Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

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tolworthy
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Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by tolworthy »

Price. I don't want to start another copyright debate (the last one ended with the entire board going down!) but there are thousands of comics I'd like to buy if they were really cheap. I don't use pirate copies on principle (except where a comic is essential and not available by other means). And I just can't justify the high prices needed for originals or prestige reprints. I'd love really cheap (like 10p/issue cheap) copies of all those tens of thousands of comics I missed. I'd love to explore Film Fun and Journey into Mystery and all the rest, but at over £1 an issue? Can't afford it. Thanks to the economics of copyright I don't get the comics and the creators don't get my money.

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Re: What do you hate about collecting comics?

Post by Lew Stringer »

tolworthy wrote:Price. I don't want to start another copyright debate (the last one ended with the entire board going down!) but there are thousands of comics I'd like to buy if they were really cheap. I don't use pirate copies on principle (except where a comic is essential and not available by other means).
Sorry to be pedantic, but no comic is an essential purchase.
tolworthy wrote:And I just can't justify the high prices needed for originals or prestige reprints. I'd love really cheap (like 10p/issue cheap) copies of all those tens of thousands of comics I missed. I'd love to explore Film Fun and Journey into Mystery and all the rest, but at over £1 an issue? Can't afford it. Thanks to the economics of copyright I don't get the comics and the creators don't get my money.
A pound an issue for comics that are over 50 years old seems perfectly reasonable (and incredibly cheap) to me. 10p an issue? It's not 1979 any more I'm afraid.

Incidentally, creators don't receive any money from the sales of old comics. (There's no royalty from new ones either, but I understand certain American comics pay royalties if they sell over a certain amount.)

You might be interested to know that at the end of this month Marvel are releasing the first ten issues of Journey Into Mystery in their hardback Marvel Masterworks line. Although as the book will be £30 - £40 (depending on where you buy it) it's probably a bit outside the budget you were considering.
http://www.marvelmasterworks.com/marve ... _mm01.html

Lew
The blog of British comics: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com
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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: What do you hate about collecting comics?

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

I certainly don't mind paying a quid each for old comics: this is basically what I pay in most cases.......a quid would get you a year's supply of 'BEANO' in 1971 or '72, by the way...........annuals were proportionately more expensive then than today, at around the 50p mark: the 'BEANO' annual today doesn't cost the equivalent of 6 month's supply of 'BEANO', as it did in 1971.

steelclaw
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Re: What do you hate about collecting comics?

Post by steelclaw »

I've paid £2.50 for a 38 year old Lion Comic, and I think it's a bargain, and I've bought 12 Lion comics for around £10 including P&P less then £1 a copy,if you set a bench mark say £1.85 for a 2000ad comic today,any comic under that price for a 30 year old comic is a good buy IMHO.

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colcool007
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Re: Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by colcool007 »

I've got to be honest and say that I prefer to buy bulk lots these days as you can get some lots awfully cheap. (Like £25 for 11 years of Victor! :D ), but my rule of thumb is about £1 an issue and up to £10 for a Summer Special if I really really want it! (and every comic is a want not a need unless it's your job then it could be classed as a need. And what a dream job that would be!) Very few comics will see me breach those limits, unless I want a comic to complete a run and then I might go up to £2!

I think that any price under a quid is hopeful for an item that is 30 years old or even older in some cases, but unlikely. Especially with Ebay and other sites trying to bring in minimum price listings.

To put it into perspective, to buy a comic when we were growing up, we were looking at prices varying from 4d up to 50p. (50's to 90's) To have the same purchasing power today, you should realistically look at £2 a time.

Burble over, now going to gloat over getting a first Victor Annual for less than £10! Second copy (or whichever copy is in a worse state will be going to the elder brother to make up for defacing his annuals when I was growing up!)
I started to say something sensible but my parents took over my brain!

Kashgar
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Re: Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by Kashgar »

I honestly think that the whole scanning ethos, in which people hope that someone will scan onto the net something they want to have a look at, and which costs them nothing, is seriously undermining the whole idea of collecting original comics in the first place. After all if you can envisage getting a look at an virtual version of a comic for no capital outlay then no doubt a quid or more for an original, 50 year old, actual version may seem a bit steep.

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

I personally find scanning irritating and variable quality-wise: it's the 'fast-food' version of reading comics......better than nothing, but if I want the 'real Mc Coy', I prefer tracking down, and shelling out for, the original article.

Scanning is too clumsy and uncomfortable for me personally to take up full-time.

felneymike
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Re: Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by felneymike »

I joined a Yahoo group dedicated to Frank Richards (Charles Hamilton) and Storypapers in general, but got thrown out after 3 days because i dared to use the links section to post some links. But anyway there was an interesting article on there about an "espresso books" machine which may be installed in book shops soon, which allows you to call up a book from an archive of out-of-print titles, and have it printed and bound (in cheap plain cardboard form, mind) there and then for a small price. I'm wondering if some comics will be included in it's database?

If not W Howard Baker Magnet and Gem reprints might be...

...but i'd still prefer to find the 'real thing' (even though the WHB reprints are not actually 'the real thing'! :lol: they are... "closer")

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

a good point, mike.....maybe the future will entail, say, paying an online subscription, then downloading 'the 'complete 'WHAM!' archives from 1967 direct to your PC, or mailed to your home in the 'bound' form you descibe...


-----one disadvantage that comics do possess is the fact they deteriorate naturally over the decades [we all have yellowing 60s comics, in visibly worse shape than they were when freshly-minted; ----what will these comics be like in another 40 years?]

---so perhaps a common database would ensure at least that these vintage gems remain accessible to interested buffs, and wouldn't simply vanish off the pop-cultural map, rather than continue being the 'exclusive' property of a very few diehard enthusiasts........just a thought.

felneymike
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Re: Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by felneymike »

Well it all depends on how comics are stored... i have some Hafpenny Marvels from the 1890's which look like they where printed yesterday!

The British Library has bound archives of pretty much everything, i beleive. Even obscure early 20th century things that i am interested in... maybe some time in the future when the copyrights expire and internet bandwidth becomes even cheaper it will be possible to read such things online. A few sites like Project Gutenburg are already going down that route... but the "worthless" and "throwaway" storypapers and comics aren't much of a priority compared to literary "classics". And copyright will continue to cover the 1960's ones for some time.

Then again there is also the chance of CD Rom re-release by the publishers themselves, especially if they have the original artwork like DCT does. There's also the growing reprint market with those big picture library books flying out faster than i can spare the money to buy them! I understand you can get years and years worth of Mad Magazine on a CD for not a lot... which would equate to pennies (or cents!) an issue... imagine if the same was done with the Beano etc.

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colcool007
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Re: Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by colcool007 »

I must admit to being a fan of scanning when it is a comic that I have absolutely no interest in buying but don't mind reading. But that usually turns into a want to buy that comic if it is good enough.

I'll also admit that scanners have helped me to fill in a few blanks in my Victor project, but that scan usually gets replaced by an issue when I can find it!

Onto the ethos of the scanners, I think that they want to make available their archive or old comics available to people so that there is no harm in say 'scanning' a 1961 Eagle, but it is construed as taking the mickey to scan this week's issue of 2000AD or to sell the scans on Ebay.

I have to agree that a scanned comic is no replacement for the real thing. While the scan may give you all the detail, it doesn't make up for the visceral experience of holding a comic in your hands with the associated smell of old newsprint.

Onto the economics of scanning, while you might be able to pick up scans for pennies or for nothing if you are part of a group, the labour involved is in no way redeemed unless you are selling your scans for money. An example is that I scanned in a few Tupper stories to help someone expand their database and the scan was picked up by about 60 people who were interested in it. Now unless I charged a nominal sum of about 20 pence per story, there was no way that I made a profit on my labours(assuming that I spent about 2 hrs on each story and was fanatical about scan quality). But to charge money for scans is to lead you into the murky world of copyright infringement and that can get you into a whole world of pain.

I have to agree with ISPYSHHHGUY's comment that a common database would be so much better as then there is at least a slim chance that the original artists and writers have a chance of being reimbursed for their work being reused. And then the quality of scans would be a bit more consistent.
I started to say something sensible but my parents took over my brain!

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

cheers, colcool....I appreciate it!

