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DEATH OF THE COMIC BOOK (Comic Book Forums)



Author DEATH OF THE COMIC BOOK
Posted: February 5, 2013 12:37:07 pm
To start off - I'm writing this as I have the urge to get my thoughts out, no expectations that anyone agrees with it, nor do I have any expectations anyone else cares or wants my thoughts...doing it cause I feel like it, and I need the room in my head freed up.

DEATH OF THE COMIC BOOK - No not the death of superman, although it didn't help, but the general long term slow death of the comic book. Simply, why is it dying? Many different ideas, from the internet, computer games, instant ability of online reading blah blah. I think its simply the decision to remove them from the magazine return stack. Disclaimer - here in Canada, I am unsure about the US, UK or other places if that decision was made. Pretty sure it was the same in the US.

When I was little, I could go to any corner store, drug store, convience, mall, zellers, walmart, book store, almost anywhere magazines where sold and find comics. When going thru the grocery line with mom, I would look with puppy eyes at her and point to the latest issue of Spider-man and she would buy it for me. When I started getting an allowance I would eagerly head down to the local drug store and pick up my copy of The Warlord, and then stupidly follow the marketing genuis who put Arak Son of Thunder into the same Warlord comic, thus I had to now buy two comics..etc. Suffice to say, exposed at a young age, and loved the stores, having the books, and they were accessable...key point there.

Now my 12 year old son (who admittably has more exposure than any other kid around as Dad collects comics) goes to the grocery store and the only comics he is familar with, only ones he has ever bought....Archie. Why? Cause Archie is still in the grocery stores, its still accessable, as its part of the ..if not bought, return to publisher process. Same as Chatelaine, cosmo, Bride of whatever, Hunting Monthly, Hot Rod, and Popular Science. Although all those magazines are all seeing a drop with the internet, online subscriptions, they still sell them and make a tidy profit.

But the decision to remove comics from that system, Diamond or whomever, effectively removed the imprint required to make comics even relevant to the future generations. Yes they will get some with the online stuff, ecomics or whatever, but the true passion, the ability to buy these easily is gone.

For my 12 year old to get a Superman comic he needs to A. Go to a comic store....as we have five stores in the city, it requires the parent to drive him there. (Yes some people might be lucky and have one two blocks away, but that is rare) mostly in a city of 1 million people, the vast majority are a drive away from a comic store. What does that mean....no kids going to comic store except the ones that live close. Or the rare kids that get to go with Dad as he still goes, and takes kids along. 9 times out of 10, my kid says no thanks, I will stay home and play Call of Duty.

B. Buy online...once again need parent. 12 Year olds do not have Credit Cards (hopefully) and parent has to agree to this purchase...not likely.

C. Garage sales...ok my kid does pick up a few, but mostly I tell him no, as George and Ethel's garage sale they looked up every comic and found them selling for $$$$ on eBay so they are charging $5 a comic lol. Besides he doesn't have the addiction, so he moves past them quickly anyways.

Any marketing know it all will tell you. Product at the right place, right time, when the consumer is willing to buy. How does Archie sell millions, ......to shut the kids up while your in line at the Grocery store. The kids today do not have the hunger for the books as they are not exposed to them.

My son had some friends over awhile ago, and I asked them, have you ever in your life read a comic book. Yes they answered, have you ever in your life read a comic that was not an Archie.....no, every one of 5 kids 12 years old..never. Not a superman, spider-man, x-men...nothing, ever...it kills me.

In 10, 20, maybe for some of the long lived ones 30 - 40 years this industry is dead. Some online reading, some kids who love the movies will pick up some, maybe even collect them, but its dead. Growing up, every single boy I knew had a box under his bed full of comics...every single one, even some of the girls. Now, they don't, and they haven't even actually read a paper comic, thus they have no attachment.

Can it be saved...yes! Simple, but a bold move, put them back in front of kids where they can see them, where they can buy them, and touch them. Let the Grocery stores, convience stores get them, and return the unread issues like they used to...cause if not, its dead. Yes it will never be the same, online reading, gaming, instant satisfaction from computers and iphones will continually draw them away, but it will stay alive, kids will read them, some will collect, others will have the memory of touching a comic.

Prediction - twenty years - archie will be the only profiitable printed comic in existance.

There, I puked my thoughts out, now a can make room for more important things like searching for my last couple of issues of "The Warlord" that I don't have....anybody? Whitman 22b variant..Thanks for reading this, I am so complete now.

