being to understand their favorite regular ongoing series without a road map to what’s going on to the primary and ancillary event series. If I can’t read an issue of Amazing Spider-Man without having to read the latest issue of Siege in order to make any sense out of it, something’s not working. It’s forgivable to make an ongoing series occasionally dependent on a crossover with another series, but what we’ve been seeing from both Marvel and DC over the past few years happens all the time. It hampers the ability of creators to craft the stories they really want because they have to tie in to something else, and they force readers to choose between spending extra money on an event title they may not be interested in or drop a favorite title because their unable to enjoy the complete story.

And I think between that and the recent and ongoing price hikes, there are a lot of people who are either culling their pull list, embracing other formats like collections or digital comics, resorting to torrent sites or getting out of the hobby altogether.

Honestly, I think something both companies should consider is to guarantee no crossovers entirely for a year or so. Give each creative team on each book 12-16 months to develop each book (even if it’s part of a larger family) completely independent from every other book. This way, hopefully each book can grow its own, individual fan base that the companies can then funnel into an event in a couple of years.

I want to point something out about Marvel and their $3.99 titles. On the July 2nd 2009 Cup O Joe, Quesada said:

” But here’s the thing, the majority of Marvel titles are at $2.99, we made this clear back in December and we’ve kept to that. We did what I thought was a very good job telling everyone that prices were not going up to $3.99 on every Marvel title. Yet every few months someone posts something on the Net which sparks up an entire “Marvel is raising their prices across the board” witch hunt. This is obviously not the case so I thought I would take the opportunity to say out loud one last time.”

in July 2009 Marvel put out 103 titles, 64 of them were $3.99 which equals 62%. Every month since, over 60% of their titles cost $3.99 or more. Most months it’s in the 70% range for books over that amount, but it’s been as high as 81%.

Both of these things are why I walked away from monthly comics this summer after reading for 25 years.

I would repeat a lot fo what Chris said above.

If Mr. Brevoort cares, one long, endless storyline I didn’t care about from Avengers Disassembled to whatever is happening now meant my Marvel reading dropped to a fraction of what it had been.

Like others have said, $3.99 means I’m not going to try something new and its certainly more than enough to get me to drop anything I’m on the fence about.

I haven’t walked away from comics, but I’ll gladly say that I can now trade wait and buy at a lowered cost online, which is awful for retailers, but at the costs I see, its my best option as a consumer.

But its also killed my weekly trip to the store, which means I’m not looking at what’s on the rack, and that means I’m not sampling new comics like I used to.

If Mr. Brevoort does in fact read this, I’d like to tell him my side of things on my comic buying.

I am admittedly more D.C. than Marvel, to be honest about my preferences. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like to get my Marvel on. I love Marvel too. Would buy more of their books…if they weren’t so darn much in cover price (the same goes for other D.C. books I don’t get due to price alone, quite frankly).

See I buy mostly D.C. these days, but even those are in regard to certain titles. Like one of the posts above, I too tend to be very picky of what I buy. For example, I’ll be buying Batman: The Dark Knight by David Finch due to my love of his artwork and I’m interested in what he’ll be writing in this title as well. But I’m not buying the other plethora of Bat-Books. I’m buying Superman by J.M.S. and Eddy Barrow, but none of the other Super-Titles. Geoff Johns’ work seems to be my current constant due to my preference of his writing. Green Lantern and The Flash are regular titles on my pull list as is Brightest Day. Once J.M.S. and Barrow are off of Superman, unless someone of interest to me takes over the title, I’ll cut that off the list. Same with Batman: The Dark Knight. Same with Dynamite Entertainment’s Green Hornet by Kevin Smith. That title will most likely be cut once he leaves.

As such, the only Marvel title I’ve bought recently was Secret Avengers and just before that, Siege #1-#4. But I had to redo the pull list mainly because of the darn prices of titles. D.C. has the same thing in regard to the $3.99 price tag on some books. Sure they try to add extra content to give more bang for the buck, but ultimately I still wish the prices would’ve stayed at the $2.50 tag they had before. Even the $2.99 tag would suffice at least a bit better. Although I would love it if $2.50 were the standard again. But in redoing my pull list, Secret Avengers. The ONLY Marvel title I was getting had to be cut. I was sad to see it go, but life expenses and life necessities dictated that I couldn’t keep buying it and a few other Marvel and D.C. titles I was interested in. So Secret Avengers and some other D.C. titles were cut.

As such, I am no longer buying ANY Marvel books. I’d like to, really. It’s just that there are other titles from other publishers I want more. If I had more financial room to add more Marvel books to my pull, I would. There are quite a few Marvel books I’d like to get in on. Thunderbolts looks great. Thor looks good too. John Romita Jr.’s art on Avengers interests me highly, but budget dictates otherwise. Too bad I can’t get in on those.

I’d love to be able to get into more Marvel fare as well as other D.C. books too. But this $3.99 thing isn’t allowing that.

Please rectify this, Mr. Brevoort. I ask this of you and anyone from D.C. and even the other publishers that may be reading this as well.

Due to these price increases, comics don’t seem as fun anymore and that is a darn shame because that is what comics were always about, to me….fun.

I want to have some fun with my comics again.

In the past 40 years, I used to buy 10 (somtimes 25) and up weekly years ago. Now I buy 2 and up weekly. Sometimes not at all once in a while. Yeah, price is a factor. So is so-so writers/artists. Same thing with these nonsense hyped-up cop-out fatigued events. I’m moved on.

Comic book fans from the US often complain about the $3.99 cover price but at least that price is consistant across the country. No matter where you buy your books, from whichever comic shop, $3.99 is the price you pay.

Here in Australia, it is very much a different story. Now I accept that due to shipping costs and the currency exchange rate, that prices are going to be somewhat greater than the US. But there is no consistantcy, each comic book shop sets their own prices. The comic shop I get my books from charge $6.65 for a $3.99 US cover price. This, compared to other shops, is a good price. (plus, because I have a large standing order, I get a 10% discount per issue).

Then when you go to the newstands, where the selection of comic book titles is varied and unfortunately ever shrinking, the prices are on average around the $8 to $9 mark. So if you happen to be buying your comics from a less reputable comic shop, you will be paying only just slightly less than what is charged at the newstand.

But to make matters worse, Borders has the biggest mark up of all. So far as I have seen, Borders is the only chain book store to have a comic book/graphic novel section. Angus and Robertson and Dymocks only supply anime titles in the digest format. Anywho, for some reason, Borders has decided to charge $14 for a $3.99 US cover price. Even books like Archie and Scooby Doo don’t escape this extortionist mark up, with $12 being their asking price. And to make matters worse, the staff and Borders don’t care about making their comic books presentable or kept in pristine reading condition. You have to be really despearate for an issue of Secret Avengers to pay the $14 dollars for damaged goods.

Comic book collecting has now become a hobby affordable only to long time readers with a large enough disposable income. Casual readers, young readers and new readers are pretty much left out in the cold with both a poor selection to choose from, plus overpriced mark-ups.

I do not feel the lack of “events” in comics is driving down the sales. I feel the factors are the following:

1. Price – as everyone has been saying, $3.99 is too high and limiting what can be spent.

2. Lack of true Comic Book Writers – Both DC and Marvel are employing too many TV/Movie writers. These folks barely turn out good TV and they certainly do not know how to tell a good story in the comic book format. They also leave quicker when the big money of Hollywood comes calling.

3. Tinkering with beloved characters – DC is more guilty of this than Marvel. But the characters we know and love are either changed, or turned to legacy characters. Renee Montoya is not The Question, Vic Sage is. Jason Rusch is not Firestorm, Ronnie Raymond is. Dick Grayson is not Batman, Bruce Wayne is. Ryan Choi is not the Atom, Ray Palmer is. Fans want to read about the characters they know and love, not other characters pretending to be them.

Great column! And I’m in total agreement with Chris’s well-considered post.

The $3.99 price means I can no longer be a completist. That after 40 years, I don’t need “complete runs” any more.

Neither Marvel or DC places any value in keeping their original characters unique. But I stopped buying Black Panther when it was no longer T’Challa, and I stopped buying Captain America when it was no longer Steve Rogers, and I stopped buying Hulk when there became multiple Hulks. I will drop Daredevil when he’s no longer Matt Murdock. DC is just as bad — Justice League should be called Adult Titans of America.

Replacing heroes with substitutes has become a bigger cliche than killing Red Skull or Magneto for the fourteenth time.

I seem to be OK with $3.99 price point as long as there is some bang with the buck….I’m buying Levitz’s Legion series with a $3.99 but it has a 30 page story. As much as I love Levitz on the Legion, if the story count went down to 22 but still at $3.99, I would drop it. Eventually, sooner or later, this will happen with this and other titles and that may well mark the end of my 30+ year monthly comic book buying habit. I just can’t justify spending 4 bucks on 22 pages of story.

(I recently came back to comics after the seeing the Watchmen movie. My first comic was Incredible Hulk #305. I bought comics regularly from ’89 until ’94 when I was a happy Marvel reader for many years. At the end of ’94 most of my favorite comics were canceled or the art & story was so jarringly bad that I gave up even on my sole surviving comic the Incredible Hulk. I sampled a few Valiant, Image and DC comics at the beginning of ’95 and just gave up all comics because what I sampled was so awful.)

With respect to Marvel’s events and variable price per page… I don’t like it.

Due to budget decisions I only buy Franken Castle, Fantastic Four and Invincible Iron Man. Those comics seem to not be involved with events and are priced at $2.99. I won’t be buying the $3.99 Remender Punisher limited series.

I was buying Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova. Both were $2.99. I’m not buying the $3.99 Thanos Imperative limited series + initial one-shot.

I was buying Daredevil. As soon as I saw the $3.99 Shadowland limited series… I dropped Daredevil.

I temporarily dropped New Mutants during Necrosha (I’m not reading X-Force or the X-Men: Legacy). Completely dropped it due to Siege and Second Coming. I also dropped X-Factor when Second Coming happened and I don’t plan to pick it up again. I had thought that X-Factor #200 had started a phase where X-Factor would be a detective agency book. Turns out I misunderstood.

I followed from Black Panther to the $3.99 DoomWar limited series but I can’t justified $3.99 Klaws limited series. That was a hard choice. I’m planning to look for the trade.

I dropped the Cho related limited series when I saw the Hercules had moved to the $3.99 Chaos War limited series.

I dropped Thunderbolts and Secret Warriors due to Siege. There’s too much context from the last 6 years in the Avengers books.

Hopefully this info gets put to good use. Please make mine Marvel, again!

Sorry, minor correction … please substitute the following for the relevant quote above …

“The roller coaster ride of Secret Wars to Secret Wars II to Mutant Massacre to Fall of the Mutants to Armor Wars to Evolutionary War to Atlantis Attacks to Inferno to Acts of Vengeance to Terminus Factor to X-Tinction Agenda to Subterranean Wars to Infinity Gauntlet to Muir Island Saga to Kings of Pain to Korvac Quest to Infinity War to Operation: Galactic Storm to Assault on Armor City to Citizen Kang to Herald Ordeal to Hero Killers to X-Cutioner’s Song to Infinity Crusade to Rise of the Midnight Sons to Fatal Attractions to Maximum Carnage to Blood Ties to Blood and Thunder to Siege of Darkness to Phalanx Covenant to Age of Apocalypse to Clone Saga to Onslaught to Heroes Reborn to Operation: Zero Tolerance to Heroes Return to Contest of Champions 2 to Apocalypse: The Twelve to Maximum Security to Eve of Destruction to Kang Dynasty to Infinity Abyss to Avengers Disassembled to Planet X to Secret War to New Avengers to House of M to Planet Hulk to Decimation to Onslaught to Annihilation to Road to Civil War to The Initiative to Civil War to World War Hulk to Annihilation: Conquest to Messiah Complex to Aftersmash to Secret Invasion to War of Kings to Messiah War to Realm of Kings to Dark Reign to Utopia to Nation X to Necrosha to Siege to Fall of the Hulks to Second Coming has finally pulled to a stop with the Heroic Age — a clear sign that Marvel has finally, conclusively, inexorably, irrevocably, inescapably, permanently put a stop to the company-wide mega event … well, at least until next Tuesday …

Event fatigue? What event fatigue?

I think the real problem most of us have with price increases is that they are almost *never* explained. They just tell us “We have even greater stuff coming out!!” as if trying to keep us from wondering about the cost for long. One of the few times I remember an explanation being given was back when comics went from being printed in Newspaper stock to Baxter paper. What they didn’t explain was WHY the paper had to change; I was perfectly OK with the original. Feeding the collector mindset perhaps?

The hard-to-bear answer is that event books work.

They work for unintelligent readers. Marvel’s events are plot-driven things and appeal primarily to readers looking for superficial excitement — violence, body counts, antagonism, explosions — even if the premises and resulting plots are full of holes and mistakes. The character-driven storylines that dominate the list of classics were harder to conceive and to write, but the payoff from reading a story was much greater for an intelligent reader.

SRS

Heres my thing:
I love event books. Really, in my opinion, they have all been great. Ok maybe secret Invasion lulled a little bit in the middle but it was still great at the end. It is great to see characters from seperate teams that dont get to interact on a regular basis team up and do things we dont normally see and have big battles, etc. All the cool stuff that comes with an event.

The problem:
Event books are too long. And to add to it a lot of them are delayed for varioous reasosn. Civil War was great but it was delayed once or twice i believe which made the 8 issues (8 months) take almost a year. And in that same year we had World War Hulk which was 5 months long.

Events should come every year. Its great to see a big dramatic, action oriented, event story. BUT, it should not be 8 months long and should not get delayed. 4 issues long is plenty. Run it May through August and call it good. Not every event has to be status quo changing. Once in a while yes it does need to be. But for the mosat part, I think, most people would be happy with various teams getting together once a year and doing a big battle against a common foe. Or each other for that matter. The length and constant changing state of events is what puts people off from them, not the event themselves. I like to see the New Avengers (or any team, insert your own favorite team if you like) interacting with each other and the character/team driven stories in individual team books. Its hard to get that when events come too quickly.

In my opinion, the tie in books are fine. The problem comes when they have to deal with 8 month long events and have to fill in the delays from the main book of that event. Tie in books are fine, its totally optional to buy them. Its also an obvious marketing tool. And im ok with that because i understand its a business. As long as they dont get out of hand then its fine.

