Soaring Comic Book Prices

chad writes, There’s an article over at Tor.com discussing Marvel\’s decision to bump comic prices to $3.99 (US dollars). Personally, I don’t see this as a big deal for those who regularly buy comics, and I doubt that comic books are “dying”. It’s not just Marvel. Though it is a significant proportional change coming up from $2.99US, those of us in Canada are still doing better than we used to due to the exchange rates. (I remember paying $4.75 Can for some titles with a $2.99 US cover price, for example.)

6 replies on “Soaring Comic Book Prices”

  1. Alexius says:

    Those kids are on my lawn again!
    In my heyday, those same books were $1.00 cover price. I’ve got a wife and family, now, so my budget for the comics certainly isn’t what it used to be.

    I don’t have a solution for the industry, since I’m sure the same problems that plague most of the print industry are affecting them, but raising prices can’t be a big help.

    • Trik says:

      Re: Those kids are on my lawn again!

      In my heyday, those same books were $1.00 cover price. I’ve got a wife and family, now, so my budget for the comics certainly isn’t what it used to be.

      I don’t have a solution for the industry, since I’m sure the same problems that plague most of the print industry are affecting them, but raising prices can’t be a big help.

      Your situation mirrors my own, but I can remember buying titles that displayed *Still Only 35 Cents*.
      But the big change came before the industry meltdown in the early-mid 90’s when the rock star mentality took over.

      After that I cherry picked a couple titles/characters/story arcs for a year or so and eventually stopped buying after the Age of Apocalypse and the (what I hear now was retconned) death of Aunt May.

      The full product line crossover events that became more and more prevalent is what eventually pushed me out of the hobby.

      Now it appears they intend to price even more people out.

      • rickyjames says:

        Re: Those kids are on my lawn again!

        In my heyday, those same books were $1.00 cover price.

        Your situation mirrors my own, but I can remember buying titles that displayed *Still Only 35 Cents*.

        OK, I’ll play this game. When I bought my beloved Superman and Batman and other DC titles back in the early 60s, they were only 12 cents – two for a quarter, once you paid a penny tax. I bought em at Dooley’s Drug Store, right around the corner from where my grandfather had his barber shop. When I visited and swapped with the slightly older sons of my father’s friends, I would get older comics from them that were priced at 10 cents. I thought THOSE guys were old.

        I never got into Marvel. When I had my tonsils taken out, my mom brought a comic to the hospital that was one of the first issues of somebody called Spiderman. My dad eventually burned it, along with all my others.

        Funny story, that. My sister and I had just gotten back from a swap session at Bobby Carter’s house and were reading our "new" comic books in the bedroom with twin beds we shared – she was about 6, I was about 9. She had just read some crazy Gold Key Boris Karloff Presents story about a severed hand. Lights out. I sneak out of bed and slide my hand under her covers and scream, "The hand! The hand!" She TOTALLY freaks out. All my comic books were in flames mere minutes later.

        Sigh.

        • rickyjames says:

          Re: Those kids are on my lawn again!
          Here’s another trip down comic book memory lane for you. My childhood was in the South before the civil rights movement. My grandfather had a shoeshine boy named Sam slightly older than me in his barbershop – yes, black, of course. He would sit on his shoeshine chair there between customers and read Superman comics, many of them ones I didn’t have and was dying to read and would have gladly swapped for. But I never talked to Sam about Superman, Truth, Justice, the American Way or anything else because I "knew" I wasn’t supposed to.

          The election of President Obama is absolutely astounding to anybody over 50 in the South. I’m glad I was able to vote for him instead of McCain and (shudder) Sarah.

          • rickyjames says:

            Re: Those kids are on my lawn again!
            ANOTHER story for you. By a complete coincidence I lived in the same town as Robert Overstreet before he became famous for production of the Overstreet Price Guides. In the early 1970s in high school a mutual friend took me over to Overstreet’s house to meet him. We went down to his basement (a rare thing because he tried to keep it quiet about just what extensive treasures he had down there) and HOLY COW WHAT A MIND BOGGLING COLLECTION THAT MAN HAD ALMOST 40 YEARS AGO.

            I told him the story above about Sam and he instantly went to some obscure corner of his basement and pulled out an early 50s comic about an astronaut who was an envoy to a planet of red and blue robots, the former ruling the latter, and when he left in his rocket he pulled off his helmet and it was a black man with a tear in his eye.

            Comics have a place in history not only as promoting literacy among children in a way that is totally lost today, but also in presenting worlds where good triumphed over evil to readers of all races – inspiring them to make that happen in their own imperfect real world.

            • rickyjames says:

              Re: Those kids are on my lawn again!

              early 50s comic about an astronaut who was an envoy to a planet of red and blue robots, the former ruling the latter, and when he left in his rocket he pulled off his helmet and it was a black man with a tear in his eye.

              Huh, Wikipedia is a wonderful thing. See the section on "Judgement Day" for EC Comics

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