The “Satisfying Chunk” Theory


The satisfying chunk theory refers to the ineffable ratio between price point and satisfaction. Readers have an internal scale for what they consider a “satisfying” chunk of story, and as long as the price feels fair, they will feel they got their money’s worth.

For instance, a comics periodical priced at $2.99 with a fully developed story, with beginning, middle and resolution, might seem like a reasonable purchase, whereas a deconstructed 17 pages that one can read in under 10 minutes (much less) might feel un satisfying.

The 216 page $9.99 “tankoubon” format of manga offers a lot of story for the price of three comics – definitely a good attempt at a rewarding item.

Readers can also be satisfied by a high-priced comic if it has outstanding art or literary/artistic merit, as with many small press comics that have a more artisanal feeling, and complex stories.

There is no hard and fast formula for the satisfying chunk. It must be calibrated on each and every project individually.