#1 Posted by Dreamcast89 (81 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm new to the world of comics and was doing some research online. Apparently there was mass speculation in the 90s which lead to the death of comic collecting. Would you guys consider this a true statement? I was looking on ebay at comic lots and was happy that prices were low but sad at the same time. What's the point in holding on to the New 52 comics for example? Won't they be worthless thirty years from now? I don't even think it's so much about making money in the future. Even if you just collect for personal enjoyment it would be nice to know you have something not easily attainable and worth the space it takes up in your house.

#2 Posted by Enosisik (1153 posts) - - Show Bio

Not really it's just that it was at it's peek at that time so now that it has leveled out or even declined, it just seems like it. Digital comics and the insane prices are what's killing comic collecting.

#3 Posted by evilvegeta74 (4530 posts) - - Show Bio

@Dreamcast89: I think it happened in 2012, at least for me, but i'm trying to keep hoping.

#4 Posted by Enosisik (1153 posts) - - Show Bio

It's been through far worse than just weak sales. Remember they were in danger of bring outlawed and had the lame comic code for a long time. If it wasn't for the 90's comic boom we wouldn't be having all of the Marvel movies that we have today. It's just moving into new directions that were not available in the past. Like I said the price is the main problem . Back when I was a kid in the 90's I could save my lunch money for a couple days and buy a few comics. Now a kid would starve trying to do that 

#5 Posted by Imagine_Man15 (1801 posts) - - Show Bio

Raises in pricing and Digital Comics have been slowly killing traditional comic collecting.

#6 Posted by fondofpacman (572 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, marvel declared bankruptcy in the late 90's...and that was the decade of the Spider-man clone saga, which pissed off a large portion of the readers enough to quit reading comics.

#7 Posted by NuclearLife (53 posts) - - Show Bio

Collecting in general has many fluctuations. If it's comics, stamps or even antiques, there are always highs and lows, and some lows can last a long time. There will be a day when comics may rise up in prices, but I doubt it will be any day soon. But you don't collect to make money you collect to have something you love.

#8 Posted by turoksonofstone (13200 posts) - - Show Bio

Marvel and DC killed collecting in the 90's with a glut of worthless drek. Die. Marvel/DC Die.

#9 Posted by 7am_Waking_Up_In_The_Morning (3578 posts) - - Show Bio

No, it was 2000's actually. And it's getting worst.

 
 
@fondofpacman said:

Well, marvel declared bankruptcy in the late 90's...and that was the decade of the Spider-man clone saga, which pissed off a large portion of the readers enough to quit reading comics.

Nooooo.... The bankruptcy had nothing to do with what they created and published. It was all due to the several other factors. One, being the cover expenses of making multiple movies that didn't hit big enough to make it up to budget. They created million dollar movies give back probably due to weak marketing ploys. Another thing is that they were too demanding about distributing their copywrite for other companies to make.  What also didn’t help was them killing the demand for issues in general due to their overprinting. Issues were so easy to find, speculators didn’t like Marvel because even if a issue hit big and there was a high demand, there was plenty of copies to be found. That didn’t do much for the collector’s side of the market. That’s why now they only print to order. They print to match the comic shops orders (placed 2 months in advance of the street date) and that’s it. Once those go out to the stores, that’s it. They can do reprints later if they want, but the 1st print run holds it’s value.
#10 Posted by greenteaforme (1826 posts) - - Show Bio

@NuclearLife said:

Collecting in general has many fluctuations. If it's comics, stamps or even antiques, there are always highs and lows, and some lows can last a long time. There will be a day when comics may rise up in prices, but I doubt it will be any day soon. But you don't collect to make money you collect to have something you love.

I agree with all of the points above wholeheartedly.

#11 Posted by Jackson_Hartley (186 posts) - - Show Bio

Comics first started dying out in the 50's; just nothin goin on to catch anyone's interest, after the comics of the 40's depictions of the Jerry's getting their asses handed to them by various heroes. They perked up again about mid to late 60's, when comics began to deal with the issues of the times - race, war, segregation. Comics hit their highest pick around the 70's; not so much in sales, but in popularity - after all, back then, a comic cost a quarter. They lived through the 80's as the kings and queens of preteen/teenage literature, as well as young adults to many in their 30's. About mid 90's, prices began to rise quicker than expected (or wanted, if you were a comic fan). Stories and plots began to stagnate and become too formulaic, yet the prices still went up and mostly the diehards kept buying.

