Robot 6

So what happened to Marvel’s new-title price cuts, anyway?

"Do you think this 'A' on my head stands for 'AVAILABLE FOR $2.99'?!?"

"Do you think this 'A' on my head stands for 'AVAILABLE FOR $2.99'?!?"

Kudos to our eagle-eyed Robot 6 and Spinoff compadre Graeme McMillan for spotting something interesting, and perhaps a bit frustrating, in Marvel’s January solicitations. On his Twitter, Graeme noted (edited slightly for clarity): “Number of new 32-page Marvel books @ $2.99 in new solicits: three. Number of new 32-page Marvel books @ $3.99 in new solicits: seven. What happened to price cuts?”

You no doubt recall that less than an hour after DC announced price cuts for its ongoing series during New York Comic Con — with a detailed list of the titles involved, along with page-count decreases and the cessation of back-up features — Marvel Senior Vice President-Sales & Circulation David Gabriel announced price cuts for Marvel, too, stating that new books launching in January 2011 will not debut at $3.99. Though details about the plan were scarce, here at Robot 6 we rounded up Marvel’s reaction to the price cuts at both publishers, from Senior Vice President C.B. Cebulski’s mild busting of DC’s chops for dropping page counts along with prices and, thus, reducing creator income, to sales communications manager Arune Singh’s statement that many titles debuting from Marvel in 2011 will ship at $2.99.

But a look at Marvel’s January solicitations tells a different story: Of the House of Ideas’ 32-page debuts, seven are listed at $3.99: Age of X: Alpha #1, Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead #1 (of 5) Anita Blake: Circus of the Damned — The Ingenue #1 (of 5), The Stand: No Man’s Land #1 (of 5), Ultimate Comics Captain America #1 (of 4), Daredevil: Reborn #1 (of 4), and The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1; only three are priced at $2.99: Captain America: Hail Hydra #1 (of 5), Wolverine and Jubilee #1 (of 4), and Magneto #1. The reasoning for the different price points isn’t instantly clear upon seeing which titles get which price — as best I can tell, maybe $3.99 is still being used for event-related titles, licensed books and Ultimate Comics series? But if there are more of those than of “regular” launches, it appears to run counter to Marvel’s expressed intention, at least for this early month of the year.

Though Marvel had no official comment on the matter, a very quick bit of number-crunching reveals that while prices weren’t slashed wholesale, moves are being made in that direction, and in the direction of reducing the overall number of titles being published — something Tom Brevoort mentioned would happen at the New York Comic Con. In January, there are 54 items listed at $3.99 and 28 at $2.99, for 82 items total split between those price points (not including the Icon titles and, obviously, $4.99 items like the Iron Man anniversary issue). In Marvel’s December solicitations, there were 69 at $3.99 and 26 at $2.99, for 95 items total (again, not including Icon, etc.). So yes, overall, the number of $3.99 books is shrinking, the number of $2.99 books is increasing, and the total number of releases is declining, albeit not necessarily dramatically, and without the price cuts being noticeably tied to what’s new and what’s not.

To be clear, it might not be a terrible idea to roll prices and production back gradually. Certainly many retailers, while pleased with the publishers’ decision to eliminate what they see as a “jumping-off” factor in the form of that four-buck price point, have expressed concern that the decision to do so during the weakest months of the year for comics retail would represent an instantaneous hit to their bottom line, while any increase in sales or readership originating from the price cuts would likely be gradual. But regardless, as far as the actual price cuts themselves go, DC has the edge.

(Additional reporting by JK Parkin and Kiel Phegley.)

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112 Comments

I’m guessing it only applies to NEW on-goings. It does not apply to one-shots or mini/maxi-series. Plus, they never said that they weren’t going to ban themselves from upping the price of an ongoing from $2.99 to $3.99. This is why people criticize Marvel to no end. DC makes a huge announcement, Marvel responds with a non-announcement and rips on DC for their announcement. Never mind that most new on-goings would already be priced at $2.99 to get more people to try them, unless of course the title has the words “Avengers”, “X-Men”, “Spider-Man”, “Wolverine”, “Deadpool”, etc. on the cover, in which case they’d probably launch it at $2.99, then up the price to $3.99 at a later date. Why? Because Marvel cares about their loyal fans.

Make mine not Marvel.

Let’s be honest, many of Marvel’s recent ongoings have become minis, which gives them the chance to keep the new books at $3.99, and claim that they were always going to be minis…

We should make a statement to Marvel by dropping at least one of their $3.99 titles in January and picking up (at least) 1 of the new $2.99 DC titles. If there was some way to organize it online and do it for a month that far out, retailers wouldn’t be hurt significantly, but Marvel would see a decent sized hit in their January numbers, and ideally, we could get retailers involved and let them know exactly what Marvel for DC trade we’re making, and they could compile it all and send it in to them to show them the exact impact their pricing is having. Too bad too many of us won’t break up a long run of our single issues, and that a lot of the new $2.99 titles from DC aren’t that great. :(

I wouldn’t applaud Marvel yet for some kind of perceived notion that they are slicing titles. January and February are always slower months in terms of output. This isn’t anything new, but rather standard practice. Marvel will raise their output soon enough.

As Arch said – it’s the job of the buyer (and retailers) to support the price decrease otherwise that too will go away. Buy way less Marvel, buy more DC. And not just because of the price – but because a lot of their titles are worth it.

Marvel is pinning down itself with its price point.

The 2.99 price will work to DC’s advantage in the long run. Once their entire publishing line goes digital (which it inevitably will), 2.99 will work well for both digital and print. It will be difficult to justify 3.99 for digital however, and so Marvel may not be as flexible as the competition.

Marvel often says that 3.99 reflects the production values of the product. Agreed. However, the price point also dictates what kind of product they want to have. Collecting comics is a hobby. But with 3.99 it seems like they’ve given up on expanding the market and just milking the current fan base. After all, a 3.99 book selling 70,000 copies will earn more than a 2.99 book selling 90,000 copies. For Marvel, the bottomline is the bottomline, nothing else.

For this collector in particular, I’m down to just three (just from the Avengers line) Marvel titles in January (from a peak of ten). While I haven’t picked up this much DC since the days of Infinite Crisis — about twenty books across various lines.

I love articles like this because they shine a great big spotlight on the business practices of the Big 2. And one of them doesn’t scrub up real well.

When I first saw Marvel’s response to DC’s price announcement, I was hopeful – though somewhat surprised – that they might go some way to matching what their Distinguished Competition were doing. Guess I should have known better though, huh? ;)

This kind of arrogant and stubborn mentality goes a long way towards explaining why I’m currently buying 5 times as many DC books as Marvel.

Also, anyone else worried Invincible Iron Man becomes a $3.99 title after issue 500? I’d put some money on them using this opportunity to do so, and considering it’s a Fraction title, I’ve been really surprised it’s held at $2.99.

It’s not a surprise to me, but it’s not going to make much difference because I’ve always preferred DC to Marvel anyway.

Wow, so Marvel can’t even keep up their weak attempt to save face from the rushed announcement following DC’s bombshell?

Here’s the thing. When I look at my pull list for January and look at how many titles are being affected by DC’s announcement versus Marvel’s announcement, I can tell you which one is going to make a difference and which one is not.

I read 6 DC titles. 2 are currently priced at $3.99. Of those 2, both of them will be $2.99 come January.

