DC and Marvel both drop prices

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201010072036 DC and Marvel both drop pricesAt today’s ICv2 conference, people were moaning about prices, Laura Hudson reported:

The complaint of high prices was discussed as well, along with the statistics that the average cover price of a comic book in the second quarter of 2010 is now $3.53, up from $3.38 in 2009. “Overall, [fans] are paying more for the same type of content than they were two years ago,” said Griepp.

And lo and behold, just as we were wrapping our digital and creative panel, the press release below came over everyone’s smart phone, announcing that DC would be going back to the $2.99 price point, while cutting down to 20 pages of story a month from 22. Frankly, given today’s storytelling, the same stories can be told just as well in 20 pages as 22, and if creators are willing to make a little less money for more greater sales, then so be it.

Even as the room was buzzing about the news, David Gabriel, Senior VP of Sales & Circulation at Marvel, said that due to digital sales increasing, print sales are increasing, and prices are decreasing: “The other thing that I’m going to announce here is that there has been a lot of talk I heard about the price increases. Because of some of the digital sales, we’ll be going back to $2.99 for some titles in January.”

Reached after the panel Gabriel confirmed that “selected” Marvel titles — including new titles — would be priced at $2.99. There will be no reduction in story pages. He said the announcement was not because of DC’s news, and  genuinely seemed not to know that the DC news had just broken.

Without nailing down what titles will be at what price, it sounds like not all prices are rolling back, as DC is doing. Instead, new titles will go back to the $2.99 price point.

Developing, as they say, and sure to be a hot topic on tonight’s packed party schedule. More later!

DC’s PR:

Beginning January 2011, DC Comics will implement a line-wide pricing adjustment, lowering the prices of all standard length 32-page ongoing comic book titles currently priced at $3.99 to $2.99,  it was announced today by DC Comics Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio.

“Today’s announcement re-affirms DC Comics’ commitment to both our core fans and to comic book store retailers,” said Jim Lee, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “For the long term health of the industry, we are willing to take a financial risk so that readers who love our medium do not abandon the art form.”

“As Co-Publishers, we listened to our fans and to our partners in the retail community who told us that a $3.99 price point for 32 pages was too expensive. Fans were becoming increasingly reluctant to sample new titles and long term fans were beginning to abandon titles and characters that they’d collected for years.” said Dan DiDio, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “We needed a progressive pricing strategy that supports our existing business model and, more importantly, allows this creative industry to thrive for years to come. With the exceptions of oversized comic books, like annuals and specials, we are committed to a $2.99 price point.”

When taking into account mini-series, annuals and specials, more than 80% of DC’s comic books will be priced at $2.99.

As of January, the following titles standard length ongoing titles, previously priced at $3.99 for 32 pages/22 story pages, will be priced at $2.99 with 32 pages/20 story pages:

American Vampire;
Batman: The Dark Knight;
Batman Incorporated;
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors;
JSA All-Stars.

As of January, the following licensed titles, previously priced at $3.99, will be priced at $2.99:

Gears of War;
God of War
Kane & Lynch;
Ratchet & Clank.

As of January, the following ongoing titles previously priced at $3.99 for 40 pages/30 story pages including co-features, will no longer include co-features and will be priced at $2.99 for 32 pages/ 20 story pages:

Action Comics;
Adventure Comics;
Batman: Streets of Gotham;
Detective Comics;
Doc Savage;
Justice League of America;
Legion of Super-Heroes;
The Spirit.

In January, five books are $3.99 for 40 pages/30 story pages:

Batman: Europa # 1
First Wave # 6
DCU: Legacies # 9
Weird Worlds # 1
World of Warcraft: Curse of the Worgen

The following oversized anniversary issue will be $4.99 for 48 pages/38 story pages:

Hellblazer # 275

“Fans of our co-features should stay tuned. Some of these characters will find a new platform,” said Dan DiDio. “Going forward, mini-series and special events may feature a different price point and page count to best allow writers and artists the flexibility of format and story pages they need to tell their stories best.”