By the time 2000 came, prices had risen *75% (120% for certain event comics) and the plots not only remained stale, they were getting terrible. Characters like Wolverine and Superman weren't just more unpopular than they used to be, some downright hated them because mainstream characters like them were all over the place; especially Wolverine, who was and still is in many comic titles during same-time arcs.

Come onto today, comics are still expensive off the rack. It's easier (and occasionally less expensive) to get a digital copy online, than it is to trudge out to the ever fading comic store. The collector - in the traditional sense - is far and few between. Collectors today have their collection stored on their computers.

So, long story short (too late), collecting hasn't quite died out; it just changed formats. Collecting comics to store on your shelves haven't died out entirely either, but hard copy collecting is something diehards and traditionalists do.

Just my take on it, of course.

*My math abilities suck when it comes to percentages, so I may have it way off. Suffice to say, comics became a hella expensive, when compared to a quarter (and even cheaper years before).

#12 Posted by zombietag (1502 posts) - - Show Bio

no

#13 Posted by JoeEddie (484 posts) - - Show Bio

I, for one, will never buy a digital comic. I hate that books, video games, movies are going in that direction. I want to be able to hold a physical copy in my hands.

#14 Edited by tg1982 (2717 posts) - - Show Bio

Kind of, IMO, depending on why you're collecting, if it's for money, then it may not be the only reason, but it's still a big reason. What makes anything valuable over time is the rareity of it, no one will pay alot of money for something that there's a ton of. And in the 90's most Comic companies did just that. I remember an X-men comic I think X-men #1? (not sure) but it had 3 or 4 different covers and they printed millions of them. Thus ensuring no rareity making them, almost litterally, barely worth the paper they were printed on.

However, I got into the comics in the 90's, and I still read them today, and IMO, if you collect for fun and follow characters and not for money then no, the 90's didn't kill comics. Just my opinion, tho.

By the way, has anyone ever seen the History Channel's comic documenary? "Comicbook Superheroes Unmasked" is the title.

Here's a link to it on you tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwuIwt4pRNI

#15 Posted by Monika (45 posts) - - Show Bio

They killed it but I'm not a fan of comic collecting (the market), I do collect comics but I like that they are priced for their actual value. Comic collecting was based on the idea of things being pricey because demand was high but demand was high because everyone wanted to buy to sell for more...I think comic collecting should be reserved for people who actually want to own the comic, which is what it is now and it makes prices reasonable except for those rare items that collectors still genuinely want (like say one of the 400 Alan Moore signed edition of Miracleman or something or an Action Comics #1).

New comics shouldn't be thought of as collectibles IMO, buying a comic in the hopes it will increase in value is a waste. You don't buy a book or an album or a movie in the hopes it will go up in price one day.

#16 Posted by fondofpacman (572 posts) - - Show Bio

@7am_Waking_Up_In_The_Morning: I didn't mean that the bankruptcy and clone saga were necessarily related to one another, just that they both happened in the 90's and negatively impacted Marvel comics.

@Jackson_Hartley said:

Comics first started dying out in the 50's; just nothin goin on to catch anyone's interest, after the comics of the 40's depictions of the Jerry's getting their asses handed to them by various heroes. They perked up again about mid to late 60's, when comics began to deal with the issues of the times - race, war, segregation. Comics hit their highest pick around the 70's; not so much in sales, but in popularity - after all, back then, a comic cost a quarter. They lived through the 80's as the kings and queens of preteen/teenage literature, as well as young adults to many in their 30's. About mid 90's, prices began to rise quicker than expected (or wanted, if you were a comic fan). Stories and plots began to stagnate and become too formulaic, yet the prices still went up and mostly the diehards kept buying.

By the time 2000 came, prices had risen *75% (120% for certain event comics) and the plots not only remained stale, they were getting terrible. Characters like Wolverine and Superman weren't just more unpopular than they used to be, some downright hated them because mainstream characters like them were all over the place; especially Wolverine, who was and still is in many comic titles during same-time arcs.

Come onto today, comics are still expensive off the rack. It's easier (and occasionally less expensive) to get a digital copy online, than it is to trudge out to the ever fading comic store. The collector - in the traditional sense - is far and few between. Collectors today have their collection stored on their computers.

So, long story short (too late), collecting hasn't quite died out; it just changed formats. Collecting comics to store on your shelves haven't died out entirely either, but hard copy collecting is something diehards and traditionalists do.

Just my take on it, of course.

*My math abilities suck when it comes to percentages, so I may have it way off. Suffice to say, comics became a hella expensive, when compared to a quarter (and even cheaper years before).

