Will $2.99 comics REALLY sell better than $3.99 comics?

A year and a half ago, I attended an investor conference where Marvel (prior to its acquisition by Disney) presented, and the speaker was John Turitzin, EVP & General Counsel. His presentation was relatively standard fare (for those of us who have been to this type of dog and pony show before), but then someone brought up the issue of recent price increases from $2.99 to $3.99. Turitzin responded (care of Robot 6):

“We’re always testing our pricing on our comic books to see to the extent to which it is inelastic, and we can increase our profit in that business,” Turitzin said. He added that different books have different price points, noting the most popular titles saw a price increase, while the lower-selling monthlies, as well as the comics aimed at kids, did not. “We’re just looking to maximize our profits for that business while not alienating our own fan base by making them feel that they’re gouged, which I hope you don’t feel,” he told the fan.
 
Mr. Turitzin was also asked whether Marvel would consider lowering the cover price if sales were negatively impacted by the hike, to which he responded:
 
“Our goal is to maximize our revenue, and if we’re not maximizing revenue then our pricing is wrong, and we have to take a look at that … so you can hope we see that attrition, and our prices come down.”
 
At the time, few if anyone in comics’ fandom ever thought Marvel would seriously consider rolling back prices. After all, the industry had a long history of price hikes and they have never looked back. Meanwhile comic fans had proven throughout the industry’s history to be a loyal, compulsive lot. We need our comics fix, and we’ll pay whatever we have to in order to get it. Or so the story went…
 
ICV2 Conference Fall Out
 
Fast forward to last week, on the eve of the 2010 New York Comic Con, where industry stalwart Milton Griepp is giving his annual state of the industry presentation at his ICV2 Conference. In the presentation, Milton paints a picture of declining print sales, driven by a modest 1% increase in issues and a 20% decline in trade sales. That 20% decline seems startling, until you remember what an outlier Watchmen had been over the last few years. In terms of issue sales, while a 1% increase is better than a decline, it comes off a year where sales fell 3% AND the price of comics has gone up considerably. Boiling it down to its essence, people are buying fewer issues, but spending as much as they used to. Dan DiDio confirmed this viewpoint in an interview with Comics Alliance, “Granted, the same dollars might be being spent, but they're being spent on less product and that means less people are purchasing things, less books are being read… We want to be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.”
 
During the ICV2 Conference, DC Entertainment made the stunning announcement that it plans to lower prices back to $2.99 for the majority of its comics starting in January 2011. Shortly after DC made its announcement, Marvel followed suit with an announcement of its own. 
 
The Details
 
  • DC Entertainment

    • All 32-page (standard) comics to $2.99 from $3.99
    • Majority of 40-page comics will move to 32-page format and lower price to $2.99
    • Story content from 22 pages to 20 pages (meaning two more pages of ads)
    • Oversized, specials and annuals will still be priced higher
  • Marvel Entertainment

    • NEW books will be priced at $2.99 instead of $3.99 beginning in January
    • Both companies also alluded to reductions in their overall lines, as well, but didn’t elaborate
 
What’s interesting is that Marvel’s announcement came from VP of Sales David Gabriel, who credited digital comics sales ramping up as the means for Marvel being able to reduce print prices. That jives somewhat with Milton Griepp’s assertion that digital comic sales will finish the year at $6 to $8 million, substantial growth from a very low based in 2009. 
 
DC and Marvel are NOT doing the same thing
 
Let’s be clear about something, for the first time in a long time, Marvel and DC are taking different approaches toward pricing. On the surface both appear to have raised their prices and are now announcing price rollbacks. But you have to dig deeper to see what’s really going on here. 
DC’s announcement is fairly all-encompassing. But Marvel’s “reduction” is a different beast entirely. Marvel said NEW comics will launch at $2.99 versus $3.99. That’s better than doing nothing, but it’s hardly a game changer. 
 
