[Groop]State of the Comics Union (was Question for ME)

Ruben Arellano rarellano@shaw.ca
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).  


RABuswell@dstsystems.com wrote:

>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out-of-date comics at a discount.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
>Richard Buswell
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