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The HISTORY of MARVEL - Part 3

As what must be evident from the title, this is the third part of the blog series "The HISTORY of MARVEL". If you haven't read the first and second part, you can read it here, 

In the 1970s, Stan Lee embarked on a journey to earn respect for comic books. He arranged many comic symposiums and talked about comic books to general audiences. He described how comic books are more than just stories for children and that it contained a lot of philosophy and learning. In 1978, Comic characters started to gain popularity on Televisions with shows like Hulk. In its four-year run, Hulk became a TV phenomenon.  


The comic book bubble: 1980s & early 1990s


Comic books, like pulp magazines, were considered disposable by parents and most children had lost their golden age comics this way. By 1980s, people who were kids during the golden and silver age of comics became adults. Comic books that were disposable pulp had now become a prized possession. Everyone wanted to read and collect comics that they were once very fond of, the comics they grew up with, the comics that along with entertainment also gave them lessons of life.  This was the beginning of the comic book bubble.
Rumors of Golden age comics selling for thousands of dollars started spreading like wildfire among comic book lovers. This was one of the early triggers that made comic book collection mainstream. Many people thought that if only their parents had not disposed of their comics, today they could have earned thousands of dollars by selling it. But hey, its never too late. Let's start collecting comics today and in a decade or so, we can make profits out of it. When publishers realized that people had started collecting comic books, they started introducing collectible* comics. Collectibles were simply same comics with a different cover or a few additional dialogues. This was just a marketing gimmick to take advantage of collectors and increase revenue. Publishers kept flooding the market with collectibles and the collectors kept collecting.
By the early 90s, Marvel’s Ron Parelman decided to take this even further. His idea was to keep raising prices. This will show people that prices of comics would indeed keep rising and their collection would truly be worth a lot. Parelman took the company public following which he started acquired a number of trading card companies, distribution houses etc. A sales gimmick was tested in the comic X-Force. Each copy of X-Force contained one of the five trading cards. People used to buy six copies of this comic. Five to remained packed with trading cards safe inside and a sixth one to read.
Marvel that was once thriving based on its stories and characters was now totally into marketing and sales gimmicks. This resulted in the decline of the quality of the comics. Moreover, prices had risen a lot in the last decade. When people realized all this, they simply stopped purchasing comics. In response, the prices of comics fell and the bubble burst.
In the year 1995, Marvel was at its lowest. It was on the verge of bankruptcy. Continue reading the fourth part "The HISTORY of MARVEL - Part 4" to find out how Marvel was brought back to life. 

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