Yadda yadda. Over at the Tor.Com Blog, Heather Massey asks Are Comic Books Dying?, and she isn’t even talking about the Diamond thing. It’s a summation of most of the usual arguments:
Think about the casual fan, or the parent of a child who has just watched Iron Man and would like to read more about his new hero. Will these potential customers be completely shut out by this pricing? One would think so. I can’t see how this move will help the industry overall, especially when we’re deep in a recession. When it comes between choosing to eat or buying Weapon X, Wolverine has met his match.
Even before the recent increase, many readers have dropped monthly comics in lieu of trade paperbacks that collect multiple issues—often with better paper and no ads. In the comics world, trades are akin to DVD season box sets. You can either watch Lost week by week (like the floppies), or all at once without the ads (hello, Mr. Trade Paperback). More and more, people are opting for the latter. And who can blame them? Trade paperbacks are usually a better deal in terms of cost and format.
This poses the question: If sales of monthly titles bottom out, will they remain around for future trades/omnibus editions to collect? No more trades would effectively leave only the hardest of the hardcore comic aficionados as monthly customers—with very few new customers.
It is a bit misleading to ask if comics are dying when the article is arguing for graphic novels — however, Massey runs a science fiction blog, and Tor.com is a book publisher and in the publishing world at large, the word “trade” has a much different meaning than it does in comics.