I read 14 Marvel titles. 10 are currently priced at $3.99. Of those 10, none of them will be $2.99 come January.

If Marvel was actually giving their readers a financial break, as they say, I’d notice that the Marvel portion of my pull list would decrease in cost. That’s not the case.

Also, I was quite peeved by something that Brevoort said in this interview: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=28921

Around 3:09 he talks about how retailers are saying that customers don’t know what title(s) to buy because there are so many mini-series. He continues, around 4:13, by saying that they will put more focus on the on-goings by putting out more issues per year. This is infuriating, because it proves that Marvel doesn’t care about the readers’ budgets, contradicting what they just said moments prior.

If I’m picking up 14 Marvel on-goings, and 6 of them are coming out twice a month, really I’m buying the equivalent of 20 Marvel titles. When they put out all kinds of mini-series that I may or may not be interested in, at least I can opt out without feeling like I’ve missed something relevant to the title’s continuity.

If this is Marvel’s plan for multiple titles in my pull list, I will be dropping the majority of the Marvel titles I buy in protest, and because I simply cannot afford it. I fail to see how they expect readers to pick up new titles if they’re putting out more issues of on-goings per year, especially if the on-goings are priced at $3.99. They’re already doing this in Incredible Hulk(s), as well as Amazing Spider-Man. Also, no one likes fill-in artists in their on-goings. If they intend to make this a broad policy, there’s no way that artists will be able to keep up the pace, and we’ll see a lot of disjointed on-goings when it comes to artwork.

It will be interesting to hear what kind of spin Marvel try to put on this (assuming that anyone from Marvel has the guts to address the issue). The simple fact is that DC are taking real steps to make their books more affordable while, so far, Marvel are not. As near as I can tell Marvel’s announcement was complete BS and a waste of time. I don’t see what they were hoping to accomplish. It would have been better for them to have done nothing rather than to lie about it. To me it feels like they are daring me to drop their books and I am more than happy to do so.

I really, really hope that DC sees a significant sales spike in January. They are trying to do the right thing but I’m not sure if enough readers will support them.

See, the key behavior this inhibits is sampling new titles.
Simply put, every DC book I buy on a monthly basis is $2.99.
Every Marvel book I buy monthly is $3.99.
I’m pretty much locked into the core titles I follow, so the only buying behavior this effects is something new.

So when my pull is a little light in this week’s shipments, and I’m thinking of padding out my reading time by splurging on ONE new title, or a mini or a one-shot from the stands, which house do you think is going to get my dollar?

Hmm… two unknown books… I can only buy one… and Marvel’s costs $1 more?
Guess I’ll try DC’s.

“If I’m picking up 14 Marvel on-goings, and 6 of them are coming out twice a month, really I’m buying the equivalent of 20 Marvel titles. When they put out all kinds of mini-series that I may or may not be interested in, at least I can opt out without feeling like I’ve missed something relevant to the title’s continuity.

…I fail to see how they expect readers to pick up new titles if they’re putting out more issues of on-goings per year, especially if the on-goings are priced at $3.99. They’re already doing this in Incredible Hulk(s), as well as Amazing Spider-Man.”

Great points, krakka. The twice-monthly, $4 price-tag is basically the only reason I’m not buying ASM and IH at the moment myself. $8 per month commitment just to follow one title? That’s way, way too much to expect of readers. And now it looks like FF might be going to $4 as well (I say ‘might’ because Marvel still haven’t been able to get their solicits for Jan right), so that will probably be another long-term book of mine that goes away. :(

Marvel’s arrogance will catch up to them at some point though. Financially, the price hikes have been successful, but you’ve now got an enraged fan base that no longer discusses solicits for their content, but their pricing. They treat us like drug addicts, but then act totally shocked when we respond like drug addicts who can no longer buy their product. Meanwhile, DC, while garnering all this goodwill for the price drops, can’t completely capitalize on Marvel’s continued gauging because they can’t keep creative teams on schedule. I wanted to pick up Finch’s Dark Knight in January as a means of supporting their actions, but lo and behold, they can’t execute a new book that’s been in the pipeline for a while for 2 consecutive months.

I don’t buy much Marvel…but will be dropping close to half of what I do…keeping the creator owned books…like Millar’s titles. I would add though…why not do a facebook page for a protest against Marvel…having said this I myself have nothing to do with facebook, but have been thinking of starting one to protest the monthly fee to be charged for us comic book reading gamers who wanted to play the DCU on-line—$15 a month means 5 less comics I would buy from them in terms of entertainment dollar. I would be happy to pay any company 3.99 if I knew that extra dollar, at least a large portion of it, went to the creators/writers/artists. Of course it wouldn’t.

It’s more than likely that Marvel’s easing back slowly on the reduced prices for certain books but I’m still unclear about whether it applies to either mini series or just new ongoings.

Still, this type of news report can’t be doing any favors for Marvel for the budget conscious.

Woohoo!! Everything looks great!! January looks like it’s shaping up to be a GREAT month. 2001 looks like a great year so far.

I’m buying and enjoying more Marvel than ever!

I dropped my one DC title because they are lowering page count, something I cannot endorse and vehemently and vocally loathe.

I will gladly pay 3.19 for my titles, not only because I think they are worth it, but because it also keeps my local shop in business.

Shit, sometimes I feel like the only person on the internet who actually likes comics.

I guess what’s funniest about the increase to $3.99 in general is that unless prices have to be raised due to rising costs (which we know from that one Marvel exec’s comments), companies usually weigh customer goodwill against marginal profit whenever discussing price increases. Most of the time, customer goodwill wins out to some degree at least, especially in a competitive environment, which in theory, we have with the comic world. Marvel’s locking in of so much talent though, has robbed us of the opportunity to get our fix of these writers from anyone but them. This is in no way an indictment of writers/artists who got exclusive deals, but Marvel’s move to monopolizing great new talent, while DC pursues people like JT Krul, who is not going to bring droves of attention and fans with him. So basically, Marvel is somehow turning a creative enterprise into a monopoly, and that’s how they’ve driven home these price increases despite our addicts’ cries.

I have a budget. I’ll do whatever I can to get the most bang for my buck. That means MORE DC and LESS MARVEL. I don’t care about the two pages missing from DC and would rather read more books.

Marvel will lose readers while DC will gain. ASM, the way it has been and now wtice a month coasting $3,99, fans will drive away from marvel and that´s why DC is way much better than Marvel creatively and now in prices too.

They are just hiking up the price so everyone will by their shit in the digital format. No more paper, no more print costs. No more MARVEL books for me. I refuse to pay for digital nothingness. And those price tags just promote online theft of their own products. But hey, what do they care, all their money comes from ad revenue. They are just ripping everyone off and killing the business. P.S. They are not alone in this.

Just dropped the overwhelming majority of my Marvel books, but was looking at picking up some more. Now after this, I’ll going to drop more Marvel and add more DC. The decision is simple. Money speaks.

