Friday, October 03, 2014

Will paper comic books cease to be?

If comic books become too expensive to buy or fanboy's just can't tear themselves away from their latest MMO, will paper comic books become extinct?

Still reading comic books? Less of us read the paper form. 




The modern comic book, or as Stan Lee prefers we name them 'Comicbooks' as one word, is bleeding sales to video games, the web, big screen TV's and the eye popping Blue Ray experience.


Today's internet does feed the comic reading need without having to purchase the same entertainment on paper. Digital comics are readily available without the drive to the local comic shop, with gas prices still hovering around $3.99. A $2.99 comic book is a dollar short of a gallon. And the boss will expect you to show up at work without the "I had to buy the latest DC 52 issue" excuse.

Without getting too political, U.S. comic book sales are provably intertwined with social climate, which include goings-on at the White House and how deeply the nation is at war. Comic book sales have unerringly climbed in times of war or great emotional need. Terror was around every corner after September, 2001 and Bush was a pretty high strung guy who stood like a hero on the rubble yet failed to deliver after 8 years of trying.

Obama tends to be more calm, less reactive and more interactive, without the need for "Mission Accomplished" banners. And the wars overseas for the U.S. seem to be winding down. (Thank god)

Nation wide statistics have shown a significant drop in Violent crime.
World wide, although retail profits have ticked slightly higher, personal goods have declined and more frugal spending habits prevail. Of course, the world economy is pliable and sensitive to overactive stock markets.

I'm hoping Indy comic books and reality based genres will rise in sales (slightly) and the over muscled, masked avenger will see a drop in readership. With tornadoes wiping out entire towns, people need more miracle than macho in their daily reading. Far from reality based storytelling and closer to the bone on today's crazy world events. Independent comic books offer escape without a complete suspension of your disbelief.

I believe it's generational. Our kids will read less paper based pulp than we did and their children even less.

Do you want your children to respect the genre that filled so many carefree days in your youth? Start them with Golden Age or Silver Age comic books. We are talking about children ages 4-10. After that, the distractions are too numerous to name. Golden and Silver Age comic books can be found at bargains prices in your local comic shop. Some costing only 25 cents!

Article Author: Dennis M. Sweatt, artist at Sweattshop Comicbook Art

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  1. Anonymous1:03 PM

    Your understanding with expressing reality is amazing.

  2. Jim Thompson5:35 PM

    I don't think the paper versions will cease at all. The collecting mentality is too ingrained, and comic book sales are a huge industry today,really, and the collecting industry is very well established. People buy DVDs of films that can sometimes be found online as public domain items--to pull an analogy--so the ownership need is important to many, the material aspect. Comics survived a huge blow to their survival 60 years ago, today it's just opportunity to subdivide the market.

  3. I think on it as generational. With our kids leaning away from paper and adapting a digital way to entertainment.

  4. You're both right, collectors will always exist as will comics. Eventually, digital collecting will dominate. Living space is getting smaller, as are our cars. I have 8 long boxes full, and another is needed to house another big stack I have. After that I simply don't have any more room for any more physical books. I will have to graduate to digital whether I want to or not. I dare say I am n to unique with this issue.


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