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DC Comics to lower cover prices for ongoing titles, drop co-features

DC Comics

DC Comics will lower the price of all of its standard-length ongoing titles from $3.99 to $2.99 beginning in January, the publisher announced this afternoon.

The move to the lower price will mean a decrease in story pages — from 22 pages to 20 in a standard 32-page comic — as well as the loss of co-features in eight titles, including Action Comics, Adventure Comics and Detective Comics.

“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,” Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said in the press release. “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. 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.”

The following standard-length ongoing series and licensed titled, previously price at $3.99, will move to $2.99 for 32 pages (20 pages of story): American Vampire; Batman: The Dark Knight; Batman Incorporated; Gears of War; God of War; Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors; JSA All-Stars; Kane & Lynch; and Ratchet & Clank.

These comics, previously priced at $3.99 for 30 pages of story, will lose their co-features and shift their price to $2.99 for 20 pages of story: Action Comics; Adventure Comics; Batman: Streets of Gotham; Detective Comics;
Doc Savage; Justice League of America; Legion of Super-Heroes; and The Spirit.

Batman: Europa #1, First Wave #6, DCU: Legacies #9, Weird Worlds #1 and World of Warcraft: Curse of the Worgen will remain at $3.99 for 40 pages/30 pages of story. Hellblazer #275, an oversized anniversary issue, will be priced at $4.99 for 48 pages/38 pages of story.

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Comments

22 Comments

I fully support the pricepoint.
I hate the dropped two pages.
I really hate the dropped pages and pricepoint on the books with more content for more money. I was excited about the Detective and Action co features.

Now let’s see what Marvel does.

So for some books they are reducing the price by a quarter but reducing the content by a third?? So that’s less value for money right?

Like I posted on Bleeding Cool this is a mixed bag for me.

They are dropping co-features and two pages of the main feature to bring these books back to $2.99. So in actuality the price might be down but we are getting less story for it. And that will be what Marvel hammers away at. You could actually consider this a sort of price increase too as even though they dropped the cover price of these books bya buck, by dropping the total story pages the cost per story page is actually higher now.

Like I said, mixed bag.

That Commissioner Gordon co-feature in Detective sounded really cool.

I bet the co-features end up being released as digital content.

It’s the 70s all over again.

Too many people are just going to see the new/old pricepoint and say, “Look at DC being fair to the fans with $2,99 books, while Marvel is still greedy and evil because all of their books are still at $3.99.” They won’t even talk about the lower page count/higher page cost.

Which is great, but now they’ve tipped too far in the other direction, eliminating co-features from titles I was getting ready to sample BECAUSE of the co-features, simply to hit the $2.99 point.

If I’m reading this right, gone are the:
-Jimmy Olsen co-feature from Action
-Commissioner Gordon co-feature from Detective

The Jimmy feature finally justified the higher price point for me on Action.
Likewise, although I dropped it after Rucka’s departure as extraneous to Morrison’s Batman arc, I WAS going to give Detective another chance because of the plans with Jim Gordon.

Price is vital, but it’s not the ONLY obstacle to experimenting as a buying reader.
Quality of premise and creator is even more important.

So now your $3 comics are 1/3 ads that just gets in the way of the story.

Why not ship 24 page comics with less ads instead?

Also if you do the math:
$4 comics are about 8 pages for a buck
$3 comics are about 7 pages for a buck

thanks to this news, i will add American Vampire back to my pull list. the 3.99 price tag wasn’t justified…i would pay an extra dollar for preview pages from another series?

i hope marvel follows this price point as well…the gorilla man limited series was fine for 3.99 it was painful to read reprinted gorilla stories that had nothing to do with atlas or gorilla man…it was an extra buck for filler…

$3/book is still too much. $2 would make me buy more.

One of the myriad of comic book journalists across all these comic sites needs to break down exactly how much a comic book costs, possibly per company.

Oh, and here’s something:

2 missing pages per month. 24 missing pages a year. Imagine every standard 6-issue story arc cut down to 5 and a half issues. Could this mean a slight return to compression? More story content per issue to keep things going to make up for the lower page count?

This really is good news. I think the lower page count will decrease decompression and return 70s storytelling method to modern comics. Awesome.

@Big_H

It cost DC money to put in story pages
It gives DC money to put in ad pages

Reducing the number of ads means increasing the price, which would go against DC’s plan to get readers to be more willing to pick up new titles.

It gives DC money to put in ad pages

Unless they are house ads, right? Because DC and Marvel both run a ton of house ads.

Great news! Now I’ll be able to afford the Legion of SuperHeroes series! Yayyyyyyyyyyyy!

There is no pleasing any of you, and I really truly– not a joke– love you all for that, so much. I love you for all of the things that make you, you.

Overall, this is good news. I don’t want to complain about the larger plan in place here because this is what everyone asked for. But, on a personal note, I’m really disappointed about Francesco Francavilla’s “Commissioner Gordon” comic being dropped. I was truly looking forward to that.

I’m a bit confused, though. If this co-feature was set to debut in the November-shipping issue but the size and price change is effective as of the January-shipping comics, does this mean they’ll run the story for two chapters and then axe it or is it not seeing the light of day at all? Does it make sense to run the comic for just two parts and quit? Does it make sense to cancel it entirely if they already have some pages in the can? I would love to see it live on even if it’s, as has been mentioned above, a digital-only release. That would be a great way of doing shorts that star B and C level characters, now that I think about it.

While I want to applaud this, it’s too little too late. I’ve already dropped a slew of DC books. They were mostly $3.99, but since I was dropping those books, I decided to drop some of their $2.99 books too.

This move, especially with the decrease in story pages, does not convince me to retract any of the drops that I made.

Abhay, I just tried to retweet your comment before I realized this wasn’t twitter. Well done, sir.

When Didio listened to fans he only heard what he wanted to hear. I don’t think any fan asked them to raise the price per page.
I’ll stick with 10c per page. Not including ads. And especially not house ads. And in particular not that awful Green Arrow preview that utilized rape and violence.
And that leaves me with… oh… no monthly DC books.

What I wonder is if anyone who has a problem with DC’s increased price per page on their $2.99/20 books is buying Marvel’s $3.99/22 books, and if so how they justify paying that increase in the price per page.

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