.I generally agree with this timeline summary, pricing was a big deal. And in the late 90's early 2000's, a few years after I had stopped reading comics, alot of the big characters got rebooted I think...meaning Marvel decided to throw away 30-some years of a characters history to start from a new beginning, and even though Marvel eventually decided to go back to continuing on character's original timelines, the reboots pissed off longtime readers at the time.

#17 Posted by Cap10nate (2672 posts) - - Show Bio

The reason items prior to the 90s are collectible is because relatively few people collected which made the amount of items in collectible shape few and far between. This is true for most collectible items and not just comics. The early 90s saw the real boom in collecting which led to people taking better care of items that may be collectible/valuable in the future. when 50,000 or more people buy a comic and immediately bag and board it, the price wont go up for a very long time. That is why most modern comics are worthless except for variants that are already rare when they are produced.

#18 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (7682 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm new to comics.
YOU ARE TELLING ME all these overpriced marvel books 3.99 will be worthless in 50 years?

#19 Posted by Cap10nate (2672 posts) - - Show Bio

@MadeinBangladesh said:

I'm new to comics. YOU ARE TELLING ME all these overpriced marvel books 3.99 will be worthless in 50 years?

I believe so. except for special editions or significant issues like first appearances. Since so many other people are collecting as well, there will be a large supply of these books in the future which will keep the value low for a long time.

#20 Posted by Dreamcast89 (81 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cap10nate said:

@MadeinBangladesh said:

I'm new to comics. YOU ARE TELLING ME all these overpriced marvel books 3.99 will be worthless in 50 years?

I believe so. except for special editions or significant issues like first appearances. Since so many other people are collecting as well, there will be a large supply of these books in the future which will keep the value low for a long time.

I don't buy this argument. 50 years is an enormous amount of time. Think of the amount of comics that will be produced in that time. There will defiantly be runs that people want. 50 years from now I'm sure complete New 52 runs will be somewhat valued on ebay. At 4-5 bucks a pop those comics in the future accounting for inflation will be pretty valued.

#21 Posted by Cap10nate (2672 posts) - - Show Bio

@Dreamcast89 said:

@Cap10nate said:

@MadeinBangladesh said:

I'm new to comics. YOU ARE TELLING ME all these overpriced marvel books 3.99 will be worthless in 50 years?

I believe so. except for special editions or significant issues like first appearances. Since so many other people are collecting as well, there will be a large supply of these books in the future which will keep the value low for a long time.

I don't buy this argument. 50 years is an enormous amount of time. Think of the amount of comics that will be produced in that time. There will defiantly be runs that people want. 50 years from now I'm sure complete New 52 runs will be somewhat valued on ebay. At 4-5 bucks a pop those comics in the future accounting for inflation will be pretty valued.

I agree that there may be select issues or runs that may prove valuable in the the future but I think the vast majority will be basically worthless in resale value. Plus you have to factor in time and space and cost of bag/board/boxes. I would collect for nostalgia purposes or to pass it on to a child but not for economic return.

#22 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1144 posts) - - Show Bio

The 90's only killed off the fans who actually thought they were going to retire off of all the Image number one issues they bought in droves, meaning more speculators and not the true fans.

The cost of comics has increased quite a bit over the last 20 years and the quality and quantity of the work provided has not kept that pace. When I can have access to thousands of movies and TV shows through Netflix for $8 a month, it's very hard to justify paying $3 or $4 an issue for a comic I will be done reading in 15 minutes.

Marvel and DC need to completely change the way they sell their product if they want to continue to stay relevant in the future. They need to provide everything they publish online and offer fans the ability to read everything they offer for a set and competitive monthly price. For those who still want a paper copy, offer twice a year TPB's made up of six issues worth of material each.

#23 Posted by Dreamcast89 (81 posts) - - Show Bio

@Brazen_Intellect said:

The 90's only killed off the fans who actually thought they were going to retire off of all the Image number one issues they bought in droves, meaning more speculators and not the true fans.

The cost of comics has increased quite a bit over the last 20 years and the quality and quantity of the work provided has not kept that pace. When I can have access to thousands of movies and TV shows through Netflix for $8 a month, it's very hard to justify paying $3 or $4 an issue for a comic I will be done reading in 15 minutes.

Marvel and DC need to completely change the way they sell their product if they want to continue to stay relevant in the future. They need to provide everything they publish online and offer fans the ability to read everything they offer for a set and competitive monthly price. For those who still want a paper copy, offer twice a year TPB's made up of six issues worth of material each.