Comments

  1. Tom S says:

    I hope this can help turn the sales decline some. When there is only one or two titles doing a 100,000 a month, that isn’t a good thing.

  2. (standing ovation)!

  3. I read the DC press release and was happy.

    Then I reread it and did the math.

    It’s going to be 20 pages of story. We’re getting 20 pages of story with 12 pages of ads. It used to be 22 pages of story with ten of ads for $2.99 or for a dollar more you get 30 pages of content with the backup.

    $2.99 for 22 pages at $0.135909 per page
    $3.99 for 32 pages at $0.1246875 per page
    vs
    $2.99 for 20 pages at $0.1495 per page

    So they’re actually charging us more per actual page of content. Even the four dollar books were actually cheaper for the consumer. Not that most buyers consider the value. Sadly too often they just look at the price which allows companies to hike up prices in this backdoor fashion.

    This isn’t a price drop. It’s a price hike. They’re just dressing it up as if they’re giving us more. They’re not. They’re giving us less.

  4. You’re burying the lead, instead using the PR spin as the headline. The news here isn’t that they’re cutting prices (because they aren’t), but that they’re cutting pages. Just like so many times in the past, when publishers trimmed story pages to keep the price the same, they’re doing it again now.

    I give DC credit for trying the $4-for-30-story-pages format, but apparently the math was too complicated for the fans, so instead we take another step in the progressive whittling away of the monthly comic book.

  5. Seth hollander says:

    The points about the per page price increasing don’t address what I think people are primaraily concerned about. The fundamental issue is the price of access to the content, not the price per sub-unit of the content. $3 for “a comic” or $4 for “a comic”. The smallest unit of product available for purchase is “a comic”, not “a page”.
    Yes, the price of each page went up, but the price of the comic did go down. I’m not saying changes in page-count shouldn’t be given attention, just that page-count is NOT the big story here.
    Fans of any of the DC back-up features must be pretty UNhappy right now….

  6. I think the bigger story here is that as usual DC can’t win with some fans, while Marvel has had no problem raising their overall books to $4. DC has tried to hold off and offered the backups as an alternative to just doing a dollar hike it failed.

    Now they are going back to $3 dollars while taking away 2 pages, is that perfect now but all that really means is no more double spreads. The stories won’t be gutted and maybe some of these diva artist can actually keep their books on schedule now.

    I applaud DC for doing this and taking a risk, imo $4 is just too much to pay for an ongong hell unless it’s something like BN I won’t pay $4 for any comic. Hopefully Marvel will follow suit but I doubt it they’ll just make snarky comments since that and flooding the market with overpriced books is what they are best at.

  7. I don’t mind paying a little more money for good material.
    But the jump from $2.99 to $3.99 just seemed ridiculous.
    In the past we’ve seen small incremental jumps. I never could understand why in this case the increase went from $2.99 to $3.99 — what happened to $3.50 in that equation?
    I would be ok with paying $3.50 right now for the MAJOR event books (and by that I mean the MAIN event title, not the ancillary titles) and the ‘elite’ talent titles. What constitutes elite is open to interpretation.
    I would say a Neil Gaiman title is actually above what one would constitute as elite. So in his case I would be ok with $5.99 for a 32 page book (and I’m talking about 32 pages of actual story, not a 32 page book that is 10 or 12 pages of advertisements). Anything Amanda Conner or Jill Thompson does would qualify as elite. I happen to like Joe Casey’s work, so I would be fine with his work in the elite category.
    I’m a big fan of Ted Naifeh’s work, so he definitely qualifies as elite (and I would pay more than $3.50 for his books).
    There needs to be a happy medium somewhere.
    Guys like Jim Lee get a higher page rate, so a reader should expect to pay a higher price for their books. If a publisher wants to charge $3.50 for a Jim Lee book and $2.99 for the artist of the day, I can’t find fault with that.
    But $3.99 for a 22 page title was definitely stretching it a little too far.

