How Far Is Too Far In Comics?
While I was working on my list of comics to order from Previews last month I noticed a surprising change to two Marvel series I was ordering.
I was looking over the Marvel catalog section of Previews when I noticed that two of the series I was ordering from Marvel had made a change to the pricing of their War of the Realms mini series and the Avengers tie in issue to the same event. The average comic book is thirty two pages long and averages four dollars per page. For some reason Marvel listed War of the Realms issues three and four where listed in Previews for thirty two pages for five dollars.
Normally when a comic has an increase in price there is an increase in page numbers. The average break down of page to dollar amount is for every eight pages costs you one dollar. At this ratio the average comic is thirty two pages for four dollars. For some reason Marvel listed these issues at an extra dollar for no additional pages. I can not tell you how incredibly angry this makes me. It’s bad enough that Marvel routinely adds over priced issues during a series run for no good reason. They just randomly decide that this issues needs to be five, six, seven, eight, up to ten dollars for this issue of an ongoing so that if you just want to enjoy the story your being forced to fork over more money. They pull this same trick with Avengers nineteen in the same catalog. Avengers nineteen is a forty page comic for eight dollars. Every other forty page comic, and there were seven other comics with forty pages in this catalog, was priced at five dollars. An eight dollar comic should be sixty four pages long. If they’re going to double the price they need to double the page count.
Marvel lists three other eight dollar comics in this catalog, two Marvel Tales issues, which are reprint comics, which are eighty pages and Marvels Annotated four which has one hundred and four pages and if the other issues are any indication it will have a decent cover. All of these are a better value then Avengers nineteen.
I couldn’t believe that Marvel would print this and thought that it had to be a mistake. So, I emailed Marvel, the first time I’ve ever corresponded with any comic book company in a direct way. I checked my email the next day and Marvel had already gotten back to me saying that the March Previews catalog was printed correctly, but all the details were subject to change. While I appreciate them getting back to me swiftly, I can not endorse this idea that Marvel can just print whatever they want in Previews and hand wave it later. It’s not acceptable for them to print comics at one length and charge for those comics at wildly bloated prices and it’s not acceptable for them to print whatever details in Previews they feel like just because they can announce an update later.
Because of these issues I didn’t order any of those comics and will not being order future comics of either War of the Realms or Avengers and I encourage you to do the same. I was really looking forward to the Avengers in particular. I may pick up those series in trade paperback, but the trades tend to have better page to cost ratios then the individual comics themselves. My favorite comic right now is Saga and Saga issue one was a forty four page comic for three dollars. Half the reason I ordered that comic was just because it was a great deal. An extra sized comic for a dollar less then the average comic and it became my favorite current comic and one of my favorite comics of all time. I can’t think of the last time Marvel went one of their way to not just provide me value for my dollar, but also gave me a great comic to boot.