Collective suicide. Been happening slowly since the '90's, accelerated this past month.
|Posted: 01 April 2020 at 4:41am | IP Logged | 4
The death march goes much further back than that. When the first across-the-board price increase swept the publishing industry in the Forties (driven by increases in paper costs), comic book publishers elected to cling to their 10¢ cover price, setting themselves on a direct course for reduced retailer profits, and therefore reduction in display space.
As other magazines went up in price, thereby continuing to guarantee profit to the sellers, comics effectively ghettoized themselves, forcing retailers to chose between products that took up the same space—say, the latest issue of SUPERMAN vs the latest NEWSWEEK (which used to cost the same and provide the same returns)—but presented increasingly different profit margins.
This insanity continued even after comic prices finally started to rise. Publishers had kept the cover price down by shrinking the page count, so what had begun as 64 pages for a dime had become thirty two for the same price—and then for 12¢, 15¢, 20¢ and so on. They’d reached a point where it was not practical to further reduce the size of the package.
And, trust me, those price increases may seem small viewed from here, but at the time they were big bites. When the 12¢ cover arrived I actually had to cut back on my purchases. Five comics—a normal week—suddenly cost what six had cost before.
Others made the same choices, introducing a small irony into the mix: we lost customers, but that tiny increase in profits brought along a few new retailers—until there came the ultimate madness, when the Publishers decided to abandon traditional venues completely.
Which brings us here.