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Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Old 06-26-15, 11:20 AM
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Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

I picked up my file this week to find Aquaman had jumped to $3.99! At first I thought there was something special but no, there is not. Same cover stock and same page count of 20 pages. The store manager tried to convince me those two half-page ad/content pages (another sore spot - but at least it's supposed to be this month only) count separately as there is content on them - I disagree.

He also told me several DC books received the same price increase this month with most being the bigger selling titles.

I looked over Aquaman to find a entire new creative team, none of whom I've heard of, with a blah story and artwork. I gave it back to the shelf and had them drop it from my file.

The funny thing is last week was a big week for me with mostly $3.99 books. That got me to thinking, again, about how much this hobby costs and if I'm willing to pay much more than that for my weekly fix - especially since I'm ~12 months behind in my reading. I'd pretty much decided that day that any title that goes over $3.99, other than a special event with a higher page count to support the higher price, would be dropped immediately. The books I currently purchase at the $3.99 price point have a reason for that price other than greed (which seems to be driving the DC increase). They are typically from smaller publishers or self-published and have fewer, or no, ads. They also (mostly) have higher page counts and far more original stories than those offered by DC. Even on those I'm looking hard at switching to TPB, for those who have the option, to knock off another buck or two.

What's your take? *Is* it worth it to you? Where do you draw the line on price?
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Old 06-26-15, 11:58 AM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

There are a multitude of interrelated factors, but I drew the line at $1 an issue.

Every single one of the thousands of comics books that I used to buy at $1.25 or $1.50 or more was eventually in a bargain bin somewhere for $1 or less.

Every single one of the $3 or $4 comic books from the past year is on sale or in a bargain bin somewhere for $1 or less.

Every single one of this week's new releases will eventually be $1 or less.

So it's just a matter of patience.
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Old 06-26-15, 01:06 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Personally, I only collect two monthly comics from DC, Batgirl and Teen Titans, and I'm pretty sure I'm dropping Teen Titans. Both are 2.99 titles, but I preorder from DCBS so they're more like 1.80. But I do buy a ton of digital comics when they go on sale for 99c.

I can't think of a single comic I've bought digitally that was published in the last few years that felt worth a full 2.99, let alone 3.99. I said this in the digital comics thread, but I recently bought Star Lord 1-5 for 99c each and I felt ripped off at that price, and that has a cover price of 3.99.

TPBs are not that much better in terms of savings, and a few years ago some of them were even worse when it comes to pricing. I still like the omnibus format for binge reading, but not everything needs an omnibus.

If you have a tablet, go digital. If you haven't been keeping up with Marvel but want to read something, try Marvel Unlimited. Try different things for 99 when they're on sale. They don't really go out of print, so you don't have to worry about scarcity. If you want to save money on physical issues, consider going with someone like DCBS (though obviously if you have a local store you love, you have to weigh that in). But 3.99 cover price? ick.

I am honestly open to discussion, though, if anyone can give me an example of a comic that was totally worth the cost.


Edited to add:
I should add, I recently went all in on both Convergence and Secret Wars because there were bundle discounts for them. I can't believe some of these books were 3.99. And I was about to say that I thought maybe Multiversity was worth 3.99, but it turns out those were 4.99, and I still should have probably just waited for the hardcover. And I just removed Teen Titans from my next order.

Last edited by fujishig; 06-26-15 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 06-26-15, 04:56 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

I mainly buy DC books digitally and I usually just wait 2 months for Comixology to reduce the price, although they don't seem to do that for all the DC titles.
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Old 06-27-15, 06:12 AM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
There are a multitude of interrelated factors, but I drew the line at $1 an issue.

Every single one of the thousands of comics books that I used to buy at $1.25 or $1.50 or more was eventually in a bargain bin somewhere for $1 or less.

Every single one of the $3 or $4 comic books from the past year is on sale or in a bargain bin somewhere for $1 or less.

Every single one of this week's new releases will eventually be $1 or less.

So it's just a matter of patience.
And every one of the .12 cent I use to buy are in the $100 bin
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Old 06-27-15, 07:27 AM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Every single one of this week's new releases will eventually be $1 or less.

So it's just a matter of patience.
Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
And every one of the .12 cent I use to buy are in the $100 bin
Well, one has to have the right amount of patience.

