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In Reply To
Ed Love

Subj: Re: so many things to consider
Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 06:12:43 pm EDT (Viewed 85 times)
Reply Subj: Re: so many things to consider
Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 05:38:58 pm EDT (Viewed 10 times)

    HOWEVER, those are the arguments for the price increases 20 years ago and invalidating using a pre-1984 comic as a baseline for comparison. It doesn't really address the whys of increasing a comic today by 30%.

It still factors in. Paper costs have risen since 1984 as well. Of course, this single factor isn't going to be the sole reason why prices have increased, but it is a factor.

certain factors are going to be relatively fixed no matter what comic it is. As we've seen other publishers go to a $3.99 price point, like Boom Studios and Image, do the same price increase, we can see that it's not just a "Marvel is evil" issue.

    I'll argue that there should be penalties for NOT producing comics on time, that if you enter into a contract to produce a monthly comic, then the comic should be monthly. Where's the latest issue of THE TWELVE?

If that happens, where a creator is punished financially for being late, you'll see a mass exodus of certain creators going to other entertainment fields, probably even creator owned stuff as well. Assuming that JMS takes a pay cut for his comic work, which we can be pretty certain it is, why would he even do comics at Marvel anymore?

I'm surprised that more creators aren't going the creator owned route.

There are solutions to late comics, a big one being that monthly publications stop becoming the expectation for EVERY title. But this isn't one of them.

    Health insurance? Only if you are part of staff and not freelancing and that means you work at least 20 hours a week (part-time) devoted to the job FOR the company. For creators, this means so many pages of product as given to you per the contract per week/month. The plus of being on staff, you still get the benefits if there is no work actually available to be given (ie, you're the artist and the writer dropped the ball on delivering pages and everyone else is meeting deadlines). This may mean that during slow times being drafted to produce art and copy for products that aren't comics ie press releases and such. You want the benefits of a regular job, then you treat it like a regular job. You want the benefits of it being a freelance position and being able to pick and choose your work and the amount of work you produce, then you explore other options as far as benefits go which may mean doing a lot of work that's not just doing comics to help pay the bills and get insurance.

Certain creators get health insurance as part of their exclusive deals.

    There should be a reasonable page rate that is allowable for the majority of creators to earn a living. But, it may mean that slower creators that cannot produce at least one book monthly have to find other ways to support themselves. The company isn't making money when there's no product on the shelves. Tie in the page rate to a percentage of sales, so that if a creator is slow BUT does generate big sales regardless, then they and the company can afford their slower pace. But, everyone wins if the creators can be good AND on time. But if a book is two months late but does not bring in twice the revenue that it would if another creative team was on it and brought the book in on time is hurting the company and the bottom line and need to work somewhere else.

Who determines what is reasonable? I would say the market, which is the situation we are in now.

With your proposed change, what's the advantage to the creator? There isn't one, so why would they do it? And again, if you force changes to these creators that they don't like, they will leave comics.

    The danger here is related to the sliding scales of production. As you settle into being a niche publication, it means you're settling for lower print run numbers which increases the cost per issue.

Exactly. Which is a major reason why comic prices have gone up.

    There's also less advertising in comics than there used to be 30 years ago (but a little more than ten years ago). Advertising revenue often covers quite a bit of the printing costs, a full page color ad should be able to shoulder the cost of the production of 4 color pages, maybe a little more. However, again, lower print runs and a limited readership reduce the attractiveness of comics as an outlet for advertising your product.

And it's also about the price you can charge for that page of advertising, not just the number of pages. One major problem comics have is that they appeal to really just one main demographic, a white 30-40 year old male. It would help if comics appeal to a wider demographic, such as females and a younger audience, but they don't.

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