Inside the hectic environment of the Bleeding Cool bullpen, your favorite reporters and not-journalists work hard to produce the comic book coverage that you, the faithful reader, cannot live without. Occasionally, we even have the time to talk to each other, which is how a conversation sprung up between Bleeding Cool Ace Reviewer Josh Davison, Rumourmonger-in-Chief Rich Johnston, and yours truly, Jude Terror, about the price of comic books, with special appearances by Veronica Webb and Jeremy Konrad (wow, if this were a comic book, we could have probably charged 10 bucks for all of these special appearances!
Josh: I got an email mad that I’m the only reviewer who didn’t swoon over ASM #800. I gave it a 7/10, I just couldn’t recommend it because it’s $9.99. At $9.99, the comic better be pure gold, I don’t care how long it is.
Veronica: LMAO that is pretty high.
Josh: Like, at 8/10 I could have recommended it. Maybe if Slott dropped in a few less terrible Gwen Stacy jokes.
Rich: An 80-page story at 9.99. That’s a 20-page story at 2.50. As opposed to the usual 20-page story at 3.99. These days that’s a decent price point.
Josh: To me, proportions don’t matter in this context. 10 bucks is 10 bucks. I could get two other comics and have enough left over for a soda.
Rich: Whereas here it gets you four Amazing Spider-Man comics. And no soda. You got four Spidey stories for 10 bucks. They even split them up into four chapters just for you.
Josh: Four Amazing Spider-Man comics, two of which are of very dubious quality. And Ramos’s art is at an all-time low here, and I’m not a fan of his work normally.
Rich: A TPB with reprints of Spider-Man stories, already published, will cost you $15 for six.
Jude: Wow, Marvel’s price gouging has been so successful people are actually praising the value of a 10-dollar comic? To be fair, the reprints are probably better if they’re pre-Slott.
Rich: They should have called it an original graphic novel then no one would have complained.
Josh: Nope, I still would have complained a lot.
Rich: At the price point? Never buy a French comic, just saying.
Jeremy: Not one person complained yesterday when I sold it to them yesterday. Because of the size.
Jude: The problem is this isn’t an OGN. If you’ve been reading Amazing Spider-Man, this is the conclusion to the story you’ve been investing in. You are forced into buying it.
Rich: An 80-page original story for $10 in this market is not price gouging.
Jude: In this market.
Josh: Apparently common reception of this one was positive anyway. And yes. This was supposed to be #800. Calling it a graphic novel doesn’t change what it is. Plus, it’s the quality that keeps me from wanting to recommend it. I don’t think it’s good enough to warrant me slamming $10. Also, it’s worth mentioning that Action Comics #1000 was two dollars less and had a slew of DC’s best working on it. Plus, it was just a better product.
Rich: The new Asterix comic is $18 for 48 pages. And that sold many millions.
Jude: Because Marvel price gouging has caused you to see anything under four dollars for regular sized single issue as a bargain.
Josh: Think that’s stupid too. I’m not defending anyone else’s practices here.
Jude: But that’s too expensive and so is 10 dollars for a quadruple sized issue.
Rich: Jude, in this case it’s $2.50, which is cheaper than everyone else. Jude, is $2.50 okay for a 20-page comic?
Jude: The regular comics should be two bucks tops and the giant-sized five bucks. To be comparable with the amount of entertainment they provide.
Rich: I could ask Mark to explain the economics of that for Avatar 8-).
Jude: I don’t care about the economics for the publisher. I’m not a publisher.
Rich: Okay, so if a giant size is five bucks… this is twice a giant size, so 10 bucks is in line?
Josh: At the end of the day, my review philosophy is to tell the reader whether or not something is worth their hard-earned cash and limited time. I didn’t think this comic was worth the former and barely worth the latter.
Jude: Right on, Josh. Increasing the price a user has to pay by 2.5x for an issue in the series they’re collecting is bogus. No matter how many extra pages you give them. In any case, we’re wasting time we could be spending furthering our liberal agenda through the media. I’m going to make a reader poll on comic book prices.
Rich: Pip pip.
And here we are. Like most debates on the internet, nobody’s mind was changed, and Rich Johnston probably received several death threats resulting from it (at least one from me under an alias). So we’re going to put it up to you readers with a poll. Cast your vote, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.