Keith
Posted: February 5, 2013 1:56:37 pm
Yeah I had brought this up a year or two ago here in a thread about they need to put comics back onto newsstands, alas it will never happen.
Another thing that's going to bring this to a cashing end is the speculator market is at a high point again (remember the early 90's?) when the speculators realize that a book they bought for say $100 a few months ago because it was hot and the flavor of the month, is now worth $10...they'll move on to something else and the die hard collectors/readers will be the ones who suffer.
"Disliking everything is not the same thing as having an opinion"
Posted: February 5, 2013 3:34:32 pm
Agreed, speculation in comics is a hard way to make a buck. You have to do it cause you love it. There is only one way to be a speculator in Comics...by one book. Amazing Spider-man #1 for instance, seal it, lock it away, and resell it 10 years later maybe if the market holds.

You'd think someone smarter than me would look at the whole situation and say....hmmm kids arn't reading comic books...wonder why?

Cause they can't buy them anywhere you idiots.

Sigh
Posted: February 5, 2013 4:28:31 pm
We're only looking at this from one view though. Maybe the reason they are not in supermarkets is because they stopped selling.
Posted: February 5, 2013 6:26:50 pm
That's part of it, the other part is the stores returned what didn't sell leaving the publishers on the hook for the cost of making them. I believe drug stores and grocers didn't get as big of discount as the direct market stores get now, but the direct market comics shops we have now have to eat the loss on what doesn't sell and I think the publishers like that. And the publishers really like it when the LCS has to order 200 or 300 extra copies to get that 1 variant.
"Disliking everything is not the same thing as having an opinion"
Posted: February 6, 2013 7:32:53 am
No one buys print anymore. Going up every single magazine I loved about is no gone. Many of them tried relaunching with a different format and all and they failed. No one buys any print anymore. It's why even all newspapers only make a fraction of the money they use to. A big part also why comic books are only in comic book stores is because shipping is getting too expensive and the cover price of comic books. Remember less than 2 years ago how Barnes and Noble tried selling comics? they made a huge push for it to sell all new issues. They had advertising for it, it was all in the news but it ended up being a huge failure for them. They weren't selling and had to ship most the stocks back. When they started that lots of people thought that would be a huge push for the comic industry. But it failed. After about 6 months lots of the stores stopped carrying comics. They lost money on it.
Around where I live the the biggest chain of local grocery stores tried the same thing. They started selling some comics with their magazines. They were putting out the top at the time. I was buying some comics when I bought groceries, but I noticed it seemed I was the only one. The issues would sit and sit. And these were all in busy stores.
People don't buy print anymore. One story I read was why would someone pay $3 or 4 dollars or more for a comic book with 22 pages of content when you can buy a whole 400 page novel for about $6-7 dollars? But even paperback novels sell poorly now.
I remember back when anywhere you went about sold comics, i loved it. I wish it would go back to that, but it literally never will. For over a decade the comic book companies tried numerous ways to sell comic's in places other than comic book stores, and every way failed and costs the companies money. It sucks, but I honestly think comic books are dying. Not in the next couple years, but decade or two definitely.
Posted: February 6, 2013 7:35:18 am
For a collector $4 dollars a comic is expensive but a comic lover would still pay it. Someone without the passion would never waste the money on something that could be read in 10 minutes.
Posted: February 6, 2013 8:03:03 am
echo said:
For a collector $4 dollars a comic is expensive but a comic lover would still pay it. Someone without the passion would never waste the money on something that could be read in 10 minutes.


I think this has a lot to do with it. I know that $4.00 is my top for new comics. I'll be dropping any title that goes above $4.00 an issue. I'll just wait a couple of months and grab them out of the back issue bin for $1.00.
"You will soon see the distinct advantages of having no scruples whatsoever!" - Cobra Commander
Posted: February 6, 2013 8:21:58 am
Growing up I was addicted to comics. in the i mid 90's i'd spend over $100 a week most the time. Comic's in the 50's were about .35 cents, in 1990 they just started going over 1 dollar. that was triple the price in over 30 some years. from 1990 till today just over 20 years the average comic is now 3.99 4x times what it was. Like I said I was addicted to comics, now I buy maybe 4 or 5 new comics a year. I only buy stuff in .50 cent bins. It's way to expensive for me
Posted: February 6, 2013 10:19:44 am
echo said:
Growing up I was addicted to comics. in the i mid 90's i'd spend over $100 a week most the time. Comic's in the 50's were about .35 cents, in 1990 they just started going over 1 dollar.


I think you meant the mid to later 70's. I started when they were 20 cents in '73. The prices today are ridiculous. When I stopped buying monthlies in the late 90's it was both the crappy stories/prices that made me stop. I now just read TPBs I borrow from the library or borrow books from my friends that still collect. There's no way I would buy anything current even though I can afford it. I just buy GA, SA and BA books when there's a convention in town.
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