Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son has been acclaimed by critics all over the blogosphere (myself included), but any publisher is taking a risk on a 200-page hardcover book that sells for $20, and when it’s part of a 12-volume series … well, there is a lot to be said for giving loyal readers a break.
It’s hard to know whether Fantagraphics is feeling nervous or generous, but the publisher is offering a discount to readers who pay up front: A subscription to the next three volumes, vols. 4-6, for $50.38, a 20 percent discount from the list price of $62.97 — plus free domestic shipping and discounted overseas shipping.
This seems like a mutually beneficial deal: Fanta gets its money up front for volumes that will be published in December 2012, June 2013 and December 2013, respectively, and readers get a good price. This sort of pay-now-read-later arrangement is unusual for manga, and for graphic novels in general. If this works, it could set a precedent for high-end graphic novels — I don’t see anyone paying up front for the next 20 volumes of Naruto, but when you think about it, it’s not that different from traditional publishers like Digital getting pre-orders through Kickstarter.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item.
If I had $15: I’d be all over Fatale #1, as I’ll grab anything Brubaker and Phillips do together. I’d go out on a limb and say that’s one of the best and consistently stellar collaborations in comics going on right now. I’d probably get the latest issue of The Boys as well, because that’s what I do.
If I had $30: Well, I haven’t read the first volume yet, but everyone says that the transgender manga series Wandering Son is stellar so I’d at least give it a look through, and perhaps nab volume one as my splurge for the week.