Friday, August 12, 2016

Brexit begins to bite British comics

When Panini's relaunch of their Marvel Collectors' Editions was advertised last month the previewed covers carried the usual £3.50 price. However, now that the comics are published they unfortunately feature a price rise to £3.99.

"We must apologise for the price increase", says editor Brady Webb in his intro to The Astonishing Spider-Man Vol.6 No.1. "Due to Brexit and the tumbling value of the pound, our printing costs have risen dramatically and forced us to raise the price".

Despite the sudden and unavoidable price rise, the comics are still excellent value for money. Each issue of the Collectors' Editions reprints three (sometimes four) issues of Marvel's American comics, which would cost around £10 or more if bought separately. With the Panini titles restarting with new first issues (reprinting Marvel comics from only a year or so ago), this is an ideal time for new or lapsed readers to jump on board. You'll find the Marvel Collectors' Editions in WH Smith and selected newsagents (and comic shops) alongside 2000AD, SFX, Doctor Who Magazine etc. 

You can also subscribe and save yourself a considerable sum. Details here:
http://www.paninicomics.co.uk/web/guest/subs


15 comments:

James Spiring said...

I asked about Doctor Who Magazine (since it's from the same publisher) on the Gallifrey Base forum and editor Tom Spilsbury said that while the next issue of DWM will be it's usual price of £4.99, there will be a price rise for that title too soon, mandated by Panini HQ in Italy.

Rods Toy Box said...

The Spider-man issue at least seemed bigger than usual so worth the extra 49p. Pound will stabilize soon enough anyway.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, if you look at the corner box, Ron, all the relaunched issues are "100 page specials". They do that occasionally. Next issue will be back to 76 pages. Whether the pound stabilises or not, the cover price won't come down once it's up.

The comics are printed in Italy, so Brexit could have more effects in the future.

Cole Burden said...

As a lapsed Spider-man reader, I took this opportunity to jump back in. Have to say, I was very surprised to read the Brexit comment in the editorial as it was a wake-up call of who the target readership are these days. Not for the same age group as when I was buying Super Spider-man in the late 70s methinks, as any political mutterings were of no interest to a thirteen year old.

However, the first slightly political awakening I received was to never ever getting the last edition of The Hulk Comic because of the lorry driver's strike of 1979; every issue bar that very last one! Bah!

Lew Stringer said...

I think "industrial action" may have been mentioned in the editorials of comics in the early 1970s when they skipped a week or two but, you're right, they tended not to mention politics usually. The Panini comics are mainly read by teens and older I think, and kids are more politically aware than they used to be. The stories are certainly more complex than the Marvels of 40 or 50 years ago.

Colin Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rods Toy Box said...

A £1 price increase per decade isn't too bad.

Cole Burden said...

Indeed, the Spider-man I grew up with is a very very different Spidey to what is presented now.

However, this Spider-man is a cross between Tony Stark (although they pretty much admit that fact in the storyline) and a super-powered Batman, except Spider-man's utility belt is around his wrists.

I'll stick with this for a few issues and see if it grows on me, but somehow I longed for the Spider-man I knew of old. The Russ Andru 70s and Sal Bucema/John Romita Jr 90s are still the golden years for me.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, it's an interesting new direction for the character, with Peter Parker using his scientific prowess to build a company. Makes sense, but it won't last forever of course. The status quo will return eventually but the appeal is in the journey from A to Z and where the story takes us. I like it. It's fun and it keeps the character fresh.

The second story in the comic is set in Spidey's past, with new, untold adventures, so they might appeal to you more? It'd be nice to see classic reprints but they're not as popular as new stories with today's readers.

Craig Grannell said...

Oddly enough, Brexit hadn't apparently extended to my local WHSmith, which had a sold copy of one of the new Marvel titles left, and it went through the till at £3.50. (Since it was a self-service till, there was no-one to query this with and I thought sod it.)

As for earlier comments about Sterling stabilising, it has – it's just done so at a considerably lower level than what it was at before, and doesn't look like it'll significantly strengthen. With comic, that means more price rises on the horizon, and book collections will also be pricier sooner or later.

Lew Stringer said...

It pays to be wary of WH Smith's barcode scanners. Quite often, if the price has risen for one issue (say, to accommodate 'gift' items) it'll still scan at the higher price for the following issue even though the cover price has reduced. I've pointed this out a number of times regarding Toxic and The Beano, and the staff correct it, but who knows how many hundreds if not thousands of people pay the extra, unawares? So bearing that in mind, well done on getting a bargain when it worked in your favour.

Tom Beers said...

I wonder if this is why all of Titan Magazines DC titles, excluding the 3 issue miniseries, have now all gone bi monthly. I'd rather they'd just raise the price to be honest as they'really gonna falk behind so badly when they reprint the Rebirth books. It's gonna take another 3 years for them to finish reprinting Batman Eternal as well.

Lew Stringer said...

I suspect it could just be down to sales, Tom, rather than the fall in the pound. Unlike Panini's comics, Titan's are printed in Britain so the Brexit effect shouldn't have made a difference yet. Batman is still unavailable in some WH Smith branches so that'd start to bite into sales. AND some WH Smith shops put comics for teens behind the counter because they claim they get stolen otherwise. (I find that a bit suspect myself.) All in all, it's going to have an impact on sales.

Sam Ryall said...

Little did I know how much political satire was smuggled into my weekly diet of 2000AD...

Lew Stringer said...

Oh, it was always pretty blatant, Sam!

Colin Jones: could you please stop deleting your old comments? I don't know why you do it but it spoils the flow of conversation when parts are missing.

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