In the previous entry, I named $3.99 as being the price that would signal to me that it is time to stop collecting comic books. In my mind once comics are priced that high, I might as well either start reading novel length books again or simply buy the occasional graphic novel. $4 is almost the price of a matinee movie or a bargain DVD.
That being said, what price do you put on your entertainment? Do DVD's, movie theatre tickets, CD's, books, comics, and other forms of the medium hit a threshhold with you? I am really curious about this. I know that I will not pay more then $14.99 for a DVD anymore. Also, if I have to spend over $9.99 on a really great CD, I will just legally download the songs I like and leave it at that. As for comics, well, we have been over that.
Let me know what you think here and I will be back tomorrow night to check in with the comments from this post and the previous one.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
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At $3.99, I will become a back-issue-largely buyer. There are 70 years of back issues for less that four bucks.
Well, while I say that $3.99 would turn me into a total trade paperbacker, I'm guessing that I'd probably keep a few monthlies going regardless. But yeah, I'd cut way back if it went that high. I suspect that my real cut-off would probably be more like $4.99, there's just something final about reaching $5.
Actually, what would make me happiest would be a reduction in both the price and the physical quality of floppies. Because I am finding that I like the trade thing more and more.
Comics = 3.99 is my breaking point, they already have actual less content then ads now, and if freaking Warren Ellis & Ben Templesmith can come out with a comic for 1.99, thats great, then to hell with the comics companies. Oh sure there are exceptions, like double-sized issues but, 3.99 for a single....no...that crosses the line...from there they'll just keep going up and up.
DVDs=$15 use to be my mark...and then I finally just switched to Netflix, I mean at most I am gonna watch a DVD, I bought, twice...just seems like wasted money...15 bucks a month, I get to watch 3 or 6 new dvds, and then just return then when I am done.
CDs/Music=iTunes pricing of .99 is good enough for me..I got a large backload of CDs during my SamGoody days...I'll never need to buy another Classical cd ever again..that much is certain.
Movie Theater Ticket: 7 bucks...yeah I know it seems steep but, theaters make their money on concession, NOT ticket sales,I know from personal experience. Charging one person 10 bucks to see a possibly crappy movie is downright ridiculous....to put it another way 10 bucks = 10 tacos, that's at least three or more meals for the price of ONE freaking ticket....sorry...got on a roll.
As far as cutbacks go, as soon as Countdown finishes I am not gonna have much left myself. DC has about five or six decent titles, and Marvel has annoyed me down to two.....which will be down to one pretty soon with the cancellation of Cable & Deadpool, replacing the void left, with *shudders* a Deadpool series written by Daniel Way....YECH.
Well, for comics I'm already a total trade paperbacker. Better bang for the buck, and there are other ways of reading the monthlies. Still, if I had a decent shop around here, there are a few monthlies I would buy, but it'd be very, very few (2 actually). At $4 a pop, they're pricing themselves out of the market. I can get a trade from Amazon for an average of $15 (often times less). That's usually a 5 or 6 issues arc, so roughly $3 or less per issue. Plus, it's quality paper, no ads, a lot handier to read, and no duplicated collection taking space. Can't see how they think $4 for an ad riddled floppy is going to entice. The only one that has it totally figured is Criminal. The extras are in the monthlies, but not in the trade. And the extras are damn good - talk about incentive.
For DVD's, I've cut way back from what I used to buy. Again, other means, but I rent a lot from the Blockbuster that's pretty much outside my door. If Netflix was in Canada, I'd go with them too. I can't justify paying $25 for a DVD (only for a 2 disc Super Platinum Special Edition for a flick I really really like). My mark is probably $15 new, but I try to get them under $10 used, which isn't that hard to do now. I'll pay for TV on DVD too on an Amazon sale. 22 hours of entertainment for $30 isn't bad at all, & depending on the sale it could be less.