  8. Xenos wrote:
    $2.99 for 22 pages at $0.135909 per page
    $3.99 for 32 pages at $0.1246875 per page
    vs
    $2.99 for 20 pages at $0.1495 per page

    This isn’t a price drop. It’s a price hike. They’re just dressing it up as if they’re giving us more. They’re not. They’re giving us less.

    Yes and no.
    What it comes down to is story telling style.
    We’ve already seen arcs stretched for the trade with the current style of story telling.
    So yes, we will now be getting fewer pages per arc (that 6 issue arc is now 120 pages instead of 132) — but are we really losing anything? Doesn’t this tighten up the story a little bit more in the long run?
    Sure the publishers benefit because not only do they have fewer pages each month, but now the trades are also running about 12 fewer pages as well (and I’m sure they will still be charging the same price for them).
    I think the 20 page story will have a lot of benefit though. Artists who are already struggling to meet the monthly deadline may now actually be able to manage it a lot better. Artists who might need a fill-in every 4 or 5 issues may now be able to do 10 or 11 issues a year instead of 8.
    Guys like Frank Cho will possibly be able to hold to a better schedule.
    Someone like Jim Lee may now be able to actually do work on a more stable basis.
    In the long run I think it is a good thing.
    Plus, even though they are getting a couple of fewer pages, readers will probably be more likely to sample books at the $2.99 price point.
    And say a reader was holding to a budget of $24 a month — now they can buy 8 titles (we’ll call tax inconsequential for purposes of this discussion) vs. only buying 6 titles before. Those 2 extra titles pay another two creative teams. That is always a good thing.

  9. [This isn’t a price drop. It’s a price hike. They’re just dressing it up as if they’re giving us more. They’re not. They’re giving us less.]

    Technically… TRUE.

    [I’m not saying changes in page-count shouldn’t be given attention, just that page-count is NOT the big story here.]

    EVEN MORE TRUE.

    My two cents… With this nation struggling with the effects of a recession and with almost 10% of its workforce unemployed, raising pamphlet prices to FOUR dollars always seemed like an ill-advised move. Glad to see that DC Comics has come to its senses and that they are truly commited to the $2.99 price point for years to come.

  10. Dennis V. says:

    Granted, I don’t think many comic books are worth even $2.99, but I was happy to hear of the price reduction… but not very happy to hear I’ll be getting 2 less pages of story. Comics read too fast as it is. They’re going to read a lot faster now and I’ll end up feeling I’m getting less for my hard earned dollar. Sigh… a mixed bag of news.

  11. Dennis V. says:

    “I give DC credit for trying the $4-for-30-story-pages format, but apparently the math was too complicated for the fans, so instead we take another step in the progressive whittling away of the monthly comic book.”

    Not speaking for others, but for me I didn’t care one bit about those backup stories so I was basically paying “extra” for nothing.

  12. All this whining is missing the point.

    20 pages for $3 isn’t the alternative to 30 pages for $4.

    It’s the alternative to 22 pages for $4, like the new Green Lantern Emerald Warriors series.

    This is the trend prices have been following. This change halts that trend for at least the next year.

    You don’t have to buy any 22 page $4 comics from DC for at least the next year. That’s what this announcement means.

    Quit your whining already.

  13. Xenos says:

    Meanwhile my roommate, and the legions like him, who buy manga in full volume format and the rare comics trade sit back and think American comic fans are royally stupid to pay $2.99 for even 22 pages of story.

    Suckers like us paying three to four dollars for 22 to thirty pages of content are in the vast minority of overall sales. There are plenty more people waiting for trades or simply ignoring more expensive American comics in favor of manga which has much more pages and arguably story per dollar. We’re a niche market at best, dinosaurs about to go extinct at worst.

  14. DaveH says:

    I was amazed that the big 2 immediately jumped from $2.99 to $3.99 when they increased their prices.

    A 25% increase in your product was always going to have an effect even if immediately there wasn’t a massive change in reader numbers.

    There seems to be an idea that if superhero comics aren’t 32 pages long with 22-24 pages of story then the fans won’t buy them, now it looks like DC are testing that theory.

