17 Comments
Posted by TheOptimist

Great topic, something that most of us have had to think about, for sure... I've been fortunate enough of late to be able to pick up as many books as I've wanted, but changing circumstances will cut my (approximately 75 slot) pull list down... substantially.

One of the things that has really helped me out a lot is keeping track, very carefully of what I've bought, what I'm going to buy and what I'm not going to buy... I usually try to track as much information as possible in an excel document... it gives me a good bigger picture, particularly of how much my weekly/monthly/annual bill really is... then I set reasonable limits and don't cross them. Its one reason that I'm frustrated with the Marvel double shipping method, because now I have to predict that every book will be double shipped, thus limiting how many actual titles I'm going to pick up...

One of the reasons I keep track of the things I don't buy is so I can also have a framework to pick up some of those deals, particularly at conventions. I try to track the things that've passed that interested me, but I couldn't afford, as well as those books that've been recommended to me from one source or another. Then I $1 bin dig to see what I can cross off my list. I managed to catch nearly 2/3 of Jeff Parker's Hulk run this way... I also test ran the recommended Ultimate Spider-Man (after your review, actually, if I recall correctly) and was really excited by it... especially since I didn't have to shell out the full $4 to grab it.

For my pull list, even though I've been able to grab everything I want right now, I also have a very clear line of my 'essential' pulls, my 'loving it' pulls, my 'meh' pulls, and my 'might be dropped' pulls. That way when I do have to cut it down, I know exactly what to trim, based on how they've been performing in the recent past. I've got about 5/6 books (depending on what is being published) that will be forever on my pull list, no matter how dire my financial situation gets.

So yeah, great topic, great analysis... nice work!

Posted by aztek_the_lost

Although it doesn't help with new comics, going after old comics is much cheaper (as long as you don't worry about the collectibility and just want to read comics) and I'm talking even like comics from a year ago can be cheaper already. That said, you might have to be good at figuring out which comics are going to appreciate in value and which will depreciate. For example, back-issues of The Unwritten can be bought at NM for less then their original cover price but back-issues of American Vampire are often more expensive then they were originally.

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Posted by ZEELLO

I can watch anime and ponies on youtube for free.. comics need to be cheaper.

Posted by Owie

It's true that old issues can be a real steal. My store often has sales where you can pick up ten for a dollar. Sometimes they're good, sometimes not, but with 10 boxes to pick from, you're bound to find something. Thrift stores and used book stores often have great deals too. I bought 40 comics for $20 this winter, and they were all classics from the 70s and early 80s, great stories.

Posted by thenerdal

@Owie: Lucky. Comics at my comic book store cost like $5 per comic. That's for the old ones. But then again, there's a Half Price Books next door and they sale comics for cheap.

Posted by Owie

@thenerdal said:

@Owie: Lucky. Comics at my comic book store cost like $5 per comic. That's for the old ones. But then again, there's a Half Price Books next door and they sale comics for cheap.

Yeah, Half price books is a good store. I don't have any near me but I go to them when I visit my relatives in Minneapolis.

Edited by ZEELLO

Thing is about print comics is that the ads go out of date. Not to mention comic companies make no money on used games used comics.

Maybe there should be a thing where you can read comics online, for free, in exchange you have to view ads just like a print comic, but the ads are always up to date. (in fact maybe the ads are displayed on the side of the screen, instead of taking up pages which break flow. Except for before/after issues. And maybe one in the middle of the comic, such as in-between stories) You can still purchase comics, which is good if you want to read them offline or while on to go.

This would only be for older comics however. This could apply to comics at least a year old, or, any comic no longer in print. New comics still have to be purchased either digitally or physically. In fact this is a good way to sell new issues, because if I read up to issue x of a series, but to keep going I have to buy, I might be more inclined to buy now that I'm already hooked on the series.

The pros to this:

  • comics more accessible due to being free
  • Easier to get people to be followers of a series. If someone read issues 1 through 9 they are more likely to line up to buy issue 10.
  • Ad revenue is coming in nonstop instead of just at the time the issue is released.