I agree and this here is the fundamental problem not being discussed by those in the industry. I mentioned in my other thread about the evils of digital comics and how their cannibalizing their own market. Digital comics will kill comic book shops. Marvel and DC is literally biting the hand that feeds them in exchange for some short term profits.

#24 Posted by danhimself (22693 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cap10nate said:

@Dreamcast89 said:

@Cap10nate said:

@MadeinBangladesh said:

I'm new to comics. YOU ARE TELLING ME all these overpriced marvel books 3.99 will be worthless in 50 years?

I believe so. except for special editions or significant issues like first appearances. Since so many other people are collecting as well, there will be a large supply of these books in the future which will keep the value low for a long time.

I don't buy this argument. 50 years is an enormous amount of time. Think of the amount of comics that will be produced in that time. There will defiantly be runs that people want. 50 years from now I'm sure complete New 52 runs will be somewhat valued on ebay. At 4-5 bucks a pop those comics in the future accounting for inflation will be pretty valued.

I agree that there may be select issues or runs that may prove valuable in the the future but I think the vast majority will be basically worthless in resale value. Plus you have to factor in time and space and cost of bag/board/boxes. I would collect for nostalgia purposes or to pass it on to a child but not for economic return.

I completely agree....I don't see how there are even going to be certain issues and runs worth anything...with the amount of reprints the companies do these days and the fact that most books are released in digital format as well the fact is that if someone wanted an issue then there would be no problem finding it....I started collecting in the 90's and a year or two ago I thought about selling off some of my collection to make room for more but whenever I priced everything I didn't see any point in selling since most of the books I had hadn't gone up in value at all...in fact some of them dropped in value below the cover price and the few that did go up in value were books that I didn't want to sell off so I ended up keeping everything...now I've gotten over my naivete and realized that most chances are my collection will never be worth anything unless I start actually investing in much older books

#25 Posted by GillaDro (249 posts) - - Show Bio

It just means the 90's books have no cash value. There are many comic collectors still today.

#26 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1144 posts) - - Show Bio

@Dreamcast89 said:

@Brazen_Intellect said:

The 90's only killed off the fans who actually thought they were going to retire off of all the Image number one issues they bought in droves, meaning more speculators and not the true fans.

The cost of comics has increased quite a bit over the last 20 years and the quality and quantity of the work provided has not kept that pace. When I can have access to thousands of movies and TV shows through Netflix for $8 a month, it's very hard to justify paying $3 or $4 an issue for a comic I will be done reading in 15 minutes.

Marvel and DC need to completely change the way they sell their product if they want to continue to stay relevant in the future. They need to provide everything they publish online and offer fans the ability to read everything they offer for a set and competitive monthly price. For those who still want a paper copy, offer twice a year TPB's made up of six issues worth of material each.

I agree and this here is the fundamental problem not being discussed by those in the industry. I mentioned in my other thread about the evils of digital comics and how their cannibalizing their own market. Digital comics will kill comic book shops. Marvel and DC is literally biting the hand that feeds them in exchange for some short term profits.

Digital comics are not "evil", they are just taking the comic medium in the direction pretty much all other entertainment is going (TV, movies, books, etc.). Marvel and DC did not go down this road because they want to, they did so because they had to. iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have changed the game for how we buy our entertainment and the writing was on the wall that comics were going to also have evolve or die.

The LCS is not dying off because Marvel and DC are being greedy, they are dying off as their business model is steadily becoming obsolete. I get no satisfaction at the idea of these changes forcing the closing of long running and well run LCS's, it is simply just unavoidable for the most part. The smart ones have already diversified what they sell to make up for the loss of comic sales they should have seen was coming and may continue to do well.

#27 Edited by Dreamcast89 (81 posts) - - Show Bio

@Brazen_Intellect said:

@Dreamcast89 said:

@Brazen_Intellect said:

The 90's only killed off the fans who actually thought they were going to retire off of all the Image number one issues they bought in droves, meaning more speculators and not the true fans.

The cost of comics has increased quite a bit over the last 20 years and the quality and quantity of the work provided has not kept that pace. When I can have access to thousands of movies and TV shows through Netflix for $8 a month, it's very hard to justify paying $3 or $4 an issue for a comic I will be done reading in 15 minutes.

Marvel and DC need to completely change the way they sell their product if they want to continue to stay relevant in the future. They need to provide everything they publish online and offer fans the ability to read everything they offer for a set and competitive monthly price. For those who still want a paper copy, offer twice a year TPB's made up of six issues worth of material each.