  15. Would the apologists who are rationalizing the loss of two pages as “recompression” be happier if DC went all the way back to the 1970s, and gave you only 17 pages each month?

    This reaction to the “price drop” reminds me of what happens in the gas market. GasCo raises prices by 50¢/gal, buyers squeal, they lower the price by 30¢/gal, and the buyers are relieved that prices are “back to normal”. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    I’m not accusing DC of price gouging; I’m sure they did this out of necessity. But it’s still just one more step in the decades-long whittling away of the large-format 64-page comic book into something much much less, to keep the price down.

  16. I think more people should focus on that aspect that EJ commented on:

    That really all that we’ll probably be losing in our comics is that double page spread that we’re used to seeing where they always placed the title of the issue itself.

    So we’re losing overall a few text pieces they can put elsewhere in the book to tell the same story.

    That’s a really good perspective on it.

  17. Al™ says:

    Good move to drop prices.
    I really think that $3 is still too much for the amount of content, but it is a move in the right direction.

  18. Rikk Odinson says:

    I’m glad that they’re lowering prices but, it’s still not enough to get casual buyers to try these things probably.

    I’ve been buying comics for decades and in my opinion, once they went over $2, that was too much for what you get.

    I guess that’s why I pretty much buy old comics on the second hand market anymore. I can get most comics for $1 to $2 and most all of the stuff from the pre-decompression days actually takes more than 5 minutes to read.

  19. $2.99 is better than $3.99. I wonder how this might affect Marvel’s policy of selling certain books at places like B&N for $4.99… I saw their Incredible Hulks book, which went for $3.99 at my LCS for $4.99 at B&M.

    Still, I prefer getting my comics via iApp. Been picking up Welcome to Tranquility and I love it! With digital download, I’m guaranteed to get it. No hassles with UPS or my LCS under-ordering because the previous issues never sold. Plus at $.99 an issue, how can I go wrong? Turns out to be an excellent series with a love of the old Golden Age books but with modern storytelling.

  20. So, yeah, I’ve harped in this space for a long time about my humble opinion that the prices on comics are way, way, way too high.

    has the industry ever addressed this head on? What’s behind it?

    Has anyone experimented with going back to 80s paper to see what effect it would have.

    I guess I have a feeling that DC & Marvel don’t really understand the concept of elasticity of demand. Or, maybe they do, that’s precisely why they keep hiking the price.

    Price elasticity is the idea that certain products are responsive to price. some are really, really responsive, such that small moves in the price can make a big difference in sales.

    But some products have customers who will buy them at almost any price. Booze often falls into this category. Comics may, too.

    The question is, forget speculation: what does the data say. I could make a compelling argument about why comics might be very elastic or very inelastic. So what does the data tell us about sales?

    Other than the fact that they have been falling for years while prices have gone up. On some level, that’s basic supply and demand. It could also argue that there is one base of buyers for comics: guys who grew up in the 80s, who’ve paid more for comics over the years as their income has increased.

    Maybe, tho, if comics prices dropped back down to the level that kids with allowances could afford them again, we’d see some of that inelasticity. At least, if some subset of the market dropped back down there.

    That could be really great.

  21. @Brady

    The topic of paper price has been discussed before. Estimates are that going to newsprint would save, at best, a nickel off the cover price compared to current paper stock.

  22. thequestion says:

    i can’t believe the good news. very impressed by the big two and plan on rewarding them with increasing the number of titles on my pull list!

  23. Rob Spencer says:

    Every time they lower the prices, the pirates win.

    Think about it: now the scanners can afford to buy more comics to scan, and with the lower page counts, they can scan them even faster. And of course fewer pages means a smaller file size, so they can upload faster, and the downloaders can download faster! And with less bandwidth usage, they can afford to download even more comics.

    But with shorter stories, they’ll be finished reading sooner, and have more time to play Medal of Halo or something. And the more time you give people to do something other than read comics, the less they will want to read comics.