Consider:
 
August 2010 Diamond Top 300 Comics Sales (Estimates)
 
DC Comics
# of Titles in Top 300 = 81
# of $2.99 Comics = 53 (65%)
# of $3.99 Comics = 25 (31%)
# of other prices = 3 (4%)
 
Marvel Comics
# of Titles in Top 300 = 104
# of $2.99 Comics = 29 (28%)
# of $3.99 Comics = 69 (66%)
# of other prices = 6 (6%)
 
Marvel has already transitioned roughly 2/3rds of its catalog to the $3.99 price point, whereas DC (thanks in part to Vertigo) has only gone about 1/3 of the way there. Yet, Marvel’s market share is at or near all-time highs. So do fans REALLY choose comics based on price? Or are they merely choosing to consumer less in order to keep reading their favorites? 
 
Will the Price Reduction Matter?…Jim Lee wants the customer base to show it will
 
Jim Lee and Dan DiDio gave a very candid interview to Comics Alliance at the New York Comic Con, and I was particularly struck by something Lee said:
 
This is something [the fans] are asking for, and we want them to show us that it does mean something. Because really, the conventional wisdom up till this point have been that the fans will pay whatever it takes to buy their favorite comics, and I think there's a certain amount of cynicism in that. And I think it ultimately leads to the destruction of our business because you can't just keep asking people to buy more and more expensive books, especially in a down economy like we're experiencing.
 
I couldn’t find the quote, but I’m quite sure just a few years ago Jim Lee himself said that the price of comics wasn’t an arbiter of sales, and to his credit he and the DC executive team are giving the fans the chance to prove them wrong. I know I have said that I would buy more (and I already but A LOT) if prices were back to $2.99, and I know many others who fit that bill. Will we follow suit and buy $2.99 books? Particularly at the expense of $3.99 counterparts? 
 
Derivative Impact: Will we see less re-launches and renumbering schemes?
 
Marvel’s plan to launch “new” books at $2.99 brings up the question of whether the House of Ideas also plans to change its approach toward series numbering. I wrote a few months ago that 19% of issues were #1s or one shots that over the prior six months, and that more than 50% of comics were number #1-5. The idea of cancelling books, launching new ones, renumbering, and issuing one-shots and mini-series has become standard industry fare. The publishers do it because they believe fans are more likely to “jump on” to a new series. But will Marvel have less incentive to do this going forward so it won’t have to price books at $2.99? Will we go back to a time where creators, arcs and, yes, the featured characters change but a comic continues on? Will we see things like a Tales of Suspense or a Journey into Mystery or a Marvel Tales that features arcs that previously would’ve have been new #1s all to avoid the $2.99 price point?
 
Derivative Impact: Will this hurt exclusive artists?
 
Hidden in the announcement is the fact that standard comic books are transitioning at DC from 22 pages to 20 pages. Theoretically that means less work for creators assigned a monthly book. At New York Comic Con I polled a host of creators about this news, and the reactions were mixed. Admittedly none had yet been debriefed by their editors on how this would change their work assignments, but many worried it would mean fewer pages per month, and ergo lower income (most creators get paid on a page rate). I’m sure we’ll get clarity on this down the line, and hopefully it won’t hurt the financial well being of the people most directly responsible for the books we enjoy. 
 
What happens if the rollback has no effect?
 
So what if DC sales don’t rebound? What if Marvel’s market share lead stays intact, or worse yet grows further? What then? I will tell you that we consumers aren’t going to like the answer. If sales don’t bounce back, and demonstrably, I think we’ll see DC (and Marvel to a lesser extent) take other initiatives to right size their publishing businesses. I think we’ll see greater emphasis on digital distribution, smaller publishing lines, and perhaps even more Draconian measures. So while it’s perfectly natural to be surprised and happy at this turn of events, it’s only going to matter if we follow through on the sales front. What Marvel and DC (and ultimately we as comic book fans) need to hope is that you can easily get back what you’ve already lost. I’m not so sure history argues in favor of that.