Not only the prices, but truth to tell, DC has been putting out some really strong books as of late…All of the GL title, Flash, most of the Bat books, Doom Patrol, R.E.B.E.L.S., WW, JSA, Power Girl, JL Generations Lost, Brightest Day, and GA have all been really good (IMHO)…

Marvel, the only titles that have really interested me are Increadible Hulks, New Mutants, X-Factor, X-Force, Daredevil, and Amazing Spider-Man (depending on the writer)…

Marvel really need to pick up thier game with quality and prices…

A number One issue isn’t the same as a new title.
Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead #1 (of 5) Anita Blake: Circus of the Damned — The Ingenue #1 (of 5), The Stand: No Man’s Land #1 (of 5), They’re not new titles, just ongoings under the form of sequential minis.
Same for The Thanos Imperative: Devastation #1 which follows from Thanos Imperative.
Daredevil: Reborn #1 (of 4) follows from Daredevil
Ultimate Comics Captain America #1 (of 4) is rather new. So it’s the only one that Marvel need to explain themselves.

Using technicalities like that might be even worse than outright lying.

I’m a bigger Marvel fan than DC. But I believe that’s about to change. DC was willing to listen to the fans and lower their prices across the board because we said it would make a difference. I hope that it does. I’m going to pick up more DC titles for sure. I hope the fans that bitch about prices back DC. Oh yeah, and Marvel’s announcement of lower prices? The ‘we had plans in the works because of the success of the digital market’….I call bullshit. DC just forced their hand is all.

I’m sure Marvel’s inevitable justification is going to be that they were only talking about new ongoing series–and of course they’re not launching any. At least Heroes for Hire dropped to 2.99.

Personally, I wouldn’t be reading any of Marvel’s 3.99 books if they hadn’t been available for direct subscriptions for $19.95 a year (I think it’s up to $21.95 now). I can live with waiting a few extra months to pick them up in used or heavily discounted trades.

It’s too bad, because I would have picked up Ultimate Cap if it was 2.99. Another example: I was going to drop Batman Inc and the new Wolverine: The Best There Is series after their first issues because they were 3.99. Now that Batman Inc is 2.99 in January, I’m going to keep buying it. Wolverine, not so much. Nice work, Marvel.

I hope one of the pages that DC drops is the DC Nation page. Marvel can harp on how DC is dropping two pages to go back to $2.99 but Marvel could easily do that. The recap page, and the last page which shows the next issue’s cover or tells you what else is happening in that title’s universe.

Going to chime in here. I’ve dropped 4 DC books and 5 Marvel books. I had to drop Brightest Day (comes out 2x a month) Superman, Wonder Woman and the Flash. For Marvel I dropped Amazing Spider-Man (2x a month) , Incredible Hulks (2x a month), Thunderbolts, Wolverine, Avengers: Prime, and one more that I can’t remember. That’s 5 books from DC and 7 from Marvel per month. Because Marvel decided to up their prices to $4 a book, DC is only losing $15 from me while Marvel is losing $32.

I didn’t but any of these book lighting (Thunderbolts being the hardest to let go) but I just can’t afford all these books anymore.

Marvel is only hurting themselves with their current business practices. If they want their business to grow, they have to make some changes. I hope they don’t think that milking their current properties dry with film and TV rights is going to sustain them forever. It seems to me they are forgetting their roots now that they are part of Disney and their movies are doing so well.

“I hope one of the pages that DC drops is the DC Nation page. Marvel can harp on how DC is dropping two pages to go back to $2.99 but Marvel could easily do that. The recap page, and the last page which shows the next issue’s cover or tells you what else is happening in that title’s universe.”

While I agree with ditching the DC Nation and next issue cover pages, the recap pages are really nice if you decide to pick up a book at random. It’s something I really wish DC did, as I’m interested in certain series(R.E.B.E.L.S, Booster Gold) but it seems like unless I read the Wikipedia article filled with spoilers(even for other titles) or get all the trades preceding the current issue, I’ll be missing out on a lot of the story.

and then again Marvel still beats DC everytime…. haha. i understand why everyone is getting mad cause its so hard to pick up books now a days but seriously where were all of you when Marvel filed a chapter 11? I mean shit many of you only started pickin up comics or this many comics like a few years back so wid supply and demand up of course price will go up… and secondly didnt Marvel start this whole 3.99 gig.. and did their book sales go down when they were the only doin it? NO… so why be surprised.

@Ben: dude seriously forgetting their roots?!!? hahaha Marvel as always been overpriced for many years i can remember when everyone complained that it became $1.99 vs $1.50/$1.25… theyre a business and business do that i mean shit im mad at the shaved ice truck i go to they raised it $1 cause theyre sooo fuckin good and gettin more customers lmao.

It’s hard to get on Marvel’s side these past few years. I used to read Spider-man until the continuously lied about what was going to be in the book, even though they introduced things like giving SPider-man new powers and everyone know he’s Peter parker, they went out of their way to ignore those things becuase the EIC didn’t want him to be married anymore. He’s unrecognizable to some of us, now. Not a likable character at all.

I’m not a fan of New Avengers. I don’t think it was a great book to begin with, but for years most of the Marvel Universe revolves around it. I think Marvel’s creatively spent after all the stuff they put out a few years ago. They promised things to fans they couldn’t pull off. I don’t understand how someone (like me) who thought Civil War was incredibly terrible am supposed to care about reading a non-Captain America Steve Rogers book.

I think the company is a mess and don’t get how you go from 2.99 to 3.99. I don’t think any price increase has ever lept a dollar even adjusted for inflation.

I think the compan

I haven’t seen anything in the new Marvel solicits that interests me aside from the couple of titles that I already get, so this kind of news isn’t helping any. I already read more DC stuff than I do Marvel, but the joint announcements regarding price cuts made me hope that companies like IDW, Dynamite, or Boom would follow suit, ’cause their books are good but not at all worth the cover price. Marvel is proving to be a disappointment once more.

As it stands, I’m seriously considering dropping comics altogether. I’m burned out on the whole “trade friendly” format as it is.

All I want is to enjoy my hobby without feeling like I’m getting ripped off. Marvel may have more fans than DC at this point but that doesn’t make their actions right. Marvel lied. And no matter how they spin it it will still be a lie. I give credit to DC for being upfront that by holding the line at $3 they would have to drop two pages of story. No hiding it or waiting until Jan to have fans discover this fact. I’m with paulski….I wanted to believe Marvel would do the right thing….

Marvel says they will cut prices in January.
Only cut prices on a few of the books.
Readers bitch about it on internet.
Marvel will still end up having the larger market share after January.

Its hard for me to really blame Marvel when the readers dont want to punish them for their actions. Sure its a dick move but we all know the readers will pick up their stuff anyway.

So, from January solicits there is no Hawkeye / Mockingbird or Black widow… but the widow-maker limited series… so two more excellent series end up of the scrap-heap… barely a few issues in… despite some great reviews / reaction

Re pricing… why on earth did Marvel raise it by a whole DOLLAR… why not 25c or 50c… i mean, how could they have not expected a 30% increase lead to a similar fall in volume..?

Is the over-saturation of Thor, Iron-Man, Cap and Deadpool and Wolvie… bleeding sales from other side titles like Secret Warriors, Agents of Atlas, Herc, Hawk/Mock, Black Widow.. Nova, GotG etc etc… I mean, the diversity of marvels list is concentrating to just a handful of movie-based characters

Where is the commitment to certain lines and characters.. Cosmic, Street-level, Women, Mystical, etc… they have none if the sole determinant is Volume of sales… they just care about money… but we all know ya gotta spend money to make money.. be prepared to take a short-term hit for long-term gain… where is the long term vision?

