It's a tough time to be in the entertainment industry. Our Internet-enabled, digital environment has led to more things than ever competing for our attention. And a lot of those things are entertainment, be they movies, TV, video games, websites, Twitter, Facebook, or whatever else.
Audiences and attention are balkanizing, leading to declines in audience at movie theaters and during prime time TV. Price increases in the cost of movie tickets and, crucially, comics are in the mix, too.
These factors are increasing being cited as the cause of declines in audiences across the comics industry, from Joey Manley's eulogy for webcomics to recent sales figures that seem to show that newly raised prices for monthly comics are driving down sales.
Which leads me to a question for all comics readers: What do your comics reading habits look like these days? Do you read more webcomics or fewer than you did at this time last or at this time three years ago? If you read print comics, are you reading habits changing on that front?
While I'm not feeling tremendously price sensitive – I don't buy monthly comics, so whether they cost $3 or $4 or $5 doesn't matter to me – I'm definitely reading fewer comics now than I did 3 or 4 years ago. I pre-order my comics every month and my orders used to be regularly include 4-7 TPBs/GNs. Now I tend to order 1-3/month. There are a lot of factors contributing to this, but price isn't one of them. If there were more comics I was more excited about, I'm sure I'd still be ordering at the higher level.
When it comes to webcomics, I'm definitely reading more than I used to, but my reading is sporadic. My days are too busy to allow me to check out any webcomic every day, so I tend to read in big chunks (20-40 pages a time isn't uncommon).
So, when it comes to print, I'm declining, but my reading online is increasing, albeit slowly. What about you?
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