I agree and this here is the fundamental problem not being discussed by those in the industry. I mentioned in my other thread about the evils of digital comics and how their cannibalizing their own market. Digital comics will kill comic book shops. Marvel and DC is literally biting the hand that feeds them in exchange for some short term profits.

Digital comics are not "evil", they are just taking the comic medium in the direction pretty much all other entertainment is going (TV, movies, books, etc.). Marvel and DC did not go down this road because they want to, they did so because they had to. iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have changed the game for how we buy our entertainment and the writing was on the wall that comics were going to also have evolve or die.

The LCS is not dying off because Marvel and DC are being greedy, they are dying off as their business model is steadily becoming obsolete. I get no satisfaction at the idea of these changes forcing the closing of long running and well run LCS's, it is simply just unavoidable for the most part. The smart ones have already diversified what they sell to make up for the loss of comic sales they should have seen was coming and may continue to do well.

I completely disagree. There is a reason comics since their creation have remained in paper format. The comic books very identity as a form of media is tied to its printed format. To try to use TV, movies, or books in your argument is to use a false equivalency. People don't collect tv shows. People don't collect dvd's because they might have value someday. People don't collect novels. They very concept of collecting is tied to the industry. If you recall, back when comics were 10cents many children threw them out after reading. This is why so many comics from the 60s have value.

Many folks now who purchase comics understand they won't be putting their kids through school with New 52 runs, but they understand somewhere far far down the line they may be valued by someone or worthwhile to pass to their kids. The industry simply doesn't have the money it did in the early 90s to print a trillion copies of a New 52 series.

Your capitalist mentality of sink or swim for a business model isn't justification for killing an industry enjoyed by more than a fringe minority. You seem to be under the delusion digital comics are good for the industry and will make it prosper, when in fact the industry is cannibalizing their own market. The first thing the digital age of comics in the not to far future will do is kill collecting. That is a terrible idea as a business to gamble on killing old loyal customers who collect to possibly bring in new ones. In addition to killing collectors, they also run the risk of pirating which will cut into their profit margin. The art itself will no doubt suffer as well. There are even computer programs that can make comics. Once those become more advanced the artist who draw comics die off as well.

Bottom line is many like yourself and those in the industry will be crying hindsight when there comes a day when printed comics are gone, comic shops are dead, and digital prices exceed what people expect. If the industry put the time and effort into showing newcomers the benefits of printed comics they wouldn't need to diversify or die. There is simply no effort I see at all promoting comics. Your blaming the symptom and not the cause. The cause is a lack of effort, not a shift in peoples perception of what a comic is or will be.

I read something very wise once regarding this new iphone/ipad age. No one actually owns anything anymore. The tangible has become the intangible. What your paying for is access to data. Access that can be taken away at any time. Sometimes things change so much technology wise nobody actually stops to think if it's a good idea.

#28 Posted by Cap10nate (2672 posts) - - Show Bio

@Dreamcast89 said:

I completely disagree. There is a reason comics since their creation have remained in paper format. The comic books very identity as a form of media is tied to its printed format. To try to use TV, movies, or books in your argument is to use a false equivalency. People don't collect tv shows. People don't collect dvd's because they might have value someday. People don't collect novels. They very concept of collecting is tied to the industry. If you recall, back when comics were 10cents many children threw them out after reading. This is why so many comics from the 60s have value.

Many folks now who purchase comics understand they won't be putting their kids through school with New 52 runs, but they understand somewhere far far down the line they may be valued by someone or worthwhile to pass to their kids. The industry simply doesn't have the money it did in the early 90s to print a trillion copies of a New 52 series.

Your capitalist mentality of sink or swim for a business model isn't justification for killing an industry enjoyed by more than a fringe minority. You seem to be under the delusion digital comics are good for the industry and will make it prosper, when in fact the industry is cannibalizing their own market. The first thing the digital age of comics in the not to far future will do is kill collecting. That is a terrible idea as a business to gamble on killing old loyal customers who collect to possibly bring in new ones. In addition to killing collectors, they also run the risk of pirating which will cut into their profit margin. The art itself will no doubt suffer as well. There are even computer programs that can make comics. Once those become more advanced the artist who draw comics die off as well.

Bottom line is many like yourself and those in the industry will be crying hindsight when there comes a day when printed comics are gone, comic shops are dead, and digital prices exceed what people expect. If the industry put the time and effort into showing newcomers the benefits of printed comics they wouldn't need to diversify or die. There is simply no effort I see at all promoting comics. Your blaming the symptom and not the cause. The cause is a lack of effort, not a shift in peoples perception of what a comic is or will be.

