By Todd Allen
In the latest announcement of its kind, Dark Horse announced today that as of December 14, 2011 it will be releasing all its comics simultaneously in both digital and print. (Remember, just say no to the “day and date” phrase.) Over at Robot 6, Brigid Alverson did a little digging and found out this simultaneous release extends to original graphic novels and trade editions, with a price point from $2.99 to $7.99.
The move to digital trade collections is an interesting thing you don’t hear much about. Outside of the Direct Market, people like to buy the entire story, not just a chapter in a serial. Looking at the Dark Horse digital store, sure enough, we’ve got:
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Night Powers for $7.99
- Chimichanga for $5.99
- Several volumes of Empowered for $7.99 a pop
- among many other titles
It’s fair guess to think that simultaneous trades are going to look a lot like bundles, like this one of the Baltimore: The Plague Ships mini-series.
DC is already on simultaneous releases. Marvel is transitioning. A fair number of Image books are there. Mark Millar… not so much.
As Millar illustrates, there’s still a little bit of disagreement on when digital editions should come out. Is the world going to end if the digital edition follows the print edition by 2-4 weeks? Well, that really depends on who you talk to. It is becoming clear that every publisher needs to have an established schedule of when the digital editions come out and we’re seeing enough of the big boys moving to simultaneous release that simultaneous is turning into the standard practice.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.