Marvel Movies are a Success why can't Comics do the Same?
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I was thinking the other day about this--- when will there be some cross over Marvel and DC movies made, if ever? It was a big deal when this happened in the 1970s in the books-- just wondering if they might team up on a movie at some point. And which movie would it be-- something from the material created previously or something brand new. Not that I think this is inevitable-- it might even signal the end of the movie surge.

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Because comics cost $4 each.  

Make believe you buy a four issue story arc... you are spending $16 for what amounts to 40 minutes of entertainment at most... (I am going to allow ten minutes per comic and even that I feel is generous).  It really does not take ten minutes to read a single comic but whatever...  

OR... I could spend $16 on a movie ticket and have a full 2.5 hr experience that tells a complete story... such as Spider-man Homecoming and Black Panther. 

I honestly feel that new comics are way too expensive for what they bring to the table at $4 each.  

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$4 is too much for a comic book. I wonder how much comic books used to cost to make when they were selling for 10-35 cents each. I assume there is some margin of profit per book. I cannot imagine how the newer books are priced with a similar margin but understand that the extremely low volume might also be the issue. But if they were cheaper-- might they sell more issues? It is as if they decided at some point to make books cost X and that was it-- they did not care how many books that price point would sell.

 

I know there are a ton of other factors involved-- like the content being much more adult orientated for starters (not really directed toward kids as buyers). But if they were say $1 each instead -- would it help sales?

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Marvel is making so much money with the movies that they should print their comics and distribute them for free. 

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4 hours ago, 01TheDude said:

I wonder how much comic books used to cost to make when they were selling for 10-35 cents each.

I am sure they made some money in advertising, much like newspapers.  In those old books you had like 40 ads on a page selling everything from a Certificate in Drafting to X-Ray glasses.    Not much of that going on in today's books. 

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1 hour ago, Mercury Man said:

I am sure they made some money in advertising, much like newspapers.  In those old books you had like 40 ads on a page selling everything from a Certificate in Drafting to X-Ray glasses.    Not much of that going on in today's books. 

nope-- I don't even think you can seeds or Grit either to make some quick spending money

lower the price, sell more volume, get the advertisers back and interested to help pay production costs-- return to the days of old. Maybe even put out some books that are targeted to entertain children. Can you imagine if 7-11s had spinner racks again full of comic books? that would be pretty sweet!

It's a pipe dream-- so sue me.

Edited by 01TheDude

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Great article.  I keep thinking why Comics can’t capitalize on the Marvel Movie success.  My local shop was having quarter sale for comic book day and the kids seemed excited to buy so many comics for a dollar.  Comics are too expensive at $3.99.

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Remember that Marvel( or any company) has all the expenses of producing and advertising the product but only sees 40% of the price.  On a four dollar comic, it's barely making much more than a buck and a half. If a comic sells 20,000 copies, that's thirty thousand dollars to cover every expense from the time the editor assigns the job to drop off at Diamond. 

On the other hand, I don't know how many shops could absorb the loss of income if every comic dropped a dollar in price. That is a huge chunk of revenue to lose.

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$4 a comic is way too much, they justify the $4 cover price by using HQ paper and digital coloring. Also way too much cheese cake art in comics now, a lot of readers are women nowadays and they don't want to see that. I blame the editors at Marvel/DC for a lot of today's comics problems. They are the ones who approve what the cover is going to be. If comics were cheaper, they would get into the hands of more people

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12 hours ago, marmat said:

Marvel is making so much money with the movies that they should print their comics and distribute them for free. 

Kind of like free comic day but every day.

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Anybody have an idea where the $4 goes to?  Is the $2 that goes to the seller a bigger percent than in the past?  Do artist and writers get paid better?  Or is it mostly the better paper increasing the cost?

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5 hours ago, shadroch said:

Remember that Marvel( or any company) has all the expenses of producing and advertising the product but only sees 40% of the price.  On a four dollar comic, it's barely making much more than a buck and a half. If a comic sells 20,000 copies, that's thirty thousand dollars to cover every expense from the time the editor assigns the job to drop off at Diamond. 

On the other hand, I don't know how many shops could absorb the loss of income if every comic dropped a dollar in price. That is a huge chunk of revenue to lose.

