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Friday, February 4, 2011

The state of the comic market....

Recent reports have indicated that sales in the direct comics market are down almost 25% from the same time last year. This is presumably from figures released by the "one" distributor of DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse products. This is partly because of differences in the items being offered and partly because of outside factors. Some of those factors include the unsettled state of the recovery and things like the rise of the iPad and other electronic means of dissemination. Also, there is a very good possibility that not a few shops have closed in the last few months.
This is interesting from a number of viewpoints. From a collector's viewpoint, it's actually more difficult to get some of the items being published now than those published say 5 years ago. Will that affect their collectibility from the value perspective?
There is a great deal of controversy generated from the rise of the iPad. For one thing, the price for a download is somewhat less than the price of a physical book. The download doesn't involve all the handling and costs of delivery that the physical books require. The reading experience however is far different and it brings into question the permanence of the item once purchased.
We've always been proponents of the physical books because there is nothing like the feeling of holding that item in your hand and being able to flip the pages. This is especially true of older books which have a nostalgia all their own. We're not talking about graded books here, because in a way they have ceased to be comic books or magazines and are now "things in a slab which people sell back and forth". You can't read them unless you want to invalidate the grade.
We'd like to hear your opinions on this subject to start a dialogue.

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