I’ve said this before on the CBR forums… moreso than the price, the “piling on” every week bothers me. I don’t understand why we must get 6 Avengers-related titles (and sometimes two issues of Amazing Spider-Man!) in the same week and then the next week, there might be none at all. If someone’s on a budget, it makes it hard to keep up, so instead of picking up something good that doesn’t sell so well, like a Hawkeye & Mockingbird, there is instead the insistence on completing everything else.

I’ll sound old here… but I remember when you could know well in advance what books were out on a given week because Marvel (and DC) kept to a strict schedule. You knew the first week of the month, you’d have Uncanny X-Men, West Coast Avengers, and Web of Spider-Man. Week 2 belonged to Amazing and Wolverine. Week 3 was Adjectiveless Spider-Man and Avengers, and Week 4 included Spectacular Spider-Man. With that kind of schedule, you could get your favorite books AND try out Marvel’s other output.

That was when people actually knew how to meet deadlines.

I guess the concern is that if you’re not buying up all the Marvel books in whatever “family” you want, you might go over and (gasp!) buy stuff from the competition. I’m not so sure about that. Again going back to when I started collecting, I was a big Marvel Zombie, and that was my first priority. If the Marvel books are good, people will stay in that area.

It would be interesting if Marvel and DC actually listened to their consumers. But they won’t. Prices will never be where they once were and I’ve accepted that. Just like Marvel and DC have accepted that many of us will resort to torrents rather than deal with their price hikes.

“They work for unintelligent readers. Marvel’s events are plot-driven things and appeal primarily to readers looking for superficial excitement — violence, body counts, antagonism, explosions — even if the premises and resulting plots are full of holes and mistakes. The character-driven storylines that dominate the list of classics were harder to conceive and to write, but the payoff from reading a story was much greater for an intelligent reader.

SRS”
Could you be anymore insulting? Wow, come on down off the high horse there bud.

My problem, there seems to be so much good stuff now. Marvel and it looks like DC is finally getting a lot of these really good indy writers. From Marvel we now have Hickman, Fraction, Gillen, Remender, Aaron, Diggle and a few others and pretty much everything they put out from these guys are good (well I see some complaints for Fraction on Uncanny, but I enjoy it). Now DC is following suit, picking up Nick Spencer, Jeff Lemire, Scott Snyder, JT Krul, and Paul Cornell. Add these books along with Johns, Bru, Bendis, Millar and Morrison put out. There are a lot of intelligent comics being put out by these guys. If you don’t think so, its probably because you are old and know everything already and no one can ever compare to the comic gods of the 60′s and the 70′s who never made mistakes ever. Never ever did they make any mistakes. Gods I tell ya.

I don’t get any $3.99 books, period. I was a Marvel guy for over 20 years, but for the last 2, I’ve been getting more DC books. I know that my turn is a result of a combination of the price hike and going to my first Comic-Con. Some of the higher-ups and even creative people at Marvel came across with such disdain for the fans that I didn’t want them to get any of my money, let alone more of it. Fans who asked about One More Day were met with such condecension because they didn’t “get” a story that was compared to pulling off a band-aid (I don’t know what One Moment in Time was. Did it take 2 years to rip that band-aid off?). I’m sure there’s some contempt sucessful people have for those who haven’t “made it,” but if this was true of the people at DC, they hid it much better.
So, yeah, I want lower prices. But, also, with the age of the internet and the con upon us, the people who make the comics should know that hearing you comparing the fans to, say, drug addicts, makes some of us (or just me) question just how much I even want to buy new comics.

I don’t get the logic of $3.99—drop it to 1.99-2.50 and you will see sales jump…as it is buy the must haves and wait for the others to turn up used at a near by book seller–happens faster than you think…I then snap them up at 1.99 each…if there are a lot of copies of one title I get for less…or avoid because how good could it be if there are that many copies available? What you lose in initial price point is more than made up for in volume by lowering the price…basic capitalist economics.

I have never paid more than 2 bucks for a book. DCBS, Marvel subscriptions, DC subscriptions. There are alot of options out there to avoid the 3.99 price tag. Even Amazon.com, Midtowncomics.com, and Lonestar comics sell most of their inventory at least 30 percent off. This 3.99 argument is irrelevant when there is absolutely no reason to pay 3.99.

The high price of monthlies has led me to decide to massively cut down my monthly pull list in favour of buying TPB’s instead, even hard-cover trades are a lot cheaper than the sum of the equivalent monthlies.

As for events… There are way too many, both companies are guilty of having too many events in recent years but Marvel are the worst offenders. It would be nice if I could just read a comic over the course of a year or two without having to worry about how it fits into current events. I’m not saying we should dump events altogether but at least make them… Y’know, EVENTS. Limit them to every four or five years instead of one almost every year so that they feel more important and we get to enjoy a status quo for a little while.

I stopped getting 4 to 7 books a week a few years ago and am now down to 1 or 2. I used to collect Exiles, Ultimate Spider-Man, New Avengers, Batman/Superman, Daredevil, and the various Spider-Man titles. I still go to the shop every week to play HeroClix, and I still peruse the various titles (DC and other non-Marvel as well), but I don’t really care, as I know that these “universe changing events” end up just being a tease.

Event books I picked up the entire run of:
Civil War – I loved the idea that this could actually have a changed on the way heroes operated, and how it reflected mentalities that were floating around in real life. I also enjoyed Spider-Man being on a team (New Avengers) and dealing with a public identity. I also liked him going underground when he changed his mind. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the covers of the books indicated how closely they tied in to the main Event. Red covers were a direct tie in, blue were secondary, green was peripheral, etc. It made it very easy for me to decide which books that I wasn’t already reading that I wanted to bother to track down.

Secret Invasion – The idea that there had been Skrulls hiding on Earth for years was cool, and made me go back an check older issues of books (especially once the various Skrulls were revealed).

Blackest Night – OK, I picked these up, initially, to get the rings, and went and got the side issues that ahd the other rings, but I did get all the Blackest Night issues. My roommate at the time LOVES GL, so he got every single tie in issue from every other book, and I read those. While the idea of the rainbow Corps. was interesting, it wasn’t interesting enough to tie in to (seemingly) every book being published, and most of the stories felt forced.

Recent Events that I didn’t collect or that I partially collected:
One More/Brand New Day: Something about resetting 20+ years of story didn’t seem right to me, and Peter going to the devil for help didn’t make any sense. I tried the various stories, but they felt like retreads of things I’d read in the 90′s, and I just stopped buying Spider-Man.

Seige – I just didn’t care. The whole “Get Norman Osborn in power and let him fall apart” thing felt to rushed. I mean, he came to power a year before, after Secret Invasion, and he was already on his way out the door. There was no real development for the character, and no way for me to believe that all these things/Events were happening so close together. Secret Invasion following only a real year after Civil War made sense, as the Skrulls would want to capitalize on the confusion, but I don’t think Norman and all the Dark avengers, etc. would have fallen apart in just a few months (comic book time).

Brightest Day – It just felt like a reset button had been flipped at the end of Darkest Night, so I picked this and issue 2 up to see what DC did with it. The jumping around between so many characters left me wondering why they wanted me to care about these characters at all. I might get the trade, but I lost interest very quickly.

The price point has been mentioned numerous times before, so there’s nothing for me to really add. Today, I buy Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers, New Avengers, and the Spider-Man/Wolverine mini series. I get to see Spider-Man in a team setting and on his own (for the most part), and I haven’t had any problems with Bendis’ writing style.

To summarize: Events aren’t “events” if they happen on a regular basis. I can suspend my disbelief enough to think that a man can stick to walls, but not enough to think that the entire planet/universe/timeline is threated every few months (comic book time). Let the characters develop for a few years (real time) with the change to the status quo, then, if it seems that things need to really be changed, change them. Can’t characters have “events” within their own books, without needing to draw in every other title?

I think the big problem with events books is the way in which they are released. I basically stopped reading Marvel comics after Secret Invasion. 8 issues (which took 9 months to come out), $3.99 an issue, a story which took place over about an hour and a half in Marvel time, and no actual closure to the story of the Skrull invasion at the end (instead it became about Norman Osborn taking over SHIELD, even though Osborn played a fairly tiny role in the actual series). I felt ripped off. It took too long and was too much money for not enough pay off, so I stopped buying all Marvel books apart from Amazing Spider-Man and Invincible Iron Man.

I work in a comic shop and I’ve actually thought about this a lot, and I think if that series had been released as two or three prestige issues (say, 50-80 pages long each) and between $4.99 and $5.99 each, I would have been a lot happier in terms of how long it took, how much money I spent, and I wouldn’t have minded so much that the end didn’t work out so well.

Having all the titles from an entire publisher – particularly one who releases 60-100 books a month – tie-in to this event for the whole duration of it also sort of forced it down my throat, whereas is they only tied-into it for one month, I would have been ok with it. At the shop I work at we have a customer who will stop buying a title for a few months if it is caught up in an event (for example, he is a big Peter David fan, but stopped buying X-Factor while it tied-into Second Coming, but has no resumed buying it again).

Amazing Spider-Man 600 did it right. That was a great story with a beginning, middle and end, had some great character moments and plenty of action, and set up things nicely for the future. It really felt like a worthwhile issue and a mini-event in itself.

I think events should be condensed down, and really don’t need to drag out for months. Even a 100 page graphic novel would be good. Look at the Killing Joke, for example. Had ramifications across the DC Universe, told a great story with some great art, had a good sense of closure at the end. With something of that quality I also have no problem with spending a bit more money on. THAT is how event books should be.

Joe: I’m right there with you. Secret Invasion was the last straw for me (along with Final Crisis, otherwise known as Grant Morrison’s Trippy Non-Sequential Masters Thesis). Amazing Spider-Man is the single, solitary book that I buy in single-issue form, and that’s only because I haven’t missed an issue since 1983. Here comes 30 years, baby!

The real problem, as I see it, is that EVERYONE wants his cake and wants to eat it, too. You either change things (have sidekicks grow up, etc.) or you don’t (Brand New Day). But you can’t have both and have the stories make an ounce of sense. I’m not sure what the current continuity states, but if Grayson was 13 when he became Robin, 20 when he became Nightwing, and 25 when he became Batman, that means we’re sitting on a minimum of 12 in-story years of “post-Crisis-but-not-really” continuity, figuring that Batman and Superman started about the same time. Wayne was somewhere around 28 when he started doing the Batman thing seriously (10 years after being 18 to travel the world and learn EVERYTHING), so he’s 40. But does Lois Lane look 40? Does Black Canary?

Personally, at this point, I’d rather have stories that make sense and that can feature real changes. If Marvel actually had Peter and MJ settle down and made Spider-Girl (the REAL one) the “real” Spidey continuity, I’d be okay with that. Far better than having Peter stuck in the pointless limbo he’s in right now where we all know nothing can really change for him. Secret ID out of the bag? We’ve got a fix for that. Adult relationship that grows and changes? We can fix that, too. How am I supposed to care when even the illusion of change is removed from a story?

Is it any wonder that people have fallen away from comics as they have? Pick one or the other, Big Two: stories that stick or random “connected” events. At least then you can focus on one of them and do a good job. Right now, serving two masters only means confusion, inconsistency, and pointlessness.

Let us also not forget that comics used to go up a nickel, dime, or quarter in price, not a dollar

$3.99 is simply too much. But unlike some who’ve said they dropped $2.99 books to keep things within their budget, I went the other way — I dropped anything priced at $3.99 — which means I’ve gone from collecting about 15 Marvel books to about 3 now. Never thought I’d be close to giving up on my hobby, but that’s the way it looks. More often than not, the end product simply isn’t worth the price, not when one accounts for decompressed storytelling and plot lines that drag on for years, and don’t feel finished even when they’re supposed to be “concluded.” And, no, I’m not trade-waiting, as I’ve noticed they’re slowly beginning to increase the prices on those as well.

They may not be pricing the industry out of business, but they’re certainly pricing me out of buying books.

I agree: $3.99 is killing everything. But more than just that, the event books mentioned above are another burden on both the budget and the quality of comics today. A book should have a sense of continuity, and with writers jumping on and off titles like hotcakes and events constantly breaking up the flow and shoving editorial decisions down creators throats, it’s no wonder readers are dropping titles. Every move the companies make for quick sales leads to a small bump and then leaves readers with a bad taste in their mouth.

Personally, I’ve cut back on what series I’m buying. I was always a die-hard X-fan, but with most of the books so bad (Uncanny is terrible, and the new X-men series, as Axel Alonso has repeatedly admitted, was a money-milking title conceived before there was an actual concept for it) I just stick to X-men: Legacy, which is Mike Carey continuing writing his X-stories as he has for the past 4 years. There are new books coming out, but I’m just afraid to try them with such high prices. Oh, and also because they contain Deadpool. Marvel needs to have less titles, with stronger concepts, and more creator control. If two creators decide they want to do an event or crossover, like the upcoming Black Widow/Hawkeye and Mockingbird one, then that’s great. The company should rarely, RARELY dictate them, though.

Oh, and the prices should be $2.99. If it takes newsprint to accomplish this, let it be so.

RE: Events … I enjoy them for the most part … I usually read the main book along with whatever ongoings I’m already reading. And I’ve never found it necessary to buy a book I don’t usually read in order to understand what is going on in the main story. Do I experience “event fatigue”? No. If the artwork is good and the story worth reading, then it is a satisfying experience overall. I just try very hard not to buy books that I’m not interested in. I’d bet that folks who experience “fatigue” are buying books they’re not really interested in because for some reason they feel obliged to. Don’t blame the publishers for your undisciplined reading habits. If you’re not interested in a book then DON’T BUY IT! Judging from some of the other comments left here, that is the upside of the $3.99 price point. Folks are forced to buy only what they really enjoy reading.

RE: Prices … Consider the historical trends: http://www.comichron.com/yearlycomicssales.html

Revenue streams in the direct market have slightly increased while unit sales are slightly down. Clearly, the process of readers dropping books in which they aren’t really interested in order to afford the books they DO want to read isn’t new. Yet, overall, the direct market has remained relatively FLAT for the last 13 years. So price increases haven’t had quite the damaging impact on the industry that folks seem to think it has.

Don’t like the exorbitant prices? Buy DCBS. It’s that simple. Does that make you feel bad for specialty retailers? Don’t. I’d bet that the most successful retailers ALSO sell online through store websites and Ebay.

