15 February 2006

COMMENT: $25 Pop Quiz

Shane (Near-Mint Heroes) Bailey threw out an interesting challenge this week: a $25 budget, this week's release list, and the question, "What would you buy?"

Winnowing my already light-for-me list this week was harder than I thought it would be thanks to Essential Moon Knight's $16.99 cover price, and really drove home the stark reality of a marketplace whose average consumer is estimated to have a $20/week budget, $16 of which is allocated to Marvel/DC titles. Even factoring in the handy discount I get, I'd still be spending more than $25 on this week's intended pulls, never mind the sampling I tend to do which adds another $6-15, depending.

It was also an interesting test of what I'm reading out of desire vs. habit, particularly in keeping the Moon Knight TPB on the list, despite the fact that I already own all but two of the issues it collects. When the inevitable day comes that I'm forced to cut back on my comics budget -- aka, when we buy a house -- I suspect I'll be surprised by what stays and what goes, and whether or not my commitment to supporting indies and B-list Big Two series withstands the adjustment.

One thing that's already changing is my slow shift to a wait-for-the-trade policy (which sometimes means never buy at all) on some of the industry mainstays and more popular indies not in monthly danger of cancellation. Makes you wonder who has the more fickle fanbase, superheroes or manga?


Greg said...

Actually, for all the comics I buy, I often go under $25 a week, although I don't buy trades every week and usually don't count them if I do. I got 8 books this week - 3 from Marvel, 1 from Image, 2 from IDW, I from Boom!, and I from Fantagraphics. So I'm doing pretty good.

(I know, no DC. What the crap is wrong with me?)

And why would you buy Essential Moon Knight if you already have most of them? Is it just so they're in a convenient place all together? I will probably buy it, too, but I have fewer of the issues. Just wondering.

(And I hope you're not mad at me for "camel jockeys." That would make me cry.)

Erech said...

I only spent 2.99 this week. I even looked for something more to buy. Meh.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Greg: Yes, it's definitely for easy reading. I've wanted to go back and reread the series for awhile now, but have been too lazy/busy to dig them out of their box. My final floppy tally ended up being 11 comics for $33.37. 3 Marvel, 3 DC (2 Vertigo), 1 each from Dark Horse, Image, Devil's Due, Moonstone and Mr. Comics. Picked up Box Office Poison, too.

And no, I got the joke; I just had to set you straight on Tarantino. ;-)

Erech: I'm hoping that $2.99 went towards The Losers' finale, yes? How you can pass on Planet of the Apes, though, I'll never understand.

Erech said...

Actually I did NOT get the Losers finale. I haven't really been reading it lately, I'll pick it up collected down the road.

Nope, I got Daredevil. Although Planet of the Apes is now on my radar, so I will give it a shot next time I'm at the shop.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I should clarify that I'm a PoTA junkie so my recommendation comes with a big, bold *. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary. I mean, it's no Bumperboy!

SMASHER said...

Interesting challenge which begs the question: how much do you think you spend on comics per year?

How does that compare to other entertainment (itunes, movies, dvds, video games, cable)?

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Ugh, I don't even want to contemplate that figure! The industry estimate of $20/week is $1040/year, and I'm sure I spent way more than that last year, even without my discount.

Compared to other stuff, comics are far and away my largest discretionary expense; DVDs and alcohol are probably a distant second. Figure once we buy the house, alcohol and comics will flip-flop on that list!

BTW, we still need to do lunch. Haven't forgotten, just been busy as hell at work lately. Things should lighten up a bit after the Con, though. You going?

Erech said...

A year huh? Hmm, in my prime, I was spending at least 25 a week, which equals out to um... hold on. $1250 a year. Wow.

Although I know there were weeks when I would spend more, picking up trades or whatever. Crazy.

Thats way more than any other entertainment, since I hardly buy CD's anymore, and usually just rent movies on Netflix. Although there was a time where I would buy at least a new CD every Tuesday, so there ya go.

Erech said...

Oh screw me if I have to figure in alcohol too. No way, I don't wanna get depressed by the size of that number.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Ha! Too bad alcohol's not tax-deductible. Technically.


BTW, do you write off any of your comics-related stuff? We're about to do our taxes and I'm trying to figure a way to do it, but I believe you actually have to earn some money to claim business expenses, yes? G*ddman labor of love shit is for the birds!

Shane Bailey said...

Think I should make it a regular feature?


Kinda makes the list a little more interesting getting all the feedback.

Shane Bailey said...

I used to spend at least $70 a week. That works out to $3640 a year. I've been spending that amount for at least 8 years, which comes to a grand total of about $30,000. I would estimate I have somewhere between 12,000-15,000 comics, which works out about right if you estimate that they cost somewhere between 2 and 3 dollars a piece.

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I think I'm currently averaging $60/week, including TPBs, which I generally pick up 2-3 of every month. I refuse to do the math, though, as I will start crying right here at my desk!


And yeah, this could make for a good regular feature for you. Maybe not weekly, though. I know I don't want to be reminded how much I'm spending every week!


Must figure out way to deduct comics from taxes, ASAP!

SMASHER said...

I don't think I'll make the Con but I'll pop in for the after party. Won't be able to drink though, spent my week's 'allowance' on DOOM PATROL ARCHIVES VOL. 3.

Ed Cunard said...

My average is $40 a month on comics (not counting special shopping trips to conventions and events). So, $25 a week would be an upswing.