Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Marvel Raises Prices; Fans Riot (But Only Online)

So, Marvel upped the prices on the last 6 books they had priced at $2.25 to $2.50 (except Marvel Team-Up, which goes to $2.99). And this had produced the usual freakout from MB posters.

I remember when the $2.25 price point was instated back in... I want to say 2000, but it may have been earlier. Regardless, it's been a while, especially considering the rather rapid price increases in the 90's (1.00, 1.25, 1.50, 1.95, 2.25, starting around 1990). I had to drop some books from my roster, although that was also because I was going off to college and wanted to have money around for other stuff. It was my first big culling, really, and I'm a better reader for it.

Most of the posters I've seen (the ones who still buy Marvel; some are bitter ex-readers or fans of other companies who can't resist getting in an easy dig), though, aren't talking about going this route. It's something you see with every raise in prices: people complain about how it will hurt their budget and how comics cost too damn much these days, but don't actually decrease the number of books they buy a month. (Some are talking about going the "only in trades" route, but I question whether or not this move actually saves money. Anyone have numbers on this?)

Really, though, this is symptomatic of a larger problem. Everything's more expensive these days, and wages don't always increase to match. It's a system that, eventually, will have to change somehow. Not being an economist, I don't know what would be required for that. But it'll happen, because the alternative is to keep running this model until it busts.

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