Chris I am so sad to hear about the demise of Wild Pig. As you alluded to, there was really nothing different you could have done. Comics themselves are doomed to extinction. Let's call it 'Crisis on Impudent Publishers'- only this time everyone dies. (Usher I can't find my seat. Is this the Debbie Downer section?)
[Chris: "...charging $4 for something it takes you 10 minutes to read."] Agreed. It's insanity!
Consider that Captain Marvel, Superman and Batman regularly sold a million plus issues/month in a country that was half our (US) current population. The very first issue of The Eagle Comic (UK) in 1950 sold more than that and averaged 750,000/week! That's (domestic sales only) an average of 3 million/month in a country of only 50 million and marketed to only that portion of the pop that were boys aged 8-10! The Amazing Spider-man sold apx. 350,000/month in the late sixties/ early seventies. Today? In a country of over 300 million (and a world market of over 7 billion)? 60-70,000 is a good month.
I realize there are other factors that determine unit cost, but, hey!- 15 cents in 1973 translates to 87 cents in today's world... NOT $4!
As a kid I had a system. Each week I received a hard earned $1 allowance (which adjusts to about $5.75 today) I used to get all the Batman comics: Batman, Detective, maybe World's Finest and a Justice League appearance and still have enough of my weekly dollar for Creepy or Mad magazine at 35-40 cents. The next two weeks I'd pick up Marvel titles, maybe a Gold Key or two, and Eerie magazine and the final week I'd get the Superman titles and Mad. Today there are probably 8 different titles devoted to Batman and Superman each- very few kids can afford almost $50 a month just to keep current on only two characters' main titles! My $1 allowance adjusted to $5.75 would buy one comic today.
[Chris laments that the only ones to buy back issues were "middle aged and older" (and I would guess almost entirely male) "what does that tell you?"]
It tells me that they're the dying breed who still have an abiding love for these characters, the writing the art. It tells me that comic books have lost their core readership.
Let's face facts:
Superheroes are wish fulfillment for boy's 10-16. Girls are welcome, desired... but... well there is just no need for a knight if all the damsels know karate. Same thing happened to the western.
Comic books are, by definition, a very conservative concept. When there are bad guys you don't wring your hands and whine about how it's society's fault, or the nuclear family, or western culture, or evil America, or... NO! You put on a mask and go kick some @ss before they hurt anyone else!
Much of the art is good but let us be honest: much of the art just plain sucks! Inspired by after school animated programs where too much detail is impossible and manga, some of it is downright amateurish.
Much of the writing is waaay too political, propagandic, pedagogic and ... well just plain crappy. I don't buy a comic to see which superhero is suddenly gay this month. "Asexual erasure"? Gosh! Now I remember why I loved Archie!
Even if today's younger readers could afford to buy today's comics they wouldn't spend 10 cents to be lectured and preached at by the supercilious social justice warriors.
THERE WILL VERY SOON BE NO COMIC BOOK READERS. When the millennials walk away to follow their next fad (and randomly misuse the word 'random') where will the next generation come from?
I've been doing a little research and I think that 3D Batman must have been the 1966 reprint as the only other I can find was issued in 1953 and the book I remember was new. I can remember those cool 3D glasses like it was last week! Of course, the TV show came out then and Bat-mania was hitting the second grade hard! Ergo, this was almost certainly after the comics I picked up at the fair- and the fair was definitely first grade because the Marvel heroes after school cartoon show didn't come out until '66 and I already knew all the characters from the comics by then.
Still can't find a darn thing about that promotional mini-Spidey comic. Anyone ever hear of such a thing? 3-4" X 6-8" and stapled to the cover of a major magazine? Was that Stan or Goodman's way of getting around that eight title distribution max deal with National? ...just musing out loud... insomnia inducing enigmas...