The Rising Cost of Comics

Comics, when they first began to hit newsstands in the mid-twentieth century, cost about the same as a handful of candy.  Which was sweet, because there was nothing that parents loved more than seeing their kid eating sugar and reading about men in tights.  Especially during the tail end of the Great Depression.

"God, Im hungry." "Yes, well, at least Jimmy has his funny books." "We may have to eat him, you realize."

Years, went by, and comic prices, just like the prices of everything else, went up.  Soon kids were paying the same price as two handfuls of candy.  Which they read while crouching under the desk during air raid drills.

All the while fearing the return of the original Coldsteel, Josef Stalin.

By the time the current century rolled around, comics cost more than ever before.  Now, they cost several handfuls of candy, or, in modern speak, several texts if you’re on a really awful plan.

It took until late last year for the big two, DC and Marvel, to finally pull their heads out of their assess and realize that nobody is going to buy new titles or keep buying shitty ones if the cover prices cost as much as two McMeals.  Apparently a genius in marketing walked into a meeting and said, “Hey, guys!  Get this!  It says we’re in a recession!  Who knew?”  in about mid-September.

After his revelation, Johnson thought the promotion was in the bag. He would have been right, had he not started to eat a fence in front of the entire board of executives.

After which they lowered their prices back down to the reasonable, but still high price of $2.99.  This year, Image has followed suit, dropping many of its flagship titles like Haunt down to a nice $1.99.  But we’ll see how long that lasts.

It makes one wonder how long it will be until we see five dollar cover prices.  Once the American economy is on its way to safe, stable recovery (see: never), people will begin to buy more comics again, allowing the big names to charge more.

Come to think of it, comic publishers aren’t that much different than drug dealers.

Pictured: Stan Lees office.


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