 

Jason is a mutant with the ability to squeeze 36 hours into every 24-hour day, which is why he was able to convince his wife he had time to join the iFanboy team on top of running his business, raising his three sons, and most importantly, co-hosting the 11 O'Clock Comics podcast with his buddies Vince B, Chris Neseman and David Price. If you are one of the twelve people on Earth who want to read about comics, the stock market and football in rapid fire succession, you can follow him on Twitter.

Comments

  1. greg1ca greg1ca says:

    Clearly, Mr. Turitzin should have had security remove the fan at last year’s meeting………

    I have no idea how this will play out in the longer term, but i expect a noticeable increase in unit sales for the first several months of the new pricing system (ie..fans like me will likely buy a few extra titles with the money "we save"). 

    Nice Job as always Jason.

  2. JimBilly4 JimBilly4 says:

    A couple of thoughts occur to me. The number of page reduction might help more artists get their work done on time. And would not have to hurt their bottom line if paid on a per page basis. Before they did 10 issues a year: 220 pages. Now they do 11 issues: 220 pages. With 10% more time per month available, fewer missed deadlines and skipped issue. Assuming the artists don’t just adjust to new schedule and are similarly late. But if per page, the lateness will mean less moolah.

    The price paint is an issue to me, but it tends to rank #3 on my list. First is how excited I am for the creators/team, second is how religious I am about collecting the work (I know, sad, but what ya gonna do), and third comes price. When I pick my comics, I always throw back a few that I didn’t really need and those are almost always the $3.99 books. If most people are like me, the $2.99 DC price point will have only a minor effect on month to month sales. The biggest effect those prices have on me is every time I think about dropping or scaling way back on this hobby because it is too darn expensive. That won’t effect month to month decisions, but has a retarding effect on industry growth in general. I suspect the DC rollback difference from Marvel won’t last long enough to gauge that sort of effect, especially as $3 is already a lot to pay per book. 

     

  3. vadamowens vadamowens says:

    I know that I’ll buy more.  Can’t speak for anyone else.

  4. RyanHoyt RyanHoyt says:

    I may be buying 1 more book per week thanks to this, but that’s not a very significant change.  However, I’ll probably be less likely to drop books after a bad (or not very interesting) issue or two.  At least, I’ll probably be more likely to finish out an arc (for example, with too many $4 books too quickly eating up my weekly budget, I recently dropped some books mid-arc that were just mediocre to me, like Birds of Prey and Green Arrow, and last year with Streets of Gotham and Gotham City Sirens).

  5. misterckent misterckent says:

    I’d like to say that the price point is an issue, but it just isn’t for me.  This is actually one of the cheaper hobbies I have (waaaaay below drinking as it relates to expense).  I just want to pick up books that are good reads.  It’s almost more insult to injury when I’ve bought a book that was bad for $3.99, but isn’t a factor on how much I buy in the first place.

  6. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    I fear a massacre of low- and mid-range books is on the horizon.

  7. Jason Wood Wood says:

    @conor I think that’s the next logical step if $2.99 doesn’t show marked unit growth. 

  8. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    The creator question is a big one for me.  While they might lose the income of 2 pages per book (which can be substantial), there’s probably a better chance of the book surviving if people are more likely to buy a $3 book over a $4 book. I hope it doesn’t sting the creators too much. It’ll be interesting to watch.

  9. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    @Wood: And it sucks because my favorite books tend to live in those ranges. We’ll see.

  10. kentish kentish says:

    I dropped quite a few books over the last year from both DC and marvel because they went to $4.  If they were to go back to $3, I would probably pick most of them up again.  Not all, because some have been replaced by other/new series. 

  11. s1lentslayer s1lentslayer says:

    Do you think they’ll pull a backsies and go back to $3.99 before dropping the lower sellers?