Furthermore, while the direct market has remained flat over the last decade-plus, the TOTAL market has doubled. Where are the sales going? TPBs and graphic novels. Furthermore, in 2008, though, six out of the top ten TPBs and graphic novels sold through bookstores were MANGA. If you peruse the graphic novel section of your local Barnes and Noble, for example, you’ll find shelf after shelf devoted to manga and a somewhat smaller section for Marvel, DC and the rest. The simple fact is that comic book specialty retailers haven’t adjusted their inventories in order to capitalize on what readers are buying. Comic book specialty retailers aren’t struggling because there isn’t a market, but because they simply haven’t adapted to the current market by adjusting their inventories in order to capitalize on the changing habits and tastes of consumers.

Been bitching about this for months.

I only get a few books now and I only visit the store every few weeks; I only try to buy quality.

REBELS
Doom Patrol
Batman and Robin
The Boys
Locke and Key
Booster Gold
Justice League International

That’s off the top of my head. I don’t purchase books as often anymore that I can’t even remember my list.

If books were 3.99, 1.99, or 7.99 i will still buiy the same 6 books month in and month out as i always did, and wait for trades on the rest

And also, its stupid to keep seeing these remarks on the 3.99 price. What do you want them to do? ITs the economy, not MArvel particularly. Its a business plan and simple

You can complain about price hikes all you like, but remember that Marvel and DC are competing for talent, and that means higher contracts. I’ll pay more money for a good book, just like I’ll pay more for a Blu-Ray when I want a better quality picture. The majority (but not all) of the books the Big Two put out nowadays are SO good. If you’re complaining about prices, its probably just not worth it to you. And that’s okay. I know I don’t pay $3.99 unless its worth it. And also realize you’re probably not going to like every book. There’s plenty of inexplicable stuff thats really popular. That new X-Men book was #1 last month. Really? I paid $3.99 for it and I won’t be making that mistake again. But I guarantee others will continue to purchase it.

As for events, if its good, I’ll read it. Secret Invasion=bad. Final Crisis=good. Siege=good. I’m not real high on Bendis, but I don’t think anyone can argue he’s Marvel’s most popular (and polarizing) author. He sells. I wish Marvel would give some of their up and comers a bigger piece of the pie, though. The stuff Hickman and Aaron and Fraction are doing is mind-blowing. Their stuff is also a little left of mainstream, but I don’t think its a bad thing to challenge readers.

Marvel and DC (Image, too) have re-released certain issues with a $1.00 price tag, marketing them as “World’s Greatest Comics” or something. These are comics that were released at one point probably with a 2.99 or 3.99 price tag.

If I remember correctly, The Unwritten’s first issue was $1.00. Now, The Unwritten might never generate the same pull as an Avengers or X-Men book, but when the problem is generating more revenue moving forward, re-releasing books with a cheaper marker isn’t the right course, but making future stories more accessible, even if it’s just to start.

In economics, it’s something like customer surplus. If a customer sees a $1.00 comic book and decides to give it a shot, because heck, it’s only a dollar, then is completely blown away, they might still be willing to buy the next issue even if the price is higher because the quality of the story exceeded the initial price. The willingness of the customer to buy subtracted by the actual price of the product.

You could use the college-cost metaphor. Colleges that cost more to attend are generally considered more prestigious. Unfortunately, you aren’t always getting the best bang for your buck. I would argue that X-Men Legacy deserves a higher price tag than Uncanny X-Men, because, in my opinion, the quality of the former consistently exceeds the latter.

Unfortunately, this can be lost in translation. If I’m paying $1499 for a laptop, I want the experience to match the price. But what does that really mean? And experience and expectations can be subjective. I don’t think The Avengers, from a quality perspective, deserves to cost me 3.99. Someone else might be getting a different experience that validates it.

Another example is video games. The general price of a new game is $60. Some games run longer, or have better graphics, more gripping stories, etc. When the basic purpose of a game is to get from A to B, should a 6-hour game cost as much as a 30-hour game? I would be willing to pay more for a 30-hour game, but at the same time, believe that if I am expected to invest 30-hours of my life into that game, the experience justifies the journey.

It’s quantitative vs. qualitative. It’s experience vs. production. I want everyone behind the creation of a comic book to get paid and be paid fairly. I know that comic book artists make shit compared to professional graphic designers who might not always have to put in as much effort as drawing 22 or more pages of, usually, highly detailed art work, but still get paid loads more.

It lends credence to why comic creators (writers and artists) jump ship for Hollywood, or no company is simply trying to create comic books, but create books that can be exploited across medias. Working in comics isn’t lucrative, so a lot of it has to do with passion.

Maybe the format has to change? Apparently for digital comics they want to use the itunes .99 model.

Different companies could publish several anthologies a month that will get collected later on (like Shonen Jump). All I know is, a single issue, 22-page comic should either cost 2.99 or 3.99, but that a single issue with one or the other needs to differentiate itself, in terms of content, to validate the price.

This was very stream of thought, but hopefully I’m not blowing smoke out of my ass.

I have been reading comics on and off (currently on) for roughly 40 years and read the least amount of weekly comics now than I ever have. The main reason is comics are too expensive at $3 -$4 each. The first comics I bought – my mom buying for me were “Still only 25 cents!” as marvel had on the cover at the time. This was early 1970′s. I have moved mostly from weekly comics to trades – especially the hard covers are nice except when they even double dip the hard covers such as Marvel’s New Avengers from the premier to the regular hard cover trades. I think this is going to happen with Ultimate Spiderman as well, time will tell. I buy what I like and have mostly been a Marvel guy but now Image and Aspen are publishing the better stories The Walking Dead and Invincible as well as Iris Executive Assistant and the up coming Lady Mechanika. I do read some DC but in trade and I do read the Ultimate Universe from Marvel as well as Scarlet by Bendis. Back in the hey days of the 90′s I was buying 30 or so titles a month for about $30-$40 and now I buy 4 or 5 titles for $12-$20 plus trades from Amazon or Borders when they give out their good coupons.

So comics cost too much, way too much. And Events do cause burnout from poor story telling, too many tie ins and they usually are meaningless because the major changes usually do not last, so why invest? So if I do collect I buy the weeklies and then the trades but the cost is too high to do that now. Also there is really no market to resell near my cost and the issue of storing them is a real factor. I do not mind Events as long as the story telling is good, the art is good and they are all collected into trades of a decent size – 12 issues and not 6.

Since I have the opportunity I do not like the direction of the Spiderman comic – yes I prefer the marriage between Peter and MJ and to say that he has to be single to relate to the public is a straw man argument and reveals a lack of faith in the writers to be able to tell good stories with him as married. I quit reading Spiderman at the clone saga and have quit again because of the marriage debacle – story telling wise. Spectacular Spiderman was an excellent series and offered the chance to see Peter’s personal life while Amazing did the super hero stuff. Also we have Ultimate Spiderman to have a single Peter Parker and what an excellent read it is. So I was able to read a married and single Peter and MJ and enjoyed both. My question is what is Joe Q’s real issue here? Sorry about that rant. Comics are visual and the art is important and of course story telling is important as well and I do love a good story but when you flush history or write characters out of character for no good reason the reader loses out.

So if you have to charge more give us more pages and better artists (this just my opinion about the art). Where is the real base cost spent for each comic? For example instead of charging so much for multiple issues of Amazing Spiderman each month why not make bigger issues and go back to monthly? I love the revolution in comics that Image caused concerning the paper and coloring used and do not want to see either go back to what they were. That may be necessary but the industry needs to think outside of the box to avoid a drop in quality. Selling digital comics for $1.99 or more is not the answer because the inevitable price increase will come there also and once again they will price themselves out of customers. What I really want to know is are the numbers of comics sold today more than in the 60′s, 70′s, 80′s or 90′s? Is the industry supported by the 40 yr old fan boys who have been buying for decades or a younger crowd? Also the digital needs one stop shopping for all comics no matter the company and this involves for the reader buying whatever device he or she uses to read them digitally.

How about charing $5 per comic but each comic is twice the size (or bigger) than it is now? Bottom line is it is all about the money for the companies. They have families to feed as the rest of us do and I understand that but. Bottom line is comics are a luxury and not a necessity so I can live without reading comics but they cannot live without customers. So in their best interest they need to be creative in keeping me and others as customers.

Do not get me wrong – I love reading comics and they helped me to get better in reading and built a desire in me to read and I love to read – fiction and non fiction. So then Marvel and others need to help themselves by helping us to be able to afford to continue buying their product. I still read comics but I will continue to read less weekly as the price increases and may one day only read trades bought from Amazon at a discount.

I do hope this was helpful and maybe thought provoking and not just sour grapes. I have two minorly major requests if possible. The first is put Peter and MJ back to being married and the second is how about Mark Brooks doing some Ultimate Spiderman issues for us because the art though better than it has been is still lacking. Again my opinion only.

The only time I tolerate a $3.99 price point is when they give me something extra. There is no reason for a miniseries, mainstream Marvel comic, or one shot to cost $3.99 unless a back up story is provided like in Captain America and the Incredible Hulks or more pages are provided like in an 80 Page Giant.

Lower prices on comics? Never going to happen. Stop events? Also not really going to happen. Heroic Age is an event with fewer cross overs.

Vote with your wallet.

I made sure my book SWEETS was priced at $2.99 for this very reason, knowing I could have probably done MUCH better financially on the first issue had I priced it at $3.50 or $3.99. But the goal here was try try and have readers stick around for the whole miniseries rather than just the first issue. Reviews have been off the chart and issue #3 hits the shop in a few weeks. http://tinyurl.com/sweetsreviews

Here’s the math: For all 5 issues of SWEETS, I save you 5 bucks that you’d normally spend on a Marvel/DC book priced at $3.99, and that’s enough to buy yourself a cheeseburger and fries for lunch today. So put your money where your mouth is and support books that ARE priced lower than the rest.

I bought the $1 Usagi Yojimbo issue at my LCS, read it, and bought a couple of the trades. I wouldn’t have been interested in checking it out at $2.50 or so. Lower the prices!

I bought comics for the last 16 years. Once the Siege was over I stopped. The comics have been incredible the last 5 to 8 years. Fantastic stories and artist, but $4 a comic, the insanity had to stop. I quite cold turkey. Didn’t even finish Wolverine Origins, stopped at 48. Once Norman was caught and Cap was back I stopped. Start selling digital comics for $1 and i’m back again. It wasn’t the money, I have the money. It was the principal behind it, $4 for a comic is just ridiculous. I don’t care who is the writer or artist.

Long time Marvel fan, hanging up the tights.

Having read comics since 1972 (yeah, I’m old AND a geek), I can honestly say that every time I watched the prices rise on my favorite comic books I had to sacrifice a book I might have enjoyed, but would never have a chance to because I had no money…

When ‘Crisis’ and ‘Secret Wars’ (the originals, not the ungodly sequels they after-birthed) came along, I said “wow”; this is epic comic book storytelling. Then came more of the same, only weaker with each distillation. It’s like when cocaine gets cut for greater distribution (not that I would know); each time you cut the product, you weaken it. Finally, all you left with is baking soda, and nobody’s gonna pay $40 for baking soda more than once…

Drug references aside – and sorry, but nothing else managed to express my point as well – I have read only 2 great ‘Events’ since those halcyon days: ‘The Sinestro War’ and ‘Civil War’ (wow, “war”…). The rest, sadly, have been mediocre at best and I usually drop them unless I’m already too invested NOT to see the story through.

Now, to the present: I would have LOVED ‘Shadowland’ if it were done 15-20 years ago, with Frank Miller at the writing helm. Now, I don’t even buy the books: I just flip through them before picking up ‘Invincible’ and Deadpool (Hi Axel! Remember me?). Regular purchases. About 10 a month.

Would I buy more if the price went down? Hell yes!. Do I care about paper and ink quality or computer-enhanced finishing? Hell no! Start a new line of comics with the same heroes, or split your heroes into 2 camps: 1 that has to prove its worth and does so by selling mucho copies of low-cost, low-production comics and another that gets the VMA treatment. You KNOW you have a bunch of characters that fall into the former camp, and maybe people will increase their interest if they didn’t have to choose between lunch or 2 comic books.

And remember: NO HULK DOGS.

Sincerely,

John D. Knox

completely agree prices need to come down OR at least offer me a cheaper onlien alternative

im a student and cant afford to put as much money on comics i want to read right now so i have to admit i download them off sites

i would be prepared to pay for a digital version if it was less (and even a one time read version for even less still)

scott pilgrim on the iphone/pad/pod was priced well and i bought all of them

especially since comics in the uk get a stupid price bump anyway – i see everyone complaining about $4 i cant remmeber the last time i saw a comic for under £2.50 over here!!!

I gave up floppies full stop about two years ago. Even then, the prices charged in UK comic shops was too high. Add to that the number of ridiculous delays between issues, the endless events which spun out into ever more inconsequential side stories and the speed with which they were invariably collected into far cheaper and better presented trades and there was no reason to carry on.
Nowadays, I can’t be bothered to read something that won’t be complete for another two years (if ever) and I don’t want to waste 30 quid on issues of an a list comic book character if I then find I have to spend the same again on some z lister to get the whole story.
If I’m feeling flush, I’ll read some reviews and buy a well received done-in-one trade on Amazon, usually 7 or 8 issues long but priced the same as two or three floppies.
If I’m broke, I’ll wait an extra month and buy the same book for half the price on ebay.
I’ve been reading comics for 30 years and probably always will, but I don’t even need to go into a comic shop ever again.

One way to continue to read the titles you like without spending too much money is to subscribe from Marvel.com. You can usually get most books at a fraction of the cost (usually about 40-60% off cover price). Well worth the money, as long as you don’t mind not getting them the day they come out on the newsstand.

Here’s a novel thought: How much cheaper could Marvel and DC offer their books if they went back to printing on newsprint? I’m thinking significantly. Most of us are reading comics for the character, the story, and the art of course. But when all of those things are great, I don’t care that they look slightly better on slick paper. I loved the Claremont/Byrne X-Men and it LOOKED fantastic even thought it was on newsprint. O’Neil and Adams on any title- the same. So, if holofoil covers were a gimmick to drive up prices, a gimmick that was promising but is now looked upon as a failed experiment….. What if, suddenly, everyone realized that comics could be sold much cheaper if they were sold on cheaper paper. Slick paper on monthly comics a promising but failed experiment? I think so. You could sell many more monthly comics on cheaper paper, saving the “SLICK” look for the trades. You would probably notice no change in your trade sales, if not an increase based on the people who do prefer slicker paper, and an increase in sales from your hardcore fans who LOVE LOVE LOVE monthly comics and would buy so many more if the price-point was improved. Why doesn’t one of the big companies try one of their best comics on cheaper paper and see what happens? It could be the answer we are all looking for.

