#4702064 - 03/29/1112:31 AMThe Value of a 12 Cent Comic Book in Today's Dollars
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I was just doing a comparison. If someone can correct me on these numbers please do so.
My Archies from 1968 have about 32 story pages and cost 12 cents.
My Superman 706 from 2010 has 20 story pages and costs $2.99 .
I don't have a recent Marvel, I'm going to guess that modern Marvels are similar in page count to DC.
According to inflation calculator there has been 535% inflation since 1968. So a $0.12 comic should now cost $0.76 if it were offering the same value.
I think that this estimate might be a bit low. flashback to 1968 shows prices in 1968.
Median household income 1968 $7.7k, 2009 $49.7k, thats 6.45X or +545%. A first class stamp has gone from $0.06 to $0.42 which is 7X or +600%. Still, even figuring 600% inflation would still put the fair price of a modern comic at $0.84.
A lot of reasons have been given for why comic readership is down, but one of them is pretty obvious, they are too expensive! We bought them and read them as children because they were a good value.
Of course, if the price tag of moderns wasn't bad enough, back in the 60s, for your 12 or 15 cents, you got a complete story. Now you get a part of a story. It's hard to imagine a kid that would pay $3 or $4 for that.
I could write more, but I'll keep this first post short and to the point.
I've read exactly 2 modern Marvel books in the last about 10 years. For Christmas this year, my business partner who always makes fun of me for still liking comics bought me a new hulk issue as a joke and I bought the death of Human Torch issue last month. I read both of them in about 3 minutes. The whole freaking thing was full page ads!!!
Even when I was a kid,8-12, I was a very fast reader but it took me a hell of a lot longer to read the Marvels in the late 70's early 80's. Not only were there more pages of content, I think, there seemed to be more dialogue. From the little I've seen of modern Marvel, to say I'm unimpressed would be the understatement of the year!
Then the freaking price!!! It was bad enough when they hit like $1.50 in the mid 90's but $3?!? Thats crazy! My dad would want me to go to the local grocery store with him to buy cigs at night. He didn't want to drive alone there and would bribe me with buying comics there. He'd buy me 1,2,3 comics and when I was a kid, that was a damn dollar! Even with inflation, what was $1 in the late 70's, early 80's. Not exactly a hardship doing that 2-3 times a week. Even when I was a little older and they were .50 cents, that's was $1, $1.50. Still very little.
Now, that same trip with my son would run me $6 or $9! That's adds up DAMN fast! What kid the age a lot of us were back then can afford that? Buying 10-15 $3 comics a month for a 8-12 year old? How many kids does Marvel think can afford that? I can tell you, NOT many. Price is a BIG problem
Edited by sufunk (03/29/1101:09 AM)
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You'll get endless excuses from the publishers, but the reality is as you have said it.
Paper costs don't account for all the difference.
Distribution, labor costs, materials....all need to be overhauled....or publishing simply ends.
I wouldn't go that far. Maybe publishing Marvel and DC monthly comics ends. There is still plenty of stuff out there otherwise. A subscription to Heavy metal comes out to under three dollars an issue for a comic with over five times the content of a mainstream super hero comic that costs double. Love And Rockets is over 100 pages for $15 and it's not packed with ridiculous ads.
I blame McFarlane - wanted too much money for himself and his artist buddies.
That's why he will die a millionaire and many of those who went before him died penniless.
Can you do the calculator for the mid eighties?
I don't see how that's a bad thing. Instead of faceless stockholders dying millionaires while the actual talent dies penniless, now the talent gets dividends off their work. Someone was always reaping rewards from Spiderman. For decades they tried their best to give any to the people actually making it happen though.