Robot 6

SDCC ’11 | Marvel’s Spider-Man, X-Men comics to go same-day digital

The Amazing Spider-Man #666

By the end of the year, Marvel’s major Spider-Man and X-Men titles will be available in digital form the same day print copies are released in stores ICv2.com reports.

The announcement was made Thursday at Comic-Con International at the “Marvel Digital: What’s Next Panel,” where Senior Vice President of Publishing David Gabriel revealed the process will begin next week with The Amazing Spider-Man #666 and the “Spider-Island” storyline that follows. (The news and analysis site notes that, interestingly, ASM #666 boasts the retailer-specific “Comic Shop Variant” covers.)

The same-day digital roll-out will continue with the X-Men books in October and November, beginning with the launch of the newly split Wolverine & the X-Men and Uncanny X-Men. Gabriel reportedly indicated that Marvel would move to same-day digital release with other titles when there’s a convenient jumping-on point for readers, such as a new storyline or a No. 1 issue.

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16 Comments

Unless Marvel drops its online prices, here’s where “Drawing the line at $2.99″ might pay dividends for DC.

Anyone know whether these will be day-and-date on Comixology or the Marvel subscription service, or both?

Its kind of funny that Quesada criticized DC for making their books same-day digital, and now he’s test-driving the same thing with two of Marvel’s flagship titles.

R.I.P LCS. DC started the nail in the coffin and now marvel is going to finish it.

@Russ: “Anyone know whether these will be day-and-date on Comixology or the Marvel subscription service, or both?”

I would assume Comixology only. The Marvel subscription thingie is, what, $10 a month (less if you pay annually?) That would be way too good of a deal.

I like that Marvel is making moves toward same-day digital, but so long as their only non-subscription offerings are iOS-only, it’s hard to take them seriously. Comixology already has Android apps and a web interface — use them!

@Reth

Marvel’s been testing same day digital with Ultimate Spider-man I think.

The key to this strategy will be the pricing though. Keep the monthly subscriptions I say. They can even break it down into tiers. If you want to own the book you can pay cover price (or reduced cover price). A $10 unlimited subscription wouldn’t fly. They and retailers would be losing money.

Oh and Marvel’s going to need to get on advertising if they plan on making it worthwhile for anyone who doesn’t already frequent comic book message boards.

I don’t think many LCS will be hurting unless Marvel and DC drop their prices on digital content. The core audience wants their books day of and they aren’t going to pay the same price for digital that the physical is set at. In this case, people are going to continue downloading for free and Marvel and DC’s sales will continue to plummet. They really need to make their digital product priced adequately.

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Marvel digital comics aren’t available just on iOS. You can buy them at http://chrome.marvel.com/ . I expect they’ll show up on Android eventually, but it appears they’re looking to cut ComiXology out of the equation there, to get a bigger cut of the money.

So is Amazing Spider-man #666 a good jumping on point?

I love buying .99 comics on my iPad2. I love buying X-Men comics, but haven’t bought print since I bought a house. The collection just takes up to much space. I won’t buy X-Men comics for 2.99 to 4.99 on my ereader.

Marvel’s problem is, with my consumer habits, since they don’t have X-Men stuff available at .99 I’ve just started reading other comics.

I’ve got nearly all of Green Lantern and all of Planetary as a couple of examples, all at .99 cent. I want to be brand loyal, I really do. It just doesn’t make financial sense for me to be.

As a side note. Marvel is chopping up a lot of their digital X-men series and sorting them by story arcs. Its confusing, clunky, and annoying. I wish they’d change that practice before it gets out of hand.

they really need digital subscriptions. If i could subscribe to Title X for $20-24 a year and it just auto downloaded as it was available and sent my an alert, I’d be much, much more likely to get full on into the digital world.

i still think .99 is the sweet spot for pricing, especially on back matter.

but the writing is on the wall, the LCS is an endangered species.

@Adrian R 665-666 are good jump points 666 is prolog to spider island. 665 was a 1 shoot. 667-6672 is spider island.

excuse me 672 not 6672 sry.

Let me know when its 99 cents wout drm

Between places DCBS, buying Trades on Amazon, and the new digital initiatives I think the death of the LCS has hastened.
Some of the bigger stores in metro areas that do more than comics will likely be fine and a few smaller neighborhood shops with very loyal customers may survive, but the majority will start to disappear faster than they did in the late 90′s. A comic shop is hard enough to find now if you don’t live in a metro area anyway, pretty soon they’ll be hard to find there too. 15 years ago where there were 20 shops, there are now 4 or 5 and soon there will be 1 maybe 2 with most areas having none. It’s sad, but the industry did it to itself.

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