When Will Comic Publishers Learn?

Comic Publishers: It’s Time To Take Digital Seriously

And who can afford it anymore, either? How do I justify $3.99 on a comic? I can’t, at least not in the numbers necessary to justify the trip or to follow the stories going on at Marvel and/or DC. For example, it cost $12 just to buy the three Bendis-penned issues at the end of “Siege.” […]

I’m solidly a wait-for-the-trade or wait-for-a-review-copy kind of guy now. With Amazon’s discounts, trades and hardcovers are affordable. Plus, my lifestyle currently doesn’t give me as much time to read comics as it did just five years ago. So I don’t need a stack of a dozen or more comics a week anymore. Those three or four hardcovers next to my computer will keep me busy for a while, thanks.

Let’s play with some numbers: A standard Marvel Premiere Edition hardcover at Amazon is six issues for $16.50, or $2.75 an issue — $1.25 less an issue than buying it on the stands, in a superior format. “The Invincible Iron Man” hardcover I reviewed last week is $26.39 for 19 issues right now — $1.39 an issue. The “Iron Fist Omnibus” is $47.24 for 20 issues, roughly, or $2.36. Over at DC, the first volume of the “Starman Omnibus” series is $31.49 for 17 issues, or $1.85 an issue. The more modest “Y The Last Man” Deluxe Edition, Volume 1 is $19.79 for 12 issues, or $1.65 per issue.

You want me to drive to the local comics shop to pay $4 for a comic…why?

There’s a big fat bag of money out there waiting for them to scoop up from people like me who stopped reading comics and would not only like to read some of the new ones but also get e-reprints of some of the ones we used to own.

Comic books used to sell in the millions. The sales figures today aren’t really even worth mentioning when compared to over a million iPads out there (probably near three million by the time Jobs does his WWDC keynote).

2 responses to “When Will Comic Publishers Learn?

  1. But how can you compare the 3.99 cover price versus the price of an iPad, a smartphone (with 24-month fixed contract) or a computer?

    People read comics in places where not everyone can afford them. A million does not always equal another million.

    If you have stopped reading comics anyway I don’t see why you would start reading them on an iPad (or maybe you would, but for different reasons other than love for comics).

    If you can afford an iPad, you very well afford 3.99 each month. Can’t you?

  2. What happens when an iPad is $199? Then $99? Do you think people should pay $27.00 for an ePub? The dinosaurs of print do! How far will eBooks go when the hardware is $99 and buying just *four* books costs moire than the hardware? Piracy to death is what will happen.