[Groop]State of the Comics Union (was Question for ME)
Tue, 18 Dec 2001 22:20:09 -0800
All good points.
Regarding the skyrocketing price of comics, my understanding is the main
reason has been the price of paper and printing. Look at books, a
paperback book costs me up to $12 (Canadian)! I can remember when they
all used to be $5 or less (no offense to the old-timers who can remember
them being much cheaper).
>Here's my take on comics. It's just my opinions.
>1. The Comics Code Authority took a big chunk away from comics by
>enforcing standards that required that most comics be reduced to "kiddie
>fare." As a child I was interested in good stories, not schlock. Most of
>what I collected were comic magazines, because their stories were better.
>I stayed away from most of the mainstream stuff.
>2. Collectors made another inroad into demolishing the comic industry.
>People who collected comics as an investment, rather than as a fan.
>Somebody found out that there is a gold mine in comic collecting. When
>comics dropped in value each month, poor fans like me could buy the
>out-of-date comics at a discount. Buying new or subscribing was a way to
>guarantee that I got each and every issue. With the advent of collecting
>for the sake of investment, people started buying two issues - a reader's
>copy and an investment copy. This created an illusion of demand for comics
>which made the economy appear to be a seller's market. It wasn't. The
>prices started skyrocketing. The real comic fans couldn't afford to keep
>up. Fan buyers became more and more selective, giving up on comics they
>could no longer afford.
>The attitude created by the CCA, that comics are "kid stuff" has still not
>left us. Now collectors, who buy as investment, purchase comics that have
>pretty covers and collectible merchandise. They don't read the comics.
>They buy them, and hold onto them hoping for a return on their investment.
>The market is flooded with collectors who buy at outrageous prices, but
>don't read. Serious readers have grown up, but the substance of most
>"collectible" comics are non-existent. Flashy, with a foil cover, great
>ink and paper, and no real story line.
>Investment collectors are losing their shirts on their investments.
>Readers can't afford to buy a wide array of comics. The attitude that
>comics are for kids is an urban legend that won't go away. Gems like Groo
>stand out, because they are worth reading. Groo was the last comic I
>actively collected, because it was the only comic worth the price. I know
>this, because I read it. I've read a few of those foil cover comics. They
>don't hold up. There is nothing of lasting value printed on their pages.
>Adults who buy today bought comics when they were kids. Kids today are
>attracted to the pretty covers, but are not intrigued enough by the stories
>to shell out the dough. How do you find the diamonds when blinded by the
>glare of so much fool's gold? Who's going to be the new buyers of comics
>as the old buyers die off and the next generation sticks to PlayStation?
>I miss the old newsprint, with dot-matrix color and sea-monkeys for sale on
>the inside cover. It was a cheaper, simpler, time. It was a time when I
>could get 4 comics for a dollar new, or 8 last-months for a dollar, or the
>local thrift store would give me a pile of 30 used for a dollar. Given the
>rate of inflation, a comic today should cost, at most, a dollar or $1.25.
>Last I checked the price tag was close to three dollars apiece, collectible
>card included. Twice that if it's last month's issue.
>The comic book crash is going to look a lot like the stock market crash of
>1929. Too damn many foolish investors, ruining the whole thing for
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