Lies & Distortions in the Business of Comic Books: Final Thoughts

Are we distorting the Comic Book collecting hobby?

More Random Thoughts on the state of the hobby in 2024 – FINAL THOUGHTS

 

So what was the point of me outlining these distortions? This series is intended to be a think-piece; some points to consider, to open up a discussion. It was not about being critical. I am first-and-foremost a comic collector and I only want the best for the hobby and comic collectors. And while change is inevitable, not all change is inevitably good.

 

The collapse of the nineties was brought about by a confluence of factors. A little bit of “this” and a little bit of “that.” After all, it’s rarely “one-thing” that leads to a climactic event such as the nineties comic book market collapse. It’s always a combination of factors that lead to a collapse and I would suggest that the seven distorting discussion-points outlined in my previous postings might also come together in some fashion to bring about a seismic shift in the world of comics in the days ahead. Perhaps not in the next few months but maybe at some point in the not too distant future. Every individual market system is like a balloon – and a balloon can only be inflated so far before it bursts. Predicting when that happens is an imperfect science.

 

 

In the introduction I talked about how each of these distortions have many “cheer-leaders” within the hobby. These people often pride themselves on “staying positive”, and will even encourage other collectors to stay away from the “haters”. That’s understandable knowing that each of these “cheer-leaders” has their own agenda under the rubric of accepting all types of “comic book collectors.” It’s good to be considered inclusive. But as I said in the beginning: not all collecting is the same thing. And seeing the hobby through “rose-coloured glasses” isn’t helpful if it only hides or disguises the dangers.

 

I spent many years in broadcast management. Over those years I came to learn that there is a danger to only listen to people who say “everything is great” or “nothing to see here” especially when there might actually be something wrong.  Sometimes the people you want to pay attention to are the ones saying: “things are not right” or “there is a problem here” because these are the people I came to realize were the ones paying attention to what was going on. It’s not that they were being negative as much as it might be that they truly cared about what was happening around them.  These days we seem ill equipped to respond to and deal with the any actual problems afflicting the hobby, it’s just easier to throw dispersions and ad-homonym arguments to shut down any disagreements.

 

 

What’s concerning to me as a collector is that there are so many “collapse-deniers” out there making videos in an effort to convince us it’s not the same as it was in the nineties. It seems these people really hate anyone who suggests otherwise. That should not be surprising. Who among us likes to think we may be part of the problem? The point I wish to make here is simply that it’s worth paying attention to the discussion-points I’ve outlined and ask the question – do these things make the comic collecting hobby stronger over the long term? Or do they weaken it in some way distorting the hobby and making it just a tiny bit easier for the next collapse to occur. The law of unintended consequences does have a way of expectedly exposing a market weakness.

 

 

Has the comic collecting hobby been ruined? Is it heading for an eventual collapse? Ultimately that’s for all of us to decide in how we choose to collect. Without a significant market correction, any one of the points outlined above could over time lead to a market contraction. Any one of them might also contribute to a market correction. But all of them working together at the same time …well, we might want to be careful what we wish for.

 

It’s worth remembering what Cinderella said at 11:59pm: “So far, so good.”

 

 

*****

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Jerry Lucky

Just a normal guy that loves comic books, reading them, and collecting them.

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON