Thursday, March 20, 2008

Poll: Budgeting for comics

Work is piling up, so I just have a quick question: Is the slipping U.S. economy, rising prices for gas and food, and other pinches to the wallet having an affect on how you buy comics?

I know I have a weekly budget that I try to stay within, and for the most part things balance out by the end of the month. But I also know that if things keep going the way they are, I'm going to have to look more closely at my weekly pull list and maybe be a little choosier about what I actually go home with.

Is it just me? Or is anyone else feeling the squeeze? I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this, so I've put a poll up in the sidebar and I also encourage you to leave any comments you might want to share.


That One Guy said...

Well, I'm very choosy in the first place and don't spend a whole lot in general these days. I go weeks with nothing at all to buy, and then will only have 2 or 3 titles to buy, even on my biggest weeks. I've also started buying mostly trades, but that didn't have anything to do with the economy. Anyway, the fact that the the U.S. is going into the biggest Depression it has ever experienced--you heard it here first!!--has no effect on my comic buying habits so far. Of course, when I get laid off when the actual depression hits hard, then I'll probably have to cut my already small pile down to nothing and fashion a cardboard sign that reads "will work for comics."

Mike Haseloff said...

I live in another country, and still can't afford to buy comics.
Shifts in the US economy threaten to shake things up down here, but otherwise, it's business as usual. Business that's already too rich for my blood!

Lisa said...

Well after leaving my 25% discount (plus the free reading and returning) behind I cut my stack down and it's slowly been cut down a little more. My main thing is not being able to buy my books every week anymore and only going to pick them up when I happen to have a little spare cash. It sucks!

Dr. K said...

I mainly buy my comics from DCBService, and I limit my budget to $50 per month. This has remained relatively consistent over the past few years, but if I didn't have the discount service, I wouldn't be buying many comics (also, the LCS in my area is not very good).

I have found myself converting more series to trades, too. For example, at one time, I was buying almost everything Vertigo put out. Now, I usually buy the first arc in single issues, decide if I want to keep going, and then get the trades if I do.

So, while the amount of money I spend has remained relatively stable, I think the economy and changes in the industry have changed the way I buy comics. Basically, I'm trying to get the most out of my $50 every month.

Maxo said...

Guy: So far my buying habits haven't changed much either, but I have been passing on titles I might have picked up just out of curiosity more often lately. I'm definitely trying to be more rigid about the budget.

Mike: I know that international cover prices tend to be higher than domestic; is the weaker dollar offsetting that at all? I seem to remember people in Canada saying they should be paying the regular cover price since the Canadian dollar was even with the U.S. at the time (I think the loonie's actually stronger, now), but I don't know what ever came of it. (I don't know where you live, by the way, so I don't know if this is similar to where you are or not, so I apologize if I'm totally off the mark!)

I know what you mean — sometimes it hits me just how much I'm paying for these 22-page mags.

Lisa: Jesus, do I miss that discount! And the borrowing policy — I read soooo many comics when I was still at the shop.

That does suck! We need to start some sort of comic book book-swap, just so we can lend each other the titles we might not be picking up ourselves.

Dr. K: My budget's not much different than yours, but it can be tricky since my LCS doesn't give a discount on monthlies. It does give a 10 percent discount on trades, though, which makes it even more tempting to mostly go to trades instead. Honestly, I think that's where the industry is headed, and in terms of cost and readability, I have to say I'm kinda for it.

I've found that I'm a lot pickier about what I buy, too, and comics can end up on the chopping block a lot faster. I just can't justify spending money on something while waiting for it to be any good (or at least good enough). I like the system you've got — I might try that!