One thing I have noticed in reading the issues from the 1970's into the 1980's is that the adds just aren't there today. The novelty adds, the back issue adds, the toys... just sort of faded away.  Anyone know how much of a hit this caused financially?

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Vinyl is like the most expensive version of an album you can buy now. Making it a niche market. Comics are already a niche. You would be willing to pay more for inferior newsprint? That is all you, buddy. I'll take cheaper comics on better paper and printing.

John DeRubbo said:

Even so, if vinyl records can make a comeback, so can newsprint (for nostalgias sake). 

Mark Sullivan (Vertiginous Mod) said:

They stopped running ads other than in-house because interest dried up. Maybe there's an opportunity to increase that now that comics have become more mainstream. Printing on newsprint wouldn't help at all, sensible though that seems. It's been analyzed very carefully: Google it.

Amazing that vinyl is expensive now, I've got a ton of old albums I'm putting on the computer and a lot of them have a 2.99 or .99 sticker price.  Latest one I transferred was "how to rhumba".

It's because it's a niche market now. When it was the dominant format there was lots of mass production capacity, making the per unit cost low. Now it's more like a craft product. Probably higher quality on average, but it costs more.

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

Amazing that vinyl is expensive now, I've got a ton of old albums I'm putting on the computer and a lot of them have a 2.99 or .99 sticker price.  Latest one I transferred was "how to rhumba".

Mark Sullivan (Vertiginous Mod) said:

They stopped running ads other than in-house because interest dried up. Maybe there's an opportunity to increase that now that comics have become more mainstream. Printing on newsprint wouldn't help at all, sensible though that seems. It's been analyzed very carefully: Google it.

Comics going back to being printed on newsprint would be like TV and movies going back to black-and-white.

It ain't gonna happen. 

Most of those things were either junk (like the x-ray glasses) or you didn't get them at all. Sea Monkeys are actually shrimp and don't live very long. Anybody order anything from Marvelmania? I no longer remember what I sent them money for but I do know I never got it.

By the way, Charles Atlas didn't send a 32 page book. He sent you a few pages stapled together showing pictures and giving instructions of a few exercises like sit ups and pushups. I believe he sent about a dozen of them, one a month. I think I still have them somewhere. I've since read his Dynamic Tension can cause high blood pressure.

 When you're a kid junk can be treasure :)  Most of the toys I had were badly designed and dangerous and I loved them anyway.  Still have the hot wheels set.



Mark S. Ogilvie said:

 Latest one I transferred was "how to rhumba".

The mind boggles.  ;)

  Downside was it didn't have the little booklet that showed the steps.

The Baron said:



Mark S. Ogilvie said:

 Latest one I transferred was "how to rhumba".

The mind boggles.  ;)

Well, at least it wasn't "Teach Your Parakeet To Talk".

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

  Downside was it didn't have the little booklet that showed the steps.

The Baron said:



Mark S. Ogilvie said:

 Latest one I transferred was "how to rhumba".

The mind boggles.  ;)

Jim Shooter talked about this a bit on his blog a few years back, in this entry:

http://jimshooter.com/2011/11/comic-book-distribution-part-2.html/

Here’s another thing. While I was Editor in Chief at Marvel, 1978-87, the ad sales people, at President Jim Galton’s behest, waged a campaign to upgrade the ads. “National ads only” was the mantra. They got rid of mail order ads like the ones for X-Ray Specs and Broken Finger Key Chains. They made a concerted effort to go after movie ads, bicycles, sneakers and other national products. We creative types did our part by building the total number of copies sold substantially.
You know what? It was a Catch-22. We were selling so many comics, and therefore paying to print so many comics that if you factored out the cost of printing a page with an ad on it, it cost more money than we could get for the ad!
I’m doing this From memory, now, but the following is close if not exact: I believe it cost in the low $20,000’s to print an ad that ran in all 12 million-plus Marvel Comics one month, but the most we could ever get for a page was $18,000. The reasons we couldn’t get higher rates were many—advertisers realized that the comic book buyers tended to buy multiple titles, they didn’t like our demographics, etc. Still, it was better to have the eighteen grand than not. We had to print 32 pages per issue anyway.
Then, Marvel Comics lived off of copies sold, and I’m pretty sure it does now. Same with the other comics publishers.

Interesting.

Why did the issues have to be 32 pages, if they were losing money printing the ad pages? Would the printers not take smaller per unit orders?

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