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The Master

The cost of comics

The cost of comics  

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Let's assume a few things:

01. You buy your comics from the local shop and not through DCBS or another online service, so you're paying cover price.

02. You buy comics monthly, and not as trade paperbacks.

03. The price of standard / monthly comic books has increased, yet the number of story pages has stayed the same.

At what point do you say "enough is enough" and change your buying habits? And at that point would you stop buying comics, switch to an online ordering service or switch to reading trade paperbacks?

Edited by Yoda
Fixed poll

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My cap was $2.99, and I switched to DCBS and trades. Unless there's something really special about a comic, I just can't pay more than $2.99 for it.

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The most I'll spend for a monthly book, barring specials, is $3.99, and even that I'll only do begrudgingly. Comics are just getting too damned expensive.

I find that by the time the trade is out, chances are I've either already heard about what happened or I didn't care that much in the first place; I don't buy nearly as many TPBs as I do monthly books... and I don't buy that many monthly books anymore.

The fact is, I'd be much more likely to buy trades or even hardcovers if they weren't reprinting old material. I'd happily spend $30 on two Ed Brubaker Daredevil graphic novels that come out six months apart than the $36 I would have spent waiting for the same material so come out 12 times over the course of a year. But price isn't the reason why; by the time the novel comes out now, I've already read maybe two issues of the Mr. Fear story and another two issues of the Big Ben Johnson story, and even though I've missed at least half of the stories, in my mind I'm still being asked to pay for something I already own. Every now and then there will be a totally original graphic novel - I loved Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's JLA Earth-2 story that came out forever ago, for example, and DC actually used to do this fairly often. My trade pruchases tend to be fairly old stories, at least a few years old, because the collected editions that come out as soon as a storyline wraps up in monthly format is too fresh in my mind.

The distribution model is broken, people.

(Said the guy who co-hosts Waiting for the Trade. I know.)

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3.50 is pretty much my ceiling unless it's indie in which case I'll go to 3.99-4.50 to support it. But I'm already making the move to trades for new stuff and dropping older stuff (both Avengers books) that I don't think are worth half their cover price.

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I would say my limit for something is about £3.

Most comics cost around £2.50 for me, so I begrudgingly pay that and am usually not happy with how short the comic is, or how fucking stupid it is (hello Batman and the outsiders)

Seeing as I am still new to comics I like to pick up old issues as trades, and today when getting a few trades, one being Punisher:War Journal after hearing Mike and Des praise it on the podcast.

I prefer getting trades for story arcs, as they are usually cheaper, but if I'm getting a single bang for your buck story, one issue, one story and that's it, £3.00 is my limit.

But after reading Grant Morrison's Batman run, I am so tempted to just permanently move to trades as I will actually able to read the thing and know what the fuck is going on, which is a shame as I liked reading that every month, before fucking R.I.P

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Comics are like, $5 down here, and I'm almost certain they'll get an increase with the way our currency is going. I start to pull away when I see a comic that costs more than $5, which is probably why I've stuck to trades for the most part.

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I'm just going to update on my limit in pounds:

I picked up the two face: year one offs for about £8.

I enjoyed them, don't get me wrong, but the price and number of pages made me realise that they weren't really that great value for money, especially since I could get a trade with double the pages for only a few pounds more.

Take the last issues of batman and detective. They cost $3.99 and were doubled up.

They were alright issues, but when you look at the arcs.

Four issues at $2.99 and one $3.99 that's $14.96.

You also have to deal with only getting part of the story, when you collect a trade, you get the entire story, or at least a coherent idea of what’s going on if it's a mulit-parter such as War games and under the hood.

You get a story in those, but you don’t need to wait X number of dates before you can read what the next part of the story.

What I hated about R.I.P was having to wait for the last issue to see how the story would end, with a trade you don't have to deal with delays to the story if it's self contained like the long Halloween for example and the story is only delayed when you want to take a break from reading it, so you are in control of the delays once you have the trade.

I only pick up Batman and detective monthly and even though the quality fluctuates, and I really haven't got a clue what the hell is going on most of the time, I enjoy reading the issues.

Me personally I would say when a comic costs me more than £3 and it's not something I "Need to pick up" like the Riddler is in the issue or whoever everyone else’s favourite comic character is, then I would say bugger the comic, I'll either wait for the trade, or just not bother.

But hey, that's me.

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