I read something very wise once regarding this new iphone/ipad age. No one actually owns anything anymore. The tangible has become the intangible. What your paying for is access to data. Access that can be taken away at any time. Sometimes things change so much technology wise nobody actually stops to think if it's a good idea.

Going digital should actual help the collectibility of modern/ near future comics. The 150,000+ monthly copies of Batman being sold today in print will not be valuable for a very long time if ever. If only 50,000 or less print copies were sold and the rest sold digitally, then those 50K will rise in price much quicker than the 150K.

I think their goal is to cannibalize their print market. I'm sure it costs a lot less to pay one person to digitize their comics and pay a fee to Comixology for hosting it than it is to buy paper/ink/printers, set up distribution networks, pay people to ship/receive materials, and sell to the distributors/LCS at a discount so they can make a profit. The only current disadvantage to the companies are that they are not getting the advertising money in their digital comics that they do in the print books. I'm sure that will change shortly.

The collectible factor of comics is dying and has been dying for a long time. The mas production and high collection rate will kill economic value for these books for a very long time. There is less motivation to keep them in print and for people to collect them. If they do not go digital, they will start to fail like print newspaper, book stores that only sale print, or video rental stores. The only comics from the modern era that will be valuable in the future are special editions like 1:25/50/100 variants, first appearances, or other items that start out rare now.

If only a fringe minority enjoy digital comics, then there is nothing to worry about for fans of print copies. If it is not economically viable to switch to digital, then there will not be the switch. The reason that it will switch is because more and more people will acknowledge that there is as little value value in a modern comic as there is in a modern book and would prefer the convenience of having it all on one device than shelves and boxes taking up more and more room when people have less and less space.

The only thing that I really agree with is the fear that we are just renting these comics digitally and not owning them if something were to happen to Comixology. However, it is a trade-off I am willing to accept to have all my comics at my hand at all time and to not have stacks and stacks of books all over the house.

#29 Posted by Brazen_Intellect (1144 posts) - - Show Bio

@Dreamcast89 said:

@Brazen_Intellect said:

@Dreamcast89 said:

@Brazen_Intellect said:

The 90's only killed off the fans who actually thought they were going to retire off of all the Image number one issues they bought in droves, meaning more speculators and not the true fans.

The cost of comics has increased quite a bit over the last 20 years and the quality and quantity of the work provided has not kept that pace. When I can have access to thousands of movies and TV shows through Netflix for $8 a month, it's very hard to justify paying $3 or $4 an issue for a comic I will be done reading in 15 minutes.

Marvel and DC need to completely change the way they sell their product if they want to continue to stay relevant in the future. They need to provide everything they publish online and offer fans the ability to read everything they offer for a set and competitive monthly price. For those who still want a paper copy, offer twice a year TPB's made up of six issues worth of material each.

I agree and this here is the fundamental problem not being discussed by those in the industry. I mentioned in my other thread about the evils of digital comics and how their cannibalizing their own market. Digital comics will kill comic book shops. Marvel and DC is literally biting the hand that feeds them in exchange for some short term profits.

Digital comics are not "evil", they are just taking the comic medium in the direction pretty much all other entertainment is going (TV, movies, books, etc.). Marvel and DC did not go down this road because they want to, they did so because they had to. iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have changed the game for how we buy our entertainment and the writing was on the wall that comics were going to also have evolve or die.

The LCS is not dying off because Marvel and DC are being greedy, they are dying off as their business model is steadily becoming obsolete. I get no satisfaction at the idea of these changes forcing the closing of long running and well run LCS's, it is simply just unavoidable for the most part. The smart ones have already diversified what they sell to make up for the loss of comic sales they should have seen was coming and may continue to do well.

I completely disagree. There is a reason comics since their creation have remained in paper format. The comic books very identity as a form of media is tied to its printed format. To try to use TV, movies, or books in your argument is to use a false equivalency. People don't collect tv shows. People don't collect dvd's because they might have value someday. People don't collect novels. They very concept of collecting is tied to the industry. If you recall, back when comics were 10cents many children threw them out after reading. This is why so many comics from the 60s have value.

Many folks now who purchase comics understand they won't be putting their kids through school with New 52 runs, but they understand somewhere far far down the line they may be valued by someone or worthwhile to pass to their kids. The industry simply doesn't have the money it did in the early 90s to print a trillion copies of a New 52 series.