Why can’t Marvel subsidise a few key titles that they want to make into tv/movies at some stage… say give a commitment to write 100 issues of Ms Marvel – set her up as the Premiere Female… 100 issues of Nova / GotG – as the KEY Cosmic platform… Same with Heroes for Hire (or Iron fist / Cage, whatever) for street level along with Daredevil…. Marvel made MILLIONS from their movies… that was all due to the past impact of their Comics…. why cant a small % of the movie profits be used to secure brands in the market-place.. for further movies / tv?

And now Disney is the owner… why cant they kick in a percentage dedicated to a number of key brands… If fans KNEW we would get 100 issues… we would be more interested in picking it up… atm we know poor advance sales can KILL a series before it is launched… so why bother… and what about the people that ‘trade-wait’… these are deferred sales that will now be missed.

Marvel has had some stellar (lesser light) series in the past 5 years… lotsa critical acclaim, positive fan reaction… we are going through a Global Financial Crisis… recession / depression… of COURSE sales are going to take a hit… but is that the right time to increase prices by 30%..?

I really FEAR for Marvels current business model… I know they were trying to get out of bankruptcy… but now that Disney is on board… that SURELY cant be a factor any more…

Something needs to be done to halt the hemorrhaging sales and still-born launches…. and marvels ‘rivers of movie-gold’ and disneys financial weight are the obvious solution to provide some resuscitation

Not into MARVEL or DC anymore .. price being part of it .. but not all of it. They just aren’t good comics anymore.

The great news is .. IMAGE and others are putting out great comics ..
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As far as this news .. it’s funny .. DC lowers prices and MARVEL says “us too!” .. and then the solicits come out and it’s like “psych! we were just screwing with ya!” hahahaha

Space Rhinoceros

October 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm

This is a major failure on Marvel part.

Not just as a dissapointed fan but in all honesty it’s true.

DC’s logic is good in the idea that cheaper comics means more purchases. If I have more money I definitely want to buy more books.

As of January I’m going almost exclusively DC, from someone who was almost exclusively Marvel and in fact buying almost all of Marvel’s monthly publishing output.

And the thing is DC has paired this announcement with some really excellent creative projects. Many of the Bat books look impressive, the Flash is really good and building, there are a number of top notch vertigo projects.

Marvel meanwhile has been dwindling in creative output. The “Avengers” franchise has been a joke with incredibley meager offerings from Bendis (Isn’t Avengers Prime really stepping on the toes of Gillen’s and also Fractions Thor work?)

I’m making the following changes:

Avengers —-> Detective Comics
New Avengers ———> Batman INC.
Uncanny X-men ——–> Batman the Dark Knight
Incredible Hulks ——–> Action Comics
I’m straight dropping Marvel “Event” books and all similar minis, as in not picking up anything new (Widow Maker, Carnage, Astonishing line)

There are a lot of other DC titles I will be picking up though, Batwoman, Flashpoint, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, as well as continuing Batman and Robin with the new creative direction.

And in all honest Marvel is making this a REALLY EASY decision for me. When I started reading comic books I was a diehard Marvelite but I’ve become less and less interested in recent years, the Heroic Age has lacked a momentum and now seeing the price discrepancy it’s made want to make a (mostly) clean break.

I’m also going to be picking up more from Oni and Darkhorse.

I guess I should thank Marvel for helping ween me off their books.

After reading this article and everyone’s comment, i am so happy that everyone feels and is responding the same way i am towards marvel. I love my x men and i love my avengers, but i just cant afford them anymore. I agree that so many great titles like BlackWidow and Hawkeye are getting canceled when we are slammed with all these spidey, iron man and wolverine titles etc. I love Marvel comics, but i think im starting to love DC more and its not only because of the of the 2.99 cut, its because they actually care about their fans. They are actually putting out some great books,and right now im buying more dc then marvel, and marvel is still the one that im ditching out more money for! I really love marvel, but i find myself moving more towards DC and enjoy their books more.

knightoftomorrow

October 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Well, I wouldn’t be getting any of those new titles at $3.99, regardless of the price. None of those really interest me. I might pick up Wolverine & Jubilee and Magneto, because they sound interesting and they’re at that lower price point. I don’t know that I would think about picking them up at the higher price point.

I really wanted to get Ultimate Cap but after this news no more Marvel for me. After the current minis that I follow wrap I’ll be completely switched over to Marvel. It’s a shame because I’ve been collecting Cap for about 20 years. No hard feelings towards Marvel or anything comics is a business after all but I simply have no choice. I just can’t justify taking up that much of me and my family’s resources

I’ll be upfront about this…. I’m a fan of the titles that Marvel puts out. I rarely pick up DC titles, unless they’re big event ones ala Blackest Night, (not Brightest Day, because I don’t think I need a fortnightly hit of any comic…)

But this whole thing annoys me, because:
1) They (Marvel) raised the price of comics by a whole dollar, and said it was because of production and production values…. I would have believed this point, if something did change, other than throwing throwaway back up stories, of characters I could care less about. (Female Heroes Reborn) Nomad ring any bells? How’s about take those crappy back up stories, and reduce the price back to what it was.
2) As many people have posted, this was a whole non-announcement. So they’re bringing back the price point on comics that we want people to give a go, but they’ll keep the prices where they are at with the one’s that we’re reading right now…. okay, milk your current customers and try to attract new ones. “Out with the old, and in the with new” approach aye?
3) They’ve got me by the b@lls, because I like Marvel characters. I’m not going to deflect to DC, because I generally am not excited about DC characters. Not a slight on DC, just not my cup of tea. I gave Birds Of Prey a go, but then they go ahead and take Ed Benes off after 3 issues? I mean seriously? (The fourth issue wasn’t even completely illustrated by him!) I’m actually surprised that many of you can deflect so easily to DC; I’ll just be buying less of Marvel…

I wish I wasn’t apart of all of this, but I’m am, and I’m part of the problem.
I wished that creator owned books got more press, like Millarworld titles, without having to resort going to the Big 2.
I don’t condone digital comics, because really, I know it’s great to get the story at supposedly cheaper price, but the whole “collectable”, and “in-hands” aspect dies with it. I suppose it’ll be just a case of time, and then don’t be surprised when digital piracy of comics will kick off (if it hasn’t already). You want to drive people away from an expensive art form; then publishing companies can expect the customers to reap the “benefits” as well.

Yeah, I gave up Marvel cold turkey nearly a year ago. Most of the titles I had been reading and looking forward to were cancelled, and 1 of the few that remained, Black Panther, was going to be essentially cancelled and re-launched as the Event Doomwar so Marvel could charge 3.99 per issue.
I noticed they did this as well with Ghost Rider, Moon Knight & Iron Fist.
Raising the prices on mainstays like X-Men, Spider-Man, & the Avengers “simply b/c they could” was one thing, in my opinion, doing this shady little switcheroo on their non-cancelled titles took it to a whole other level.

I got into comics as an X-Zombie and never as much as touched a DC book until after a 5-year hiatus when Civil War brought me back into the fold. I very quickly became exhausted with Event Fatigue and began reaching outside of Marvel to find some entertaining comics worth my time & $.

I was just about to lift my personal 1-year protest b/c of Abnett & Lanning’s Heroes 4 Hire, but this latest round of news really makes me question if it’s worth it.

i agree with dacl

Marvel will continue to be number until people actually do something about it. Prove it with your demand and purchases. If i were Marvel. i’d keep the prices, because they are constantly 5-10 percentages higher than DC. It makes financial sense.

