A little more than a year ago, the American dollar and the Canadian dollar reached parity for the first time in more than three decades, leading to a call for U.S. comics publishers to revise their Canadian prices.
Several did. DC Comics, for instance, announced a single cover price in March. Marvel adjusted its prices to more closely resemble the exchange rate (e.g. $2.99 U.S./$3.05 Canadian).
But now, Publishers Weekly reports, the exchange rate again is in flux, with the Canadian dollar falling more than 70 percent. That means $1 Canadian is now worth about 78 cents U.S., a level not seen since mid-2005.
The decline has happened so fast that many publishing houses are unable to change prices on the wave of books keyed for holiday-season release.
However, it looks like at least one comics publisher was quick to respond.
Toronto-based comics blogger Ty Buttars noted nearly two weeks ago that the Canadian cover price for Marvel’s new releases jumped nearly 15 percent, to $3.50.
After looking at his retailer’s recent invoices from Diamond Comic Distributors, Buttars concludes:
Seems that they are keeping up quite nicely with the craziness. But has Marvel reacted to the recent sharp decline in the $CAD (down about 13-16% in the last three weeks vs the US greenback) too quickly? (Me bitching: They sure took their time reducing cover prices when the US dollar lost ground.) Or is this one of the first steps to prep the market for a gradual price increase in North America? We’ll see once the markets stabilize.