But seriously, I'm pretty (my daughter wants me to stop my sentence there) sure the factors that make old comics so valuable aren't going to apply to current stuff.
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Old 06-27-15, 10:24 AM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

I stopped a weekly pull almost completely. Im so far behind in my reading (hell i just finished forever evil recently) I find alternatives ways to read the books of interest and the money i save oI recently got a bunch of the movie variants, halloween variants, a Deathlok hardcover, and damn near entire Original Sin run at the last show for 30 bucks
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Old 06-28-15, 04:52 AM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Originally Posted by rw2516 View Post
And every one of the .12 cent I use to buy are in the $100 bin
Quick aside, but I bought my first 12 cent comics in quite awhile yesterday. They were in the 50 cent bin. Just some old Harveys in fair condition, but I couldn't resist.
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Old 06-28-15, 10:40 AM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Quick aside, but I bought my first 12 cent comics in quite awhile yesterday. They were in the 50 cent bin. Just some old Harveys in fair condition, but I couldn't resist.
I saw a run of Adam 12 (1-10 GK) the other day for $1 each. VG to VF. Not my thing but would you buy them if you saw them? I might go back; but like I said it isn't something I would even pick up.
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Old 06-28-15, 12:26 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Originally Posted by mrhan View Post
I saw a run of Adam 12 (1-10 GK) the other day for $1 each. VG to VF. Not my thing but would you buy them if you saw them? I might go back; but like I said it isn't something I would even pick up.
I'm a compulsive shopper, sucker for a bargain, gluten for nostalgia, and work with cops; so yeah, I probably would have bought them and everything near them in the box just to be sure.
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Old 06-28-15, 02:26 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

I used to buy everything DC published through DCBS, but when I noticed the $3.99 cover price on so many titles when they resumed in June, I opted to use March 2015 issues as a great jumping off point. $3.99 is not a good value, IMO. DCBS would have to provide a flat 50% discount for it to be worthwhile, and it's unreasonable to expect them to do this. I wouldn't have minded to continue purchasing the $2.99 cover titles, but they so often have crossovers between titles (think the main $3.99 Green Lantern title with the new $2.99 GL: The Lost Army), that it becomes difficult to follow the story.

I've been buying DC Comics for 30 years, the last half of that has been every single title. Now...nothing. I did decide to continue to buy the few Vertigo titles that made the recent jump to $3.99 cover because I figured the odds were great that those titles would get canceled shortly after (note: they have been canceled) and the chance of the final story arcs being collected would be slim to none. I saw it as a chance to complete the runs the only way they would be completed, via the monthlies.

I'm not opposed to waiting for the trade on any of the titles I no longer buy, but I'm keeping an eye out on the price of those trades. They're gonna have to be better than the $3.99 cover BS DC has now turned to.

By the way, I explained all of this to DCBS and they asked if they could relay this info to their DC rep. I told them I'm happy to have them know why they lost a recently devoted fan. I hope the monthly comic survives this but I wouldn't bet on it. I don't think enough people will stick around at these prices.
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Old 06-28-15, 02:47 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

The monthly comic business model is nearing its end as we've known it for eight decades. Fewer and fewer people are willing to support 20 pages of content for $5. I imagine when Marvel and DC finally abandon print media there will be a significant push to lower their digital pricing structure to draw some readers back.
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Old 06-28-15, 04:25 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

I'm fairly optimistic that comics will always survive; but quite sad that the economics have changed so drastically.

If comics were in every grocery and drug store, and priced at roughly ten per minimum wage hour, they sell a million per issue like in the past.

But now they're in a handful of stores per state, and priced at one or two per minimum wage hour.

It's been like this for decades though, so I guess the movies and TV shows are creating enough young fans to keep the industry alive. But I often wonder how many more fans we'd have if Marvel and DC had always kept loss leader $1 comics in every drugstore, Walmart, Target, and 7-11.
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Old 06-28-15, 04:37 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

I know it has been said before but a 50 cent comic book in 1980, adjusted for inflation, would be approximately $1.50 now. This is a huge reason the comic monthly comic industry is failing. Even if a kid wants a comic book nowadays, they can't afford it. Only adults.
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Old 06-28-15, 06:25 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Adjusted for inflation those $.10 comics I purchased as a kid would be $.80 now. Even when they went to $.12 (a 20% increase! That shows they had just as little regard back then as now for the available $$ of their readers - but in all fairness they'd been $.10 for decades.) the adjusted price is $.95 - still under a dollar. That said, Action! #1 had a cover price of $.10 in 1938 - today that would be ~$1.70. I'd be happy with a $1.99 price but $3.99 is more than I'm willing to pay for the same-ole-same-ole "superhero" comics from DC or Marvel (I dropped all my Marvel books when they went to $3.99).
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Old 06-28-15, 09:59 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

I've always been surprised at the lack of coordination in marketing the comics toward moviegoers paying $20 a ticket to see Avengers and Batman. Marvel and DC are only selling to a sliver of the movie audience. I'd be literally giving trade paperbacks for free to movie audiences or some other similar promotion.
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Old 06-29-15, 09:56 AM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

I rarely buy new comic books anymore, but mainly due to the fact, my local newsroom went out of business years ago, and there is no comic book store nearby. The nearest comic book store is in a city 40 miles away. Kind of puts a damper on impulse buying.
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Old 06-29-15, 10:48 AM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Originally Posted by shadokitty View Post
I rarely buy new comic books anymore, but mainly due to the fact, my local newsroom went out of business years ago, and there is no comic book store nearby. The nearest comic book store is in a city 40 miles away. Kind of puts a damper on impulse buying.
It's sad, but much of the country has the same problem. I think there are less than 3000 comic shops in the country; down from 8000 in the 1990s, and tens of thousands of newsstands in decades previous.

