Cause of Comic Book Sales Decline: Children

Let's face it people, the numbers aren't good. Comic sales are dwindling. Comic shops are having harder and harder a time keeping afloat, and even Borders stores are shutting their doors. But doing extensive research of my own life, in a single, groundbreaking case study, I have conclusively narrowed down the cause of this industry shaking decline.

Having kids.

It has to be true, so here I present it as all encompassing fact. The single most effective encroachment on my comic book consumption is the presence of my one year old. I mean, this kid really doesn't give a damn whether I have time to read comics or not, and by extension, he doesn't care that he and his ilk are single-handedly bringing down an entire industry. It's not the internet or video games or digital piracy or even text messaging. It's my kid.

Take this example. If I leave a stack of single issues laying around in his reach, he will immediately destroy them, in the most callous fashion, giggling the whole time. Then, he'll just crawl away, suddenly disinterested, feeling no great shame of any kind. Imagine those were expensive, premium hardcover editions, and it gets even worse. It's a singular horror, and he doesn't even know how to use crayons and glue yet.

Some days he'll take a "nap" and just when I find time to do some of the reading, but he wakes up screaming instantly, like he knows I wanted to actually do something with my time, and enjoy comics. Then I get backed up with work all day, and have to make up for it at night. So meanwhile, there's no time to read comics. My stack is building up, and I don't buy more books because of it.

Those are real economic results. And I think it's safe to assume that this is true across the board, and is the main cause for the historic sales drops in the recent year. Not only do kids not read comics, they don't want you reading comics either.

Because kids are selfish jerks.


  1. At least hes cute?

  2. I completely understand the dilemma. Thing change though. Here is my honest solution to the comic “circle of life”…

    I hope this helps. 😉

    The Tiki

  3. Evil little skinbags.

  4. That being said, in the past 2 years with my daughter I’ve become quite the Dr. Seuss geek. DOWN WITH YERTLE!!!

  5. I am in the exact same boat. I used to buy something like 10-15 comics a week. Then my daughter was born in March of 2010, and not only was I not financially able to buy that many books, I rarely have the time to read the 3-5 books I now buy each week. So not only do I buy WAY less books, I read substantially less. But if anything, it has forced me to really only buy the books I legitimately like and not just the ones I was buying out of habit. So that’s a good thing. And really, I’d rather have my daughter than comics, anyway.

  6. Children – the most effective economic terrorist in history

  7. once you become married and have kids or a dog, the only consistent, private uninterrupted reading time you get is when you are in the “throne room” aka the bathroom.

    haha fun article. Thats one happy looking kid. 

  8. My question is, how in the world do you know that a child that young needs glasses?  they can’t even read the eye chart yet!  I’ve noticed lots of small children with glasses lately.  what’s going on?

  9. Children are smarter than any of us. Know how I know that? I don’t know one child with a full time job and children.
    Bill Hicks

    He’s right. Kids ruin everything!
  10. @mrmcdaniel  Sorry, but way off topic, and not something I’m discussing here.

  11. Puppies too! They’re in cahoots I tell you!

  12. So this is what my peers and older adults meant by don’t have any kids

  13. But the fortunate thing is they eventually get excited about comics too.  When my son was two I just about gave up reading comics.  Now he enjoys the weekly trip to my LCS although I still get fewer books than I used to

  14. Yes!

  15. Why don’t you read Scalped TO your child? Problem solved.

  16. Shenanigans!  You just wanted an excuse to post a photo of your child! 

    Also, aw….

  17. Sure, it makes it hard to read and buy, but one day little Oliver will come up and ask your advice on a good comic book to read and you will get that whole passing the torch “Circle of life” thing going on…
    Before you  know it he’s 11 and reading  more than you…”Now I am the master…..”

  18. for the good of the industry i have irradiated my balls….shooting blanks from here to eternity!

  19. Sterilizations for everyone!!

  20. @JohhnyNormal  “The Irradiated Balls” would be a good name for a band.

  21. You had to burp them more,lol!

  22. This is also true, to a lesser degree, of kittens…

  23. Ok I fanboy- “it’s not you it’s the kids marty”  

    That line – officially retired. 

  24. awesome.

  25. Getting kids hooked on comics is better then them being hooked on drugs. I know because my uncle started my addiction when I couldn’t even read yet. After that I couldn’t stop reading the adventures of my favorite superheroes every month. When you pass on the addiction ooops I mean love of superhero comics it’s a wonderful thing 🙂

  26. Hah. I thought this was going to be an article about how kids aren’t buying comics, and it’s the pricepoint that’s the cause. Oh well!

  27. It took me three tries over two days to read this article because of my 2 and 4 year old.

  28. Thats why I just read my comics out loud now, while the kids are eating or bathing etc etc. I censor bad imagery or language by reading those parts in silence and not showing them the imagery. For example, instead of saying “I’m going to rip off your head and shit down your neck!”, Id say, “Your a very bad man and I want you to stop being cheeky”.

    Point being, you can make it work if you want to, it just requires a bit of editing depending on what your reading.

    P.S. watch out for bath splashing whist reading when they are in the bath.

  29. I’d chalk it up to one of 3 things, or a combo of any of them.

    1. Too many bad comics to wade through in order to find a handful to follow regularly.
    2. Comics no longer being sold on newstands, which is how many generations of us discovered them.Most potential new readers simply do not want to have to hunt up a comic shop. Hence, the growing popularity of getting collected editions at book stores.
    3. As Josh said, Kids (or mortgages).

  30. The ONLY free time I get to read my stack is right after bedtime, when the little one is sound asleep. I usually come to at 3 am, with my face slobberly glued to the page.It’s always the first page I started reading too.
    @johnorlandella  I feel ya brother