Last week I was laid off from my job at one of the largest book retailers in the nation, me and a couple hundred friends across the country are filing for unemployment, applying for jobs, and hoping we can pay the rent. Once all of the "important" stuff had been taken care of, I looked at my comics and had the realization that my weekly addiction may have to be put on hold until my bank account is a little fatter.
The subscription cubby with the name "Sammy Rules" over it at Cosmic Comix rarely has more than six or seven books in it, I only spend about twenty to forty dollars a week on new issues. To those who don't buy weekly that may seem steep, but with all of the crossover events and mini series coming out on a weekly basis from artists and writers you're interested in, some comics buyers (readers and collectors alike) purchase practically every title. Secret Invasion is a perfect example of this, any missed issue across nearly the entire Marvel line could have meant a reveal you'd have to find out about after the fact.
Our little form of escapism isn't expensive if you can be frugal, it's easy enough to find three bucks in change for one more issue. The thing about "one more issue" is that it quickly becomes two or three, you just want to read Cable but have to read X-Force to get the complete story-line. Waiting for the trade paperbacks saves you a little bit of money, but by the time you've read them you're behind on the current issues and are left having to play catch up.
With other mediums there's always a way to have the experience without the actual purchase. Movies and video games can be rented, books can be borrowed from the library and music can easily be downloaded. New issues of comics can be found online, but it's not the same as going to the store and leaving with a brown paper bag filled with new books. With a lot of the older issues, the trades aren't even available, so even attempting to get some history on characters you're unfamiliar with isn't an option if you don't have a lot of cash.
Even if you're only buying one or two new issues a week and only pick up older issues at dollar sales, you end up with a lot of comics you've only bought to read. A question I am constantly asked is if I actually reread comics that I buy, and the answer is yes. I have stacks and stacks of things that I read on a monthly basis and some comics I weekly open up to take in again. Attempting to resell these older issues, no matter how lightly read, is almost impossible. Outside of the rarities and variants that people actually want, most comics aren't worth shit. Even on eBay, unless something is twenty years old, chances are your "investment" is only worth three dollars, sometimes even less.
When you get to a point that you decide to cut some comics, you start to think about why you read the titles you purchase. You have to begin considering if you care about what happens in that issue or if you only care about the outcome of the "universe" as a whole. I've found myself buying Black Panther even though I don't care about who this new female Black Panther is, I just knew it was a part of Dark Reign. I didn't want to miss what was happening, and that's what Marvel and DC want. We want it too, as fans we love these huge events, even if it's just to talk a lot of shit about how much we don't like them.
The prices of comics inevitably will all be $3.99, and that one dollar difference makes a huge impact on what you buy. New mini series that may be interesting are left on the rack, number one issues don't sell and three issues later the book is cancelled. I don't know how bad the Comics' Industry is doing right now, or with all of the movies coming out if they are doing bad at all, but flooding the market with Wolverine comics and a new series coming out each week just makes you resent the comics, and look else where for cheaper entertainment.