For decades now, a huge chunk of the comic reading audience has been online only, using companies like Westfield and DCBS to get their books at roughly half price.

Then of course you have the huge digital presence the last few years. I'm sure comics will soon be mainly digital.
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Old 06-29-15, 11:20 AM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

I still get all my singles cheap from DCBS, then sell them for $1 each to a guy when I'm finished. Plus the last 3 months I have used the buy all DC option at DCBS which is a 50% discount.

Like anything in life, dont pay full price.

Edit to add, a bigger problem is the MSRP of recent Marvel trades. For example Superior Iron Man Prem HC Vol 02 Stark Contrast "Collecting SUPERIOR IRON MAN #6-9 & IRON MAN (1968) #182"

So for $25 cover you get 4 new issues (costing $16 if you bought the singles) and a reprint issue. You get charged more to trade wait.

Last edited by stingermck; 06-29-15 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 06-29-15, 03:46 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
I've always been surprised at the lack of coordination in marketing the comics toward moviegoers paying $20 a ticket to see Avengers and Batman. Marvel and DC are only selling to a sliver of the movie audience. I'd be literally giving trade paperbacks for free to movie audiences or some other similar promotion.
That's a tough one. I don't think that many moviegoers look at the movies and want to start reading comics (though certainly those that do, if they had never read comics before, are going to be lost, and probably surprised at the cost). If you make wholesale changes to make the universe seem more like the movieverse, you'll get backlash from the diehards already spending money collecting (see: shoehorning in black Nick Fury into the Marvel Universe, or most recently, changing Daisy Johnson to Skye, the Inhuman). If you start a new, alternate universe, nobody's going to pick it up because it "doesn't matter." DC does these Arrow, Smallville, and Flash tv universe series and I have no idea how well they do.

I had been trade-waiting Peter David's excellent X-Factor, which I enjoyed, and finally stopped when they started doing three to four issues per collection at higher-than-individual-comics prices. Like I need a super thin trade or hardcover. That's when I stopped collecting the "premium" marvel hardcovers, or whatever they called them. And I got the rest of X-Factor much later on for a buck an issue digitally.
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Old 06-30-15, 01:42 AM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Originally Posted by stingermck View Post
So for $25 cover you get 4 new issues (costing $16 if you bought the singles) and a reprint issue. You get charged more to trade wait.
The only thing that makes that ridiculous price and slim collection "okay" is that there's no way it's going to sell well. Even if Marvel does a meager printing, they'll inevitably remainder off some portion of the books. Within 6 months to a year after that trade is out, you'll be able to pick up a used or remainder marked copy of the hardcover for around $5 if you know where to buy your books. And if you're lucky the digital code will still be valid.

That's still over $1 an issue (since the reprint issue isn't worth crap), but it's a lot better than $25 total. Plus you get physical ownership of the hardcover.
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Old 06-30-15, 06:45 AM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
That's a tough one. I don't think that many moviegoers look at the movies and want to start reading comics (though certainly those that do, if they had never read comics before, are going to be lost, and probably surprised at the cost). If you make wholesale changes to make the universe seem more like the movieverse, you'll get backlash from the diehards already spending money collecting (see: shoehorning in black Nick Fury into the Marvel Universe, or most recently, changing Daisy Johnson to Skye, the Inhuman). If you start a new, alternate universe, nobody's going to pick it up because it "doesn't matter." DC does these Arrow, Smallville, and Flash tv universe series and I have no idea how well they do.
The only movies that generate comic sales are the ones like Watchmen or Sin City that have a single graphic novel or small run of graphic novels. A Batman movie or Avengers movie isn't going to move comics or graphic novels because of the sheer volume of back catalog. But release a good Sandman movie and watch those things fly out of Barnes & Noble...
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Old 07-01-15, 01:16 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

So maybe this was announced when the series first started coming out, but if the Sandman Overture collection is coming within a couple of weeks of the last issue, what's the point of collecting floppies again?
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Old 07-01-15, 01:57 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Floppies vs trades is like watching TV weekly or waiting for a DVD season set.
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Old 07-01-15, 02:58 PM
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Re: Are DC titles worth the recent price increase?

Originally Posted by stingermck View Post
Floppies vs trades is like watching TV weekly or waiting for a DVD season set.
But in this case the DVD season set comes out right after the last episode airs...
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