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Tuesday, November 04, 2008 

Comics and the economic recession

The Comics Reporter writes several points about why the economic recession does not bode well for the future of comics:
1. Comics clearly aren't recession proof. I would argue they never were. Some of comics' darkest days came during recessionary periods in the '50, '70s and '80s.

2. There are a number of reasons to believe that comics are currently more susceptible than ever before to drastic effects resulting from economic downturn.

3. One reason comics may be at greater risk right now, and this has been noted just about everywhere, is that comic books no longer cost a thin dime. They frequently cost $2.99, and soon may cost between $3.50 and $3.99 for a single issue. Trade collections and original graphic novels commonly sell at price points between $7.99 and $24.99. Specialty volumes can go all the way up to $200. Together I think those figures disqualify comics from any and all assertions based on their being cheap and disposable entertainment. The act of buying comics in the 21st Century is a conscious, expensive and involved consumer choice. It is exactly those kinds of choices that are at risk during times of economic distress.
Reading this at a time after learning about the sad loss of the GOP in the election, I'm going to have to note myself that - under an Obama-led government, the economy is not likely to improve, and if not, then comics cannot expect to do much better. And with prices going up, I think it's possible that, in another 2 years, pamphlets will certainly fade out, because who's going to pay 4 dollars for so little story content?

No, comics are not recession-proof, and with this kind of US government being elected, it's not likely to get any better.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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