Grotesque Anatomy
Thursday, November 06, 2003
  Archie vs. Yugi?
While poking around Tony Isabella's section of the World Famous Comics site, I ran across his latest "Tony's Tips" column.  Playing around with the Inflation Calculator, Tony finds that there are still some good comic book values out there.  The two biggest bargains according to Tony are Archie comics (especially the Digests and Double Digests) and Shonen Jump.  According to Tony's rough calculations, Shonen Jump is a bargain at $4.95 an issue, since a comparably-sized American comic from 1961 would cost over nine bucks today:
That brings us to Viz's SHONEN JUMP, arguably the best buy in comics. Each monthly issue has over 300 pages of manga and manga-related articles. The same amount of material in 1961 comic books would have cost readers about a buck-and-a-half; going by the IC, SHONEN JUMP should carry a cover price of nine dollars and change. Its actual cover price is $4.95.
Tony is also a fan of the anthology's content, noting that "there's so much of interest in each issue of JUMP that you can spend hours enjoying the comic. It would be a good deal at twice the cover price."  Although I've tired of Shonen Jump myself (I won't be renewing my subscription and I doubt I'll continue any of the series in trades), I'd still recommend the anthology, especially to younger readers and comic fans who are looking for a way to sample a large amount of manga quickly and cheaply.

I wonder if Tony does requests?  I'd love to see how $60 worth of Archie Digests would stack up against the Manga Tower of Intimidation.

(And if you're looking for another way to compare various comics, reader Lank suggests using books' square inch size ratio would be a fairer measure than simple thickness.  I'm not sure I agree with (or fully understand) this proposed form of measurement, but you can read Lank's efforts to explain it in the comment thread for the original Manga Stack entry.)
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