    So the less and less they read comics, the fewer they will download, and then the scanners and uploaders will soon be supplying a small community consisting mostly of other scanners. As fewer readers of shorter comics require fewer, faster scans, more of the scanners will quit scanning and spend more time playing video games, thereby effectively ending piracy.

    Well played comics industry, well played.

  24. Rikk Odinson says:

    @Rob Spencer- That has to be the absolute most ridiculous post I’ve read all week.

  25. kushiro says:

    I think Rob Spencer makes a good point. Clearly they should raise their prices to, say, $20 per book. That would show those pirates! With the supply of scans cut off, people would run to their LCS (LCSes?) with fistfuls of cash!

  26. Synsidar says:

    A cut from 22 pages to 20 pages per issue means less artwork in an issue, obviously, but not necessarily less story content. After all, the number of panels per page isn’t fixed. If fewer pages results in fewer splash pages per issue or the average number of panels per page increasing, the typical reader wouldn’t be disappointed.

    There’s also the use of filler. Bendis doesn’t write for DC, of course, but it’s not unusual for an issue of his ___ AVENGERS to have such little plot progression that the only significant development occurs on the last page; see recent issues of NEW AVENGERS for examples. For such a writer, the change in page count would make very little difference in how he writes. Writers who want to provide an issue’s worth of content will adjust.

    SRS

  27. @Tim Stotzfus

    Hmm… well, I probably shouldn’t have even brought up the issue of paper. The truth is that the cost of inputs is not what determines the price of a product, except insofar as a producer won’t make anything that they can’t sell for at least the cost of making it.

    The cover price of comics has blown away inflation. blow. it. away. So why is that?

    And do we have any data that shows whether or not comics are elastic or inelastic goods?

    Because if they are elastic, producers could find that they could make a lot more money by dropping their price.

  28. Micah says:

    Cheers to DC. But there were only a handful of DC-Universe books that had the $4 price-point. It kept me from picking up Emerald Warriors. And the back-ups caused me to pass on Action Comics. This is great news that I can get these books now! Cheers DC!

    And Marvel’s WEAK piggy-back announcement without any definitive arrangements shows their non-commital. I won’t believe it until I see the cover price reduction and have it in my hands. Jeers Marvel! Booo!

  29. Xenos says:

    Wow. It just hit me. This all goes back to the drug dealer model. Instead of raising the price, you keep the price the same and just cut it down by adding baking soda. Most suckers are so addicted they won’t notice!

  30. kushiro says:

    @Xenos

    Food companies do that all the time. They reduce the amount but use the same box. Then they keep the price the same, or sometimes even raise it a little. Then they have a spokesperson say (with a straight face) that they do it because people expressed a desire for the product to be available in smaller portions.

    Just tryin’ to keep the customer happy!

  31. Kate Willaert says:

    >>Suckers like us paying three to four dollars for 22 to thirty pages of content are in the vast minority of overall sales. There are plenty more people waiting for trades or simply ignoring more expensive American comics in favor of manga which has much more pages and arguably story per dollar. We’re a niche market at best, dinosaurs about to go extinct at worst.<<

    While everyone else is argues about whether the price drop is really a price drop, etc., the only relevant point made is the poster above.

    It reminds me of LPs. I love LPs, I have a small collection of LPs on my shelf right over here. They're fun. But would've been absurd for the music industry to have continued to try and push LPs above CDs in the 90s — can you imagine if LPs were released a month or months before CD or Cassette just so they could keep it the format that people who want it first would buy?

    LPs are experiencing a slight resurgence lately, with younger people discovering how cool this old format is. But even then, LPs are still and will always be a niche market, and single issues will never again be more than a niche market either. It's time for companies to let it go and move on, rather than trying to come up with new ways to get people to buy the single issues before anything else.

  32. Drew Hart says:

    I’m very happy about the annuoncement as I’ll be more likely to pick up a few books I dropped (like JSA All-Stars) as well as try a few new books with the money I won’t be spending on backups and whatnot for Adventure, Action, JLA, etc.

