Are comics really recession proof?
The general consensus is that during hard times, people stay at home and turn to cheap entertainment to save money. And various and sundry players across the net have claimed that comics always do well in recessionary times.
Except, it turns out, those two widely held beliefs are in direct conflict.
Aaron Albert at About.com (you can tell he’s in comics with alliteration like that) runs the numbers on entertainment bang for the buck per minute, and comics are the worst deal of the bunch:
If we suppose that it takes 15 minutes to read a standard comic book what kind of deal are we getting?
- $3.99 Comic – ECPM’s – 27 cents
- $2.99 Comic – ECPM’s – 20 cents
- Movie – $10 (Average running time lets say 1hr 30 min.) – ECPM’s – 11 cents
- Rental Movie – $5 (Same time as above) – ECPM’s – 5.5 cents
- DVD – $20 (Typical 2 disc with, say, 2 hrs bonus material) – ECPM’s – 7 cents
- Video Game – $60 (Average length, around 15-20 hrs to complete) – ECPM’s – 5-7 cents
- MMORPG – (A game like WOW costs $15 a month with the average player putting 22 hrs a week…its scientific, I Googled it) – ECPM’s – 2/10 cents (yes that’s two tenths of a cent per minute)
The conclusion is obvious, particularly when you see how many people will read free comics available online.