Marvel’s making it up as they go along.
Even to the casual fan, this has to be fairly obvious. One floppy (single comic book) is priced $3.99. Another is priced $4.99. Another $2.99. Some have 22 pages. Some have only 20– or even 19 PAGES (see Moon Knight #4).
Fantastic Four #600– coming out this Fall– is going to be $7.99 a copy.
Why? Well, who the fuck knows? I’m fairly sure Marvel doesn’t… And if they do, I’m also fairly certain they aren’t going to tell anyone the real reason they are charging such disparaging price points for books with SIMILAR content and SIMILAR page counts. Some of the possible reasons, among many: Because they can… Because they’re simply GREEDY… Because they don’t give a FLYING RAT’S ASS if they SINK this industry.
But what’s the MAIN REASON… Really? Why do they keep doing this over and over… Despite the BAD PRESS and EVER INCREASING customer IRE?
SIMPLE: BECAUSE WE FUCKING LET THEM.
How else do you explain a NINETEEN PAGE Moon Knight comic for $3.99… From the SAME company who just recently chastised DC Comics for lowering their page counts to 20 pages of original story per book (while conveniently neglecting to note DC’s dollar DECREASE in cover prices)?
What about YOUR starving creators, Marvel? And what about your LONG SUFFERING Zombies… Who seem to only exist now for your debasement, sad amusement and oddball pricing experiments? And before you go, “Wow! That’s a strong statement to make, Ian!”… How else do you explain Marvel recently acting like they were doing the industry and all comic fans a huge favor by arbitrarily deciding to knock the price of the new Wolverine and the X-Men #1 comic down from $4.99 to $3.99 a pop?
I’m curious. How do you remain a Marvel fan in the face of such unbridled hubris and relentless beat downs? I would love to know. Send me your input and I’ll make your responses the focus of a future column.
Back in the day, these stories were the closest Marvel came to being cutting-edge… And a little skeevy.
Vampire Tales Volume 3 is a collection of the more adult-skewing stories from Marvel’s 70s era black & white magazine line. These mags attempted to copy the look and feel of Warren publications like Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella. (Seems Marvel was intent on “nation-building” even then… And wanting to rule every genre in the market is nothing new.)
The protagonists in many of these titles would have been familiar to almost any Marvel fan at the time: Conan the Barbarian, Morbius the Living Vampire, Man-Thing and Blade from Tomb of Dracula. Even Howard the Duck had his own slightly racier version of the HtD four-color comic. There was also a heavy occult-skew to most of the line, as the “House That Stan Built” seemed intent on cashing in on the big horror trend started by The Exorcist.
I remember finding lots these mags in a back-issue bin as a kid and really enjoying the extra sexual freedom exhibited within. There were even bare breasts… In a Marvel comic book! This was like gold to a pervy kid like me. For all Mom & Dad knew I was reading just another comic starring Dracula. They had no idea the Count’s fangy concubines were almost always scantily clad.
Besides the prurient aspects (Marvel has sadly gone so prudish as to draw clothes on many of the bare babes for different reprint collections), I remember the stories being uniformly fun, different and often very over-the-top. You could tell the writers and artists enjoyed stretching themselves past the restrictive noose of the Comics Code Authority– the organization that then ruled over the regular comics industry with an iron fist.
These trade paperbacks are definitely worth a read, especially if you’re interested in Marvel’s supernatural characters– which, like their science fiction counterparts– often get shunted aside to focus on the testosterone-filled tights of mainstream superheroes.
99 Days HC
Arsenic Lullaby Devils Decade – Looks very, very worthy
Avengers Academy Arcade Death Game
BPRD Hell on Earth Vol 1 New World
Breed Vol 2 Book of Ecclesiastes
Complete Little Orphan Annie Vol 7 HC
Crow Special Edition – It’s been a while since I’ve read this… And with the film re-make…
Doc Savage Double Novel Vol 49 (Prose)
Doctor Who Borrowed Time HC (Prose) – Bought it for the Kindle
Doctor Who Touched by an Angel HC (Prose) – Bought it for the Kindle
Drawing Power: Compendium of Cartoon Advertising
Elephantmen Vol 2 Fatal Diseases Revised – Read the original GN
Even More Old Jewish Comedians HC
Fantastic Four By Waid & Wieringo Vol 2 Ultimate Collection – Read the original GNs
Fogtown – Own the Hardcover
Gotham City Sirens Vol 3 Strange Fruit HC
Hellblazer Bloody Carnations
Invincible Compendium Vol 1 – Owned the GNs, Own the Over-sized Hardcovers…
Invincible Iron Man Vol 6 Stark Resilient Book 1 – Own the Hardcovers
Judge Dredd Tour of Duty Mega City Justice
Korgi Vol 2 Cosmic Collector
Little Lulu Vol 28 Prize Winner and Other Stories
Marvel Adventures Spider-Man Neighborhood Digest
Megamind Vol 1 Brilliantly Brilliant
Mr Murder is Dead HC – Looks very cool, produced with Zachary Quinto
New Avengers By Brian Michael Bendis Book 2 HC
New X-Men By Grant Morrison Book 4 (Digest)
Outsiders the Great Power
Palooka Ville Vol 20 HC
Penguins of Madagascar Vol 2: Wonder From Down Under
Resident Evil – I have never read a Wildstorm/DC RE book I’ve liked…
Secret Society of Super Villians HC – Sweet looking collection!
Shadow Double Novel Vol 51
Superman Batman Night and Day
Tales of the Batman Gene Colan Vol 1 HC – A MUST Have
Too Much Coffee Man Omnibus Vol 1 – RUNNER-UP HOT PICK of the WEEK!
Transmetropolitan Vol 10 One More Time (New Printing)
Vampire Tales Vol 3 – HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
WE 3 Deluxe Edition HC
X-Men Curse of Mutants – Own the Hardcover
X-Men Curse of Mutants Mutants Vs Vampires
Dorohedoro Vol 4
Itsuwaribito Vol 3
Naoki Urasawa 20th Century Boys Vol 16
Tenjo Tenge Vol 2 – MANGA PICK OF THE WEEK!
I have a CONFESSION to make: I HATE coffee. Yet, I love caffeine. Same thing with tomatoes: Hate ’em. Ketchup – Love it.
Which leads me to…
I have never purchased a Too Much Coffee Man comic book, special or annual. But I love Too Much Coffee Man. Always have. And I have bought LOTS of collections. Now I have purchased the ultimate opus, the Too Much Coffee Man Omnibus.
No, I haven’t SOLD OUT. There’s just MORE GREAT STUFF™ than can reasonably be described in one post. Hey, miracles do happen: