Today I'll talk about some of the Ugly things in the comics industry and culture.
Comic Book Prices
|Is $4.99 too much to pay?|
And while it seems we avoided the $4.99 weekly comic at the comic shops for the most part, DC did move to $4.99 on the newsstand. Also, I still see both Marvel and DC using that price point on comics they know are going to be big sellers (Vader Down, Old Man Logan, Batman Europa, ect...)
Check out this list of top sellers from November 2015. Look how many of them are $4.99 or more. (Numbers from www.comichron.com )
|1||Dark Knight III Master Race||1||$5.99|
|2||Star Wars Vader Down||1||$4.99|
|6||All New All Different Avengers||1||$4.99|
|10||All New Wolverine||1||$4.99|
|20||All New Hawkeye||1||$3.99|
And while the specter of $4.99 comics may never emerge as a real threat to the industry, it's possible that $3.99 comics have already taken their toll. Personally speaking, I know that I'm very hard pressed to buy a comic that's priced at $3.99. Comics at the $2.99 price range seem to be getting rarer and rarer (especially among independent publishers which I find myself increasing drawn to.) There are some exceptions and Comixology is good about having sales on older titles, but my weekly purchases have definitely dropped dramatically over the years.
How about you?
Are you buying as many comics as you were a year ago?
As a fan of older comics, I think of all the old D and C-list comics that lasted more than a year and it's just sort of mind boggling how fast comics get cancelled these days. The days when an artist or writer could work for years on a title like DC Presents or Fantastic Four are just gone. That's gotta make making a living as a comics professional (among the big two) a hell of a lot tougher now.
Attacks Against Progress
Okay, confession time. Many years ago, Chris Sims wrote a well reasoned article on what he termed as Regressive Storytelling at DC and the negative effects it was having on diversity within the DC universe. The gist of the article was pretty simple. As DC catered to older fans (and writers) desire to see Silver/Bronze Age alias of characters like Atom or Firestorm restored in comics, they were unfortunately replacing the more culturally diverse current versions of the characters.
|The DC Regression Path|
At the time (2010), I was one of those fans who was happy to see characters like Barry Allen and Ray Palmer return, so I wasn't entirely on board with Chris' stance (though I fully recognized he had a point.)
|What Warner Bros Should have made.|
Now, as comics are starting to make strides toward better diversification, I see a lot of fans throwing stones at what they perceive as Social Justice Warriors. Some of these attacks against progress come under the guise of concern like this article from WhatCulture.com:
There’s nothing wrong with Captain America being black of course, but why isn’t making The Falcon a character who can carry his own series in the role he’s best known for a priority? The mantle of Thor being passed to a woman has actually made for a great tale, but the reveal again shows an unnecessary reliance on focusing more on recognisable brands than characters. ~WhatCulture.comThis view point is parodied in an issue of Thor with the Absorbing Man:
|The Absorbing Man as the voice of jerky comic fans|
So while I still may have an Old Man Comics knee-jerk reaction to some changes, I find if I keep an open mind, my old memories and new experiences can easily coexist.
And that keeps the hobby fun for me.
Have a great day!