Lister Sage, in comments from the previous post:
Maybe the biggest problem with comics is not the direct market, it’s not the price, it’s not even that kids aren’t reading them, maybe the problem is the general reluctance of people nowadays to just sit down and read. Newspaper sales have been getting poorer and poorer as well.
The problem with this hypothesis is multiple.
Firstly, kids love to read them some manga. Remember, when we talk about declining sales of comics, we’re only talking about western comics. Manga sales are great and manga publishers (other than TokyoPop, which has its own special set of individual problems) are entirely content with the current state of affairs (or at least a lot less worried than American publishers are).
Secondly, kids love to read in general. Three out of four kids still read for pleasure according to most studies, and in an age where they have TV, video games and intertubes, seventy-five percent is actually a hell of an achievement as far as the simple joy of reading goes. So it’s not that either.
Third, the decline of newspapers has less to do with people not liking to read and more to do with the fact that I’m not going to spend fifty cents on a newspaper when the same news is available on the internet for free, and usually from the same newspaper anyway. The newspaper industry is currently trying to figure out a new revenue model in an age where their old model has lost relevance. (Sound familiar?)
And I would say that the entry barrier to kids reading comics is hell yes price. Individual issues are expensive investments for kids, especially considering what you get (twenty pages of story for two bucks minimum?). Compare that to an issue of Shonen Jump or even an Archie digest. (Again: why don’t the big two issue digest editions of comics? DC used to do this. Their digest editions of Adventure Comics were formulative for me as a youth.)