So last week I started reading the first incarnation of Batman and the Outsiders, and it got me thinking. Not about Mike Barr’s stories or Jim Aparo's adept art, but rather about the price, which was only .60 cents.
In 1983 (the date of publishing) you could buy 5 comics for an hour’s worth of minimum wage ($3.35 an hour).
As that was all I was making
back then at the various jobs I was able to get at the time (Amusement park employee, Used Book Store clerk and Cafeteria worker), that economic relationship would
have been of critical importance to me at the time.
Now, however, with the price of
comics running more like 2.99 to 3.99, you can really only buy, at best, 2 comics
for an hour’s worth of work at minimum wage. I wonder if that
relationship (5 to 2) might not be proportional to
the amount of comics sold now?
Meanwhile, movies [
http://boxofficemojo.com/about/adjuster.htm] have stayed in line with minimum wage, more or less, over the years.
So, in the 80's, the value of a movie and 5 comics were about equal with each other, whereas now, movies have the edge. (Unless you prefer 3D movies, which I think are a horrible waste of money, but that's a topic for another post.)
NOTE: I've heard that publishers used to keep the prices of comics artificially lower in previous decades than they do now. Can anyone confirm this?