Possible cons:

  • Comes at the expense of digital sales, however you get ad revenue instead and more people reading.
  • burns comic stores by killing the used comic market.. however you're still promoting those stores since they carry new issues. (and the issues carry online vouchers for digital versions)
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I'm always for getting the TPs. Case in point, DC's Flashpoint event from last year. I calculated how much it would have been to have gotten each single issue over last summer, and it came to well over 200 dollars for the 70+ issue event. I waited a year basically and finally got the 6 TPs and one HC lst month and read them through. Ended up spending a little over a hundred dollars for that event just by waiting a year. Yeah, had to wait all that time, but saving 100 dollars in today's economy for working class individuals like me is substantial. Food for thought!

Posted by Delphic

One word: BUDGET! I'm always updating my budget to see what I have available to spend on comics. Usually every month I set aside $100 for new issues, and believe me it adds up quickly. Comixology is a great website that I use to help manage my pull list. It helps to keep track of what I'm subscribed too, and how much it will cost.

The main thing to do when affording comics is set yourself a dollar amount limit, and make yourself not spend any more than that within a given period. Like I said for me it's $100 a month. For others it might be a lot less. The main thing to do is when you finally figure out how much your pull list will cost you in that given time you've set for yourself adjust accordingly. More often than I would like I have the problem of my pull list ending up being $10 to $30 over my set $100 amount. I go over my list and take out what I "Don't want as much". I say "Don't want as much" because I want them all, but I ask myself what is the likely hood of me reading this comic as soon as I get home vs me putting it down and reading it later. That's how I deal with new comics.

Now with back issues and TPB's things can get a little trickier. I count TPB's as a completely different purchase. It's not included in that set $100 amount. I only by TPB's if I have enough left over from other expenses on my budget, and even then I question it. Word of advice do not buy at retail price if you don't have too, and more often than not you don't. Look for sales on Trades or go on the internet and find something cheaper than retail. NEVER PAY RETAIL YOU CAN ALWAYS FIND IT CHEAPER! For example one store I frequent was selling the Grimm Fairy Tales TPB box set for it's retail price of $90 and I bought it off ebay for $70.

Back issues are similar to TPB's. A lot of comic stores, thrift stores, off the beaten path grocery stores, and gas stations sometimes have comic bins of back issues that run from 50 cents to $1 an issue. You can get entire runs for really cheap this way. I got the majority of Justice Society: Thy Kingdom Come for $14 when the three collective trades cost $60. Another method of doing this is searching online for complete runs and even single issues to fill out that one thing your missing. Just remember though. Do not pay retail. If you a relatively new comic going for $3.99 online forget it. You can always find it cheaper.

When affording your comics think smart and budget. That is the key to affording your comics.

Posted by EdwardWindsor

Easy i dont drink or smoke, money saved goes into other stuff i want

Posted by Jorgevy

@lazystudent said:

Easy i dont drink or smoke, money saved goes into other stuff i want

this is an awesome idea that everyone should follow IMO. both for health benefits and for financial ones

Edited by EdwardWindsor

@Jorgevy: its funny when people say to me how can you afford to buy.... And i simply reply "everytime we all go out for a drink i spend far far less"

Posted by SupremeHyperion

put a little away here and there and when comic cay comes you will have what you need. that and cut back on cigarettes and drinking. you'd be amazed how many great books and comics you can get with a weeks worth of cigarette money

Posted by Jorgevy

@lazystudent: yeah, I tend to do the same, because I dont drink anything besides water (or milk in the morning) and I never smoked. I also tend to go for healthier stuff so I dont waste that much on sugary treats or anything of those

Posted by EdwardWindsor

@Jorgevy: I buy sweet stuff , everything isok in moderation food wise. I just don touch booze or smoke

Posted by Jorgevy

@lazystudent: true, everything ends up being dangerous if you get too much of it, but when it's moderate it's all good :D

Posted by BlackPookie

Well i always save for them...

but dont buy other girlish things though