It was quietly announced to retailers yesterday that Marvel will be changing the all their $2.99 titles to the “self-cover” format, starting in April. “Self-cover” meaning that the paper of the cover is the same as the paper of the internal pages. Truth be told, this sounds like a bigger change than it is.
The teasing is over and here’s the revamped Valiant’s launch lineup. The team on Bloodshot is Duane Swierczynski (Immortal Iron Fist, Birds of Prey) and artists Manuel Garcia (Checkmate, Spider Man: Breakout) & Arturo Lozzi (Immortal Weapons), while Archer & Armstrong is being handled by writer Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man, Hulk: Season One) and artist Clayton Henry (Uncanny X-Men).
Although the video is not embeddable (that we can see), Scholastic sponsored this chat with Jeff Smith, Kazu Kibuishi, and Raina Telgemeier which was streamed to classrooms across the nation. If I was a kid in school, cartoonists drawing pictures is what I would definitely like seeing in class.
Following on what seems to have been a successful run with the Ultimate line, starting in June, Marvel will include a digital download code with ALL its books selling for $3.99.
Marvel’s moving ahead in this regard is interesting, since DC’s John Rood has indicated that redemption of their combo packs has been “astonishingly low.” In contrast David Gabriel says Marvel’s program has been a big success.
Another split decision for supremacy in February, as DC swept the top ten comics, led by JUSTICE LEAGUE, for the second month in a row. However Marvel was the top publisher in both units and dollars; their win was more substantial in the dollar category, meaning the $3.99 price point is making an impact.
Overall, it was a good month, however, with comics up 10.84% and graphic novel sales up 11.45% over January’s sales for an overall increase in the print categories of 11.03% over the previous month. Compared to February 2011, the month’s sales were up 22.26% for comics and 15.65% for graphic novels for an overall increase of 20.11% as compared to the previous year. Pretty good numbers all around.