  12. Bassoonjedi Bassoonjedi says:

    After this announcement I became a little more lax on trimming my pull list. I was going to reduce it by a good 25%, but with the reduction in price, I might keep it the same size for the sake of supporting my favorite books.

    The proposed derivative impact of #1s was an interesting point. How many #1 issues flooded shelves this summer? I am really curious to see where we are this time next year.

  13. to be brutally honest i’m likely to just pocket the extra savings, which overall will keep me in the hobby longer. I’m not necessarily going to spend that extra money on an extra book or two each week just because i have "allowance money" to spend…is that what the big plan is? Yahoo did a similar story this morning on how Wallmart tried this strategy with ramping up "rollbacks" as loss leaders hoping consumers would buy other products when they were in the store….sales actually went down, with sale items being the prime purchases.

    If a new series or mini is put out that looks really interesting i’ll be a bit more likely to check it out at 2.99, but i’m not going to buy extra books that i wouldn’t have before just because they are a buck cheaper. 

  14. Dan Dan says:

    @Conor – It’s inevitable. And, yeah, it sucks.

    Personally, I’m willing to try more books (or return to books) at lower price points.  Not sure if I’d choose a 2.99 new book over a 3.99 book I’m buying and enjoying – not quite following Marvel’s logic with its plan – but if there’s an interesting creative team on an interesting concept, I’ll try it.

    I think the big thing was the way the prices just seemed to increase by 33% overnight. Past price increases were more gradual – with this trend of $4 books, you go to the shop, you’re paying $1 more for the same book you bought last month.

    My only concern is how long is this going to last? And what will be the effects when prices do bounce up again? Will they only jump by that "missing" dollar, or will companies feel like they need recoup that lost income and raise prices by $1, $1.25, more? It’ll be good while it lasts, but nothing lasts forever.

  15. diebenny diebenny says:

    I’m not going to be buying more or less.  I’m just gonna stay right where I am.

  16. I’ll buy a little bit more 3$ books in support of this. One xtra title and a mini per year + one shots here and ther.

  17. ctrosejr ctrosejr says:

    What I want to know is why did they increase prices to $3.99 in the first place?  Why not $3.25, which would have been a more modest increase?  Anyway…

    A bunch of thoughts: 

    Much like when they raised prices, the effect of this move will not be known for at least a year.  I hope DC gives this move enough time to work its way into people’s buying habits.   

    This move won’t likely cause me to spend any more money — my budget is $50/month, regardless.  But, this will translate into more issues purchased, certainly.  It will also mean that, through natural attrition, I will likely buying less Marvel books over time,assuming that Marvel doesn’t have a glut of new $2.99 titles on the market.  If other people are like me, that should help DC’s market share in the long run.

    I think DC was wise to frame the move as "All of our ‘standard’ books are $2.99."  I think that’s going to stick in people’s minds.  People are going to simplify their mental math to: DC = $2.99, Marvel = $3.99.  (It’s practically that way now.  This just cements it in people’s minds.) 

    This move may get people to try other DC series.  If that happens, it’s a big win for DC.  We comic buyers are creatures of habit, after all.  If we get hooked, they’ve got us. ;-)

  18. MisterJ says:

    I live in the inelastic consumer section.  I get 3 to 4 books a week and will often drop books when my buys become larger in quantity.  Exceptions based upon ‘ends of runs’ and mini series

  19. edward says:

    The next time you guys are feeling hard done by just remember this.

    As of about 40 minutes ago the Australian dollar was worth 99 cents US. We still have to pay over five bucks for our comics.

    While i will continue to pay this much for comics I do see a point where i will stop going weekly and limit the amount i buy  

  20. Paradiddle Paradiddle says:

    My recent decision to cut back on single issues was partly due to the increasing number of $3.99 books but more importantly due to upcoming huge life changes (soon-to-be father of twins). If this price reduction means I can fit more titles into my measly $25/month budget, so be it, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to add more books to my pull list simply because they’re $2.99 instead of $3.99.