Lets be honest. I like marvels books overal as much of the next guy….
but even 2.99—YES i said 2.99…is TOOOOOO much for a measly 22 page “CHAPETER” of a drawn out story .

Marvel will F**K you right in your @$$ raw style..because you can & WILL let them to.
NOTHING….. ABSOLUTLY NOTHING will deter Marvels buisness plan.
Yknow why??
Because they have DEEP pockets and massive merchandice deals on a global scale.

DC on the other had is a completely mismanaged retarded wannabe that cant get its books or movies in coherent shape for a demanding public.

I say let MARVEL raise the price to $5 a book. and make them 17 page stories out of a 32 page comic.

I read the trades at the bookstore and sample literaly EVERYTHING on the internet.
SO i get my fix for free and buy random stuff here and there.

Raise the price Marvel. You have a legion of fools who WILL buy it all.
DC can drop it to 3 bucks (still way too high) and pump out 40 BATMAN titles a month.

Children read Marvel & DC. Ive grown up and read DARK HORSE, IDW, DYNAMITE , IMAGE ect. its in those titles that you have passionate creators –NOT a commitee on recycling superhero ideas.

This is quite the disappointing news, especially since Marvel had mislead the comic book audience by making a big PR announcement about cutting prices in January.

I guess we should have seen it coming, especially since Marvel was essentially piggybacking DC’s bold decision to reduce their ENTIRE line back down to 2.99 with the vague assertion that no “new” titles would be placed at 3.99.

This is a real shame personally for me since I was just getting back into monthly comics and had nothing but good things about a bunch of Marvel titles. I even ordered quite a few of the new titles coming out in October and November through DCBS just to try them out. When I heard Marvel were reducing their prices in January, I was all ready to try out even more titles with the money I’d be saving from their price reduction.

I’ll definitely be voting with my wallet. I’ll be trying out some DC titles instead of Marvel titles. Anyone who is bitching about this price-cut debacle should be doing the same. Maybe not with DC titles, but with other non-Marvel titles.

Marvel doesn’t have to drop their comics to $3.99. Why? Cause people will still buy their comics even with the $3.99 price tag and still remain #1 comics publisher. If people are going to drop comics, they will drop it altogether instead of defecting to DC because most of their comics are in the gutter.

The X-men titles interest me, but that’s about it for marvel anymore.

Several years ago, I recall a comment made I beleave by former Disney boss Eisner, that the admission prices to disneyworld would continue to be raised,until attendence fell. Seems that that standerd is now marvels,and Im also considering cutting back some.Have quit wolverine, Its funny, but there was a time when a book that sold 400,000 copies per issue got the axe. today,100,000 per issue is considered a good seller.Inasmuch as comic prices have doubled or more every 10 years from 1961 on, I expect a year from now to hear of the 4.50 book.

Use to be a huge Marvel guy, but I been strictly DC. I been having so much fun in the DCU that I never looked back, and getting those titles a dollar less make me love DC even more. Between the Johns, Morrisons and JMS stuff it has been a blast. Keep it up DC.

Someone already mentioned this but for me the $3.99 price really highlighted how little bang we get for our buck. If you’re just getting one part of a 6 part story, and that one part is extremely decompressed, it’s not great value. I would be slightly more willing to pay more if I felt that Marvel were cramming as much story as possible into each issue rather than the typical Bendis talkfest were very little happens and characters spend pages spouting “witty” dialog. If anything issues that are written for the trade should be cheaper, not more expensive.

I’m a diehard Marvel fan but I’m going to be taking a very hard look at my pull list and I’ll be making some deep cuts. Conversely, DC are making it very easy for me to try their books so I’ll be buying more from them. I just hope enough readers do the same to make an impact.

To be honest, I was looking for a lot of new Marvel $2.99 comic books in January. Alas, it’s the contrary…

I have mostly appreciate the prices drop of DC Comics! Now, I can add more DC Comics to my monthly list or try new Indy titles listed at $3.50-$3.99.

In all the ways, my monthly invoice has well dropped in January!!!! Cheers!!!!

I didn’t expect much after Marvel’s initial announcement and they didn’t dissapoint me as far as this is concerned. I got nothing out of their January solicitations. Nothing I buy will be any cheaper, two series I like H&M and Black Widow are turned into a more expensive miniseries, some fringe titles start at 2,99-
On the other hand more and more books are changing to 3,99- each month, either by just rising the price or by canceling the book and replacing it with more expensive miniseries or new series.
Since the price hike I already dropped Uncanny, so I’m only buying X-Factor, New Mutants and X-Men Legacy out of all the X-books. And I will drop every one of them when they rise to 3,99-, not even Peter David can make me pay 3,99- for a regular title by one of the Big Two.
I’m only reading Avengers Academy out of all the Avengers titles, for the same reason.

I’m not saying DC doesn’t have problems, I think a lot of their titles are pretty weak at the moment (JSA, JLA, Titans etc..), but it certainly seems like they give more thought to their pricing politics. And they don’t seem to want to break their readers back, financially.
So, when Marc Guggenheim’s run on JSA starts, I’ll be picking it up again and come January, I’ll certainly order 1-3 DC titles more, titles I properly wouldn’t have bought for 3,99-

I’ve never understood the all of one company, none of the other mentality.

Sure I have a preference, but there have been times when my buying patterns have shifted to the point that I was buying more of the other company than my “preferred” company because at that time I was liking their comics more even though I liked the other universe better.

Now, my preferred company is DC, but I do like some Marvel a lot. Unfortunately, they keep canceling most of the books I do like (or changing them to something I don’t) and then raising the price. It keeps me away from most Marvel these days.

I was hoping the so-called drops would make a good jumping on place for some of their books; but it didn’t happen.

I’ll stick with DC, and their attitude toward their fans makes me glad I’ve made that decision. I don’t like a lot of Marvel’s behavior, so I’m perfectly happy not to be supporting it with their dollars.

On a tangent, I wonder if the people who don’t mind $3.99 comics are older or younger fans? I’ve been a fan for long enough that I was buying comics at twenty cents each; needless to say, that cemented the idea that comics are cheap. But what about those who got into the hobby when comics weren’t so cheap? Do they have less price sensitivity because comics have never been cheap for them? Comics used to be two chocolate bars or a fifth of a paperback to me – now they’re about three or four chocolate bars or half a paperback.

Food for thought.

I’d be happy if Marvel adopted + combined both DC’s and Image Comic’s pricing ethics

20 pages of content = $2.99
22 pages of content = $3.50

The whole $1.00 price jump was always a stupid idea, clearly unrelated to costs/inflation, and although a lot of idiotic fans were happy to take it in the butt for, I’m glad that despite this fact the move is finally backfiring on these greedy arseholes.

As for the $4.50 book, Marvel tried it with this week’s Punisher one shot for $4.99. Needless to say that comic went right back on the shelf. Marvel needs to cultivate new readers to continue the comic side of their business. The comic reading population is a very finite number, and I don’t see increasing numbers any time soon. Continually price gouging dedicated readers is not the most business savvy decision. But as one other poster mentioned, it’s all about the business/bottom line.

