Saturday, January 29, 2011

On the Cost of Comics

DC Comics seems to be pretty pleased with themselves recently.  
I'd wager that if you've been to a comics shop or visited a comics news site in the past few weeks, you've seen this image:

The company has been going to great pains to make sure we know how much they care about us and how they're showing it by pricing all their regular books at $2.99 across the board.  Honestly, I'm not all that impressed.
For one thing, all of the DC books I buy are already $2.99.  Doom Patrol was more expensive for the first few issues, but DC dropped the price when they dumped the Metal Men back up stories after #7.  I didn't really mind the extra buck in that case, because the Metal Men stories were worth it.  I hope we get to see more Giffen/DeMatteis Metal Men stories someday.
Anyway, the second reason I'm not all that impressed with DC "Drawing the Line at $2.99" is, and here I risk sounding like the grumpy aging fanboy that I am, I can remember when new comics cost a quarter.
I can't help thinking what my dad would think about the cost of comics these days.  I remember one time when I was a kid and he gave me a dollar to buy some comics, and was a little angry at me when he found out that I spent the whole dollar on just one comic book.  That book was an issue of Adventure Comics, which had just converted to DC's Dollar Comic format. 
Of course, back then, you got a hell of a lot of comic book for a buck.  When DC first began the Dollar Comic program, they were  64 page books with no ads.  In addition to adventures of some of my favorite characters such as Green Lantern, the Elongated Man and Deadman, that issue of Adventure was also my first exposure to the New Gods.  Although this was long after Kirby had moved on from the feature, I could still see something special in the concept.
Besides, I don't really buy that many new comics anyway.  Most of the comics I've bought in the last couple of years have been 70s and 80s back issues from bargain boxes.  I think someday soon I'm going to have to track down another copy of that old Adventure Comics.   

1 comment:

  1. I can remember when DC apologetically explained in their editorial columns that they were raising prices from fifteen to twenty-five cents.