Speaking as someone that just couldn’t keep up with the prices on the monthly books, I recently dropped everything and am now looking to trade collections. Why?
• Trades are cheaper for what you get. There are several stores that offer sizable discounts to trades.
• Complete arcs. For the most part, you get complete arcs for your stories. Not always true in some cases (52, Countdown, etc.), but for most comics it works.
• Add-Ons. You occasionally will get script pages and sketches not appearing anywhere else.
• Stand the Test of Time. I’ve been collecting far longer than I want to admit and some of the old comics just don’t survive a reader like me. Trades tend to whether the test of time more.

Now, I know there are some drawbacks as well …
• Not everything or out of sequence. Take Blackest Night for example. To read it, you may have to read sections in one trade before sections in another … then return to the other trade. That can be a bit frustrating …
• Not everything is collected. While most of the larger companies collect 90% of their books, there is that 10% that doesn’t get collected (as well as smaller companies that don’t collect at all). This is a gamble I have to take.

I just can’t afford the price tags on comics these days. My family and I all collect and we enjoy them, but it’s just getting to the point of being too expensive. I’d rather enjoy comics on lesser quality paper if that was possible. I know it wasn’t a huge deal back in the 70s ;)

Price point isn’t as big an issue for me as a sense of purpose. The problem with Marvel’s recent events is that they had largely unsatisfying conclusions and were immediately followed by the next “change the world forever” event. Civil War, Secret Invasion, and Dark Reign all were great concepts, but none of them were really given enough time or lasting impact. They all pretty much just ended without the heroes really being an active force of change or doing anything all that heroic. Marvel’s events have been all hype and promise and no payoff. Burn your readers enough and they’ll stop caring.

The other factor that seems to be impacting both Marvel and DC is the current retrograde movement to reset everything back to some imaginary 70′s status quo. The illusion of change and a continuing narrative has always been a part of what makes comics a special medium. Lately, it seems publishers find this narrative ‘inconvenient’ and they are doing everything they can to get away from it, shedding old readers in pursuit of this elusive ‘young reader’ that I just don’t see in any comic shop I’ve been in this decade.

Oh … and as for events. I’d like one when it makes sense. Secret Wars, the original big-battle on Battleworld maxi-series, was a good time. As was Infinity Gauntlet, Crisis on Infinite Earths and even Legends. But take it easy, build the story up before it and release it. Some of the recent stories could’ve been even better. Secret Invasion was a blast for the first half, but the second half seemed kind of stalled. There was some fun things that could’ve been done here (like returning some other heroes from death or story-ensnarement). I guess what I’m saying is that events are nice, but I’d rather have a solidly written story about heroes than something that doesn’t always seem thought out …

In the early 1980′s, comic books were .60 cents each. Adjusting for inflation, in 2010 dollars that would be $1.32 (Source: http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/).

That means the price is about 200% higher than can inflation alone can account for. For books that take about 5 minutes to read due to decompressed, soap-opera style storytelling.

‘Nuff Said.

I’ve STOPPED cold turkey. I mean STOPPED. I love comics… sometimes I even help to make them. But there’s no excuse or arguement the big two can give me that a monthly comic periodical is worth $4.00 a hit. I know the talent and editorial needs to be paid. I know that paper prices have gone up. And probably a multitude of other factors probably come into play. It doesn’t matter. Disney now owns Marvel. Time Warner has owned DC for a minute. Exploitation of their intellectual properties go well beyond writing, drawing and editing comics. Billions are being made from licensing, movies and video games. But at the core of intellectual recognition is or at least should be… comics. It’s potentially the cheapest entry point for anyone to get on board. Whether that person is a ten year old child or a forty-five year old reader. I understand $2.50, I can even bear $2.99 but when comics simply jump in price to another dollar… I’m out. I don’t see this type of price increases happening in other print media. GQ, Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Details all magazines I still occassionally purchase have remained at steady price points. Of course some would argue their circulation numbers are higher therefore their ad revenue is higher etc., etc. All this is true, but the fact remains the magazine industry is getting hit just as hard as the comic industry and have remained at acceptable price points. Go back to newsprint. Every book should look like a Johnny DC book [in terms of printing and production], leave the high gloss paper and higher production values to the hardcovers and the trades and return these periodicals to a reasonable $2.50 and help save your industry.

In the early 1980′s, comic books were .60 cents each. Adjusting for inflation, in 2010 dollars that would be $1.32 (Source: http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/).

That means the price is about 200% higher than inflation alone can account for. For books that take about 5 minutes to read due to decompressed, soap-opera style storytelling.

‘Nuff Said.

Never mind the price of comics….how can you decide what to buy if you cant read any advance previews or converse wiith other like-minded fans. Just been booted off the Wonder Woman forum by Aegisbearer for the “crime” of being mixed race. Always disliked that forum for its intolerant views and opinions, but now this is too much. At least other sites give you news without resorting to abuse. I spend over 100 dollars a month on my comics and would never consider dropping them, despite the too-many crossovers and spin-offs that dominate the landscape, threatening to choke the life out of future customers by denying them proper comics at an affordable price. Its a wonder anyone can buy comics these days. Marvel does indeed like to have its proverbial cake and eat it with its endless events that shake evertthning up for a year or two and then they go back to normal. It appears digital comics are the way to go the way things are going.

Bottom line is when $7 can buy a paperback novel I can read for a week and $2.99/$3.99 buys 30 some odd pages (ads included) that takes me 15 minutes to read is outrageous! I would much rather have cheaper books on newsprint than higher priced books on slick paper!

After all, the issues that got me hooked on comics in the first place were on newsprint.

I don’t really buy comics anymore because I feel that the price point is too high for what you get: 10 minutes of reading. I really think that they should start selling magazine style anthologies, with main characters as the regular draw and minor characters rotating in and out. I would feel better spending $6 or more on a giant comic than $4 on a flimsy pamphlet.

Funny, actually, I was just having this discussion with one of the clerks at the my comic shop. The prices on comics are entirely too high across the board, and firmly believe they will end up pricing themselves out of business unless they are willing to change their business model. As an example, move to more of a Manga magazine model, in which a number of different titles are printed in one book. The argument I’m sure I’d receive is that anthologies don’t work, and to a certain degree, I agree. Look at the most recent Marvel Comics Presents. Part of the problem it had was each story was only about 8 pages long. If you only had interest in one character that was in the book, there was no justification in continuing to spend that kind of money for 8 pages with the character. However, a book that had 4 stories of roughly 22 pages in it?

In my opinion, the main problem with “event” comics is that they are generally rubbish. Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. Committee-written editorially-mandated tosh, made for the express purpose of extracting money from our pockets.

For me, the best company-wide event was Crisis On Infinite Earths, mainly because I was the right age when I read it originally(13) , and there was a reason (or at least DC felt there was) for doing it. Fine writing by Marv Wolfman, with ridiculously superlative art by George Perez. Actual changes occurred that affected change in the DCU, changes that are still being felt today. Everything else since then has been (for the most part) a vain attempt to capture that magic again. The nearest any event (for me) has come for real excitement in recent times was the Sinestro Corps War.

The other problem is that when COIE and Secret Wars came out originally, they were mainly consumed by kids like myself, who were wowed by the sheer numbers of our favourite characters all together fighting a common foe or each other! Now, they are mainly being consumed by 38 year old men like myself, who haven’t given up the habit like everyone else did when they discovered girls. Men who read all of the industry press and websites, where the “creators” tell us that this is the event that “changes everything”, then spend hard earned money and buy/read the “events”, only to come away from them feeling short-changed.

For my part, I’m not a kid anymore, I don’t think like I did at 13, and neither do I enjoy a lot of the same things I did at 13. I love comics, but not necessarily Marvel and DC comics, not anymore. The best comics/art/writing/music etc. have always come from (in my opinion) a strong, singular vision from the creator(s) involved. Event comics are driven by sales and money, and therefore are always contrived. I’m not saying that they cannot be entertaining, but they are very rarely going to satisfy.

i don’t mind the cover price when the story is worth it (WHICH IS VERY RARE IN COMICS THESE DAYS)..paying $4 for 5 minutes of entertainment is EXTRAVAGANT ..

Funnily enough, Ive just being “asked” to leave the Wonder Woman forum by Aegisbearer too! What did I do? Only mentioned [in passing] that Im black. If I knew who to compain to, I would. How is that forum allowed to get away with things like that? Its disgraceful.

now that Disney fully owns Marvel, they should be willing to have certain titles as “loss-leaders” to get more people to buy them, recruit new readers. Also Disney/marvel must get to publishing tabloid sized compilations of recent comics.. like, say, the past 3 months of a given title, plus backup material.. sell it for say, $5.99 each, and market them to drugstores, grocery, common retailers like wal mart, target, etc.

I hate the higher prices immensely. Fortunately, these days, I don’t have that many titles. Now that Spider-Girl’s gone, I’m down to 2 Avengers titles(new, secret), Fantastic Four, and Batman Beyond.

I miss the glory days when more titles were worth reading.

Why is Wal-Mart successful? Because they sell more of the same product for less than their competition. If Marvel would allow their books to be sold for less, they’d sell far more than they are now, and I would argue that they’d ultimately increase their bottom line as a result. It’s just good business.

A business with little to no financial clout will typically go out of business because they fail to sell enough product to sustain their company and pay their employees. If you’re gouging your prices and selling less product, that’s bad business. This is the way Marvel operates. The result is that the reader feels ripped off when they feel the story isn’t worth the cover price. The customer will then complain to anyone who will listen via blogs, forums, word of mouth, etc., giving your company a bad name.

Doing good business is this: selling more product at a lower price. People talk, and if Marvel were to lower the standard price of an issue, people would buy more titles and Marvel would be applauded by the masses for taking a risk that favors the reader, rather than their bottom line. Selling more copies only furthers your company’s name, and that is the most important thing for a business.

In a day and age where there’s nothing stopping anyone with an internet connection from downloading a company’s entire library, they should be doing everything in their power to get people to visit their LCS each week to buy the hard copies of the latest issues. Instead, they’re doing the opposite.

You want people to buy your digital/iPad issues? Fine. But don’t expect them to be excited about buying issues that are 4 years old for the same price as a hard copy. That’s absurd. Sell the issues for $.99 and people will be excited to buy the digital copies, and you’ll sell a ton of them. There’s little to no effort required by the publisher to offer a digital copy, so it’s no wonder the reader can’t justify paying the same price or marginally less for a digital copy. If you want to be innovative, you have to take risks.

There’s a reason why people buy their comics from discount distribution companies…it’s because they feel like they’re being robbed by paying cover price for the product. Imagine if Marvel undercut DC with $1.99/$2.99 comics. They’d sell more titles for less, and ultimately they’d be praised for their business practices. Not only that, but their readership would increase exponentially. Isn’t that the point?

Andrew, is that the Wonder Woman forum on Comic Book Resources? If so youre better off out of it. That forum is nothing but hatred and bile. Aegis should be ashamed of himself for letting racists and homophobes on that forum. I left it over a year ago, just after it was first formed.

I, like many, many comic book readers, was CHOOSING to pay for comics. A 3.99 price point on an item Im going to read literally ONE TIME before putting it away in the depths of my closet, is inexcusable.

Publishers these days need to understand that comic book readers are on average, savvy people. I haven’t bought many comics since single issues went to 3.99 because I can read them now, IF I LIKE IT, wait for the trade, and even then, go through the many online retailers or conventions that offer collected editions at 30-50% off cover price.

At 3.99 im not going to be sampling many other books if i was getting them every week, and lets be serious, im never going to see cover price on a comic again. Discounted TPBs are much cheaper than single issues. Im now saving an average of 45 dollars a week.

again, I was CHOOSING to buy comics, now im choosing simply what titles I want to pay for later on in collected editions, if its worthy of re-reading (which many titles are NOT) and that’s almost simply as a courtesy because I do love the medium, and if i dont give it SOME money, it’s only going to die sooner, though by that time i already read the story months ago on the day of or week of release.

Im not any more happy about it than the publisher, but this is what they brought upon themselves.

Yes, $3.99 is waaaaay too much to pay for something you read in about five minutes, but I’m not sure it makes much business sense for Marvel to lower the price. (Improving product quality, though, is another matter. Thanks again for ruining Spider-Man, Joe.)

I’m willing to bet that comic books, like cigarettes and subway fare, are price inelastic; if the price were to decrease (or increase) by, say, 15%, demand would increase (or decrease) by less than 15%. Just as people who don’t smoke aren’t going to start when the price of cigarettes is lowered a couple of bucks, how many new comic book readers are you really going to bring into the market by bringing the price back down, even to $1.25? Not that many.

If comics were to become a complementary good to another product (demand for one product increases demand for another), however, then it absolutely would make sense to lower the price. Apple, for example, makes almost no money on music sales from the itunes store. But, believe it or not, the iPod didn’t take off until the itunes store opened. Not sure what other goods comic would complement.

I think it comes down to the type of reader/collector you are. I buy on average over 50 titles a month through a subscription service at a 35% discount. Would I buy that many titles if I was paying cover price? Definitely not.
Most people though only buy a select few titles each month. Maybe their favorite charecters book, or a favorite creators books. That’s why prices will not drop. Would Marvel or DC prefer a hundred thousand people buy all their books at a lower price or millions of people pick up one or two titles at the higher prices?
Honestly once all comics to to $3.99 and it will happen soon, I’m going to quit buying new comics and concentrate on back issues. Or wait till I can get the $3.99 books for $1 or less. With the internet it’s possible. I paid $3 for the Darkstar and the Winter Guard mini-series. Which was like getting 2 issues for free.

If anyone has ever read the theory on how comics are priced based on the way dope dealers raise their prices — the one by that loudmouth calling himself “OM” — then the price increases over the years make a lot of sense. The publishers know that we’re hooked on their product, so they can keep raising prices, lie through their teeth on how paper costs are causing comics to be more expensive to produce, and smile all the way to the bank knowing that we readers will do anything to get each week’s comics, even if it’s illegal.