    And as Kushiro said, this definitely smacks of the food company tactic of lowering the price but giving you less product for it, but I’m willing to accept is since I also believe that we will get the same story just with less art as Synsidar has stated above.

    I think its a positive move and one that will definitely help things stabilize a bit and potentially spark some improvment in sales. I do realize however, some people who have had their “habit” broken by the higher prices might not decide to come back. Luckily for DC I’m not one of those people. Marvel won’t be as lucky with their piggybacking (at least not with me), but good luck to them as well!

  33. A serious WOW!

    For almost two years now, I have not even considered adding any new titles to my pull list that come out at $3.99. I also dropped USM and all Avengers titles (except Mighty that stayed at $2.99, but was cancelled) amongst others once they jumped to $3.99.

    I am thrilled to actually be able to afford more books! Let the pull list grow!

  34. @ Xenos,

    There is a HUGE omission in your original post:

    $3.99 for 22 pages at $0.1813636 per page

    As of the December Solicits:
    Batman Incorporated is 22 pages for $3.99
    Batman: The Dark Knight is 22 pages for $3.99
    Green Lantern: Larfleeze X-Mas Special is 22 pages for $3.99
    Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors is 22 pages for $3.99
    JSA All-Stars is 22 pages for $3.99
    JLA/The 99 is 22 pages for $3.99
    Time Masters: Vanishing Point is 22 pages for $3.99
    The Mighty Crusaders is 22 pages for $3.99
    Welcome to Tranquility: One Foot in the Grave is 22 pages for $3.99
    Assassin’s Creed: The Fall is 22 pages for $3.99
    Kane & Lynch is 22 pages for $3.99
    Ratchet & Clank is 22 pages for $3.99
    End on Nations is 22 pages for $3.99
    Resident Evil is 22 pages for $3.99
    Gears of War is 22 pages for $3.99
    Ides of Blood is 22 pages for $3.99
    Victorian/Undead II is 22 pages for $3.99
    Telara Chronicles is 22 pages for $3.99
    American Vampire is 22 pages for $3.99

    As of January 2011 how many titles are 22 pages for $3.99? It sounds like none. Is that a price drop? Yes it is.

    Are you correct that there is a price hike on some titles? Yes. But that doesn’t change the fact that you are conveniently omitting some pertinent facts to better serve your position.

    And those titles which had back-ups are arguable, depending on the position of each reader. For those who enjoyed them, they are absolutely getting less value for their money, but for those who had zero interest in them and skipped them entirely, they provided zero value. And so those people are better served than when they had been paying $3.99 for 20 or 22 pages of story.

  35. “As of January 2011 how many titles are 22 pages for $3.99? It sounds like none. Is that a price drop? Yes it is.”

    Not for the small retailer, who’s now unable to qualify for a better discount for ordering DC titles, without paying more for a greater volume that’s unlikely to sell. So this is actually a penalty for the little guy still struggling to keep his shop open. People always seem to forget the TRUE CUSTOMER that DC and Marvel are supposed to be catering to. This is another shell game.

  36. @ KET: I’m sorry to hear that information, I genuinely had no idea.

    The post to which I was responding was specifically looking at the situation from the individual comics reader’s point of view, and so my comment was only meant to be applicable to those in that context. No offense intended.

  37. Jann Arrah says:

    I am one of the kids that honestly doesn’t care about the price of the individual issues all that much. I gladly paid extra for comics I ENJOYED and I read the back-up features in EVERY COMIC I bought and enjoyed them thoroughly. In fact I am buying the back-ups that I wanted, but didn’t buy the main comic in trade format when they come out like the Manhunter series (which was featured in the back of Streets of Gotham) and more importantly, the Question (featured in the back of Detective comics). I also hope to get the Coven when that comes out in a trade format. I was also enjoying the Atom back-up in Adventure (I even bought the Special so I could enjoy it better) and loved the Captain Atom back-up as well, even though I had no great love for the character.

