The Great Comics Crash of 1996 YKTTW Discussion
|The Great Comics Crash of 1996|
This is material which is currently on the Dark Age page, but since that page is massive and contains numerous tangents from the actual Dark Age, I'm proposing that we create a new page for this material. I'm not an expert on this, and am just giving the date as a rough guesstimate based on when Marvel Comics filed for bankruptcy. The material below is taken verbatim from that page, but could probably be restructured in order Whilst the content of the Dark Age was busy generating great controversy, outside forces would also have a significant impact. The Dark Age is also notable as having semi-coincidentally occurred alongside both the rise of "direct market" comic book shops -- which which were not covered by the Comics Code and thus could sell books that did not have Code approval, and which also served as a convenient gathering place for fans of the medium to meet and discuss them -- and the age of the comic collector boom, which would have drastic impact on the industry. Over time, the earliest published comics had appreciated considerably in value, as those who had read the material disposed of the bulk of it, leaving only a few rare copies in existence. Selling rare comics to collectors had been around for decades, but suddenly, mainstream attention began to focus on the profit potential of it. The industry soaked it up -- numerous marketing tactics designed expressly to appeal to this collector's market began to appear. Some of the most common were:
- Series being relaunched with new #1s.
- Issues printed with multiple variant covers so that completists would buy multiple copies of a single issue -- often, so that they had at least one to read and one to collect.
- Issues sold pre-bagged in mylar, so that one could either read the comic or keep it pristine (or, like the above, to encourage buying one copy to read and one copy to keep pristine).
- Trading cards and holofoil covers appearing whenever the editor thought a series needed a sales boost (indeed, the latter gimmick was so common that some refer to this as the Chrome Age).