Never thought I’d ever agree with that windbag, but “OM” was right. They’re not publishers, they’re pushers!

I bet if they took all of the stupid advertisements out of the books that no one read anyway they might not have to print on so much paper. Maybe that would save money?

Let’s be honest, no one reads those stupid full page ads in comics.

I do not buy many comics. Nor do I buy them in regular intervals. But I read them rabidly. I read them in the store. Which is well within my right. I do not download them illegally because I’m a stickler for the rules.

The price point is a legitimate issue. If Marvel has to put out less product to drop the prices so be it. I’m not reading Deadpool Corps or World War Hulks anyway.

As for my preferences… The only books I went to the comic shop to get every single month was Rucka’s Batwoman work in ‘Tec. It was fresh and exhilarating and the art was captivating. I gushed about it to my friends. After Spider-man 600# (which was amazing) I kept up with him for a good five or six issues then lost interest. The quality wasn’t very consistent. Which is okay. But, as I said, comics are expensive. Why am I going to buy sub-par Spider-man when I can go to something like Invincible for 2.99 and not worry about being disapointed?

As for events? I haven’t bought more than a couple of issues to any major event ever. Except for Blackest Night and One More Day. Both used cheep tactics but I thought the quality justified the purchase.

In short. I do not buy comics more than one or two at a time every month. If comics were more inviting (ie I didn’t have to worry about whether I was dropping right into the middle of the plot or if the art was going to be sub-par because it changed when I wasn’t looking) and were cheeper I would be more inclined to try new things.

As it stands now I read it in the store and if it is as good as Watchmen or Rucka’s Batwoman I buy it in singles. Else I wait till trade and read it in store without paying Marvel or DC a single penny.

While the publishers are equally at fault, the fans need to start shifting their buying habits. Read stuff that’s good. Be a COMIC fan. Not a Marvel Zombie, not a DC Devotee, not a Spider-fan, a Batman buyer, etc. Be a fan of good comics. Buy what is good, and never buy something out of obligation. The stories and artwork should be why you buy it, not how much it “matters.” The “drug addict” analogy is an apt one. Comic readers buy things simply because they are told to, or because it has a certain character in it. You are smarter than that. It can be a passion without being an obsession. A good path to this industry recovering from the slow self-destructive road that it’s on is the readers thinking for themselves.

I have to agree with this sentiment. I started a soft-boycott of $4 books that don’t offer extra content when this started. If books were cheaper, I’d be buying at least 2 out of the 3 core Avengers books, if not all of them. Currently, I’m not reading/buying any of them.

DC did a good job of holding off for awhile and it’s a shame they’re making everything new $4. By December (or early next year), I’m going to want to read Batman, Inc., Batwoman, and GL: Emerald Warriors, but with all of them at $4, I’m probably going to have to cull at least one.

Don’t take the adverts out if they do they’ll definitely raise the price of books. The $3.99 comic is $2.00 more than most kids can get from their parents so you just lost the most pivotal reader you wanted to begin with…..Comics can be for everyone but as of right now they are only priced for adults.
The industry is following the path of Professional baseball sadly, as our base readers get older and no new young readers come into the fold we are slowly killing our future money making opportunities. We need to change the type of paper back to a cheaper version to lower production cost and then drop the price of regular books back to $1.99, and drop the ridiculous digital price down to an optimal $1.00 so children can get back into comics this is the future and the longer we fight it, The shorter we will survive as an industry.

The reason $4 is too pricey is because comics are low on the value scale. Depending on their length I’ll get maybe 7-12 minutes of entertainment. You get way more value out of a movie or a game. A 90 minute movie costs you about $20 per ticket or 22 cents per minute of entertainment and an 8 hour video game that costs $60 gets you about 16 cents per minute. If you have a multiplayer game like Call of Duty or Halo, you can forget it all together. Comics can’t compete at the current price point. I know they keep talking about revenue’s increasing for the comic industry but I would be curious to know how many books they actually sell now compared to last year. I’m talking about actual units sold combined for the Big 2 at least. Anybody know?

Lets not forget the hijacking of books by other characters. I liked World War Hulk but I didn’t like that the Incredible Hulk was taken over by other characters during the story (the Hulk no where to be found). Then the book becomes Hercules. Had I known that was the plan, I would have dropped it from my pull list months earlier. What did they gain? Hercules ends up being canceled and they end up giving the the Hulk his own book back anyway. They did the same thing with Wolverine and Dark Wolverine. Kind of feels like a bait and switch. Intentional or not I feel that it’s a very deceptive way to get people to try a new book. I guess I do understand it though if it was intentional. I would have never picked up those books otherwise.

Marvel and DC books have become nearly non-existent to me. I gave up on most of their super-hero titles more than a decade ago because of crossovers. If I’m buying The Flash, I typically don’t want another hero to appear in that title; I want Flash, not Green Lantern or Superman. Save the crossovers for a mini- or maxi-series. I can’t afford more than twenty books a month nowadays, and the price hike is pushing it closer to fifteen.

Also, is there truly a need for a glut of Batman, Superman and Spider-Man titles?

I turn to Dark Horse for supers nowadays, and I’m getting addicted to pulp heroes which means Moonstone and Dynamite will be getting more of my hard-earned dough. I only buy Jonah Hex, Rawhide Kid, First Wave and Doc Savage from the big two; I suspect Jonah is the only one that might still be around this time next year.

“Here’s a novel thought: How much cheaper could Marvel and DC offer their books if they went back to printing on newsprint? I’m thinking significantly.”

Tom Brevoort answered this on Formspring. He said it wouldn’t make a big enough difference. Also, Joe Q isn’t in charge of setting prices on comics. Thats another department. So bitching about this to Joe, Tom or the creators is a waste of time.

i started reading comics with x-treme x-men. I continuly added xmen comics to my monthly pull list. I branched out to avengers starting with civil war. I absolutly loved getting a bunch of avenger books and a bunch of xmen books and i soon wanted to branch out to new marvel books. However, the economy got so bad and i couldnt spend as much, the avengers books went to 4$ and i dropped them. The x-books sayed at 3$ bucks for a while but now they to are goin up PLEASE Marvel i cnt affor this 4$ dollar nonsense go back to 3$ books we r in a recession!

I was buying at least 8 DC superhero monthlies, not including some of the minis, but the event money grab combined with the price hike forced me to drop every one. I’m waiting for the Batwoman Elegy trade but beyond that everything seems completely generic.

I still continue to pay 3.99 for Astro City but it’s worth the value and isn’t marketed the same as your average superhero comic.

Vertigo still continues to publish a variety of great comics, most at a price of 2.99.

I would be buying New Avengers if it wasn’t for the $3.99 price point. Absolutely would. Got the first issue and third issue cheap and loved them. But the extra dollar for pages I will never read is really throwing me off.

I agree that the 3.99 price is deterring me from trying out a few othe titles. If books were 2.50 I would spend more on other titles.

I guess I’ll add my two cents: I’ve been buying comics non-stop since 1980 and am now having a hard time keeping up. The $3.99 price is a killer because one single comic, which can take maybe 10 minutes to read, isn’t worth the price. For two comics, you can see a movie, which eats up about two hours. For ten comics, you can buy a video game, which gives 20 to 100 hours of entertainment. Additionally, inflation hasn’t been that bad in the US over the past 20 years or so but the price of comics have skyrocketed.

Also, I love top-dollar creators working in comics, but I think the competition between Marvel and DC to get and keep them has caused some of the price inflation. There were great creators in the 1980s (Claremont, Byrne, Simonson, Miller, Grell, etc) but comic prices were still affordable.

Compounding this problem is the (in my mind) explosion of titles and big and mini-events. I have dropped the number of comics that I buy each month down from 27 to 15 because it’s becoming overwhelming to try to follow everything. Why do we need to many Batman and Thor title? X-Men is almost impossible to follow as I’m not sure which titles to read or not to read. To an outside observer, someone who is contemplating buying comics for the first time, the price plus the amount of material has to make the decision to begin reading comics difficult.

And there’s the problem: this industry I still think is supported by people in their 30s – 50s who began reading comics as kids and who have stuck with the industry due to good stories, art, etc. This industry is going to slowly starve to death as it becomes harder for newer audiences to start buying and as older readers such as myself increasingly run out of money to buy comics.

If Marvel and DC had any real concern for the future, they would cut prices on comics and also begin paying creative a little less as well.

Invigorating discussion, gentlemen.

I just started purchasing monthly comic books from Marvel and DC after an eight-or-nine-year absence. I restarted with the recent “THE AVENGERS” #1. Unfortunately, as these things go, one Marvel comic book leads to another and now I’m bleeding myself dry. Only four issues into “THE AVENGERS” and I’m already sweating, thinking about quitting it. I like the comic. It makes me smile every time. But it does cost a stupid amount of money.

The only thing that I can truly appreciate is that “Heroic Age” isn’t a crossover. While I choose to read several of Marvel’s current comics, none are actually interdependent. “I can quit any time I want to,” said the addict.

I do think that the writing in contemporary superhero comics is thin. So very thin. Even when it’s fun and makes me laugh, it’s still mega-light reading. I like that Brian Bendis fellow a LOT, but I read his comics really fast. The only Marvel Comic that I’ve seen that actually EARNS its $3.99 price tag is “CASANOVA.” The second issue of this comic is so incredibly dense that I couldn’t finish it on my subway commute. My commute isn’t short either. As far as sheer time value, “CASANOVA” is the only comic that’s worth four bucks. That and, it pretty much commands repeated readings per issue.

Now.

As far as I know, comic books have never come down in price in the history of the field. Once the bar is set, the industry will eventually raise to meet that bar. One day, comic books will BE four dollars and people will be on the internet screaming and cursing at the outrage of raising the price of a single issue to $5.99. I know that it will happen, I’ve seen these exact same arguments when the prices went up to $2.99. I’m not old, but I’m old enough to see a clear historical pattern.

But seriously, I find it insulting that the prices can’t come down to a sensible $1.99. Even the inflation-calculators agree that this would be MORE than generous.

Oh yeah: event comics are stupid. Seriously, there’s nothing amusing about them at all. When I was a kid, events seemed really impressive, but when I realized that they’d be happening ALL OF THE TIME, the luster faded quick. Readers are not dumb. We know that this isn’t the doing of the individual writers, but a greater symptom of this editorially-mandated-storyline era that we live in. I thought that this “Heroic Age” thing would be sweet, but I should have known that they couldn’t resist the temptation to cross-over for long.

Ben Cartwright's horse

September 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Overreliance on the superhero genre has shrunk comic readership (fanboy) to SUPER small levels — thus, comics only remain sustainable with ever higher and AMAZING cover prices — disproportionate to costs related to paper, printing, talent, etc.

Yet, if publishers broadened their genres beyond superheros (as they were during the 1950′s and earlier), then the readership increase would likely be INCREDIBLE, and cover prices would presumably fall in a FANTASTIC way.

It’s no secret that higher volume production reduces per unit cost — broaden the genres and the readership base grows, and more readers = more comics purchased, and that’s where that per unit cost should presumably drop.

UNBELIEVABLY, Baskin-Robbins discovered this secret many years ago when they stumbled across an obscure and little known fact — that people like more than just one flavor of ice cream.

Comics publishers should wise up to this same secret knowledge before increased cover prices no longer fix the problem of the shrinking fanboy.

An interesting topic and a lot of great posts so far, many of which echo my own feelings (I especially liked Craig’s comments about being able to rely on certain books shipping in certain weeks in the good old days – ah, I remember those times well :) ).

Needless to say, it’s nice to see so many other people who have a problem with the $3.99 price point, something that IDW introduced and Marvel legitimised by following suit. I’m terribly disappointed DC have now gone down that road too, because it’s going to cost them a bit of my business in the future. Oh sure, I’ll get Batwoman and Batman Inc, but I’ll be dropping Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey and Green Lantern Corps to make up for having to buy those damn $4 books…

I for one do understand the feeling of most on this board. My biggest frustration is the fact that this is probably the most innovative and courageous time in comics. Never have I seen a vast library of this medium by far. I think alot has to do with writers and artist getting much more creative control on these characters and able to spearhead their own characters with great returns.

Here’s the problem. I can’t afford to pick up all the titles I want to collect and read. I been a comic collector for years. Left comics in the 90′s due to the bad spills of comics. rejoined this medium in 2000. loving the new directions of Quesada & Geoff Johns leadership. Only thing I can’t afford to buy, so now I have to reduce my checklist which sucks. I love the full experience in the comic world, but can’t fully enjoy it. I have friends who love comics as well. They actually stop collecting because of the recession giving them limited resources so the stop buying these books. I don’t blame them really. to spend $10.00 and get two books is insane. These books should be $2.50 and for big titles $3.00. It allows us to spend more and get a much better experience.

For you guys pissing on events…come on. Most events have been really great! Secret Invasion, House of M, Blackest Night, Messiah Complex, Seige, World war hulk – Planet Hulk ,Utopia, shadowland etc… I can go on. gives us something to look forward to. That’s always been the level ground for comics so why stop!

Just reduce the price tag, I’m really hurting with $3.99 & $4.99 books

I’m a 30 yr reader who is on the verge of quitting. I can’t say that the $3.99 price is the only reason but I can say it was the final straw. Decompressed storytelling, One More Day, and the overall lack of quality in the X-franchise over the last 10 years played their roles too. Its not that I can’t afford $3.99 as I could since I’m an adult with an adult income, its the principle of the matter to me.

When the price went to $3.99 I responded by dropping every title that increased. Bye bye all Avengers titles and a few others. So the net effect is that Marvel is now getting less money from me than they got before.

I will PAY $3.99 a Month to not hear that Gambit is dreamy.

People keep saying that Marvel & DC are pricing themselves out of business. I don’t get that statement. We all agree that $3.99 is too pricey, but what they are really hurting is the LCS. I no longer go to my LCS because I can get all of my comics 30 to 50% off at mailordercomics.com. I might have to pay $10 a month for shipping but the price still beats my LCS’s 10% off if I subscribe to 10 by far.

I save a ton of money and no, I don’t have any loyalty to shop at an LCS. Why would I?

I have to admit though: even with 30% off I still avoid $3.99 comics. I just can’t see why they are so much. May be if they had went from $2.99 to $3.50, instead of just increasing 1/3 the price, the audience wouldn’t have had such a radical response.

MESSAGE to PUBLISHERS & SHOP OWNERS: KIDS DO NOT READ COMICS> PERIOD!!!

and the few that do 1) can only afford a few titles at best. 2) are only faitherful readers for a very small amount of time.
KIDS today are not into comics- they are into VIDEO GAMES or are tech savy enough to get comics digitaly or by cheaper means.

The bread and butter of this industry is the 25-45 nerds who have jobs & families. And we are saying that 4 bucks for a comic is UNAFFORDABLE.
MARVEL & DC churn out way too much product at an unafordable price. They are literaly killing the industry.

Month after month local shop guys sit at local hotel conventions and TRY to sell current product for 50% off cover and even have a hard time doing that.

You dont raise prices and increase the amount of product in a friggin ECONOMIC CRISIS!!!!!!!!!!!

sorry for the typos

Id rather buy 4 & 5 $ comics from an indy publisher from my LCS than a MARVEL or DC title that i can get cheaper off the net or for FREE by stealing the Jpegs from any website.

LCS need MARVEL & DC comics to survive & its obvious you can get them cheaper elsewhere.

Event series sell? Says who?

You are telling me event series sell more than say Alan Moore’s Watchmen miniseries or Stan Lee’s Spider-Man run? Give me a freaking break. Event series sell to some diehard fans that will pick up anything or to some casual person that easily falls for a gimmick, but event series are not sustainable long term for all readers. Event series are nothing more than a mere novelty with no significance that once picked up are quickly forgotten. Case in point who cares about Mark Millar’s Civil War, but everyone still cares about Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke. There are various problems with event series besides just being quick money grabs, they have no real story, they have no actual character development, they stand out as contrived, they contradict continuity, they are often too long, they often have too many characters, they have too many crossovers, they have different art styles, they lay waste to the core of various superheroes and they are still printed as single issues. No one really wants to buy this garbage, what the readers want are well written self-contained miniseries written by one writer and drawn by one artist with a great story that sticks to the core of a superhero while also having an ending collected as a graphic novel. The miniseries may be a short story with a definitive ending like Sam Hamm’s Batman: Blind Justice or it may be a miniseries that has an open ending but is part of a grander story composed of multiple miniseries that will eventually end like Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, but no matter what the readers want to feel rewarded with each miniseries having an actual ending. No reader would want to read some whacky event about a dead super villain being a superhero while clones of superheroes appear to contradict continuity to go fight the original superheroes in a story that never ends across thirty single issues written by multiple different writers and drawn by multiple different artists (Secret Invasion). What the readers want is a superhero on a journey of growth going up against a super villain to test his worth in a story with continuity that ends written by one writer and drawn by one artist contained within one graphic novel (Ed Brubaker’s Incognito). DC is getting with the program to give the readers what they want with Earth One, Marvel Comics needs to put on some glasses so they can see they have to do the same or risk closing down their comics’ division.

I’m done with Marvel, and jumped to DC. Sure they are guilty of this too but in terms of overpricing and backmatter in comics Marvel takes the cake.

I also need to add that it is hard for me to get the comics I want BECAUSE MY LCS OF THIRTY YEARS CLOSED DOWN.

I can’t find Scarlet. I would like to read it. I’ll have to turn to the internet for Scarlet. Likely going to get it used. IE Marvel will not be getting my money for a comic I desperately want.

People WANT to give Marvel and DC money. They want their hobby to thrive. They do not want to pay five dollars for a comic. They do not want sub-par comics fed to them. They want the industry to grow and net new readers. And especially with the comic movies coming out there are loads of people that hunger for these stories but are turned off by the industry.

I want comics to grow up. I want them to be as healthy and as powerful as they were in the fifties. I want to read good stories and lots of them. I like Marvel but they are driving me away from them.

:(

My LCS closed down because people are not reading comics. Marvel needs to lead the industry in innovation.

They also need to treat women better. And that is not a separate topic. Women have money too. And they like fantasy every bit as much as men.

YOU CAN BE BETTER MARVEL.

Another vote for $3.99 is way to much. I find it strange that Marvel keeps talking about getting new/young readers. I wouldn’t give my young child $10 for two comics that would get trashed within a week. I won’t even pay that much and I collect comics.

I’m also surprised that Quesada, when asked in one of his Cup O’Joe columns about the price increase on New Avengers, he said they were doing it to test the market. Not that cost had gone up. Just testing it. That to me says that Marvel just wanted to see if we would pay a dollar more. And people did. So they raised the price on other books.

When the price of fuel rises, the cost in all aspects of manufacturing rise. In regards to paper for comics, shipping goes up, cost to cut the wood rises and so on. Marvel charged $2.99 for comics when fuel was at its peak earlier in the decade. Why would the fans be expected to believe that with the cost of fuel down, and a recession on, that the paper is the reason for the increase? Paper reacts to the economy in the same way as Comics do. If they charge higher prices they receive less orders and therefore make less money. Marvels explanation makes no sense to anyone with common sense.

Another interesting point: Tom Breevort has stated many times, that even if they removed the Nomad back-up from Captain America, Marvel would still charge $3.99. Do the writer and artist who do the Nomad back-up work for free? Are the pages that the story is printed on free to Marvel? Color and inks? Yet we would still be charged the same price? How exactly does that work?

the $3.99 price has definitely contributed to me dropping a lot of titles. I use to buy 50+ books per month, now I’m under 20 and spending more than I was when I bought over 50. Just about every month I review my pull list and decide to drop another title.
I quit doing all events and I don’t pick up new titles because it just costs too much to take the risk on a book I may or may not like. For $4 I can buy a much thicker magazine or for $2 more dollars an actual novel to read.
I use to be able to walk to the comic shop, because they were pretty much everywhere, and spend $20 on 15-20 comics. On weeks when there were only a few of my regular titles coming out, I was happy to pick up a new titles.
Now that comic shops are becoming extinct in many areas and given the state of the economy it just isn’t worth spending the $10 in gas (@$2.69/gal) to drive an hour to pick up 4 books and spend another $20. Now I’m happy if I don’t have any books coming in on a particular week because that means I don’t have to make the drive and spend and spend as much on 5 or 6 comics as I would a pair of jeans or new shoes. I can take that $20-30 I saved and walk a block from my house to take my family out to dinner, or put enough gas in my car to get to work for the week. They are pricing their fans out of the hobby.
What’s even more sad is that the industry seems puzzled as to why they aren’t selling more or getting new fans. Could it be the fact that with no comics on retails shelves(drug or grocery stores) kids don’t know the characters as anything other than videogame, cartoon or movie characters?How can you expect to sell an item when the newest generation of customers don’t even know they exists? I seriously doubt most parents are going to spend the gas to drive their kids an hour to find a comic book. I know plenty of former comic readers that didn’t even know comics were still being published, except for Archie which you can find in nearly all drug or grocery stores.

for me, it all comes down to execution. if the story is good (and the art, of course, being comic books), then i personally don’t give a damn if it’s a big event or a small intimate character driven one shot. just tell good stories. events solely for the sake of having events to sell books (see: the 90s) hamstringed creativity and inspired little beyond mediocrity. the thing i’ve enjoyed with MOST of the current crop of events is that, even if it is partially about marketing, drawing in new readers, stimulating the fan base, etc., it legitimately feels like these are stories the creators WANT to tell. if the event involves characters i’m interested in, has creators i enjoy working on it and/or the premise sounds interesting, then i’ll check it out. if not, then i’ll steer clear. that simple. the only “event fatigue” i’m concerned with is that of the creators themselves, if they’re not inspired to tell a big event story but are pushed into doing it all the same for purely financial reasons. if the story’s good and the creators are inspired, all else is secondary.

but yes, the prices should definitely come down. i dig DC’s approach to it, where the extra dollar books have added content. minus a few exceptions (like Captain America, and really i couldn’t care less about Nomad’s latest high school adventures, but at least they’re trying something), Marvel’s price hike books seem entirely arbitrary.

oh, and World War Hulk was awesome. ;)

Well, Im from Spain (and live there) and five years ago (when I was 15) I decided stop buying the spanish Marvel edition because of the translation and the prices (they were so freaking expensive comparing it with the US editions), so I started buying the original editions. Most of the cases, it was a bit cheaper and I could really enjoy it reading it in english.
And throught these five years, I was able to begin new series, to follow other teams I didnt even know, etc. But, with the prices rising, its not only that I cant expand the titles I intend to follow (nowadays I got 6 series + event comics monthly) but I cant even afford the ones I was already buying. Im a student and I work the weekends, but even so, the rising pirces is something that just kills my plans. I mean, if the cost for every comic was lower I could spend more money, because the difference between buying 6 and 7, or 8 monthly comics aint that much. But when the price is 3.99, the normal expense goes from 18 bucks to 24$. I could assume that, but not for long. I know that sooner or later I´ll stop buying a couple of titles because I feel Im wasting my money in those just-rised-price comics which arent as good as the others.

Invincible Iron Man. Still a great series. Slapping it with the 3.99 tag will be the day that I will stop buying it.

This is the only comic I’m buying from Marvel. I’ve dropped the Avengers already.

I buy 4 Marvel titles…. Hawkeye & Mockingbird, Young Allies, Avengers Academy & Thunderbolts.

What is their one common defining factor…. THEY ARE ALL $2.99

Here’s some fun maths.
$4 for a 5minute read = $0.80/min

This means a 90minute film would cost you 0.8×90 = $72!
According to Comic company maths Lord of the Rings (178 mins) should cost $142.40!

As much as the Quesada bangs on about new young readers the actual truth is that adults are buying a lot of the comics & the $3.99 is aimed at them. Does anyone have the demographics on this?
I have read so many comics which were pomoted to the ceiling & been left with a ‘meh!’ feeling.

Story arcs which meld into other story arcs lead to an endless cycle of never-ending stories – I’m looking at you Brubaker on Capt. America. Can we pls have some closure!

Has anyone thought about the possibility that the big 2 do not care about this medium any more?

They just want to have some comic books out, with the stories that they want to make in films and TV series, and that’s it.

Printed matter is dying very fast, and we, collectors, are getting fewer and fewer, since it has become so easy to find almost every comic on the web and download it. The future of comics is… films and TV series, where the big bucks are.

If we are lucky enough we will be allowed a couple series at $5 in the next years and that’s it I’m afraid.

I went into detail about this last night (on Twitter – @jammyrobots if you want to read) so I won’t re-hash it here, but I want to add something which I think is important.

The nature of serialised fiction, and ongoing comics in particular, is one of the major issues. Annoyed Fan mentioned above that local store owners struggle to sell books at 50% of cover price. Of course they do! Here’s why:

The speculator boom made collecting an antiquated hobby. If readership of comics in general is waning, then the number of those readers who collect for financial reasons must be even fewer. So it stands to reason that back issues are kinda losing their appeal. Marvel obviously recognised this when they altered their overprint policy. So who will buy comics which are over 6 months old? Hardly anybody nowadays. You can buy the trade instead, right? But even trades are now published early enough to be relevant.

Here’s the crux: as readers, we are mostly interested in current events (or the current ‘event’, as much as we might protest otherwise). If you were to read a Dark Reign-branded Marvel book right now, it wouldn’t have the same impact because it’s a story from another period featuring characters which have since left the team/been killed off/been retconned. It shouldn’t detract from the story or art, but it just feels… irrelevant. So in a sense, comics are becoming disposable again.

Personally, I’d love to see a poll go up on Marvel and DC’s sites, or on CBR or Newsarama or all of the above, asking how many readers would be truly offended by the idea of less ongoings and more ‘volumes’. An interim measure, between single issues and trades, maybe 70-80 pages long and published as and when the story is ready. I imagine many readers would be offended, but without truly knowing why.

If there are fewer ‘collectors’ and fewer readers, with even the hardcore audience dropping books across the line, it stands to reason that keeping on publishing 22-page (what used to be called) prestige edition books at $3.99 almost across the board is not necessarily going to solve anything. Could we, as readers, accept that a change isn’t always a terrible thing?

Correction: Meant to say “the speculator boom AND BUST made collecting an antiquated hobby”.

1/ I have dropped almost all the Marvel/DC $3.99 titles.
Except these 3 ones: Batman The Dark Knight, Batwoman and Vertigo Resurrected from DC and DeadpoolMAX – but it is in a bad shape at what I read on the resumes… – and Scarlet from Marvel!

Ohhhhhhh! Only ONE true Marvel title!!!!! What do you think Mr Brevoort?

2/ the money I have saved has been spend mostly on $2.99/$3.50 titles but not more on Marvel/DC comic books, no, no, no!

3/ the only $3.99 titles I have kept are Dungeons and Dragons from IDW – which is more a D&D module with its extension (as I saw somewhere on the web), and Torchwood from Titan.

I spend each week around $2.60 for the institutional weekly UK color comic magazine 2000AD. 32 magazine sized pages of stories and ONLY 1 ad!!!! I read it more and more times than your own comic books. And it didn’t take 2-3 minutes to read it entirely but much more!!!!!

You can’t do that sort of comic book/magazine because you are out of the comic book industry from years ago.

You only have seen profits and sells for years. You have not listen your first customers: WE, READERS.

You are years late of WHAT your READERS really want.

I think that I will completely dropped all the US titles and stay only on 2000AD, Judge Dredd Megazine and the new Strip Magazine if the US titles don’t return under the symbolic $3.00 or less.

And bring back us Captain Britain and Alpha Flight. There is enough of only US characters/groups.

Like the report.

I think your dead on about event books. With the $3.99 price tag I have to be picky about what I buy. Concerning the $3.99 price tag… my pull list gets smaller, and I wait to find the stuff in the $1 bin or on some online auction site. Drop the price a buck and I’m more likely to add a title or two. I do believe (I’ve seen it played out in retail stores in the past) the lower price can equate more sales. More sales even at a lower price means more money. Really enjoyed this report and hope it makes a difference!

I have been reading Marvel comics since the mid 60s and a Marvel Zombie in the 70s and 80s (bought about everything they published.)
I now read only half a dozen marvels a month. I read none of the Bendis driven big events. I find the prolonged, overwrought, convoluted story lines off putting. When I think back to some of the all time classic stories, ‘The Coming of Galactus’, ‘Steranko’s Captain America’, The Master Planner’, ‘The Kree-Skrull War’…I see they all took 3 to 6 issues to tell, and they remain great. Taking years to tell a story doesn’t mean it’s a good or “important” story and limits the writers from other, maybe better, stories.
Add to that the $4 price and you loose a very long time reader.
You have also made your Universe so dense and impenetrable that the hopes of getting new readers to replace him are minimal.

