- Posted by Johanna on June 30, 2010 at 8:51 am
- Category: Shopping Guide
As the Recession continues with no clear end in site and no definite upturn, I found it significant that Robot 6’s weekly “here’s what’s coming out in comic shops” column has taken on a new dimension: a limited spending amount.
The first Food or Comics? column sets out the rules:
Every week we’ll tell you what comics we’d buy if we had $15 to spend, if we had $30, and if we had some “mad money” (like a gift card) to blow on what we’re calling a “Splurge” item. Admittedly, this was a tough exercise, much tougher than I thought it would be, and a reminder as to why I buy my books from a place that offers a discount.
Retailers back in the day used to say that shoppers didn’t follow budgets, that they’d buy what they wanted. I never found that all that believable. I know that I have a lot of discretionary income, but I’ve seen too many others at the store putting back things they were interested in — usually newer titles — because they only had a certain amount of money and it was all taken up by old favorites.
Bear in mind that, these day, $15 will only buy you four superhero comics (at a $3.99 price point, plus tax). (Update Gah! Where was my head?!? $15 won’t even buy you four superhero comics, but three with a couple of dollars left over.) That’s not very much, when DC and Marvel are both pushing cross-title stories and big event continuities. I tried this exercise myself, holding myself to the price limits they set, and concluded:
My one comic purchase would be Chi’s Sweet Home (cute cat manga! and in full color!), at $13.95. Except I’d use the Amazon price of $11.16, so I could still get The Muppet Show #7 at $2.99. Golly, no wonder people are going online for discounts and digital copies! Great as I expect those books to be, that’s not very much comic reading for a week. And no superheroes!
At the $30 mark, I’d add Archie & Friends Volume 4 Betty & Veronica’s Beach Party, for $9.95. It’s been so hot lately that I’m in the mood for some summer escapism. That leaves me (going back to cover price, $13.95 + $2.99 + $9.95 = $26.89) $3.11 for … well, not enough for Wonder Woman #600, which is $4.99. Usagi Yojimbo #129 is $3.50. The return of Suppli, the josei manga from Tokyopop I want to try again, is $19.99 for the double-sized Volume 4. Maybe I’ll save up for another graphic novel, or go with the nostalgic Casper & The Spectrals #2, from Ardden Entertainment, at $2.99.
All I can say is, I’m suddenly very very grateful for companies that are generous with their review copies.
What about you? Are you buying less? Saving up more? Keeping to a budget, or spending on what’s still relatively cheap entertainment and escapism?