I also lament the loss of some great titles, even though the #’s of said books were not the most spectacular. AoA, Iron Fist, GotG to name a few. I hope Marvel decides to quickly end Heroic Age, go through another reboot with all the titles and bring back decent stories/artwork.

Does anyone actually pay $3.99 or even $2.99 for a comic? If so, you need to take a look at DCBS or another online service. I don’t think I’ve ever paid over $3 for a 22 page comic. You’re an idiot if you do.

It’s always laughable to read these talk backs. Marvel was number one in sales last month and they will be again next month. Why? Because DC’s product sucks for the most part. At a dollar cheaper than Marvel, it still sucks. Everyone knows it and has known it for years. Marvel knows it doesn’t need to lower prices. All the bitching and whining and threatening on the internet doesn’t amount to $hit in the real world. You still buy it over DC and always will. Rant on morons…..

Hey MARVEL!

I am NOT buying any of your BS 3.99 titles. NONE. No minis, no Crossovers, NONE.

You make more selling Spider-man underwear than you do selling Spider-man comics. ENOUGH! Stop raping your customers. We, the hardcore fans, drive the hype machine that allows you to make MILLIONS on your movies and merch.

IT IS STUPID to try to make another 25K on your monthlies. IT IS NOTHING compared to what you make on the films. It’s cheaper to buy back issues, and when I need a Spidey or Hulk fix, that’s what I’ll do. 3.99 for Ultimate Spidey, NO THANKS!

Hey Bob L,
You calling us morons certainly is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Yes we do get discounts, but that doesn’t change the fact that the 3,99- books are more expensive.

And I could name about 10-20 DC books that are on the same level as Marvel’s best books and in some cases even better.

Guess I’ll be trimming more Marvel titles off my pull list. Price will certainly keep me from trying new titles as well.

They still lead and DC hasn’t massively changed the title lineup in terms of content or characters for that matter. Knocking off a buck isn’t going to bring thousands to you’re cause if the stories don’t improve. “War of the Green Lanterns” doesn’t automatically equal success either. Brightest Day sales are flat. They would be wise to structure this event like Blackest Night since it was a huge. Marvel probably has something similarly planned to bring up sales with something bigger than the Daredevil-centeric focused Shadowland B-lister fest or Chaos War featuring a bunch of characters the casual comic fan has never heard of.

Brightest Day sales are flat???

You do realize that two issues of Brightest Day took the number one and two spots on the Top 300 list recently, right? Over all the Avengers titles.

It wasn’t that long ago that Marvel was filing for bankruptcy. They need to remember who it was that ultimately bailed them out. Charging me $4 for a comic is the exact opposite of a thank you.

I’m personally loving the Nemesis HC for $24.99. So, uh… it’s $6.25 an issue then since it’s only a 4-issue series? Hmm… no thanks. And they wonder why more and more people are illegally downloading these things.

Marvel is listening to their fans…. and their fans are saying we’ll pay whatever for a popular book. So don’t hate on Marvel like they are the Yankees. It’s business, not personal. Come Jan., Feb. and March of 2011, nothing will change. Marvel will still be on top and DC will still be #2. Marvel knows the internet isn’t as big a fan indicator as sales. Granted I drop ever book once it hits 3.99 because to me, it’s not worth it. But I don’t discount the fans out there that are willing to pay more for what they think is a good comic. Heck, I think Marvel should raise prices again to take advantage of them.

Even if I end up not buying anymore Marvel comics (and I’m down from 12 to 2), I applaud them for getting as much as they can from their fans… it’s smart business. I’m sure they feel digital is the future and that’s where they’ll grow new fans. So I don’t fault them for bending their current fans over… cause if you continue to buy 3.99 comics, what you say here or in the comic shop doesn’t mean cuss.

There are a lot of great points made in the comments section here. I echo them. Marvel editorial is not in charge of pricing so I would not aim negativity in that direction. That is just shooting the messengers. However, Marvel is definitely going headfirst into a financial trainwreck (again). I hope they soon realize what a great job they’ve done of breaking decades-old buying habits.

For example, I don’t even read CAPTAIN AMERICA but I thought “hey, they’re making Baron Zemo a bad guy again. Cool. I’ll check that story out next week.” then I saw the pricing. “Uh no.” And that was that.

Btw, while DC does deserve kudos for rolling prices back I think they had more immediate incentive to do so than Marvel. Keep in mind that most DC titles sell poorly so they cannot afford to lose the completionists, and in my opinion, while the Marvel Universe is stuck in a miasma of line-wide “themes,” DC titles, creatively, are no better (maybe even worse); while dropping prices is great I still will not buy certain DC titles until I know that they are willing to commit to a creative team and direction.

Peter Morningstar

October 22, 2010 at 8:12 am

Okay, let’s get to the point!
1. Complain and raise issues all you want about Marvel’s pricing policy online, but you won’t make a scrap of difference.
2. Comparing DC policy and comics to Marvel, won’t make a difference either.
3. If you care and want to make a difference, stop buying. JUST STOP BUYING MARVEL! Yes it may be hard, yes it may hurt you because you like the characters, but it’ll hurt them more.
4. The only way anyone will make a difference is to seriously stop buying Marvel product, this isn’t a case of…’Hey i’m going to buy DC instead!’, that won’t make a difference, just stop buying Marvel.
5. Have the guts to stick with your decision, and encourage others to do the same.
6. Ignore crap from the likes of Breevort, Alonso and especially Quesada, imho they’re nothing but b*llsh*t artists, they’re company men, employed by a company to sell company product by anyways possible, and if that means lying thru their teeth then go read past interviews and current, and decide for yourselves how straight these guys are.
7. Retailers are getting stuck with books, Diamond are spouting crap each month about sales figures, Diamond figures are copies put thru to the retailers, they are not sales as they like to say, in recent months Diamond have done 2 for 1 offers on orders for the new X-Man book, the new Wolverine book, the new Uncanny X-Force book, this is a policy where if the retailer ordered a specific number of copies they got the same number free, so if you ordered 20 bboks, you got 20 copies free, making 40 in total, this is why sales figures for issue #2 of these books halved, because Diamond support and figure modification dropped off.
Simply put, false economy people.
8. Those books retailers can’t sell, wait a couple of months, when retailers discout excess stock, buy then.
9. Don’t just say you’ll do something, actually do it, because it’s the only way you’re going to make a difference, seriously!

LOL@ Marvel

So, I am the only person who likes Marvel comics on CBR? Cool, I always wanted to be special.

i haven’t read a mrvel comic for 4 yrs now. Why? Marvel comics has a simple formula that gets really old really fast. Somebody dies, somebody comes back. somebody takes up a mantle, somebody comes out of the closet, a defining choice is made, a big event happens that crosses over into many stories. teams are disbanded, teams are reformed, Some heroes get new outfits, some stories get put on hold for an indefinite time and here and there prices get amped. I am done with Marvel.

I know Marvel is part of Disney and that will extend Marvels life expentancy from a few years. BUT really if it weren’t for Disney. Marvel would’ve been bankrupt in the long run. If readers can’t sample new comics in the end they walk away. I don’t believe a comicbook reader quits reading comics. I believe they quit getting comics from a certain publisher.

DC isn’t any better either. They kept the prices at 2.99. But in the end. DC is exactly the same as Marvel. They act in the same manor. They have the exact same formula. They announce when marvel announces. Marvel was bought by Disney and the next day DC screamed they were part of Warner Bros. Like we didn’t know that for years now. It’s as if they don’t even try to be better.

