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And now you can subscribe to Image Comics

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Remember people talking about how Image Comics will once again be the #1 comics publisher? Well, they just announced that you can now subscribe to your favorite Image Comics via Image Direct. Saga, Chew, Walking Dead, Sex Criminals and the Wicked + The Divine fans can now subscribe directly to their favorite comics. And the more you subscribe to the bigger the discount. You can even buy the WHOLE image catalog every month for $1117.99. Average discounts for subs are about 30% off.

“Even with all the wonderful work our retailer partners in the Direct Market do, the number one comment we get from fans is they frequently can’t find the Image titles they’re looking for,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics said in a statement. “Given that there are fewer comic book stores than ever before, we’re hoping that Image Direct makes our titles available to fans who don’t have easy access to a local comic book store, or whose shop doesn’t carry the full range of Image titles.”

Obviously, for those who like their paper comics—and given all the great covers appearing on Image comics of late, who wouldn’t?—now you don’t even have to miss an issue. I have no idea what traditional retailers will think of this—traditionally, they view subs with caution—but given Image’s rising share of the market, I doubt it will have an immediate impact.

10 COMMENTS

  1. This could work out for US comic fans who buy lots of titles but can’t get to a retailer.. not so much for us outside of US, though. Shipping costs alone would kill any little discount from cover price.

  2. There’s something to be said for convenience. Its a common assumption that everyone who reads comics actually likes/wants to go to a comic shop every week, and that’s just not true. Including my self and 3 coworkers who read comics, none of us shop at an LCS on a regular basis and yes we read print comics. Mostly due to our long work hours and commutes, getting to that shop once a week is an added hassle that’s just not feasible. Some digital, some print, some mail order etc etc.

    Comic readership is complex so its important that there are many options out there. Glad image is doing this.

  3. This is incredibly intriguing. I’ve read a lot of complaints about how the discount isn’t as heavy as they want you to believe once you add shipping. But I think that may be the point. This seems to price out anybody who is looking to bypass their LCS and just get a discount while still providing the option for folks who don’t have a shop at all near them. I’ll be really interested to hear how successful (if at all) this initiative ends up.

  4. @Brian – There’s not much of a discount unless you buy a lot of the comics, though. First of all, shipping is a buck a comic. And then 30% discount is only good if you’re subscribing to at least 10 titles.

    http://subscriptions.imagecomics.com/pages/faqs

    And they only ship comics during the last week of the month, so if you want to “keep up” with the internet, this is not the way to go for you, either. Some of the comics you get will be at least a month old by the time it gets to you.

    I’m almost surprised they didn’t offer a Media Mail shipping option for a real cheap shipping option. It’s eligible, since it’s magazine material…

  5. Also note that these are 12-issue subscriptions. That’s a model that made sense in the days when books would come out monthly (even if it meant fill-ins or reprints), and would be pretty sure to last a full year, but except for WALKING DEAD I don’t think any Image book gets out 12 issues in a year. If you order now, I’d bet the 12th issue of your subscription for many books won’t be out until 2017. And I’d bet even more that at least a dozen of the books listed will end before another 12 issues come out. Do you get a refund? Or do they transfer your subscription to a new book? So for a negligible discount (when shipping is added), you get the privilege of paying two years in advance for some books, pre-paying for some books which will never exist, and getting them as much as a month after publication. And if you want to buy any comic that isn’t from Image you still have to find a comic shop or mail-order place, which will give you a much better deal, and only charge you when the books are published.

  6. Actually, Augie, they’re NOT legally qualified for media mail…. because they have advertising. Even house ads technically disqualify you.

    I also wish that maybe, y’know, they thought of mentioning this to us face-to-face last week at Image Expo and “retailer day”.

    -B

  7. @Bob : I’m sure there are a lot of titles that get out six issues in a year (or close to it). Savage Dragon, Chew, Spawn, Invincible, Invincible Universe are just a few off the top of my head that publish monthly (or close to it).

  8. @Brian – Your thoughts mirror the retailers I spoke to. Marvel and DC already do this, but they have for a long time now. Image doing this but also positioning itself as a ‘retailer-friendly’ corporation is a bit of trying to have it both ways.

    This is just a free loan to Image. There’s no reason to let them hold your money this way, especially with how often some of the titles come out (or just stop coming out).

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