This past weekend's subject was "Name The Last Five Comics-Buying Impulses/Strategies You'd Give Up." I was actually sitting around the house Friday evening, but I decided not to participate. I was reminded of an informal poll Valerie Gallaher conducted a few years back, right after the recession kicked into overdrive. One of her questions was:
2. Rank the following in the order of (top) would drop last to (bottom) would drop first, if you had to save money:My answer was that I already had cut everything, except my internet connection. This was down from a $30 per week budget on pamphlet comics. Down to nothing. The decision was not "should I drop Fantastic Four titles before or after I drop Warren Ellis books" -- it was "should I drop comics or eat".
- Comic Books
- Video Games
- Cable TV
- Medication and Medical Procedures (assuming you aren't covered for them, includes dental care)
- Movies (either DVDs or going out to theatre)
- Eating Out For Dinner
(I should clarify, I suppose, that I only gave up "comics I had to pay for." At the time, I largely switched over to webcomics that were freely available online. And, since my financial situation has improved since then, I've gone back and made many purchases from webcomic creators whose work I particularly enjoy or appreciate.)
It's an interesting notion to consider hypotheticals like that, but I'm wondering how realistic this particular one is. I mean, do people actually cut back in the ways that are suggested in the various responses there, or do they simply stop buying comics altogether like I did, or do their purchasing strategies become irrelevant because they're no longer viable (when a creator stops producing new work or when they complete the collection one of their strategies was targeted at)?
I'm sure fans change their purchasing strategies all the time, based on any number of changing variables. But the suggestion inherent in Tom's theme was that you had to whittle down your comic purchasing habits more gradually and deliberately. My question is: does that actually happen? Do people have purchasing strategies that, for whatever reason(s), they slowly chip away at over time?
I don't know. I don't know if my approach is unique or common. I don't know how other people go about deciding which comics to buy or not. What do most comic fans actually do?