Your capitalist mentality of sink or swim for a business model isn't justification for killing an industry enjoyed by more than a fringe minority. You seem to be under the delusion digital comics are good for the industry and will make it prosper, when in fact the industry is cannibalizing their own market. The first thing the digital age of comics in the not to far future will do is kill collecting. That is a terrible idea as a business to gamble on killing old loyal customers who collect to possibly bring in new ones. In addition to killing collectors, they also run the risk of pirating which will cut into their profit margin. The art itself will no doubt suffer as well. There are even computer programs that can make comics. Once those become more advanced the artist who draw comics die off as well.

Bottom line is many like yourself and those in the industry will be crying hindsight when there comes a day when printed comics are gone, comic shops are dead, and digital prices exceed what people expect. If the industry put the time and effort into showing newcomers the benefits of printed comics they wouldn't need to diversify or die. There is simply no effort I see at all promoting comics. Your blaming the symptom and not the cause. The cause is a lack of effort, not a shift in peoples perception of what a comic is or will be.

I read something very wise once regarding this new iphone/ipad age. No one actually owns anything anymore. The tangible has become the intangible. What your paying for is access to data. Access that can be taken away at any time. Sometimes things change so much technology wise nobody actually stops to think if it's a good idea.

1 - Comics remained in their paper format as it was only recently that the infrastructure was in place to offer entertainment in all mediums online at a fraction of the cost of selling physical copies. Books, music, and movies have all had their business models turned inside out by this change and saying that comics are somehow immune to this effect makes no sense. Comics were printed as that was the only format available for the most part until the past decade.

2 - People do collect TV shows (DVD's of seasons), movies, and books. Do they collect them for future value, no, but neither do comic fans anymore. The speculator period came and went in the 90's and with the larger print runs and new focus on proper storage, nobody really believes their collections are going to be worth much more than what they paid for it (at best).

3 - Marvel and DC have access to more money than any time in their entire histories. Both have parent companies that are multi-billion dollar businesses (Marvel - Disney / DC - Time Warner). They can print millions of copies at will, the problem is they can barely sell 100,000 copies of even their top tier titles anymore.

4 - Apparently in your mind reality is a "capitalist mentality". Piracy is already rampant, pretty much every issue is available on The Pirate Bay the day it comes out in stores and has nothing to do with the push towards digital. Sales of comics have been declining for a very long time now and without the economies of scale from large print runs, they cannot continue to make money without raising prices. Comics compete with music and movies for peoples entertainment spending and while their costs go down by going digital comics are forced to adapt or die.

5 - You are correct that when going digital you are paying for access instead of a physical copy, but if someone takes it away, there will always be someone else there to offer it in another form. If Marvel/DC does not offer a digital version of their product at a competitive price, there are options to get it, even if they are illegal. As for the idea that the costs of digital will be somehow higher once everything shakes out, it has not happened in any other medium so I think it's very unlikely to happen in this case unless there is some specific circumstance not yet noted.

Digital is not killing the industry, the industry has been slowly dying for decades on it's own long before. This is not about liking the transition or not, it's about how at this point they really do not have much of a choice in the matter.

#30 Posted by Dreamcast89 (81 posts) - - Show Bio

That's the problem though. They're trying to save a business model that doesn't exist anymore through digital comics. The reality is that comics are for a niche market that can appreciate them. Instead of realizing this and trying to retain their small loyal base their searching for a market that isn't there while simultaneously cannibalizing the very people who kept comics from dying post 90s. They're thinking from a mass corporate standpoint under the delusion everyone who loves Dark Knight Rises will buy Batman comics on their ipad. They have yet to start thinking of themselves as the small market business comics have become. This obsession with growth was the capitalist mentality I was speaking of. The smart play would be to husband resources and keep those hardcore fans extremely happy.

#31 Posted by Cap10nate (2672 posts) - - Show Bio

@Brazen_Intellect: I agree with basically everything you have said. I especially like the economies of scale reference. Very nice

@Dreamcast89 said:

That's the problem though. They're trying to save a business model that doesn't exist anymore through digital comics. The reality is that comics are for a niche market that can appreciate them. Instead of realizing this and trying to retain their small loyal base their searching for a market that isn't there while simultaneously cannibalizing the very people who kept comics from dying post 90s. They're thinking from a mass corporate standpoint under the delusion everyone who loves Dark Knight Rises will buy Batman comics on their ipad. They have yet to start thinking of themselves as the small market business comics have become. This obsession with growth was the capitalist mentality I was speaking of. The smart play would be to husband resources and keep those hardcore fans extremely happy.

