At today’s ICv2 conference, people were moaning about prices, Laura Hudson reported:
The complaint of high prices was discussed as well, along with the statistics that the average cover price of a comic book in the second quarter of 2010 is now $3.53, up from $3.38 in 2009. “Overall, [fans] are paying more for the same type of content than they were two years ago,” said Griepp.
And lo and behold, just as we were wrapping our digital and creative panel, the press release below came over everyone’s smart phone, announcing that DC would be going back to the $2.99 price point, while cutting down to 20 pages of story a month from 22. Frankly, given today’s storytelling, the same stories can be told just as well in 20 pages as 22, and if creators are willing to make a little less money for more greater sales, then so be it.
Even as the room was buzzing about the news, David Gabriel, Senior VP of Sales & Circulation at Marvel, said that due to digital sales increasing, print sales are increasing, and prices are decreasing: “The other thing that I’m going to announce here is that there has been a lot of talk I heard about the price increases. Because of some of the digital sales, we’ll be going back to $2.99 for some titles in January.”
Reached after the panel Gabriel confirmed that “selected” Marvel titles — including new titles — would be priced at $2.99. There will be no reduction in story pages. He said the announcement was not because of DC’s news, and genuinely seemed not to know that the DC news had just broken.
Without nailing down what titles will be at what price, it sounds like not all prices are rolling back, as DC is doing. Instead, new titles will go back to the $2.99 price point.
Developing, as they say, and sure to be a hot topic on tonight’s packed party schedule. More later!
Beginning January 2011, DC Comics will implement a line-wide pricing adjustment, lowering the prices of all standard length 32-page ongoing comic book titles currently priced at $3.99 to $2.99, it was announced today by DC Comics Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio.
“Today’s announcement re-affirms DC Comics’ commitment to both our core fans and to comic book store retailers,” said Jim Lee, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “For the long term health of the industry, we are willing to take a financial risk so that readers who love our medium do not abandon the art form.”
“As Co-Publishers, we listened to our fans and to our partners in the retail community who told us that a $3.99 price point for 32 pages was too expensive. Fans were becoming increasingly reluctant to sample new titles and long term fans were beginning to abandon titles and characters that they’d collected for years.” said Dan DiDio, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “We needed a progressive pricing strategy that supports our existing business model and, more importantly, allows this creative industry to thrive for years to come. With the exceptions of oversized comic books, like annuals and specials, we are committed to a $2.99 price point.”
When taking into account mini-series, annuals and specials, more than 80% of DC’s comic books will be priced at $2.99.
As of January, the following titles standard length ongoing titles, previously priced at $3.99 for 32 pages/22 story pages, will be priced at $2.99 with 32 pages/20 story pages:
Batman: The Dark Knight;
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors;
As of January, the following licensed titles, previously priced at $3.99, will be priced at $2.99:
Gears of War;
God of War
Kane & Lynch;
Ratchet & Clank.
As of January, the following ongoing titles previously priced at $3.99 for 40 pages/30 story pages including co-features, will no longer include co-features and will be priced at $2.99 for 32 pages/ 20 story pages:
Batman: Streets of Gotham;
Justice League of America;
Legion of Super-Heroes;
In January, five books are $3.99 for 40 pages/30 story pages:
Batman: Europa # 1
First Wave # 6
DCU: Legacies # 9
Weird Worlds # 1
World of Warcraft: Curse of the Worgen
The following oversized anniversary issue will be $4.99 for 48 pages/38 story pages:
Hellblazer # 275
“Fans of our co-features should stay tuned. Some of these characters will find a new platform,” said Dan DiDio. “Going forward, mini-series and special events may feature a different price point and page count to best allow writers and artists the flexibility of format and story pages they need to tell their stories best.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.