The Cost of Fandom; An open letter to Marvel and DC

mag money

I normally buy my fix of superheroey cracktasticness from my dealer on a weekly basis, and usually walk out having spent between $12 to $20 some smackaroons. Last month however, I had such a crazy schedule that I found myself unable to get to my favorite purveyor of 2D delight (Midtown Comics) until the third week of the month, and that’s when I had a jaw dropping revelation; Comic books are a lot more expensive than they used to be. It dawned on me when I realized that I had spent over $80 Georgie Porgies to catch up on the three weeks of paneled drama that I had missed out on and caused me to take a closer look at my bill and then subsequently the front of those crack covered harlots we call comic books (they’d just as soon go home with you as with me if you bought them). 

I noticed that the indies were averaging 3.99 which I thought was appropriate due to lack of volume, merchandising, licensing, fan base, and difficulties involved with finding a publisher or self-publishing but then I hit my mainstream rags and saw something that nearly made me pop my claws, grab Mjolnir from its hallowed place on the wall, pull down my pointy eared cowl and raise holy hell, Marvel and DC were charging the same thing for most of their titles.

I felt hornswaggled. Marvel and DC make more money from licensing, movies and ad revenue than any other comic house out there and yet they feel the need to gouge us on books which already have multiple crossover storylines forcing us to buy more titles to follow the whole story. Another interesting tidbit I picked up on; most of the indie comics were printed on thicker more durable, i.e. expensive, stock.

Then another thought crossed my mind. How can a kid buy comic books today? They’d have to get a part time job just to follow a couple titles. Up until recently you could walk out of your local purveyor of 2D stories with 3 books for a 10 spot. Now a 10 spot will only get you 2 books. Let’s put this in perspective. A paperback novel costs $7.99, so a comic book now costs half the price of an entire novel and you have to buy another one next month to follow the story. An average comic reads in about 15-30 min, the average ½ hour television program is $1.99 on iTunes. It costs me less to buy a television show on iTunes than it does to buy a comic book from the two biggest publishers in the industry? Just doesn’t seem right.

In these tough economic times it seems more than a little insensitive. I know a father, with a love for comics who would love to share the tradition and mythology with his kids but can’t afford to give them an allowance right now to buy comics and the little buggers aren’t legally old enough to get a part time job, and I know he’s not the only one.

Comic book popularity is nearly mainstream (can you believe it?) and must be nearing its all time peak partly due to the incredible writers and artists bringing us our favorite heroes today and also due to the continued success in Hollywood, but with ad revenue, licensing and movie profits that most indies don’t have, it seems sort of greedy for Marvel and DC to do this to their fans. Maybe it’s because I just had a birthday and am starting to feel entitled to be cheap, but I think this is worth looking into.

So c’mon Joe (I’m going to challenge you to take the lead on this), we met at Marvel’s Comic con after party, I was the loud drunken Scotsman (who’s only Scottish when he’s had a few too many),  have a talk with the boys and girls over at Marvel to do something about this and DC will have to follow suit.

With all the respect in the world,

Kenneth Burgin

Actor/Writer and faithful Fan


Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s