MARTHA THOMASES: Death Cab For Batman?
Over the last two weeks I’ve taken more taxis than I did in all of 2010. I hate taking cabs. They’re expensive, and it frustrates me to sit in traffic watching the meter click. It makes me feel like Geraldine Chaplin in Welcome to L.A. I much prefer the subway, smells and all, because it’s cheap and fast.
I took the expensive cabs because I needed them. If we didn’t need the cabs, we would have been quite content to walk or take mass transit. The person with whom I was traveling couldn’t walk to a bus stop much less climb the stairs to the subway, and it was imperative that we get where we were going. Luckily, I can afford to do this when necessary.
What does this have to do with comic books?
DC Comics recently announced a price hike on some of their books. Naturally, customers aren’t happy about this. No one wants to spend more money if they don’t have to.
You know what? You don’t have to.
It’s possible to lead a productive and satisfying life without reading Batman comics the week they hit the stands. Or so I’ve been told. Billions of people do it. Some of these people will read the stories later, paying for them in a back-issue bin, or a trade paperback collection, or online when the price goes down. Most of the people on this planet will never read them.
It’s a choice.
I don’t know what financial pressures are behind DC’s decision to raise those prices. It could be motivated by editorial considerations. Maybe retailers told the publisher they needed a higher cover price to make a profit. Maybe Diamond needs the profit. Maybe DC does.
I’ve read on some bulletin boards that some customers feel this is stupid, that DC is taking that extra dollar from customers who will therefore have a dollar less to spend on other titles. This presumes that there are only so many dollars available, because there are only so many customers. Maybe that’s true in some markets, but, nationally, there are all those millions of people who haven’t yet bought a Batman comic. I would guess that those people would prefer to pay $2.99 instead of $3.99, but that as long as it’s under $5, it’s not that noticeable.
If you can’t afford to buy a comic the day it comes out, don’t buy it that day. Take a deep breath. Wait a week.
It’s okay. Stories keep.
Save your money for when you need that taxi.
SATURDAY: Will Marc Alan Fishman Take Up The Michael Davis Challenge?