Lew Stringer
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Re: Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by Lew Stringer »

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote: -----one disadvantage that comics do possess is the fact they deteriorate naturally over the decades [we all have yellowing 60s comics, in visibly worse shape than they were when freshly-minted; ----what will these comics be like in another 40 years?]
Who cares? We'll be dead by then. :wink: Personally I think they'll be just fine, if kept in a dark place out of the damp. I have comics from the sixties that I bought 20 years ago that haven't changed a bit, so I don't see why they'd crumble in the next 20 or 40 years if kept well. In particular the copies of TV21 I have (which I bought in the early 1980s) are almost perfect. Very slight cream pages, but otherwise as new. Whoever had them before me must have glanced at them and stored them away. No creases, no folds, no damage.

I really think that if we look after those old comics they'll survive. I'm currently using an 1892 Ally Sloper for reference for a Victorian strip I'm drawing and the paper is in better nick than yesterday's Times. Comics from the late 1970s on might not fare so well but the stock of the Sixties comics (and earlier) seems very resilient.

Lew
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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

I reckon that THOMSON comics were the poorest-quality, with low-grade newsprint, and will fare far worse than the likes of 'TV 21', which had a much higher grade of paper in the first place.

I know we will all be gone sometimes this Century, LEW: I'm not expecting medical science to cure old age anytime soon: but I don't want to these works to head for total oblivion, either-----because that is where they are going, under the current climate------ just because we're the only generation who remember them....

-----the last of DISNEY'S 'nine old men' of top 30s'40s animators recently passed away, and doubtless many who enjoyed the early DISNEY works are long gone, but it's a fair bet that these works will be transferred to permanent, high -definition format [it's already started] for future generations to appreciate......

I think that comic archives should at least be transferred to a decent database, rather than simply languish in the darkened cupboards of the 'chosen few' so they can at least be accessed by SOMEONE , rather than NO-ONE, in 40 years time, as is the ongoing situation now.......apparantly......

Very few people can afford entire runs of IPC/DCT comics of the 60s/70s....and would I , or many others, really shell out for a complete set of 'BIMBO?', 'JUDY' or 'MANDY'?

-----but it would be good to be able to access these works at an affordable price online, and I'm sure the original creators who worked on them would have approved of this......[yes, I know they'll all be gone, too, before too long!]

Lew Stringer
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Re: Got a few pennies Guv'nor?

Post by Lew Stringer »

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:I reckon that THOMSON comics were the poorest-quality, with low-grade newsprint, and will fare far worse than the likes of 'TV 21', which had a much higher grade of paper in the first place.

I know we will all be gone sometimes this Century, LEW: I'm not expecting medical science to cure old age anytime soon: but I don't want to these works to head for total oblivion, either-----because that is where they are going, under the current climate------ just because we're the only generation who remember them....
Unfortunately the problem is that many (not all) collectors tend to only favour comics of their generation. Even here, we see discussions about comics of the 1960s-1980s but very little about comics of the early 20th Century. (Even the BBC had the first 50 years of comics written out from history in their Comics Britannia series in a desire to pander to the "ah I remember that" market.)

As proven with the younger fans here and their nostalgia for 1980s comics there will always be a desire to preserve the past, but it's often just nostalgia that's the driving force. In 20 years time this forum (or its equivalent) will have people waxing nostalgic about comics of 2008, and ignoring most of what went before. It's just the way it is.
ISPYSHHHGUY wrote: I think that comic archives should at least be transferred to a decent database, rather than simply languish in the darkened cupboards of the 'chosen few' so they can at least be accessed by SOMEONE , rather than NO-ONE, in 40 years time, as is the ongoing situation now.......apparantly......
"Chosen few"? No, just people who have saved their comics or put in the money and effort to buy old issues. Anyone could do it. There's no elitism. There seems to be a feeling in some quarters that collectors have a duty to share their comics with the world but I'm afraid that's not the case. Those of us with blogs and websites do put some material out there for readers to see (do you?) but very few people have the time to scan their collection to a database, and they're under no obligation to do so. The opportunity to buy old comics or save current ones is there for us all, without being dependent on others.

Lew
The blog of British comics: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com
My website: http://www.lewstringer.com
Blog about my own work: http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.com/

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