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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    Somebody needs to tell the idiots at Archie to stop doing financially nonviable things before they retroactively go out of business 3 decades ago.

    From a quick check of Lone Star's recent listings, looks like the Archie digests I see at checkout counters at grovery stores & such retail for $3.99. That's pretty much the same price as a regular ol' comic that I assume offers about 1/100th of the value for content.

    The comparison isn't really apples-to-apples, of course, but the digests' apparent success would seem to indicate that the basic concept actually isn't fundamentally absurd.
    I think you raise a great point, and also highlight the reality that if comic books went back to a cheaper paper, and less sexy cover paper then there is a chance that everyone could win:

    - they could go back to offering them at lower prices

    - they could put them back in 7/11's and gas-stations, etc

    - I think even collectors would end up benefiting - because scarcity would again become a real possibility as they comics once again might be primarily viewed as disposable, with comics largely being lost, used for collages and decoupage and birdcage liner.

    I'm making some jokes there, but the nostalgic fool in me would have no problem with reading a comic on coloured newsprint again.

  2. #32
    Senior Member dr chimp's Avatar
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    someone posted up some figures tom defalco had of print run vs issues sold of some dc comics in spinner racks in 1970s and they were truly horrendous. Massive print runs vs really low sales. Now i never did check tom defalco's blog or what has you to find the context for these (or if they did even come from tom's blog - this is the internet after all) but i am sure someone here knows what i am referring to.

    The ones i saw showed Fury of Firestorm selling about 18k off a print run of about 100k and a number of other books selling only 1:5 or so of the print run. They seemed pretty unbelievable and totally unsustainable if that was really the case.
    Last edited by dr chimp; 11-20-2012 at 01:22 PM.
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  3. #33
    Marked for Redemption David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schnitzy Pretzelpants View Post
    I think you raise a great point, and also highlight the reality that if comic books went back to a cheaper paper, and less sexy cover paper then there is a chance that everyone could win:

    - they could go back to offering them at lower prices

    - they could put them back in 7/11's and gas-stations, etc

    - I think even collectors would end up benefiting - because scarcity would again become a real possibility as they comics once again might be primarily viewed as disposable, with comics largely being lost, used for collages and decoupage and birdcage liner.

    I'm making some jokes there, but the nostalgic fool in me would have no problem with reading a comic on coloured newsprint again.
    According to industry insiders, the paper quality doesn't make a difference in cost anymore. The TPBs that use the newsprint do so for aesthetic reasons.

    I do hope that digital eventually hits a lower price point. If comics cost about the same as a song on iTunes, it might make them more competitive.
    "I came to the conclusion that the optimist thought everything good except the pessimist, and the pessimist thought everything bad, except himself." -- G.K. Chesterton

  4. #34
    Senior Member dr chimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    According to industry insiders, the paper quality doesn't make a difference in cost anymore. The TPBs that use the newsprint do so for aesthetic reasons.
    exactly - printing technology has just gone ballistic over past couple of decades - its cheaper than ever to print things. There is still a price difference between using newsprint and glossy and heavier stocks but the overall cost of printing has fallen and fallen
    "...so Hitler sends Iron Jaw's son to America to get revenge on Crimebuster." S.H.

  5. #35
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr chimp View Post
    why would we even want them to read super hero comics. Dont get me wrong i enjoy a good superhero comic but they are in the main totally formulaic nonsense.
    Instead, of course, what's badly needed is more comics about monkeys & apes.

    Cleary, the time is even more ripe than before for Barkeep Baboon & Lawyer Lemur.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

  6. #36
    Senior Member dr chimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    Instead, of course, what's badly needed is more comics about monkeys & apes.

    Cleary, the time is even more ripe than before for Barkeep Baboon & Lawyer Lemur.
    that formula is rock solid. absolutely no formula but an onslaught of nonsense.

    if i could draw anything more than a very mangled human whose arms never quite seem attached to his shoulder blades then i'd be demanding a detailed description of lawyer lemur's troubled past and the secret he still carries with him today from you so that it could be immediately discarded as you work out how they decide who buys the toilet rolls in their shared appartment
    Last edited by dr chimp; 11-20-2012 at 02:14 PM.
    "...so Hitler sends Iron Jaw's son to America to get revenge on Crimebuster." S.H.

  7. #37
    Ex-Cheeks Reptisaurus!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schnitzy Pretzelpants View Post
    I think you raise a great point, and also highlight the reality that if comic books went back to a cheaper paper, and less sexy cover paper then there is a chance that everyone could win:
    Not the comic companies, who can somehow get away with charging 35 year olds four bucks a pop.

    Granted, it's a little strange to sell superhero comics to adults when 95% of the audience that really cares about superheroes is under the age of twelve. We're just Peter Pan syndrome freaks.

    But things-printed-on-paper is going to be a very small niche market in the future, so it's all fairly academic in the long run.
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  8. #38
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr chimp View Post
    very mangled human whose arms never quite seem attached to his shoulder blades
    While the mental image is promising, I fear that this character name is far too long for cover placement. Further, VMHWANQSATHSB strikes me as being far too hopelessly unwieldy to ever catch on (although, come to think of it, it just might work as the name for some sort of monstrous Lovecraftian abomination).