  21. krooze krooze says:

    @edward – That’s why I’m going more and more digital. Even full priced digital books are half the price of store bought in Australia. I get that they have to account for shipping but "just doubling the US price" has always seemed a tad exorbitant.

  22. rafterman rafterman says:

    I think this will have a minor impact, but price is only one reason for poor sales. Access is a huge problem as well. The business model as a whole is the problem.

  23. stuclach stuclach says:

    This is a well written article with a very solid discussion of elasticity (and I will be using it in class next semester).

    During the Digital Distribution panel the Marvel rep (whose name escapes me) casually mentioned that Marvel’s digital approach is ALREADY profitable.  That tells me that digital is now viewed as a legitimate approach.  This could be influencing the pricing decision.

    I’d also argue that there is a bit of income elasticity at work with the trades and/or issues.  It is entirely possible that comics are price inelastic (over the relevant range), but income elastic (essentially a luxury good at certain income levels).  It is possible the income effects are driving the (relatively meager) changes we are seeing.

  24. Neb Neb says:

    Always interesting stuff Wood.  Hopefully, this will translate into more sales, and I know I’d be more willing to check things out or pick up extra books.  I just don’t know how big of a push it will give to the market, even if a bunch of people are in my same position.  My fingers are certainly crossed.

    If anything, I appreciate that DC and Marvel and listening to the fans and giving us the opportunity to back up all our complaining.

  25. Jeff Reid JeffR (@JeffRReid) says:

    Thanks for breaking down the information like this, Jason. As soon as the news came down about the price changes, I was looking forward to you writing this article. Your analysis is always helpful.

  26. rafterman rafterman says:

    What’s interesting about the digital side being profitable is that it’s mostly dominated by older stuff selling for less than 2.99 an issue. That’s something the LCS doesn’t do. If they sell out, they sell out. They don’t really have an unlimited stock of old issues and what they do put in the back issue bins doesn’t get the same attention old stuff on the app does. The app has so much potential to expand the audience in ways an LCS or a trade on a bookshelf can. I’m just waiting for digital subscriptions.

  27. kmob181 kmob181 says:

    I buy between 12-16 books a month and my rule has always been I will pay $3.99 for a mini but not an ongoing and $3.50 for a book not from Marvel/DC because I’m willing to pay more for indie content.  All of my Marvel/DC ongoings are $2.99.  I think if these went up to $3.99 some would make the cut and some wouldn’t.  If I look at Vertigo for example I can’t fathom dropping Fables or Scalped in any situation but I’m fairly confident that if Unwritten and Sweet Tooth went up to $3.99 they would be gone.  I dropped American Vampire for just that reason because I enjoyed but wasn’t in love with the title.  On another note, one thing that hasn’t been mentioned is that what I will call franchises (Batman, X-Books, Avengers, etc.) are seeing a significant increase in number of books published.  In other words, publishers will sell 6 Batbooks at $2.99 instead of 2 at $3.99 in the hope of getting Bat readers to buy all of them thus maximizing the overall profit of the franchise.  Unfortunately this means, as Conor said, that midrange books particularly – I might add – ones not connected to a larger franchise are in serious jeopardy.  I worry in particular about Secret Six and Brave and the Bold (the only 2 mainstream DC books I read) as well as Shield, X-Factor and yes, even Fantastic Four simply because all of these books exist outside of a franchise. (Yes X-Factor is technically an X-book but it has nothing to do with the rest of the X-Universe really and a good chunk of X-Factor readers don’t read the other X-books).  If I’m DC looking at profit margins it almost makes more economic sense to cancel Secret Six in favor of a seventh Bat book because odds are good that most of the Bat readers – a market much larger than Secret Six readers – will purchase that book. Scary to think that if these books disappear I may just be reading a handful of Vertigo and indie titles.  And after Scalped and Fables end I could see myself leaving the issue market altogether.  I would really urge people to take a closer look at these stand-alone midrange titles.  Because their creators aren’t bound by decades of continuity and crossovers – in my humble opinion and echoing Conor – these books have some of the best content out there.  We just saw new column promoting indie books.  Maybe a new column promoting low-mid range books from the big 2 would be useful as well?  Secret Six and X-Factor alone should be top 50 books. (Again just an opinion but a heartfelt one).

