September 6, 2011

Comics are expensive

Sometimes I just love the internet. Either I get to see photos of something that I never would have been able to experience otherwise or somebody posts a piece of fascinating research that would never have seen the light of day were it not for his/her website.

Today's post points out an example of the second of these: the research thing.

The past couple of decades have seen comic book take a turn for the less financially successful with DC and Marvel losing readership in droves. The causes of this have been debated: too much continuity, increasingly crowded media landscape, the decline of the newsstand, the growth of the direct market, digital comics, the speculators crash in the 1990s, the ceasing of virgin sacrifices to get that vivid read of Superman's cape.

In a post on ComicsAuthority, Von Allen explores a cause that I haven't seen anyone consider yet: the fact that comics are too expensive. Von Allen spreadsheeted the historical cost of comic books per page versus minimum wage and found that the average comic book...
  • in the late 1930's cost 0.6% of weekly minimum wage
  • in the late 1960's cost 0.2% of weekly minimum wage
  • in the mid-late 2000's cost 1.4% of weekly minimum wage
Sure, things are more expensive now. We all know it. Von Allen anticipates this criticism by pointing out that movie tickets, during the 1969-current time period, have risen from 2.5% of weekly minimum wage to 3.0% of weekly minimum wage, an increase of 20% instead of comics' increase of 600%.

Internet...research...statistics...comic could anything be more perfect?

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