    I also don’t see what the big deal is honestly. As someone who has never bought exclusively from the big two, I’ve ALWAYS been subjected to random pricing. IDW’s Fallen Angel has been 3.99 for a long time and several small print companies have been charging well over a dollar more than Marvel and DC for YEARS. During the 90’s while DC and Marvel had 1.99 comics, Chaos! comics (which did rather well for a while) was charging around 3.50 per comic! Mouse Guard and Honey West are both nearly 4 bucks each and I’ll gladly pay it for the comics.

    And I don’t just buy whatever either, I have a very small list of titles that I care about and yes, I will pay more for them if they’re good stories. If they suck, they’re gone. Period.

  38. Very smart. They make people happy AND they make more money at the same time (they will spend less on a book and run more ads).
    That’s smart marketing.

  39. Peter Adriaenssens says:

    Seems to me like DC raised the price on a certain amount of books from 3 to 4 just so they could “drop” it back to 3. Everything is the same, but it gives the appearance of change for the better.

    I’ll be very surprised to see the splash pages and spreads disappear. Far too many writers and artists love them, because they’re often handy shortcuts for producing less story per issue.

    The logical thing would’ve been an increase in price alongside an increase in content. But that’d mean more work for the people producing the content, who have trouble getting out the 22 pages a month to begin with.

    I’d pay 4 bucks if the ads disappeared completely and it was a 32-page story. The ads really have become far more annoying because they’re almost all on the right-hand pages, so you have very few actually consecutive storypages.

    Good thing a lot of online back issues are still dirt cheap. Why pay 3-4 bucks now if I can pay 1-2 a year from now?

  40. @AO- No harm, no foul. It’s just that I find it ironic that Internet fans are being lulled into some false sense of security by DC’s self-serving press release that they’re ‘lowering prices’ in response to reader demand. By the time this price change hits comics shops in January (traditionally one of the worst months for sales), the reader will have completely forgotten all about it, and more small comic book shops will be on their way out of business.

  41. Jann Arrah says:

    @Ket Unlike Marvel which has offered a “Well maybe we’ll drop the prices on some comics though we won’t tell you which ones”. Yes, DC alone shall be the doom of all the local comic shop with a couple 4 dollar comics, some of which at least include a back-up feature. Marvel on the other hand has several 4 buck comics for no reason and have made a generic statement that they’ll lower prices on SOME titles.

    Dang, DC is evil and MUST be destroyed for that. Seriously. DC should close their business because how dare they be so evil as to have 4 bucks comics then realize that it’s not working, so retool their approach across the board (not to mention they also included MORE for the extra money initially), but their major competition can do whatever they want and NO ONE CARES.

    I guess I’m just not getting this at all. Marvel has $4 books, will continue to have them, but will lower the price on a few and DC is the evil company for having $4 comics that they’re going lower the price on? BTW part of the reason they’re waiting until January is because they have commitments to the writers and artists who have already worked on several titles that will be effected (I.E. they have to give them time to adjust) and they have to let the people working on Back up features actually FINISH for the fans of those features. But hey, you’re right.. they don’t matter. the Fans don’t matter, the writers and artists working on those titles, they don’t matter.. All that matters it that DC drops their prices immediately and Marvel maybe one day.. will maybe sorta kinda lower prices on a title or two.. maybe.

  42. Synsidar says:

    Just one example of how the density of an issue’s story content is (probably) more of a factor than the number of pages in an issue in determining value for the money:

    AVENGERS #147 by Englehart and Perez had 132 panels in 17 pages. There was one splash page.

    NEW AVENGERS #4, Vol. 2 by Bendis and Immonen had 98 panels in 22 pages. There was one double-page splash and one splash page.

    I’m sure that the word count and the number of sequences would be much higher for AVENGERS #147 as well.

    Decompression, with or without filler for the purposes of reaching the desired page count for an arc, is more responsible for the decrease in an issue’s story content than the number of pages in the issue.

    SRS

  43. Don Winslow says:

    And yet, I got four dollars worth of fun and enjoyment from New Avengers #4.

    Funny that.

    Every four dollar book I buy, I get four dollars worth out of it.

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