  28. stuclach stuclach says:

    It was Ira Rubenstein (I believe) from Marvel who mentioned that digital was already profitable for them.

  29. mudd mudd says:

    Great stuff.  Thanks Jason.

     

  30. Spoons Spoons says:

    Great read, though I don’t know what you mean by "draconian measures" and I don’t think I want to.

  31. JimBilly4 JimBilly4 says:

    I have never understood the Marvel limited series $3.99 price point. Limited series are extremely dicey affairs. Often with borderline characters, new creators, new artists, and a storyline that generally does not need to be told and won’t be part of the big story (i.e. continuity) Marvel is telling. Limited series are often a way for the Big 2 to test the waters, test new talent, test character viability. Why am I being asked to pay MORE for that over an established writer, artist, character, team I am enjoying. In addition to all that, the completionist compulsive in me is highly unlikly to let me purchase only 2 out of 4 issues of such a story. In for a penny, I am generally in for a pound (unless it is truly ass-tastic). Knowing that all going in, the $3.99 price tag makes a HUGE difference to me and I generally avoid Marvel limited series.

    Event books are a different animal and it makes sense to jack the price up there, but if it is forlorn lost tale of Spidey and the Shocker told by J.P. Nobody and illustrated by Brazilian guy who might be great or awful, why in God’s name would I pay more for that?  I am sure Marvel marketers are not fools. Am I alone feeling this way? Do most people get lured in my by the shiny #1 on the cover? Or the banner claiming a distant connection to an event people are already tired of? Maybe I am being too down on Limited Series. 

  32. stasisbal stasisbal says:

    I’m certainly more likely to try and buy a comic if it’s cheaper.  I don’t have a tight budget so I’m not sure if I’ll buy more or less.  I’m trying to cut back now due to time and interest more than anything.

    To be honest I was just starting to break on the 3.99 books.  Emerald Warriors, Uncanny X-Force and Batman, Inc. would be my first ongoing 3.99/32p books.  I was all set for the inevitable 3.99 price all around.  So this was a pleasant surprise.  I already buy a lot more DC than Marvel and will continue to so now that their comics remain cheaper across the board.

  33. Im sad to say that the price change wont affect my buying habbits. I would never drop a book just because it was priced a dollar more, I might however skip a new book that is priced 3.99 as opposed to 2.99, so if DC starts putting out more books I want then I might try more of them but for the near future it doesnt look like my pull list is going to get any longer.

  34. ato220 ato220 says:

    Great article Jason. I do wonder that if page numbers go down we won’t see an increase of books by top creators and a decrease of books by mid level talent but the number of books remains stagnet due to readers habits. Like most things I think that only time will tell

  35. My only feeling is that the comic publisher have had $3.99 books for about the last two years… I hope they give this "rollback" plan the same 2 years to rebound.  Nothing will happen overnight.

     

    the Tiki 

  36. 2Kwon 2Kwon says:

    @ everyone- The question on whether the $2.99 books doing better than $3.99 is a bit futile if you asked me because in the end; the creators and powers to be of the big two (and lets not forget the indie companies because should be included in this transition as well) have a lot to live up to with this pricing. As a consumer, I can’t afford to buy a $3.99 book on a consistent basis. Sometimes I carry the same behavior practice the same behavior when selecting $2.99 books too. Lately I’ve been very selective in picking out titles and my picks are usually initiated by the  creative teams on them.

