Fans of Walking Dead could have gone to the shop and bought the issue yesterday… OR they they could have downloaded the Image app on their iPhone or iPad, and purchased the digital version. It was the same price as the print version, at $2.99. Presumably that was a move to keep retailers happy. For one thing, Walking Dead makes a not-insignificant amount of money for all involved, including Kirkman, Image Comics, and Direct Market retailers. While I would love to have a cheaper version of the book, there's a real advantage, for me at least, in just having it on my iPad. They gave me the choice, and if they keep this up, I'll switch.
I've checked to see if this is a regular thing, a mixup, or an experiment, and if I hear anything back, I'll let you know. But yesterday, Walking Dead #77 made a significant step towards giving consumers the choice many of us want.
UPDATE: Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson, told Comics Alliance that this is the way things are going to be:
"In terms of scheduling, the digital version of the series has caught up to print version, so it makes sense to release both simultaneously. With the debut of the AMC television series only weeks away at this point, our aim is to make 'The Walking Dead' as widely available as possible, in all formats, and I believe everyone involved will ultimately find this beneficial."