I am not into DC either. If I can’t stand one fake why bother with a copycat.

I do still read comics though. But no more will spend another buck on Marvel or DC. No more will I look back on the comics they have printed. There are so many publishing companies out there. Radical, Dynamite, Image, IDW, ATLAS (is back)

Ultimate Spider-Man went back to being a $4 in January too.

And I was going to pick it up again in December as it was a 2.99 book.

Way to shoot yourself int he foot, Marvel.

Egg meets face.

Apparently quotations from Marvel executives and managers have an implied asterisk next to them and require reading of the fine print.

Way to be straightforward and frank, Marvel. Your promises rank right there on the credibility scale as those of politicians and used car salesmen.

happycomicreader464646

October 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

here’s how to make a statement:: buy green lantern(2.99) flash etc. DOWNLOAD all avengers books, captain america etc, wen day notic sales dipping/plumeting, juss watch the slashing.

or lawsuits?

It is interesting that the big 2 concluded that if they had to break the $3 barrier then they might as well go to $3.99. If $2.99 is honestly not sustainable why did they not institute a smaller across the board increase? Does $2.99 really mean anything when they are really not trying to sell you one book, but hope you are buying a stack of comics on each purchase? The logical increase would be $3.25, but if need be would a comic priced at say $3.10 be so strange?

I think Marvel will eventually follow suit with the rollback then look at smaller increases when the time comes.

I say if you have to drop a marvel book you enjoy because of the 3.99 price tag,the least you could do is take the time to email the artist/writer and let them know they do a great job, but at that price you simpley can’t afford it.

“here’s how to make a statement:: buy green lantern(2.99) flash etc. DOWNLOAD all avengers books, captain america etc, wen day notic sales dipping/plumeting, juss watch the slashing.”

How would buying sub par DC comics help?

^ Ha!

This is fun to watch.

I think they should raise the price to 4.99 then the fans I find least desirable will go away.

Are you hoping they leave the store, or are you hoping they leave the internet. Because if we have learned anything, people will not buy a product, then complain how much it is anyway.

I really don’t have a stance on this issue because of the 6 Marvel titles I collect monthly (outside of miniseries and such) only half of them are $3.99. Though for the life of me I don’t know why.
Thor just doesn’t need to be. It’s a great book (even with the new artist foolishly drawing Thor to look like the actor in the stupid upcoming movie)
Avengers just doesn’t need that price point OR the ‘oral history of the Avengers’ back up that I have never even looked at.
Amazing Spider-Man should just go bi-weekly, drop the page count to normal and be $2.99.

Deadpool, Fantastic Four and Thor The Mighty Avenger have it right.

I don’t think I would have too much of an issue with the books being $4, if the Marvel higher ups haven’t made themselves look like asses over the pricing issue….You have one exec saying the priices were raised because they could, and then after DC makes the price drop official, another Marvel exec barks about how DC is dropping two pages, which hurts the artists….

Marvel, grow a pair, and do the right thing…It’s obvious the fans demand it!

spardyman
October 22, 2010 at 10:34 am
I say if you have to drop a marvel book you enjoy because of the 3.99 price tag,the least you could do is take the time to email the artist/writer and let them know they do a great job, but at that price you simpley can’t afford it.

I like this idea but I have no idea what the email address would be for Fraction & Brubaker…..

Marvel puts out high priced books because a majority of you will pick them up. It’s pretty obvious

I’ll pick up the titles I like but if they start being shit then I drop them easy solution

Bob L.

Buying sub-par DC comics title would help by exposing readers to something better than most Marvel titles. :)

^Aw, snap!

Corporate Dumby

October 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I drink Coke, not Pepsi.

^Damn son, you tell it!

I see the similarities in argument of company vs. company, but I feel it is completely different because of the creative aspects of comic book storytelling.

But me too, Pepsi sucks.

No smug, condescending tweets from Tom Brevoort?

This sucks. But considering how much higher the quality of Marvel books are over DC, I can learn to live.

^Found another one! Sound the trumpets!

I like Marvel and I’m the one who wrote the article, Don! I like DC too, though, so maybe I don’t count.

I’m sure there are folks around here who like Marvel Comics! I have no doubt. But it seems to be a more theory than practice thing going on. We like the characters, not the stories currently being told.

I like the stories, the characters, the writers, the artists, the editors, the whole shebang!

People keep calling me unintelligent for liking a Bendis comic or a Fraction Uncanny X-Men story. (Not me personally, but people who read Bendis comics)

But damn, I think the comics I buy are worth 3.99! When I stop feeling that way, I stop buying them. The comics I buy are 2.99, I think they are worth 2.99. When I stop feeling this way, I stop buying them.

If a comic isn’t worth 2.99, 3.50, or 3.99 or even 4.99, simply put it back. In six to nine months, your retailer will adjust his or her numbers accordingly and Marvel will learn.

So far, Marvel has learned that people will continue to buy comics at 3.99.

People keep expecting change to happen overnight and it won’t. Almost eighteen monts from the price increase and no numbers are way down. And that may not have anything to do with the price increase.

If 3.99 works for Marvel, why would they change it?

One thing that doesn’t really get mentioned in these price discussions is that nobody needs to pay cover price for any new comics. There are several discount online ordering services for new comics, several online retailers that sell back issues for below cover price, and several online booksellers that offer TPBs for below cover price. Add in event sales from web retailers (like last month’s TFAW sale), and there is no reason for anyone in the U.S. to pay anything close to full price anymore.

You know what, I’ve heard that there’s no appreciable difference between newsprint and the glossy paper and I have to tell you, that’s gotta be a pack of bullshit. I remember the day that Uncanny X-Men came out in two editions in the 1990s with one at $1.50 and the other at $1.95 because of the glossy paper. Fast forward to these days, we’ve got people self-publishing newspapers like Gabe Fowler of Desert Island Comics (the paper is called “Smoke Signals”) and just giving them away. Sure, it costs him money, but notice how he doesn’t give away a glossy magazine.

Increase price by cost of printing tens of thousands rather than one thousand. Increase by the cost of a single glossy sheet (the cover that goes on top of the newsprint. Still, I strongly suspect that every person who shouts down newsprint as a nonviable option as a god-damned liar.

Comic books are worth two bucks per issue. Not one cent more. That’s the true mark. Companies, figure it out or tell your story walking.

psykomyko-

People do mention the discounts they receive, but then go on to say that it’s still more than they want to spend.

I pay 2.39 for a 2.99 comic and 3.19 for a 3.99. It’s a 20% discount.

People say something like- “It’s still a dollar more!” Or something with better math and logic.

You’re right, Don – I missed a couple mentions of DCBS and whatnot.

My greater point is that there are ways to get big discounts without having to plan one’s life around being at the comics store every Wednesday before the good stuff is gone. :)

More and more of my comics budget has shifted to DCBS, TFAW, Lone Star, and Amazon (among others). I’ve been able to get a lot more for my money than when I was getting a 0-20% discount off new cover price from a local store.