    I’m going to remain patient with this turn of events and I’m optimistic that the companies will remain cognitive of this matter.   

  37. I will buy more comics if they are all 2.99. It is as simple as that, I’m not going to put down 4-5 bucks on something that is new that I want to try, but i will throw down 3 bucks. Like this weeks Strange Tale’s, I would have bought it, but it was 5 bucks, so no thank you.

  38. rnield rnield says:

    Unforunately, the trend is already in place. It is sad that comics are going the way of most traditional print media. I think the future model will eventually be digital comics will come out first followed 6 months later by the trade. Will monthly issues go away completely? No, but be prepared to pay a premium such short print runs.

  39. Jim Mroczkowski Jimski (@jimski) says:

    I happened to ask my neighborhood shopkeep about this today, and he could not have been happier about it as a retailer. His argument was that, when the Big Two were touting that no one would drop a book over a dollar, they may have been right about that but there was no measurement for the new books that would never get tried. Not that I have any examples in Doctor Voodoo, er, I mean, in mind.

    From a personal standpoint, I am gobsmacked. I can only remember one other instance when this has happened, and by "remember" I mean "remember reading about from before I was born." And at that time, they dropped the number of story pages to something like seventeen.

  40. as far as creators go and losing profits, they need to evolve or get a new job. Its harsh but its true. Its up to them to learn how to streamline their own process or add skill sets to make up revenue lost by less page count. Pencillers should learn how to ink and color and keep the extra revenue. Writers should learn how to letter and do production on their own books etc…There are creators out there who do this quite successfully (Guilroy and Layman come to mind) and i really think that is the next evolution of the comic creator.

    Every other commercial art field except for comics has merged specialized production jobs into one key job with the help of technology and education. The comic industry is trapped in commercial art models straight out of the mid 20th century with specialized trades that are incredibly inefficient and more importantly expensive. The average monthly comic requires 6-10 people to produce it. That screams of inefficiency and seems like a huge reason why costs are rising and profits are declining. I can’t think of any other facet of the illustration (except animation) world that requires so many collaborators to turn in one assignment. I don’t think this workflow would be accepted in any other creative industry.

  41. Cornelius says:

    @Wood:  I just realized your Pay Attention! posts have stopped, and now I miss them.  Have you not found anything interesting on the internets lately?

  42. NawidA NawidA says:

    @Cornelius

    That was David Brothers.

    I miss them a lot as well. 

  43. OliverTwist OliverTwist says:

    The drop down in price is a wining situation for myself, as well as many others. I may not  spend the money on a new book in one particular week, but I will have the money for the following week just in case a extra book comes out I want to purchase. If I don’t spend it on any issues for a month or more, I will have money for an extra trade(WIN!!!) 

    @wallythegreenmonster, There are guys like Eric Shanower, whom write and draw and the issues and they still cost about the same, it takes much longer  hence the increase in price. The average comic meaning DC and Marvel pay for a lot of over head, which drives up the price. Kirklsnd bought up the profit of selling less issues versus Marvel in his debate with Bendis.

  44. MattJ1991 MattJ1991 says:

    That $1 difference means a lot to a student like me

  45. mattstev2000 mattstev2000 says:

    Perosnally I’ll be picking up more titles. At the very least I’ll be going back and picking up Emerald Warriors which I left alone because of the 3.99 price point.

  46. kmob181 kmob181 says:

    @JimBilly – I always thought the $3.99 for Marvel minis had something to do with having to assign staff.  For example whereas regular books have regular editors, an editor has to be assigned a mini for a few months.  Its an extra chore.  Likewise for artists and writers who are only available for a short engagement.  I guess I thought it was an extra expense for the company so I didn’t mind paying.  Of course at this point when I talk about Marvel minis that I buy I’m basically talking about DnA’s cosmic books and I like their work so much that I would probably pay $3.99 for it in any situation.  I do also pick up the occasional Marvel Knights title.