    Back to the drawing board, sir.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

  9. #39
    Senior Member dr chimp's Avatar
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    damn you crayons damn you to hell. why must you fight me every step of the way.
    "...so Hitler sends Iron Jaw's son to America to get revenge on Crimebuster." S.H.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr chimp View Post
    that formula is rock solid. absolutely no formula but an onslaught of nonsense.

    if i could draw anything more than a very mangled human whose arms never quite seem attached to his shoulder blades then i'd be demanding a detailed description of lawyer lemur's troubled past and the secret he still carries with him today from you so that it could be immediately discarded as you work out how they decide who buys the toilet rolls in their shared appartment
    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    While the mental image is promising, I fear that this character name is far too long for cover placement. Further, VMHWANQSATHSB strikes me as being far too hopelessly unwieldy to ever catch on (although, come to think of it, it just might work as the name for some sort of monstrous Lovecraftian abomination).

    Back to the drawing board, sir.
    I was sure Dan was going to somehow draw a "Brother Power, the Geek" reference out of that description.

    I'm not sure about the thread's question. Trying to think back to when I was a 10-year old, a lot of the things that were obviously aimed at my age were starting to feel bland and dull to me. Not everything, of course, but a lot. I was just starting to get into books that weren't aimed at 10-year olds - mostly science fiction, but also things like Agatha Christie and Alistair MacLean (British thriller writer, very popular at the time) and found all that pretty stimulating, even when I didn't fully understand what was going on.

    The comics I liked back then gave me something closer to that kind of stimulation than a comic specifically aimed at a 10 year old would have, I think.

  11. #41
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    Which raises the question of how much disposable cash kids at various socioeconomic levels have these days. I grew up poor as well, but even so my weekly allowance of 50 cents in grade school allowed me to buy two or three 12-cent comics or a 25-cent giant & one regular comic, plus the requisite coke (10 cents) &/or candy/ice cream cone/chips (5 to 10 cents). And memory (not necessarily reliable, of course) tells me that for every comic I bought, I read four of five others while sitting at my drugstore of choice & consuming the above-cited snackage. (The three grocery stores that also sold comics weren't nearly as conducive for sitting & reading, of course.)

    That, of course, was in the late '60s. For a kid these days, two regular-priced comics plus junk food would equal ... what ... $10? That's assuming they live in a burg big enough to support a comics shop, which certainly wouldn't have been true for me. Do kids in poor families have $10 a week to toss around these days, even if they want to spend their pocket money on comics rather than any number of other options vying for their money?

    I'm sure that makes digital comics at a very reduced or nonexistent cost even more appealing, though I haven't the slightest idea of where computer ownership kicks in, socioeconomically speaking. (Looking back, it's unthinkable that we would've had one, even if the household variety's existence hadn't been nearly three decades in the future.)

    I'm asking because I have no idea, not having any kids of my own & not really having any friends here with kids. When I had stepdaughters, they were slightly older than what we're talking about (mid-teens), & we were I suppose middle class, rather than poor; in any event, I have no idea what sort of allowance they got. Not to mention the fact that that was a quarter-century ago.
    Well I don't think it's economically feasible for the majority of kids to keep up with the amount of product Marvel and DC put out in their shared universes, that's for sure. I think one thing that needs a major overhaul is the actual comic book format. The Archie digests have been mentioned, and I always mention Heavy Metal magazine when talking comic format/price. It's not a kids comic of course but every issue contains one 40 page GN plus about another hundred pages worth of serialized and short stories. This can all be had at two bucks a pop if you subscribe to two years. If super hero comics could match the page count and price, keep it kid friendly, keep all stories contained to that magazine, and offer subscriptions through school book fairs like ASM was when I subscribed, and you'll have a winner.
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  12. #42
    Hardcover addict dupont2005's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony ingram View Post
    I see no point in aiming comics at ten year olds who no longer have any interest in buying them, while alienating older fans who actually do.
    Older fans have already proven they will buy whatever garbage comes out in their favorite titles. Taking the thong leotards out of X-Men won't cause too many thirty year olds to drop the title.
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  13. #43
    Ex-Cheeks Reptisaurus!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dupont2005 View Post
    Older fans have already proven they will buy whatever garbage comes out in their favorite titles.
    As far as I can tell, the big comic companies are doing pretty well, profit-wise - Or at least we're not hearing the "comics will be dead in a year" rhetoric that we did in the late '70s and mid '90s.

    Basically, Marvel can put a poop between two covers,, and if one of the covers says "X-Men" it will sell a set number of copies. And since their hardcore audience has, basically, a crack-like addiction to this stuff they're gonna pay whatever outrageous price that Marvel decides on, even if it's completely outta whack with other entertainment options. It's actually a pretty good business model, especially since most of their money comes from lunchboxes, underoos, and video games anyway.

    Man, my last weeks worth of posts on this board have been negative. I will try to make up for that.

    I like ponies! Cute little ponies frolicking in the meadow.
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  14. #44
    Senior Member MDG's Avatar
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    Y'know, I think one of the things that prevents new readers from getting into comics is the idea that if you start reading them, you have to "collect" them--it's not like buying a dvd or a book. It's a long term commitment, where you have to get every issue from now on, and take care of them forever.

    Even things like the Free Comic Book Day site kind of perpetuate this. Kids don't seem to need a thousand-word essay on "getting into TV" ( or music, or hockey or....) but if you want o get a free comic, you need to know all this background.
    "It's just lines on paper, folks!"

  15. #45
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reptisaurus! View Post
    I like ponies! Cute little ponies frolicking in the meadow.
    I'm pretty sure those are Skrulls.

    Or some kind of mutants.
    Last edited by Dan B. in the Underworld; 11-20-2012 at 07:42 PM.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

    -- Reptisaurus!

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