They are trying to change their model to stay conpetitive in the future. You are suggesting they stay the same with print which every other print industry is showing change to digital as the only way to stay afloat. They are planning for the future and not hoping to just cling on to old die hard fans who will slowly fade away. More often than not, I assume most comic fans stop collecting at a certain age. They would be the worst business leaders in the world if they did not search for new customers. This and the next generation of young customers willbe completely immersed in digital technology that failure to change would guarrantee the end of the medium.They will probably make print books fora long time still but it is necessary to shift to digital.

#32 Posted by sesquipedalophobe (4786 posts) - - Show Bio

Collecting is pointless. The value of a comic is dependent on rarity and the significance of the issue. In two hundred years, my VTab will be worth trabillions.

#33 Posted by jinxuandi (595 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cap10nate said:


They are trying to change their model to stay conpetitive in the future. You are suggesting they stay the same with print which every other print industry is showing change to digital as the only way to stay afloat. They are planning for the future and not hoping to just cling on to old die hard fans who will slowly fade away. More often than not, I assume most comic fans stop collecting at a certain age. They would be the worst business leaders in the world if they did not search for new customers. This and the next generation of young customers willbe completely immersed in digital technology that failure to change would guarrantee the end of the medium.They will probably make print books fora long time still but it is necessary to shift to digital.

Exactly. Comics are just like every other industry; they need to appeal to new customers in order to continue to exist. Like it or not, the current generation of comic readers will not exist at some point in the future, so publishers must continue to find ways to appeal to new readers. Can you image if DC, Timely and other publishers said in the 40s, "We're going to keep appealing to older fans, rather than shaking things up." They would have both gone out of business. We can debate what methods should be used (personally I think Marvel's approach of relaunching every two years and having their main universe function as one giant movie-tie in is showing not to work), but there's no debate on whether publishers are right to try to bring new readers into the fold

By the way, two points should be made about digital comics. They aren't in any way "the death" of the print comic collecting, in and of themselves. Digital comics are good for the future value of print comics because they take print comics out of the collectibles market; the fewer the amount of print comics, the higher the demand (and therefore price) on the collectibles market at a later date. Second, digital comics are not going away. Print media as a whole is on its last leg; while it will not be completely gone any time soon, any information or entertainment business that focuses on the print side is doomed. Just ask anyone who works in newspapers.

@Dreamcast89: The 90s didn't kill comic collecting, the fact that only comic collectors reads comics has. A collectible is collectible because it is rare, but for several reasons (not only the near-collapse of the industry in the 90s, but the move toward much more mature books that alienated most younger and older readers), few people who weren't die-hard comic fans read comics anymore. Generally, die-hard comic fans tend to hang on to their issues (or get rid of them by selling them to other die-hard fans or comic shops), meaning that those issues rarely leave circulation and keeping their value stable. One of the reasons Golden Age comics are so valuable isn't just because they're so old, it's because no one collected them at the time, and they were often thrown away after a kid finished reading them. 20 years later, when people first started collecting in large numbers, there weren't that many Golden Age books left, making them quite valuable. Now, though, comics are treated as collectibles from the moment they are purchased, and are almost never thrown in the trash; unless you're dealing with a variant or another very rare type of issue, there's no real reason for a buyer to pay more than what the issue originally priced at (indeed, Marvel $3.99 books are almost always worth LESS within a few months of purchase, a bad sign if you're a collector). If the 90s should have taught comic readers anything, it's that collecting comics in an attempt to turn them around for money later is a very bad idea.

#34 Posted by turoksonofstone (13200 posts) - - Show Bio

@MadeinBangladesh said:

I'm new to comics. YOU ARE TELLING ME all these overpriced marvel books 3.99 will be worthless in 50 years?

actually print runs on "common" issues are very small and have been for a while.

#35 Posted by Dreamcast89 (81 posts) - - Show Bio

@turoksonofstone said:

@MadeinBangladesh said:

I'm new to comics. YOU ARE TELLING ME all these overpriced marvel books 3.99 will be worthless in 50 years?

actually print runs on "common" issues are very small and have been for a while.

This is a good thing right? Less printing more potential in the year 3000?

#36 Posted by turoksonofstone (13200 posts) - - Show Bio

@Dreamcast89:

In theory yes, Digital Books and Digital Collectors=Death of Hard-copy. It will take some time but it appears quite inevitable. I'm Guessing since the book would be quite the unusual Antique by then it would be worth quite a few credits to a collector if such a thing there still was.