So here is the letter. How do you feel? Is Marvel justified given the current economy or are they asking too much from us comic fans?
Hello to Joe Quesada and whoever else may be inclined to listen,
My name is Robert and I own Brainstorm Movies Comics and Gaming in Chicago. I am sending this to you in response to the recent price increase of more and more books going up to 3.99.
First of all, I realize that times change and everything goes up eventually. And I have told my customers that have expressed concern about the recent price increases that we should wait and see what happens. My argument was that if the page count goes from 32 to 40, then I could justify spending that on a GOOD book. I would even be willing to forgive it if the 32 page books kicked butt, like Dark Avengers #1.
The latest Previews has a line that seems to repeat itself and it is causing some rumbling. Namely that line is “Plus 8 pages of Director’s Cut Extras!” This is like a slap in the face as one customer put it…right before he had me take all Marvel titles off his list.
Oh, I know, you maybe smiled at that one. Oooo, there goes someone else threatening not to buy our books anymore. Oh what will Marvel Comics do if we don’t sell those 15 or 20 books a month to that one guy in Chicago? I imagine it wouldn’t be that big a deal…except this isn’t the first one this month.
I’m not so much worried about Marvel. I’m worried about Brainstorm. This was someone who has been a customer since the day he walked in. He has stuck it out through thick and thin, and he would probably even be willing to give the price increase a fair chance…UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THERE WOULD BE MORE STORY! Plus 8 pages of Director’s Cut Extras does NOT justify a price increase. Eight pages of story would be an easier sell.
If the price increases are due to budgetary reasons, then may I suggest that Marvel stop putting out things like Marvel: Your Universe or any of the Chronicles. I stopped ordering these with Hulk Chronicles, because that’s when my customers stopped buying them. And when they see this in Previews and then all these 3.99 books they ask me what gives. I don’t know what to tell them. Repacking material that has already come out in trades is like poking a wet cat…it does nothing but make the cat madder.
If you have some insight, I would appreciate it. But I’m pretty certain that this won’t get any response and if I do it will probably be something about how exciting the future of comics is and that the price increases are needed for this or that.
Regardless of whether you answer this or not, keep in mind that there are people out here who have invested everything they have into their stores. The same stores that rely upon people being able to afford the books they’re interested in reading. Because I have found that no matter how good a book is, if people have to make a choice between necessity and Wolverine, they will and have been lately, choose the necessity.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t raise the prices of your books. You’re going to do that anyway. I’ve seen the writing on that wall for a while now. I’m just asking that whoever makes these decisions please keep in mind that if you want more from us, we’re going to want more from you. And Director’s Cut Extras are not going to cut it.
Brainstorm Movies, Comics and Gaming
1648 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622