For CD's, I go with iTunes at about $10 for an album, or a buck a song. I figure that's about right. Then I run them through a DRM cleaner and I've got MP3's I can put on any device, without having to store CD's. And I've got a pretty massive CD collection anyway I'm trying to thin out. Music means more to me than movies though, so I probably would spend more here.
Movies - almost not at all anymore. Around here, it's like $10 or 12. Hence, last year I think I went to the theatre all of 4 times. The terrible theatre experience just isn't worth it at all anymore. Pretty much cut this one out.
If it's fair, I'll happily put down the coin for a quality product. But if I know I'm getting gouged, I'll pursue other things till they get the point.
And Cable & Deadpool is getting cancelled?! Damn. At least that's one less title to follow.
It's a habit to get my weekly floppies, and I'd have to plan more to buy the trades. I also want to support my local comic shop, but he doesn't have that many trades in stock, so I'd have to plan and ask for the orders.
I have dropped titles this year, mostly due to quality, so my weekly bills are much less.
And there's always the library to get graphic novels and trades, although we can't buy all-- and sometimes the quantites are so low I can't put in an order.
Even the $2.99 cover price has gotten me to cut way, way back from the number of titles I used to buy. What makes it worse is pricing it by page count. At $2.99 for a 22 page story (on the average), I'm paying between 13¢ and 14¢ per page of story...which makes those indulgent full page or giant panel pages seem all the more like padding or the company weaseling out of their "entertainment obligations" (which isn't an entirely fair assessement...but paying this much money for a comic book will do that to your perceptions).
As David suggested above, back issues are definitely an alternative, and one I've been exploring for years. I've actually gotten MORE value for my money pursuing comics I've always heard good things about to add to my collection....and it most cases I really enjoy the comics.
When (not "if") they go to $3.50 or $3.99, I expect to cut back even more drastically, with the occasional "experiment" on a new title completely out of the picture.
I drew the line at $2.99. $3.50 - 3.99 was just too much for a pretty pamphlet that I'm going to see and probably collect as a TP just a few months later.
I still pick up the occasional back issue, mind you, and I rarely have to pay more than a dollar for those issues. If you're not collector-obsessive, you'll have fun, you'll save money, and you won't feel gouged.
Interesting question. The only time it was an issue for me was when I had just moved out of my parents' home and had to pay for rent and utilities for the first time in my life, plus pay off a student loan and money was tight. Even back then, when comics and movies were cheaper and there were no DVDs or even videotapes, it wasn't a matter of individual item costs, but how many.
I was buying 35 or so comics a month back then and to help pay for them, I limited movies to one every few months and, cut out some of the food budget. Hey, I had priorities!
Now, with DVDs and such, I consider how much I really want them, but I don't put a price ceiling on my buying of comics. If I want to read them, I'll buy them. I buy trades for things I missed originally in the monthlies or a few titles I prefer to keep in that format (but couldn't wait to read in a trade), which leaves me with the monthlies to dispose of, so now I have some Criminal issues to sell on eBay or give away.
I might drop a title I'm not enjoying, but it's not about the money. I'll just not buy something else in order to feed my comics habit.
I actually wrote something sort of about this over at my blog. I'd wanted to check out the Spider-Man OMD storyline after all the hoopla.
I was shocked that Marvel actually had the gall the put "Still Only 399(cent sign)!" on the cover. Like that was some great price or what have you.
With the constant lateness on floppies, in creased prices, quicker turn around on collections, and just the superior quality (no ads, easier to shelve) of them to floppies. I wonder how much longer they can survive at times.
One hundred billion dollars!
$3.99 per book and I'm switching to trades which I guess is counter productive to the ongoing health of the trade paperback but hey, I never claimed to have all of the answers.
David, I agree with you there. Because of the sheer volume of back issues, and the excellent prices of most of them from the 1980's until now, I should be able to discover something fun to read. The more I think about this, the more I think this may be the way to go. Good point- thank you for mentioning that!
Brainfreeze, a reduction in the physical quality is a good idea at this point. Because of the paper quality and the rising costs of fuel, it is time for the powers-that-be to re-evaluate.
