Move over Chuck Norris. Apparently, I'm a badass. (click here for the proof)

My Pop Syndicate column for this week is: The Cover Price, Part One of Two

This is the time of year, when our President tells the American people to keep shopping in order to help boost our economy. Yep, going to the mall is patriotic. All the while, every year, people sink deeper and deeper into debt, because they spend beyond their means.

Even if I only spent $10 a week at the comic book shop, that means I spend $520 every year on comics. And what can you get for $10? Three titles or half a trade paperback. My loyalty and presence as a single consumer could mean thousands of dollars for a single store. And here they are, twisting my arm to buy a copy of Zoom Suit that I don't want? (Sorry Zoom Suit.)

Among avid Marvel and DC fans, who I guarantee spend more than $10 a week, the rising cover prices are causing much debate. With ads every other page turn, the looming threat of product placement, fewer panels per page, and decompressed plot structure, you are getting less "story" for your dollar. The cover price debate deals with a sacred cow among fans: The historical legacy of popular comics. This medium flourished during the Depression era at only 10 cents for 64 pages, and frequently passed between friends. It was the first purchase a child made for himself, beyond penny candy or a piece of gum. Although, some would point out today's comic book reader is no longer a Depression-era 10 year old. The prices reflect the realities of a direct market consumer.

However, my column is not about the mainstream, Marvel, DC, or dilemma of Wolverine driving a Toyota Acura, "Wow. This car handles like a dream, bub." I write about the independent, small press, and alternative comics. So what about the economics of non-corporate comics? (read more)

Congratulations to Alison Bechdel. Her amazing graphic novel FUN HOME was selected by Time Magazine as the top BOOK of the year. (read more)

Trying to get a copy of Antigone? Check out Silent Devil's online store. Other titles include: In My Lifetime, Empty Chamber, Death Comes to Dillinger, The Last Sin of Mark Grimm, The Devil's Panties, Dracula vs. Capone, Dracula vs. King Arthur, Furious Fist of the Drunken Monkey, Runes of Ragnan, Lil' Hellions Day at the Zoo, Super Frat Rush Week Collection, Amerikan Freak, and Jim Reaper.