I mean, you all had to know this was coming, right? Given the history of the medium and all?
It may be hard to believe now, but comic books were originally created as a cheap means of entertainment for people from working class backgrounds to enjoy. They were cheap. Dirt cheap. And they provided a great means of escape away from the movie theatre and other novels of the day. During the World War II, their cheapness (and relative popularity) saw them used as a means of propaganda, spawning heroes like Captain America and seeing characters like Superman and Batman take on the Nazis home and away. They were incredibly popular, so much so that, during the fifties, there was a genuine scare regarding their content and the influence they had on younger readers.
Still, they persisted, and flourished into one of the most iconic fictional mediums of the 20th century. Today, superheroes are the most high-profile denizens of pop-culture, boasting a multi-million dollar pull on screen and off. Their off-screen exploits however, are nowhere near as accessible, and it's because things just keep on getting more expensive... somehow. Like, genuinely, how does this keep happening?
A single issue of a comic book today will set you back between $2.99 or $4.99, and collected editions can fetch anywhere up to $100 depending on the amount of issues included. It has, in no small way, never been more expensive to be a comic book fan than it is today.
It's an incredibly difficult hobby to maintain, and the thought of seeing young fans wandering into a comic book shop only to find out they can't afford to read their favourite heroes on paper genuinely makes me feel sick. Sure, there are other mediums in which to enjoy the exploits of Spider-Man et al., but even today there's something indelibly magical about comic books as an art-form. To deprive people of the opportunity to explore that is, without doubt, the biggest failure of the medium's history. That's where your sales fall. That's where you lose your readers. It's not complicated.
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