Why do people continue to buy comic books? How can companies continue to want to lose money by publishing comics? I love superheroes. I always have loved the concept, but I what I really liked were the television and motion picture adaptations of comic heroes. Superman: The Motion Picture, The Incredible Hulk television series, and the Wonder Woman television series. Good stuff! In fact, I consider the Incredible Hulk television series as my first stepping stone into the comic book world. Those late 70’s and early 80’s Incredible Hulk comics are the best.
Most people, I’m willing to bet, who specifically go to a comic book store are, probably to a degree, obsessive compulsive like me. I’m not a bad obsessive compulsive. As a matter of fact, my wife says I have calmed down. I use to focus exclusively on Superman. I would get EVERYTHING related to Superman. He was my guy! I wanted every issue of a particular series or every appearance. I wanted every toy and t-shirt. It eventually got a point where I was dropping $30 a week at my local comic book store for books I didn’t even read! I might as well just have thrown that money out of my car window.
I feel I am at a crossroads now. I can’t really justify spending $3.00 for a 12 page comic book that takes 10 minutes of my time. For $3.00, I can go rent three DVD movies a a Redbox or go to a bargain matinee movie at my local theater. Yet, I still have a subscription list with a stack of comics waiting for me. My 7 and 9-year-old sons use to read them, but only because I showed interest. They now rather play their video games or just go to the movies.
The most likely reason DC Comics and Marvel keep publishing comics is because it’s their legacy. One day, both companies will have to stop publishing and concentrate on licensing their characters for games and movies. Marvel has even taken a step to leaving the publishing realm by putting out online comic material at a subscription price. I’m willing to bet that DC Comics will soon follow.
I just feel kind guilty not wanting to read comic books anymore. I know the guy that runs my local comic book shop. Business can’t be that good. Does he really need another subscriber (I’ve been a customer since 1994) cancel his subscription list? I don’t think so. I still have comic books waiting for me in my subscription box. It has been about two months since I lasted visited the store. Yes, I will purchase those books the next time I go; however, I still have that voice in back of my head telling me to cancel my subscription, but I’m just too chicken shit to do it.
Currently, I have a 12 issue mail subscription to Action Comics that is about to run out. The most recent issue is numbered 875. Can you believe it? This comic has been published 875 times. Part of me wants to renew my subscription and keep renewing it so I can see it pass issue 1000. However, I’m not reading it. The issues come in the mail and they just sit, collecting dust on the floor in the movie room upstairs. It’s wasted money. What I need to do is just let my Action Comics subscription run out and then go out and buy the 1000th issue of Action Comics when it’s published, but I probably wouldn’t read it either.