  47. stustap stustap says:

    The $2.99 / $3.99 price point only affects my decision when I’m on the fence about something.  If it’s a book / character /creator I like and it’s $3.99 I pick it up.  If I’m undecided on picking something up, a $3.99 price point makes my mind up for me and pushes me away.

    Case in point – Uncanny X-Force.  I was on the fence; not an X-Men fan but always intrigued.  Not a huge Remender fan but I love Opena.  It gets much praise and POTW so I was on the verge of buying it – but the $3.99 price was the deciding factor in me putting it back on the shelf.

  48. Still to expensive to consider buying regularly in Australia.

    But if they put that stuff on their app for $2.99 I’ll happilly buy it.

  49. TomO TomO says:

    Personally, I’ll be adding more books.  Come January, I can think of six right off the top of my head that will be added to my pull list.  I refuse to pay four bucks for a 22-pager, so these will all be new sales for DC.

    As for Marvel, I like to read about cohesive universes.  I’m tempted to drop my remaining three marvel books and spend the funds over at DC (althought it’s looking like Hawkeye & Mockingbird is probably going to be dropped for me) since I’m going to have to dance and weave my way around the four dollar books.  It’s too much…and they already convinced this life-long Avengers fan that the world still spins while not reading their books.

    Kudos to DC, and I’m going to try my damndest to stay glass-half-full on this one.  I just hope the rest of the price-boycotters come back into the fold.

  50. harwellpkg harwellpkg says:

     It will definitely be easier to add more titles at the $2.99 price point.With the $3.99 I really have to think it over before adding that title to my monthly list.Also I find that $3.99 titles are so much easier to cancel where a $2.99 title I will give it a bit longer.

     I have always been partial to Marvel but that could be changing just because of the cost.

  51. I definitely think that 2.99 books will sell a whole lot better than 3.99 books one reason why is that last year I had to drop a lot of titles because a lot of them were going to 3.99  and I could not afford to get a lot of those titles anymore but know that DC and marvel might go back to the 2.99 price I will be able to pick up more titles agian and I now what happend to me happend to a lot of other people too also another reason is that a lot of the books that are selling for 3.99 are not worth it

  52. robbydzwonar robbydzwonar says:

    Well I know I’ll definitely be picking up Batman INC and The Dark Knight now that I’ll only have to pay $3.99 for the first two issues!!!  Plus Action and GL: Emerald Warriors are great books so I definitely won’t mind paying a dollar less for only losing out on two pages!!  I’m about to start picking up Detective again when the new arc starts so that’s another book I’ll start pulling again now for sure!!  The truth is though, I probably would have bought all these books for $3.99 if the price hadn’t gone down, so I have no idea if that helps or hurts DC.

    Whatever, as long as Morrison stays on Bats and Johns stays on the main GL book, I don’t see DC being in any kinda trouble.

  53. Poopmonster Poopmonster says:

    I’m thinking this could only be a move to keep us the long time reader involved.  I’m just speculating, but $2.99 is still way more than someone not invested in the title/character would probably spend for a book. So still few new readers, but it keeps us long timers with more book money.

    Is this lower price going to reflect on trades also? On trades I was in Borders last weekend using my 40% coupon and talked to a mom (kinda hot) with her kid trying to figure out which Avenger book to get.  I pointed her to the Marvel Adventures trades, but saw her point.  Picking up issue #78 of a series could be daunting, but the trades should be more accessible to new readers.  I read this crap and couldn’t pick a good new reader point on most of the series trades except Vertigo & Ultimate.

  54. ActualButt ActualButt says:

    I budget myself $100 per month for comics. This change is good news that would be great if the general quality of DC’s books were up to the same level as Marvel. I may pick up some of the DC books that I dropped recently, but the fact is that I dropped them for reasons beyond pricing. This news says to me that Marvel is at a much more stable point in their operations than DC, and can afford to keep many of their books at 3.99.