Fans who have been lamenting the price of comics have cause for celebration today, as it was announced that DC Comics would be dropping the price on most of their comics.
A press release on DC’s blog, The Source revealed that they are “lowering the prices on all standard length 32-page ongoing comic book titles currently priced at $3.99 to $2.99.”
Here’s the full press release below.
New York, October 7, 2010– 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:
Batman: The Dark Knight;
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors;
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:
Batman: Streets of Gotham;
Justice League of America;
Legion of Super-Heroes;
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.”
What’s most interesting to me is the waiting game to see if Marvel follows suit and drops their prices as well. This is a pretty bold move on DC’s part, as a lot of people figured the $3.99 price point for single issues was here to stay. By dropping the price, DC may be able to steal some of Marvel’s market share and make up for any money lost by lowering the price. Of course, it could be that people who have moved from reading single issues to trades because of the previously increased price won’t be switching back now that the prices are lowered, and it won’t make too much of an impact.
What’s also interesting to me are the titles that previously had co-features will no longer have those, bringing an end to DC’s experiment with resurrecting back-up stories. It’s a shame for some of them too, especially the Jimmy Olsen back-up in Action Comics, which just started with the previous issue, which means we’ll get about 4 or 5 issues worth of it, and then who knows? Will creators be able to finish their stories in other ways? Maybe DC can publish some kind of anthology to finish the stories. I hope that DC finds some way to keep the Jimmy Olsen series going, as I was impressed by the first issue.
Lowering the price is undeniably a good move on DC’s part, but we’ll have to see if it has the desired result that they are looking for. If it can get a few more people back to picking up their single issues, that’s a good thing for them. I don’t think it will have a major impact on attracting new readers, but at least it gives comic readers one less thing to complain about.