I think comics retailers are, unfortunately, going to have to work harder than ever to keep their business. And it’s a problem that Diamond and publishers aren’t doing enough to help them:
– My local comic shop (the only one in the entire county) gets screwed by Diamond all the time – just this week, half of their order was damaged; a couple months ago, Diamond missed entire pages of their order and sold out of books they should have processed. I’ve encouraged the owner to look into other distributors (like Haven and Baker & Taylor), but he’s worried about shrinking his Diamond discount.
– Up Up and Away in Cincinnati got great sales and publicity for their Superman #703 event without any help from DC. They had to go to extraordinary lengths to boost sales for a single book out of a stack that came out in a single week; there’s no way they could put in the effort to do this for every worthy book every week.

I want to support the independent, brick-and-mortar comics retailers, but too many of them have way too many problems right now to give the customer (me) what he wants at the right price. I need to put my money where I’m going to get the most for it.

I agree. I order a few books from some online stores, mostly mycomicshop.com. Mostly I sold them some back issues of Green Lantern and other DC boosk i realized I no longer wanted and got a shitton of books I did.

I love the personal interaction of getting my books from my local shop. My area, baltimore, has about eight to ten shops in the city/county area. I can spit on Diamond Distributors on my way to pick up my books. And they might need it, they can barely afford their rent. They keep shorting the orders for my store and yes, things arrive damaged.

But I love going to my local shop and shooting the shit. It’s the best part of my week. Especially since Randy doesn’t read any of the websites and I usually let him know what is going on in the comics world.

That’s why I’ll never switch to digital or buying completely online. I love going to the store.

Plus! With online subs, I’d have to wait to get my books. If I can get something on wednesday, I’m going to get it on wednesday, not when ever it comes in the mail.

True – ordering online does have a wait time. If retailers can convince enough customers that the comic-shop experience is worth the price and effort, they can stay in business. (I myself will always make some time for the comic shop to check out stuff I wouldn’t otherwise look at, and hunt for cool old stuff.) I wish them luck!

Shame on Marvel, they don’t keep their words. But I guess that their sales won’t be affected, though.

On a side note, why is that Marvel fans tend to look down on DC books? And I don’t agree if the argument is because of the story/art quality sucks. There are some strong titles on DC that is consistently a great read. Oh well, it’s your loss if you are being narrow-minded and look down on “Distinguished Competition.”

For me, I can barely find these “great reads.” And I have tried. It has nothing to do with company. I’m reading Morrison’s Batman. It’s great.

People said, “Read REBELS!” So, I did. It’s not great.

People said, “Read GL!” I did. It’s as good as REBELS, perhaps less so.

I’ve tried, but can’t seem to find the books people say are consistently great reads.

It’s coincidence my favorite books come from Marvel. Because my favorite heroes come from DC.

I agree that Morrison’s Batman is great, it’s one of the best currently. Gail Simone’s Secret Six, Judd Winick and Keith Giffen’s JL Generation Lost, Geoff John’s The Flash, are also great, to name some.

Secret six has failed to evolve past its original six issues, just running over the same plot cliches of collected villains over and over again.I’m not in the mood for a biweekly book in Lost. And I really have not enjoyed the writing on Flash. I didn’t want the return of Barry Allen and didn’t enjoy the first three issues I read or much else from Johns since 2003.

i dont care what the prices are, dc just doesnt do it for me. i wouldnt buy a booster gold comic if it were $1.00 and had a major revolution about the future of the entire DC line! yes, i would rather read about wolverine, spiderman, the avengers, etc, who sometimes go through slight changes, sometimes drastic changes, but at the core, they’re still doing what they do. not walking across the US to reconnect to the people, or travelling through time to come back to life while at the same time recreating yourself so that when you get back to normal time you’re an even bigger legend. every event dc has, they end up killing 3-10 characters, only to have half of them, if not more, come back at the very next event! as far as we know, jean grey is STILL dead and that impact is better than dying, coming back slightly changed, dies again a year later, and comes back slightly changed. believe me, i TRIED hard to like dc. i jumped onboard when supes died, then felt gyped that he came back like 3 months later. i jumped on again during the tower of babel JLA adventure. read off and on all over the place with superman and batman titles whenever they got interesting. Our worlds at war was good to a point. emperor joker was cool. but then came the 1 event that has defined DC since its inception: Identity Crisis. great story, but when so many titles from dc are based on that 1 event, its just kinda sad. i even jumped on the gl with the sinestro war and the blackest night. but it ended so badly (imo) that i cant even bring myself to read brightest day. over the past 2 years, i’ve been dropping dc titles left and right. i’m down to just batman and robin. so no, dc, u keep droppin those prices down, and soon as this current batman and robin story arc is over, i’ll be dropping that title too.

Pleasing to see that it actually took a while before the conversation deteriorated and the ‘DC’s comics suck’ comments started popping up. Until then, I was quite enjoying all the intelligent points being made, and the fact that the majority of readers out there are genuinely disappointed by Marvel’s pricing structure.

Because you’d have to be ‘an idiot’ or a ‘moron’ not to realise that not everyone has the capability to get their comics at cheaper than cover price. Especially those of us outside America paying close to double, regardless of exchange rates.

And Don, I don’t agree with what you think of some of DC’s titles, but at least you’re open-minded enough to try them, so kudos for that.

paulski,

I’m guessing the anger I perceive in your post is due to your lack of access to cheap comics where you live?

I said in my first post on discounts that there is no reason for anyone in the *U.S.* to pay anything close to full price anymore. Unless somebody doesn’t have internet access or a credit card, they have options here.

As far as people outside America, I’m sure it would be interesting and enlightening to hear from people like you about their access to new comics and the prices they are willing to pay. I think that a lot of online sellers would be willing to ship internationally, but I don’t know if the shipping rates would wipe out the discounts they offer.

No need to call anyone names (except maybe Marvel for misleading their readers again)…

psykomyko, my comment wasn’t directed towards you. Sorry if you thought that was the case.

People who bring up discounts are being pretty ignorant, as if the discount wouldn’t exist if the cover price was lower anyway

And not every LCS offers discount, and a lot of fans want to support their local LCS because of A) the times we’re in, and B) you get a better browsing experience at an actual store

I buy my comics in a UK Forbidden Planet shop where I probably pay more than ANY of you for imported Marvel and DC titles

$2.99 – £2.30
$3.99 – £3.15

Which for you guys would be:

£2.30 – $3.61
£3.15 – $4.95

This is why I don’t buy any Marvel books anymore, despite being a longtime Spidey/Daredevil/Avengers fan.

And for the record DC are putting out some f’ing good quality comics today. Morrison on Batman, JMS on Superman and Johns on Flash to name a few, and not counting all the great stuff Vertigo put out (Which will always own over anything from MAX/Icon)

paulski – no problem, just trying to stimulate discussion and learn how it is for non-U.S. comics buyers.

BlueSpider – Nice of you to share what it costs you to buy new comics in the UK. No need to call us “ignorant” for trying to help folks find ways to save money in a tough economy.

And just to share the Australian experience with some of you:

We usually have to pay pretty close to double cover price for our comics. For me, depending on which shop I go to, it’s $5 or $5.50 for a $2.99 comic and $7.00 or $7.50 for one priced at $3.99. Even with our dollar being much stronger than it has been, retailers can’t afford to drop prices too much because of other overheads like their hefty shipping costs, which is understandable.

So, seeing as how it’s basically an extra $2 now for most Marvel titles (as opposed to DC), it’s becoming a much more easy choice if I’m thinking of buying a new book.

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