$3.99 bottom line price makes me want to head more into the GN and TPB market as well.
Nick, you said it well. Your thoughts on this mirror my own pretty closely, so great minds must think alike! LOL. Comics are right on that teetering edge of too much money for the end product. The advertising inside doesn't help- in fact it makes me wonder why they haven't defrayed more costs going down that avenue!
Excellent points as usual, Sir!
Eaglewing, you make an excellent point about the extras that many TPB's are including now. It is a nice "bonus" of sorts.
I wish you had Netflix as well! I use that service and I really like it. Because I seldom get to stores like Blockbuster anymore, it really is a nice alternative. That is a great point! No wonder I don't buy many DVD's anymore. :-)
Eaglewing, forgot to mention that Cable & Deadpool being cancelled does indeed stink!
Redhead fangirl: I also enjoy that tradition of visiting my local retailer. Though we have had problems from time to time, I like to support local business. I wonder if traditional shops would stock more TPB's if the price of comics continues to erode?
I also appreciate the mention of libraries. It is a wonderful source of comic book reading material!
Thanks for mentioning that!
Mark, you have been an excellent example to me on trying alternatives. Like David and you mention, buying back issues makes a lot of sense, with the focus there. Leaving the new stuff to just the top five or ten books a reader enjoys is probably the way it is going to go!
Renee, I liked your comment very much! Changing our mind set is what it is going to take. Knowing that a TPB is going to come out the next week after a story arc makes it more compelling.
I am also happy to see that you are finding enjoyment from the back issues. It really sounds like that is the way to go and that part of the books that are more money today may find there way there sooner then later!
Shelly, I appreciate what you have to say here. As someone that up until a few years ago had a pretty decent disposable income, I could buy with my enjoyment in mind, and really appreciate what I got. Since the last few price increases I have really noticed the dent in my pocket book and it is irritating!!
I agree that DVD's are more of a "must buy because it is awesome" purchase in large. If I see a movie and love it, I always earmark it in the back of my mind for purchase at a future date. Most of the time, I can be pretty patient, but every once in awhile I fail pretty miserably!
Thank you for the great points!
James, I will have to go check out your blog to read about that! I noticed that as well on the last issue of Spider-man and it really filled me with dismay. Since when is $3.99 a bargain? :-)
It seems to me that TPB's and GN's are looking more palatable with every floppy price increase!
Swinebread- Word. Dr. Evil would be proud!
Devon, I appreciate that. God knows I can't figure out how to make this work and justify it, so I am probably not one to talk. :-)
A long time ago in a town about a 1000 miles from here...
I remember myself and my buds dropping our comics after the huge, staggering leap from 25 cents to 35. It was of course, eVILLLLLLLe Marvel that made the jump without warning. DC followed a bit later. We quit them for probably 2 or 3 months until we all went back.
But $3.99, 4 flippin' DOLLARS for a regular comic?! Like joy rides for fun (not at $3.09 a gallon), tickets to Disney (now around like $63.90 and that's the Florida resident special for one day!) and so on, regular comics would be a thing of the past unless at cons and sales where I could get a huge discount or going through 25 cents to $2.00 bins. And besides, I've lost so much of the faith in so much, sometimes you can't go home again 'cause that home is gone forever...
I get lucky at Half Price Books -- lots of deals. Last week, i got two bundles of 40 Dark Horse books for $10 each -- no idea which DH books, but by god, at those prices...
I like Swinebread's answer. If you ever move to Souteast Wisconsin PLEASE shop at my store, Swinebread.
I stopped buying new books at $1.50 a piece... my last new comic for that price was a short run of Hulk and an attempted (but aborted) long run of GI Joe as Marvel canceled the title.
$1.50 was pretty expensive at the time, considering I could get back issue comics at 11 comics per dollar. For that kind of scratch one and a half dollars it seems a waste to only buy one comic with that cash.
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