March 30, 2009

Baker's Pharmacy, Where are You?

One of the things that it's been fun to think about as impending fatherhood approaches is the possibility of one day re-entering the world of comic books with my son.  But I don't know if you've noticed or not those things have gotten expensive.  We're talking $3 on average and, as the NYT reports, some of the more popular titles are rolling out price increases to $4.  Comic books are an interesting medium, and one that I don't think is unfair to call niche these days, in that they probably are "underpriced" for the existing fan market (excluding myself and possibly my good friend Miles who is my lone spokesman for the first grade demographic) but perceived as overpriced by the market of potential fans who have so many other, often much more interactive, options with a fairly similar market spectrum.  Here's what the president of Marvel says in the piece:
Mr. Buckley felt that, because of comic books’ origin in the world of pulp and disposable entertainment, the effort that goes into their creation is sometimes underestimated.

“Comics are a legit form of entertainment, and there are highly respected and well-paid individuals creating them,” he said. “People have an affinity for nickel and dime comics from the 1940s, but we’re competing with video games, film and television.” He added, “We need to keep the talent on the books to make them work.”
Their current pricing scheme supposedly subsidizes the cost of the less popular titles by increasing the price of the more popular titles but why not subsidize across mediums.  Why not subsidize comics with the much more lucrative (I'm assuming, I don't claim to know the margins on any of this) video game, film and television productions?  Are comic books even the primary entry point for new fans into the super-hero genre?  All of that to say that my new excuse to my wife as to why those boxes of comics have to stay in our closet is that the medium may not even be around by the time "junior" gets old enough to appreciate them so I've got to hold on to what I've got.

1 comment:

angol said...

I feel for you j. I was subjected to a healthy dose of ribbing from my friends when I told them that I didn't have money to eat out because I was spending more than 20 % of my income in comic books. Let's just say I was the butt of jokes yesterday! But in my defense Great Art and A Great story, how can we not love comic books!