What year did comic shop sales surpass subscriptions?
I'm a diehard subscriber. I love the convenience of getting my comics delivered to my house, and would never, ever consider buying a comic book at a retail shop. There are 3 main reasons I have for this:
1) Gimmicks. I believe that comic book specialty shops have restricted the reach of comics. This, in turn, makes them prone to relying on gimmicks, crossovers, and publicity stunts (or "relaunches") to boost sales every so often, rather than just relying on good writers and excellent art.
2) Price. I currently subscribe to 28 monthly titles, and I pay what averages out to 30% of retail (assuming $2.99 per issue) for my comics, direct from DC and Marvel. (that's 70% off the cover price) Why would I want to spend 3 times as much for my comics? (or have to subscribe to only 1/3 of the titles I get now)
3) Convenience. Without lifting a finger, I get the issues of my favorite comics in my mailbox every month. The mailman is already going by my house every day anyway, so I consider it the environmentally friendly thing to do. No extra wasted gas or time every month.
Now, this brings me to a question. I know there weren't any comic book specialty shops when I was very young. The first of them reared their ugly heads as the 1970's drew to a close, as I recall, and didn't start spawning in most of the cities around me until the early to mid 1980's.
Does anyone know in what year these evil entities managed to surpass the traditional subscription sales of comics? I've always been curious about that.
BTW, the lamest comic I'm subscribing to right now is Aquaman, which has perhaps the worst artwork I have ever seen. The best would be a tossup between Exiles and Green Lantern. (if you don't count the Frew Phantom, which I get by trading with a guy in Australia)
BarcodeOnTheBack is offline Reply With Quote
The gimmicks have almost nothing to do with the retailers and everything to do with the publishers.
I have a membership at my comic shop that gets me 20% of comics and even more off graphic novels (... I forget how much though) so I wouldn't save that much if I got a subscriton. Besides comic shops are good fun, they don't just sell comics and I always find something I want. You can also browse through back issues and buy titles that you might not have subscribed to.
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Yeah, my local comic shop is like a geek hang-out too....which is practially a public service, because otherwise they'd be so pale from seclusion that the sun would burn them to death. Last time I was in there I had to maneuver around battleships that they had lined around the carpeting in some strange real-life turn-based wargame. And there's regularly Magic tourneys, D&D sessions, etc.
And a lot of time I only want specific issues. In that sense, a subscription would be more money in the long-run. The only comics I collect regularly (i.e. ASM) I have a subscription to. The rest I read in local bookstores, read about on KMC, or buy individually from the store.
I used to get all of my comics via subrscription but the U.S. postal service kept bending my comics and p!ssing me off. I even complained numerous times but nothing changed so now I go to the comic shop and have him pull the issue I want every month. Plus he give me 10% off cover price if I get over 5 issues a month.
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