And, of course, within that cost the creative team needs to be paid a competitive salary. One of the big complaints I hear is that many of the best writers aren't working or staying in comics because it doesn't pay enough. Cheaper comics most likely equals lower pay for the talent and then the quality suffers even more.

I agree they're expensive, but I think movies are prohibitively expensive as well (for me) as is almost everything. $20 today is what $5 was when I was a kid; you just spend it without even batting an eyelash.

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When comics were priced at 10 cents and 12 cents they blossomed with great stories and good art .Not so much today very overpriced and lacking content as the older comics did appealing to the fan !

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7 hours ago, 01TheDude said:

Can you imagine if 7-11s had spinner racks again full of comic books?

Hey, that was my first LCS :applause:

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13 hours ago, Buzzetta said:

Because comics cost $4 each.  

Make believe you buy a four issue story arc... you are spending $16 for what amounts to 40 minutes of entertainment at most... (I am going to allow ten minutes per comic and even that I feel is generous).  It really does not take ten minutes to read a single comic but whatever...  

OR... I could spend $16 on a movie ticket and have a full 2.5 hr experience that tells a complete story... such as Spider-man Homecoming and Black Panther. 

I honestly feel that new comics are way too expensive for what they bring to the table at $4 each.  

This......I've pretty much given up on buying new comics because of the cost. Maybe because of the endless reboots and crossovers...but that's been going on for 20 years. I finally got disgusted with myself because I looked at a giant pile of books that I hadn't read yet and thought that's a silver/bronze key laying there (300.00). And pretty sure if I wanted to move off that 300.00 book for whatever reason I could get most if not all of my money back....the moderns I could maybe get 1.00 and issue (if I'm lucky)

 

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A major problem is decompressed storytelling, which often spreads a story over maybe 6 issues. So, are many potential new readers, introduced via the super-hero films, going to be willing to drop $25 to read just one dragged-out story, and then be willing to commit to doing that on a frequent, long term, continuous basis with multiple titles?  Very daunting.

 

Edited by Ken Aldred

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I am torn sometimes. I love going into a LCS and picking up the new issue of the month. I know for a fact I can buy them online cheaper, I hate the wait because I only buy about 5 new
comics a month because I just cant find comics I like anymore. Good art and a good story are far and few between currently. That and a lot of the art I just don't like anymore on new comics
which really pains me, but if I am paying $4 a book I am going to have to like the art and the story.

 

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23 hours ago, 01TheDude said:

I was thinking the other day about this--- when will there be some cross over Marvel and DC movies made, if ever? It was a big deal when this happened in the 1970s in the books-- just wondering if they might team up on a movie at some point. And which movie would it be-- something from the material created previously or something brand new. Not that I think this is inevitable-- it might even signal the end of the movie surge.

+1,000 

Marvel v DC will DEFINITELY happen. Thats a no brainer. And just like the crossover signaled the (then) demise of a comic book era, it will probably do the same with movies, just like you said, when they start to run out of juice.

Im pretty certain theyll use Axel Asher as the bridge between the two, as he totally fits the current trends of a teenage kid from an urban NY 

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17 hours ago, marmat said:

Marvel is making so much money with the movies that they should print their comics and distribute them for free. 

That was kinda the way it used to be until the mid 80s. If you think they made money from selling books for (up to) 75 cents youre wrong. Most of the money came from licensing their properties. The real money came from acquiring the properties, whether it was merch, movies/TV, and overseas licensing of books. But in the mid 80s there was a shift in copyright control for the big 2, I recall Giordano saying that they could either hire work for hire at a premium, or write a contract with the writers which gives them partial shares of ownership of properties they have created. Which meant that they now had to raise the price of a book.

Nowadays, when movies/TV shows are EVERYTHING, its all about creative control, it absolutely makes no sense for the publisher to put out a book  without trying to get as much ownership of the content as possible. And youre probably right, the publisher SHOULD give the book away for free IF they are certain they will be able to license their properties. But thats a big if. And with the almost complete demise of readership (as opposed to collectors) and shift in demographics (adults as opposed to kids) its hard to keep a title running unless theres an ulterior motive involved

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