Tuesday, June 05, 2007

See, I'm not the only one!

Craig Welsh complains about Marvel's price-gouging ways.

What I find interesting about this whole debate is that when the Canadian dollar was in the shitter, Marvel was VERY quick to react. It altered its prices to reflect the poor dollar within in weeks. (Now, this is me going on memory, so I COULD be wrong, but I don't think I am.) Whereas, when the dollar has done well, Marvel is very slow to react. Hell, DC is slow, but they actually do it. Marvel is a fucking glacier in its speed.

Now, the pricing of graphic novels is different than the monthlies, because the trades will have a longer shelf life, while the monthlies are really only guaranteed that price for the month they're the latest issue. I can understand being somewhat conservative about pricing of a long-term product, but, seriously, using a 60-65% exchange rate when the dollar has been 20-30% higher for the past few years? That's not right.

And, I should note that other publishers do this too, specifically book publishers, except not nearly as bad. I just grabbed the closest book on the pile, The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett--its price is $11.95/$16.96. And I grabbed the recently-released Civil War: Captain America trade--priced $11.99/$19.25. Hell, the second Red Manace trade is a dollar cheaper in the US than each of those books, but still a dollar more expensive in Canada than The Maltese Falcon. Does that make any sense?

The Canadian dollar is estimated to match the US dollar by the end of the year. Let's see how prices adapt then.