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Let's talk money.......


4-Stripe White Belt
Speaking to the guy in my local shop the other day about the price of comics and how now trade waiting doesn't really save people money, whereas a few years ago a major argument for trade waiting was it would save you money.

I was looking at a Wonder Woman book the other day, it was a softcover collection of 10 issues, it was £29.99. It's really strange now thinking how expensive comics have become and it's something that nobody seems to really speak about.

On a related note the same person told me Sean Phillips told him he doesn't really make any money until 2 or 3 months after the trades of his books are published. That someone as established as Sean Phillips can apparently get so little return for his craft says a lot, that it can happen when comics are getting more expensive is even more mindboggling.

I can remember getting the first slipcased omnibus edition of The Walking Dead wayback when it was still just an Image comic, it wasn't a pop culture phenomenon, I'd never heard of it, my comic shop guy just said "This is pretty good I think you'll like it". That was a hardback oversized book of 24 issues, covers and bonus content and it was £60 I think. The newest one is £89.99 and it's the same size.
Yeah, that seems to be par for the course with Big 2. But with Image seems still sustainable. Take Extremity - $4 an issue or the 6 issue trade for $15 - you save $10. Digital is easier to get deals from time to time and the HC Saga editions (18 issues) were $13 this past week. Honestly with Black Friday around the corner I usually trade wait, but I'm primarily reading Image and indies. i never started trade waiting because the cost effectiveness though, I'd rather digest a story arc by arc rather than waiting month to month.
Interesting! I haven't paid attention to comic trade pricing in a few years. Just for comparison purposes, I looked up a random edition of The Walking Dead (vol.27) and used its page numbers and specs to calculate what it would cost per copy, were I to make something similar. The issue I looked up costs $13.70 (USD) on Amazon. A similar print job would be $15.13 per copy from Ka-Blam, but that's without volume discounts. I can't do anything reliable comparing the price of printing a hardcover, but a paperback version of a 500-page omnibus would run something like $50 (£38). (I used the calculators at Ka-Blam and Lulu, if anybody else wants to play with numbers. Math isn't my strong suit.)

There are probably some arcane practices around profits and royalties that I don't know about, but the profit margin's got to be paper-thin (pardon my puns). The prices don't seem too far off from the printing costs, but I've got no yardstick for hardcovers. If hardcover prices ARE inflated, maybe it's because they're trying to convince consumers that it's an investment? Sort of a sunk cost fallacy thing.
Marvel seems to be increasing all their prices. Doesn't matter much to me, I don't buy floppies and there are only a handful of big 2 trades I'm even vaguely interested in. Graphic novels and indies seem to still be a good deal; 150-200pg indies range around $20-25, and some of the YA graphic novels have the same amount of pages for as low as $10-15. And since there are already more indie titles I want than I can afford... Marvel can raise prices all they want and I will continue to ignore them.
Not a big trade person. I do the monthlies- the only time I get a trade is if I REALLY like the series, then I'll buy the trade in addition to the monthlies I bought. The only trade I bought without getting the monthly series was the first Sin City series.


4-Stripe White Belt
Another thing that factors in is for people outside the U.S the price of an American comic is vulnerable to fluctuations in the exchange rate, Sterling has been plummeting recently due to the political situation which means the price of your comics goes up as the value of Sterling against the dollar goes down.

Rather ironically Marvel and DC make their money from licensing their characters for merchandise, etc, so the publishers who arguably don't need to put prices up are, whilst other publishers that don't have characters that have permeated the pop cuture landscape aren't.

This is besides the whole how much is art worth point - art versus commerce is a complicated and messy subject but it does make me wonder why anyone would want to try and make it in comics when it seems to be pretty much a zero sum game. As a writer on Twitter I follow put it, 'You can't pay the bills with 'passion'.[/QUOTE]