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Recommending Comics

| August 24, 2014

Daily Dose-grey

 

There are times when I feel old.

People ask me what I do, and I tell them that I have two jobs: I work at my local 911 for money, but my passion is as a comic book creator. Then, of course, they ask me if I can draw, and I tell them no, that I couldn’t draw to save my life, let alone theirs. They chuckle, and of course, they ask the same questions. “What’s your most valuable comic?” Personally, I hate that question, because it doesn’t mean a damned thing. Not then, and not now.

Then I want to recommend comics. These people often have children, and they remember the comics they used to collect as a kid. More often than not, their parents got rid of their comics, and they look wistful about the amount of money their collection could have been worth. They then want to get their kids into comics, and they want to know where they can start.

And I’ve got nothing for them.

Don’t get me wrong. I can recommend all kinds of comics to these people, but if they’re for their children, pre-teen to early-teen, then I’ve got nothing for them, because the cost of comics is prohibitively high.

They look at me strangely, and then I put it to them in terms of money and time.

Their kid often has a game console of some kind, with a plethora of games they’re either playing or replaying, for days at a time, for a pretty decent price for the amount of time played, and then you get a decent resale value as long as you don’t destroy the game (if they don’t want to play it anymore).

Comics aren’t that way.

Four to five dollars for roughly twenty-two pages, which translates to a very fast read for the money, and an extremely low resale value. When these former collectors ask me the price of a current comic, they often plotz. Their kids can’t afford it, and the serial nature of comics, sometimes within a shared universe, means the cost often and quickly balloons out of control.

So I feel bad. I want to recommend comics, but I can’t in good conscience.

I understand the economics of inflation (HA! We’ll call it a layman’s understanding of the economics of inflation), so I know why they cost what they do, but understanding and the ability to do something about it are two different things.

In the end, we’re have trouble growing the base because it’s prohibitively expensive versus the time spent with the book. Digital comics helps this somewhat, but still, it isn’t enough. Not yet.

(Comics no longer being for kids is another thing altogether.)

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Category: Columns, The Daily Dose

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at stevedforbes@gmail.com for rate inquiries.

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