How Much Are You Spending On Comics These Days?

By | Tuesday, June 21, 2011 6 comments
When the recession first hit, there was a fair amount of internet chatter about people changing their purchasing habits in comicdom. Did you drop titles or just cancel cable or skip that doctor's visit that you really didn't want to go to anyway? A lot of people lost their jobs, and many have yet to find new ones. Many of those who did are working in positions less desirable (to them at least) than what they had previously. We're still hearing daily news reports about how the super rich control the vast majority of the country's wealth and how being a fry cook at McDonald's is now considered a great opportunity and how the entire country is just about to run up against the debt ceiling and on and on... And even though we've heard the odd reports about a comic shop closing or a creator coming against hard times, I haven't seen/heard anything about you: the comic book fan.

So I'm wondering: how are YOU holding up as a comic book fan? How have your comic buying habits changed over the last 2-3 years? Are you spending less? The same amount, but you've moved over to digital to get more bang for your buck? What is your weekly trip to the comic shop like now compared to 3 years ago? What does the next 6-12 months look like for you in comicdom?

Seriously, I'd like to hear how comic fans are doing these days. Feel free to leave comments anonymously.
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Matt K said...

Hm. I hardly ever buy new-release single issues anymore, or much of anything from the local store to be honest.

At this point though I'm not sure how much that has to do with my personal finances; I don't see the above changing a whole lot even if I struck gold. Of new stuff there's only a relatively small amount which interests me, and most of it doesn't interest me enough for the price. $4/issue and even $3 just seems ridiculous to me, whether or not I can "afford it." Particularly when patience will see most of those issues marked down on sale sooner or later.

Most of the comics I buy at this point are in "back issue" orders made online a few times per year. (My local store offers some fantastic sales but I've largely picked through their bins by this point.)

I'm going to guess a total expenditure on comics in all formats, for 2011, of $200? If you want context, I suppose I must have spent more, in the past, but maybe not within the past few years.

Ethan said...

I only buy random things that interest me these days, or things that are self-contained. I think my spending has decreased not so much because of the recession but because of the material.

DerikB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DerikB said...

(Whoops, couldn't edit so I deleted and reposted.)

Haven't bought comics weekly for... probably a decade. Used to get monthly shipments from Mile High, but for the past couple years I just buy stuff from publishers, at cons, or from Amazon (depending on the publisher).

I think I have been buying less comics, though I think that's partially because I feel that with the increase of comics being published I've been refining my tastes for what's worth buying. I remember years back where I could buy just about every alt/art comic/gn that seemed relatively interesting, but now there's just too much.

My pamphlet buying has been pretty much nil for the past couple years.

Anonymous said...

I buy about three current comics every two weeks, and one trade paperback in the $10-14 range every month. Every three months or so, I'll splurge on something more expensive, like the Capt. Easy Vol. II that I got in the mail this week. I spend a lot of time digging through quarter bins to find comics with nice art.

I'm much more likely to invest in mini-series, or books from Image and Dark Horse that aren't likely to crossover with anything or weather a creative team shift halfway through or suffer from constant editorial interruption. I don't read event books.

I haven't bought a Marvel book since Thor: TMA was cancelled. Actually, I take that back -- I get the Oz books. I only buy Jonah Hex from DC. In addition, right now, I'm regularly buying Weird World of Jack Staff, Who is Jake Ellis, various Hellboy things, and not much else.

plok said...

I'd love to spend thirty bucks a month on trades like I did last year, and I MADE space in the budget for Morrison's B&R and JHW's Batwoman just for the novelty of actually wanting to follow a Big Two comic in a monthly way again. But as of now I'll buy monthlies if I have a trustworthy recommendation that it'll be more than worth the cost, otherwise not a chance in hell. Fortunately there are so many flat-out unappealing covers these days that I'm not too tempted otherwise! But I regret not being able to sample stuff I never heard of anymore, and I couldn't follow more than a couple of monthlies anyway. As of this year I'm spending maybe ten bucks a month, maybe less: hit the store when I'm feeling flush, which is only about quarterly.

I'll never go digital for Big Two product; will be a tough sell that way even for Fanta. Basically the quality's going to have to REALLY be there, and I mean in the platform too, because I'm never buying a special device just to read comics with!

So the outlook is poor, and the bar is set correspondingly high: Popeye vs. Superman isn't much of a contest. I wouldn't buy half the stuff this year that I bought last year, and next year that number will probably drop again.