Hello Marvel Editorial Staff,
My name is Tom Green, I’m 30 years old and I’ve been an avid comic collector as long as I can remember. Marvel in particular has always been my universe of choice when it comes to comic reading.
I’m writing to express a few things that have been troubling me for some time. Firstly, like most collectors my age I’ve amassed a huge collection of books that is filling my closet to the brim. Barring the imminent Mayan apocalypse I plan on being around for several more decades and if I continue to purchase comics at the same rate, I’ll be divorced and on an episode of Hoarders in no time. Secondly, as comic prices have continued to rise I’ve become much more selective in my comic purchases. I’m very hesitant to try new titles or writers and as of late with the surge of $3.99 books I’m starting to question my “go-to” books like Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Ult Spidey, etc. Lastly, with the way you’ve been structuring “event” books by breaking them into financially-impossible-to-follow tie-ins just to get the whole story (AvX has been the worst offender by far) it is exhausting and frustrating to try and keep up. It also doesn’t help that there is probably more text in this letter than in the last 3 issues of New Avengers.
Now, I’ve outgrown the “gotta have it” addictive mentality of most collectors and for all the reasons listed above I’ve accepted and fully embraced digital comics. This is where my predicament comes into play. Charging $3.99 for a digital comic is just absurd especially with no foreseen reduction in the near future (like DC’s drop to $1.99 after 1 month). I can’t wrap my head around paying $3.99 for 7-10 minutes of potential entertainment. I understand this is a business and you need to make money but I’d rather see an ad on every other page than pay $3.99 for a piece of intangible media.
So the way I see it I have three options. 1) Continue purchasing monthly floppies, filling up my closet and pissing off my wife. 2) Drop all floppies, switch to purely digital, spending approximately 25% more (than I currently pay with my LCS discount) on monthly titles. 3) Drop all floppies and only pick up digital books that are $2.99 or lower. This will lower my monthly purchases from about 12 titles to about 4. I’d be saying goodbye to ASM, Avengers, Cap, Ult. Spidey and “Event Book X” and hope they show up on a Marvel Monday sale in the near future.
Any married man would understand that Option 1 is obviously out of the question. Option 2 is just not financially feasible and because I flat out refuse to pay $3.99 it seems my only choice is Option 3. It breaks my geeky heart that I’m saying goodbye to titles I’ve purchased monthly for over a decade but if I don’t take a stance now it’s only going to get worse.
So that’s it. The goal of this letter isn’t to try and convince you to reduce your prices or express some false sense of entitlement. It’s to simply express how a die hard comic reader like me (and most likely many other collectors just like me) has been pushed to the breaking point. Your program to support brick and mortar stores by overcharging for digital comics has failed on me. Instead it has essentially forced me to make a decision where I barely support either.