I suffer from chronic Event Fatigue Syndrome, which is not to say I am completely averse to all event projects…just the ones that are churned out with precious little build-up or resonance. I want an event to send huge ripples through every title. I want weeks or even months of build-up. I want to feel like I need to get my hands on the event mini-series ASAP because some huge stuff is going down and I *want* to know what it is. Most importantly, I want it to be fun. Obviously. I want to see characters from different books interact in situations where we don’t usually see them rubbing elbows. And if it is an event, make it an EVENT. Leave a mark on the landscape, something that can’t be easily ret-conned away, something that will be considered a milestone for years to come. Don’t just make it a gateway for the next event. That’s cheap. And at 3.99 a pop, we’re going to be reading more and more critically to decide whether we’re reading a blow-out gamechanger, or just another marketing ploy for the next “must have” 12-issue 3.99-a-pop bleeding of our wallets.

Honestly, I’m all for lower-quality printing and paper in exchange for a lower price point, especially as online comics become more and more of an option, and especially if the “de-evolution” in print/paper quality brings a re-examination of value to comics as collectibles. Floppies don’t need to be made of the best stuff around – save the deluxe paper and printing for the trade collections. The content is the star here, and if we can afford to purchase more content, we’ll be in a much better spot than we’re in now.

I’ve cut the number of titles I pick up by more than half because of the increased cover prices, and my pull list will keep shrinking if prices do not decrease soon.

I know nobody will read this because it’s so far down the list, and some others have mentiond it but not enough.

BUY YOUR COMICS ONLINE!

I think we all know that current paper comics are never going to be worth the oodles of money issues printed in the 60′s and 70′s are. Too many are printed and Digital Distribution will probably make them unnecessary anyway. Therefore, your issues to not have to be in MINT PRISTINESUPER NEVER BREATHED ON OR LOOKED AT Condition. Mail ordered comics come nicely packaged together in an oversized bag with bubble wrap and oodles of peanuts to protect them. Potentially a corner may be nicked or turned up a bit, but, if you look at the above sentence, that shouldn’t matter. You could still buy bags/boards yourself and keep your stuff in good condition for future reads.

Buyng online gives you a BIGGER DISCOUNT THAN THE 10% at your LCS. 30-75% depending on the comic. That 3.99 Avengers book you want? 2.47. 3 cents lessthan the magic 2.50 price point of yesteryear. Those 2.99 X-books or mini’s are 1.85. 1.85! #1 issues sometimes sell at a ridiculous rate of .99 cents.

Shipping. Now this can be a downside. I have decided that i can wait a month for my comics. So at the end of the month, they ship them out, and I have a 1 time shipping charge. This is the cheapest solution. You could get them every week though if you so desired. Be aware though that the shipping charges do go up since you’re getting 4 packages.

I went from spending $40-60 bucks a month to $30. Because of cancellations, and my stopping of tie-in books I’m down to $25 some months. AND I’ve been able to try out other books.

After reading comics for 32 years, I just stopped about a year ago cold turkey. When I can buy a novel for my Kindle from $0.01 to $9.99 and it keeps me entertained for a whole week, I find it hard to support a habit costing $40 per week. I still liked comics but there was not enough value. If this medium is going to survive it needs to go digital and get cheaper. I would pay $10 per month for electronic access to, say, ten titles. When I see digital variants of comics that cost as much as hard copy, I think the people at MArvel and DC are missing the boat. younger consumers are not goin got pay $3.99 for a digital comic. They can pay $50 and play “Halo: Reach” for months.

I like the idea of events. I often find the general plots compelling and interesting. Unfortunately, I find the Marvel event stories lacking. The primary reason for this is the writers, and two in particular: Millar and Bendis. Both have penned four of the past five big marvel events (World War Hulk is the exception). These two writer are terrible at finishing events. They are also terrible at telegraphing exactly what will happen in a book through interviews and such. Because they are terrible at finishing events, I find myself questioning why I shelled out $3.99 for the book. I’m a way bigger Marvel fan than I am DC, but I find DC events usually have a more satisfying ending (perhaps due to the superior writing of Johns and Morrison).

All of this is for nothing now that I’ve given up paying for comic books. I once collected about 40 titles a month and did so for 15 years. I love comics and am completely addicted to them. But I also now realize that they are, for the most part, a complete waste of money. I cannot justify 4 bucks for a book that takes maybe ten minutes to read and is so full of ads that I feel like it is a GQ magazine. When they raised the price to 4 bucks and when Joe Q forcefully said he would not explain why the price went up or provide a cost breakdown, I realized that Marvel cared nothing for fans or the current financial times. I realized that Joe Q is simply a smug corporate lacky with zero business acumen. So now I download all my books off of torrents and I’m certainly not alone. I also cannot justify 2 bucks for a legal download because I think that is outrageous (not to mention the fact that the download selection sucks). I hate the comic book business model. I would collect again at $2.50 and would buy way more books at $1.99. But alas, that will never happen.

Joe Q once justified cost increases by saying that the price of everything goes up – from gas to milk. By comparing comic books to the necessity of life, I realized he was a moron. I hope he understands that the other form of media he often compares comics to – movies – often have cheap nights where you can attend for half-price. Moreover, movies come out in dvd, where it is cheaper, unlike trades that provide only minor or next to no savings.

I don’t follow Events except in the rarest of cases – if the character I’m following is involved in the Big Event, I’ll still only get his regular book and kind of skim the Event-related material.

I’ve already dropped seven titles from both DC and Marvel based on price alone. It’s the first time I’ve done that. These are books that were in my ‘B- and C-list’, but the only reason they were dropped was the price, either of that book or A-list books that I needed to make room for.

Basicallly, the price increases have made me a much more of a trade-waiter than I was before. Or to just not bother with that book, at all.

I´ve avoided almost any new series priced at 4 bucks just because I don´t want to spend much more money on comics. There are so many good series out there but I just can´t afford them so I´d rather stay away. It has also helped me to cut down my pull list. i hope there will be a day when reading comics is hobby again and not a luxury.

Yow — long comment thread and I’m not reading all of it, so forgive me if this has been touched on.

But I had an epiphany reading Thor: The Mighty Avenger the other night. I think Roger Langridge has nailed what was wonderful about the early shared-universe stories of the Silver Age: yes, characters from other books could show up at any time, and that was exciting…but you never had to read those issues to follow up the story in the OTHER book. You didn’t have to read Johnny Storm’s guest appearance in Spider-Man (or, hell, even the Human Torch solo book) to understand what was going on in Fantastic Four. Sure, they might allude to it in a couple of lines of dialogue later, but that was it. They managed the trick of a shared universe encompassing a dozen or so self-contained titles.

I heard Aegisbearer does not want women or people of colour to join the Wonder Woman forum on Comic Book Resources. This is undoubtedly fact as five people I knew who regularly posted there have been told theyr no longer wanted on that forum. It dosent help matters in the least that that arrogant Andy Mangels – the self confessed world expert on all yhings WW related – condones this behaviour. How many more people will be forced to leave a forum they used to enjoy just because Aegisbearer dissaproves of the colour of your skin, or your gender. Appalling!

I’d certainly like to see all comic books below $3.99. I won’t buy a comic book priced at $3.99. I buy very few books priced at $2.99.

I don’t really believe that comic books will become cheaper. Unless something very drastic occurs. I believe that there will be fewer books, before a price reduction. I honestly don’t believe kids are reading comics anymore. I have two neices and three nephews all different ages. Two of my nephews grew up reading comics and moved on to sports, the third is nine and plays video games and watches Clone Wars and will not read a comic to save his life. My neices read Twilight.

I don’t believe that comics are doing anything to attract new readers. Certainly the price is a big part of that choice. Another is gimmicks such as line-wide events that cater to the established fan, not the new reader. Unfortunately, I’m of a mind that comics have grown up with its most recent audience – which are reaching middle- or golden-age themselves – and younger audiences are being attracted to other forms of entertainment.

Why does Vertigo manage to sell comics for adults for $3 and Marvel/DC charge mostly $4 for their ‘childrens’ books?

I blame high-priced artists and writers.

$3.99 was the end of the line for me.I love comics and though I purchased everything online,I cannot afford to buy comics anymore and I wont.I have stacks of books I bought in the last 3-4 years that I read and now cannot sell.I will only buy tades and only if they were good runs or mini’s.I think when they went to the fancy paper and overdone computer color they were on there way to losing me.I could not afford to let a comic get a ding or crease,because the book would be worthless on a secondary market.They are losing sales and trying to,by market saturation(re:1990′s)trying to make up for the lost sales.$2.99 was a stretch,$2.00 is the perfect price point and scrap the fancy,shiney paper.Its hard to read and unecessary.Also,the stories have gone sharply downhill,repeating old ideas over and over again.

Not sure if this has already been addressed. I have recently cut back on purchasing newer books and have started re-reading classic runs or books I enjoyed. Right now I’m reading the James Robinson Starman books and plan to re read 100 bullets, Y the last man, etc. What I’m trying to get at is. The only way that this price increase is going to change is if you the reader refuse to buy those books. I’m no longer going to purchase captain America because I’m being charged an extra dollar fir some back up story I could care less about. Why doesn’t marvel/DC publish two different versions of their books. One with the extra material at the extra price tag and one minus the back up for 2.99 price. See if the reader really cares about the back up story/character.

I really hope Mr. Brevoort reads this one. A few months ago I picked up some old Static comics with the old newspaper pages. I realize that the cost of everything is going up, including I’m sure, the materials used to make a comic book. But I have to imagine that the old newspaper paper has to be cheaper than today’s glossy paper. Now I don’t know the marketing ins and outs, so I’m not going to sit here and say that “this is the answer!,” but I’ve talked with friends and comic book retailers before about the idea of printing individual issues in this old newspaper paper and perhaps saving the glossy paper for collected trades. I don’t know about everyone else, but I for one wouldn’t mind the format change a bit if it would mean cheaper comics. And for a particularly pretty story (say whenever McNiven touches pencil to paper) I could always upgrade to the glossy, collected edition. Just a thought from A Friendly Neighborhood Mighty Marvelite.

The simplest statement that I can make is that I went from spending nearly $200 or more per month at my local shop, to quitting comics cold. The $3.99 price tag just made it impossible for me to keep up, even with my subscriber/pull-box discount. I’m with the folks that say to drop the prices (and return to cheaper paper, if that’s what it takes). (I’m 52 years old and have been an avid reader for about 40 of those years. Ending a 40 year habit is a pretty painful exercise. It’d be nice to see some sign that you respect your readers and cut us a break on pricing.

Both Marvel & DC can raise their prices to whatever they like – I’m going digital…downloading them all…much cheaper than spending a&150 a month of so-so stories

In the early 1990s, I discovered I could not afford to purchase all of the comics I wanted to each week. Since my comics shop racked by week, I decided I would pick up this week’s comics the next week. I repeated this each week, putting off purchasing lesser titles.

What happened is that the next month’s issue had come in, and I had not purchased the previous month’s issue. That’s when I discovered that the stories were not that compelling, and thus I kicked my Marvel Zombie habit. I believe the last Marvel comic I bought on a regular basis at that point was either McFarlane’s Spider-Man, or Byrne’s Namor.

That said, I still read Marvel Comics, but selectively. Price does not really factor into my purchasing decisions, as I spend only $20 a week at my local comics shop.

I do believe the comics should be printed on cheaper paper… I’d even go so far as to suggest they drop color, saving it for the collections. Print it “manga style”… black ink with some grey tones on unbleached newsprint!

Of course, if you can’t afford comics, then start a buying club! Everyone buys certain series, then you get together and read everything, trading issues just like kids used to do in the 1950s!

Can we just get a number order ala the Superman trinagle on “event” books and their tie ins? I realize we don’t have to read everything but if we want to I rarely have no clue where and when to do so, because those checklists are worthless.

My problem with the price point of $3.99, there was no slight increase of a quarter as we have come to expect since the late 80′s. One day its an extra dollar and now the precedent is set for the next dollar increase. readers were not given time to adjust and the monthly sales chart reflects that. I don’t want to hear about the trade market or the economy, factors yes, but not to the effect we see in month to month sales.

Events…as sales have trended down on these things they have gotten smaller. You can bet a fabulous Marvel no-prize that if Siege sold as well as its predecessors there would be another “event” on its heels. Event books are nice when they are once in awhile, not every summer. Maybe Im just old (29) and miss the days of great 1 or 2 or even 3 issue stories that left threads to be picked up later. Perhaps that is why i enjoyed the recent run on Spider-Man.

I stopped buying Marvel and DC years ago and not because of the price of comics. I felt that the industry doesn’t care about good storytelling anymore. Several months are spent telling a story that will change Peanut-Butter Man forever and few months later? Never mind, it never happened. What were essential parts of a hero’s origion have been changed, deleted, re-inserted, changed again ad nauseum when ever a new creative team takes over that I finally had enough. Even at $1.00, drek is still drek.

“3. . Jason Rusch is not Firestorm, Ronnie Raymond is.”

No Jason Rusch is not Firestorm, Ronnie Raymond AND Martin Stein are.

The problem is the huge jump in price…2.99 to 3.99…25 to 33 percent. It cannot be justified and everyone knows it. To be honest i sort of secretly hope it kills the industry and i believe it will (as far as new output). I will not add any 22 pg title that is not 2.99. Already passed up on atleast 5 that i would have been getting because of the pricepoint. Also i plan on dropping any title that i already buy monthly that goes up to 3.99.

I commend DC for trying to hold off on raising their books to 3.99 for as long as they could however nothing can makeup for this percentage of a pricepoint raise.

This is coming from a huge comicbook fan who has been collecting them for 20 plus years. And this is the Dark Age for this industry. I feel sorry for the creators even more than i feel sorry for their fans and the LCS owners.

I stopped buying comic two months ago after buying between 10 and 25 books a month for the past 25 years, hell I have been reading them even longer. After having my first child I had to drop to 6 books a months, and was going to continue buying the issues that i have complete runs of, so when my son get old enough he would have them. But there was just no way to buy one hulk book, when for the past few months it was in the middle of a crossover, or uncanny x-men for that same reason. it seems like it is always something. and my need to feed my family comes before buying books. As of two months ago, it has gone from spending $90 – $100 per month to $0, all due to the price incresses and the countless crossovers. Now I am just reading trades from the library.

One day I hope my kids will read my old back issues and want to get into comics, and by then I hope that the crossovers have slowed to once a year and no 12 – 14 part stories, and I have won the lottery to pay the cover prices.

Stuck

Yeah this is one reason why I don’t buy mainstream comics also the events are just crap and are not needed. If they lower the prices that would be a good thing, comics are already a dying medium raising prices is only to fuel that fire. But yeah I’m pretty much done with Marvel and DC until these uesless events go away and we get more good story telling less money making gigs.

Count me among those who gave up new single issues altogether once the $3.99 wave came. Paying $4.99 for the DARK AVENGERS annual was the final straw. Now I just buy collections, usually at a steep discount or used. I can’t take part in the weekly conversation about stories anymore, but I save a ton of money and read big, satisfying chunks of stories all at once.

Screw price hikes, I’m more interested in this Wonder Woman forum chicanery!

“It dosent help matters in the least that that arrogant Andy Mangels – the self confessed world expert on all yhings WW related – condones this behaviour. How many more people will be forced to leave a forum they used to enjoy just because Aegisbearer dissaproves of the colour of your skin, or your gender. ”

So this Aegisbearer dislikes colored people but doesn’t have a problem with gay Andy Mangels?

Yes, sadly I as well do not pick up as many titles that are 3.99. It really is just too much to pay on average for titles and be able to try new books off the shelf or ordering unseen. Especially for event titles. I find myself skipping them and then when released in TPB at a much more affordable price I may pick up then, or not. In all honesty I’d much rather spend four bucks to support independent publishers, not Marvel who seems to be more about the money these days than affordability or even quality/quantity ratio of their titles.

No,Aegisbearer dosent have a problem with Andy Mangels….because he kisses his ass every opportunity, thats why. Try criticising either of them and be prepared for the inevitable tidal wave of abuse because youre not “in the loop”. If you get off on posters being abused and flamed for daring to give opinions, the WW forum is the ideal place. Heres an example…someone posting as “Zsa Zsa” was met with “aernt you dead yet”, and “someone should turn off your life support machine”. Aegisbearer was treating this as a joke as per usual. I still post there on occasion, but with the level of abuse bandied about I often think I shouldnt bother.

Couldnt agree more. Hateful forum. The Wonder Woman forum seems to have been hijacked by…well, I dont know what to call them.

What a long post. I don’t have the energy to read it all so please forgive me if I go over some of the same ground.

I always liked a nice big event, but lately there have been a few too many. It used to be fun when everybody got together to battle something huge or “shift” a universe, but lately there have been just too many. I personally liked a breather in between and an ending that didn’t just seem to peeter out. 400 heroes can’t stop those pesky Skrulls that have infiltrated all aspects of human life, but Norman Osborn has a high powered rifle that stops the whiole thing cold with one shot? Really? Talk about lame.

As for the price hike, I’m finishing up with comics. I won’t pay $3.99 for anything that takes me less than 10 minutes to read. And though I understand I can purchase comics on the internet or subscribe to Marvel and get my books for half that price I just won’t do it. I’d rather see the business crash and burn. Which of course won’t happen because there are too many people out there not, as Kody Chamberlain so eloquently put it, voting with their dollars. (BTW, Sweets is a good read so far with great art and a $2.99 price tag. Grats and thanks, Cody!)

I feel bad for my LCS. I’ve been going there for 20 years. I’m down from spending upwards of $150 bucks a month to less than $40. We’ve had long discussions and they understand, but it still hurts them. They do appreciate the fact that I won’t purchase direct from Marvel who is undercutting their retailers by half?!?! That just amazes me that retailers haven’t pulled some sort of boycott themselves. Shut down Marvel for a month or two by not ordering anything, see what Disney has to say then.

Just my two cents.

Brian from Canada

September 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Lowering prices on events is NOT the answer. Making them special IS.

Here’s why:

Before 1985, events were story-driven. “The Coming Of Galactus,” “Dark Phoenix Saga” and the like were great events because the story behind them built up to this pivotal moment. And even when it was manufactured by editorial — such as the annual JLA/JSA team-up in Justice League Of America — it felt like a special event.

And the two maxi-series got that. “Secret Wars” and “Crisis On Infinite Earths” impacted on the regular books, but they were also special rarities in their own right. “Crisis” was more impacting on the monthlies, but it still felt as this was a once-in-a-lifetime event that shook the entire universe. The monthlies were the underpinning, much like the series were the underpinning for the rare Battle Of The Network Stars specials.

But not now.

Now, we’re in an era of corporate design. If one event can boost sales, the corporation must think, then so can another. And then another. And another. By the mid-90s, Marvel readers in particular had cycled through three Infinity crises — not to mention the multitude of X-events that made you wonder why the books all didn’t just use the same name… they had the same story event every six months.

All “Disassembled” did was make it bigger. It used the X-Men model of one event leading to another to create one story cycle for the entire Marvel universe. And while those events often overwhelmed the monthlies — costing some titles readership that was otherwise occupied — it never reached the level of… anger… in the fan base as it has now because they were considered one story for the entire Marvel universe.

Now, we have ‘smaller’ events happening everywhere. X-Men, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four… one moment, Marvel’s telling you that The Fantastic Four will never be the same and the next it’s telling you Matt Murdock is going to fall and the next… well, you get the picture.

It’s pushed and pulled us too far. We can’t stretch that far. And not at the price you’ve got it at. If you want the event to stand out — if you want the audience to support your books and love the work — then limit the events and go back to regular, one title story lines that the readers can support month-in, month-out.

THEN Marvel will be able to sell us the events, because we’ll think they actually are worth taking extra $$$ out for them.

Brian from Canada

September 20, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Oh, one more point:

Breevort has said that reducing paper quality will not have a major impact on cover price. He’s probably right. With the rising cost of gas, transportation through Diamond is going to be killer too.

But what about the cost of digital comics? If they were everything they’re supposed to be cracked up to be, why not lower the price of digital comics to really make them hot items?

Because Marvel has REALLY FUCKED UP there. It costs less for a monthly subscription to Marvel’s website — which you can read over your internet connection on your iPad if you do it right — then to read a much smaller number of issues using the Marvel app.

They’re already scanned folks! You’ve already got them in the format!

I want to see Marvel lower their prices on books they want to push, like have an Avengers month/week where a select run of issues is 25¢ each. Or, sell gift cards usable on the app so that you can get 10 issues for 10 bucks and not the $1.99 for the book.

Trade paperbacks are extra cash on top of monthlies and they stay on your shelf for much lower than the cost of monthlies. Digital comics don’t even SIT on your real shelf, so why do they cost the same per page as a trade paperback?

Get with it Marvel. And DC. You’re not IDW, relying on a licensed product that has a smaller audience of diehards than most superheroes.

Not sure how this discussion has been taken over by all the horrible things going on in the Wonder Woman forum. I thought we were here to discuss comic book prices and the impact on the industry and readers, not those racists and homophobes!

Marsupiel, we will talk about anything we fucking want, okay. Im on that forum most nights and we couldnt give a jews fuck what anyone else thinks. This forum isnt for the likes of you anyhow.

Hear, hear with the lower comic prices.

I’m still buying select titles (S.H.I.E.L.D., Green Arrow and Northlanders being my monthlies) but I have never been into the ‘event’ comics. I’m pretty picky with the characters I like (dropped Moon Knight because I don’t like the “heroic” Moonie). Additionally, Marvel publishes way too many titles with the same characters imo. I’m only buying the Bianchi Thor mini because that’s the only Thor title that interests me. I’m buying the next Cap arc despite the price and Nomad back up because story sounds good.

I like stand alone stories with the characters I enjoy and that’s what I will buy providing I can afford it. S.H.I.E.L.D. is it’s own little epic universe spanning story imo and that’s plenty of cross-over for me.

$3.99 and higher for pages and pages of ads is just not right these days. Then again, I could just wait until the trades are used to buy them. That’s what I’d do now if S.H.I.E.L.D. wasn’t so damn good.

So I say yes, go back to lower prices esp. in light of the Disney buyout Marvel.

alease lets get back to the real topic,and leave the wonder woman forum alone, i love it. i go there to get away from the coloureds and fags that infest the otfer forumms. leave it alone.

I useda buy the avengers comics, all fooking ten of them but gave them up when that coloured was in itt.

ive been buying comics for 30 years .5 years ago i was spending aleast $120 every two weeks .Look i love comics but now i dont buy any why ?#1 prices 3.99 come on .

$3.99 a book
^As a highschool student, this is why I read scans in ComicRack. If the price went down, I truly would go back to buying monthly, or if digital distribution was manage correctly, there is no doubt in my mind that I would buy from Marvel again. But right now, with all my dual-enrollment and AP classes, I have no time for a job, so I have no money. And Marvel expects me to pull 3.99 out of my ass for 22 pages of story. It’s rediculous.

$3.99 for a comic book is high. I used to buy more than 10 books a month, but now I’m only buying Uncanny X-Men, Flash, Brightest Night, Green Lantern, Madame Xanadu and Echo (Terry Moore). That’s six. Of course I’m there when there is another project from the Luna Bros.

The price is just way too HIGH for me go and follow other books even if the art and story interests me. It’s like they (the publishers), have priced their way out of my budget.

If the comics comes back to $2.25 to $2.50, I will be there to check out new titles. Better yet, make them flat $2. Printed on non-glossy (But not newsprint) paper.

I meant Brightest Day. Sorry :D

big events went from being fun to just annoying. crossovers in the X-books were interesting but now they don’t even perk my interest. i rather see better written stories in the individual books… you know, before big event became “cool” but truth be told, the $3.99 is the killing point. i went from buying every main character book (captain America, Thor, iron man, wolverine,daredevil deadpool (until you ass hats crammed him down our throats), spider-man) and most of the big team books (most of the avengers titles, x-men) to just Amazing spider-man. i didn’t even pick up siege cuz of the price gouge. i just downloaded it. sorry but its really about the hole in my wallet. i understand you gotta pay your people but i gotta look out for my own family and dropping 20 and 5 books (how crazy is that) just cant be justified. sorry marvel drop the stupid main events, focus on better story telling stop canceling good books (iron fist anyone?) go back to the fundamentals of comic books. the 90′s should have taught you that fades will kill you. even if you have Micky in your corner.

It seems to me, that there’s a downward spiral with the high prices, trade waiting.

Book A is good, but $4. Sales drop because people know that the TPB will be comparable to the run in cost, but will be a book, and will have extra goodies. (I bought the BN TPB with the Titans/Superman/Batman, for example, and got *all* the alternate covers, concept art, and a nice hardback) Execs wonder why Book A’s sales are dropping, and then cancel/change writers/artists. This change upsets those folks who were trade waiting, so they stop buying the trades. Then execs go ‘wow, the trades are dropping too’ and now they’ve a $4 book that too few people buy, and fewer trade wait.

I collect X-Factor, New Mutants, BoP, Teen Titans and Red Robin/Batgirl because I want the stories *now*. X-factor is just funny as hell, New Mutatns are my ‘peers’ from my childhood, and I like Tim and Stephanie. I just ordered Batman and Robin TPB from the FLCS so I can read about Dick.

The other problem with the $4 books is they’re hurting the FLCS. If I’m dropping books to trade wait, Amazon’s much cheaper than the FLCS. I pay extra for the FLCS for the human interaction with other patrons and the owners.

How many people can afford to do that?

As for crossovers, no thanks. I love that X-factor is ‘left alone’ in the crossover craze (even second coming didn’t need the crossover) I grabbed X-factor forever both for Louise Simpson, and for the fact that the miniseries was self contained as would a regular series. Avengers Prime and Super Soldier on on my list for Steve Rogers, but also because I know they’re self contained.

dear marvel,

i promise to buy more if you lower the price back to 2.99

promise!!!

The combination of increasing prices and wanting to read the whole storyline in an event pushed me away from comics originally.

I have returned a couple of times in the last five years or so, firstly taking the tpb route and this time round I bought myself a sub to marvel’s digital comics system because even though they both lagged behind the current storylines to a certain extent, they offer better value and in the case of the latter there is also the freedom to try out series that I never used to bother with.

Now I know very well that there are plenty of ways to download comics for free these days, but I am happy to pay a fair amount to support my hobby even if there is zero chance of me buying individual issues from any of the companies offering that option on the ipad as just like real paper comics, the value just isn’t there.

Did you guys see today’s Marvel Solicits?

AVENGERS VS. PET AVENGERS #3 – $3.99

That is not even worth the price of the paper.

As my favorite Marvel titles jumped to the $3.99 point, I jumped off. Titles like Thor and X-Men which I’ve been buying for the past 20 years straight. For every $3.99 Marvel book I dropped, I added another $2.99 Marvel book. Usually something I wouldn’t previously pick up. However, when ALL of Marvel’s books go to $3.99, I’ll be seeking out indy books priced lower than Marvel.

I’m now shocked that Marvel books are priced at the same point as independent books. Previously, indy books had to be priced higher because they didn’t sell as many copies. Now, they’re priced the same as Marvel … or lower! And, it’s not for lack of talent. Ennis & Moore books at Avatar are priced the same as many current Marvel books. And, Marvel sells a LOT more than the Avatar books. It appears Marvel has just gotten greedy.

It’s the price. I don’t spend $4 on comics.

I would have bought Time Masters, Shadowland, Secret Avengers, Legion of SuperHeroes, The Mighty Crusaders, The Spirit, and many other titles.

But not at $4.

At least I am saving money now…..

Maybe they are trying to cut out the middle man. I know when you can subscribe to 12 issues for $20-25 bucks, it is hard to keep something on a pull list at $4 bucks an issue. Then again, even if you subscribe they can’t tell a big super hero story without having it sprawl leaving out a key detail in some odd tie-in issue.

I hate it and have started dumping books both at my local shop and let a sub run out.

Include me with all those longtime comic readers (30 years) that will jump ship when comix hit $4 across the board.

My pull list has been dying a slow death regardless these past few years, down to 11 monthlies, from a high of 50+ “back in the day”. I’m already culling books when the creative teams depart or the book turns to shit.

Ah well, there is always waiting several months and getting them on the cheap on eBay…

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