DC Comics is introducing a new format for some of their most iconic stories. DC Compact Comics is a new graphic novel line that will bring some of DC’s most perennial classics in a slightly scaled-down size and a cheaper price point – all with the aim of appealing to new readers, perhaps including those graphic novel curious but hesitant to take the plunge. 

The new line of $9.99 graphic novels will be 5.5″ wide by 8.5″ tall, sized down from the 6.5″ wide by 10″ tall of a standard graphic novel, and will include titles like Grant MorrisonFrank Quitely‘s All-Star SupermanN.K. JemisonJamal Campbell‘s Far SectorAlan MooreDave Gibbons‘s Watchmen, and more, in its initial lineup, which will launch in June of next year.

The size, price and content are all suitable for mass market outlets including airports and train stations – in a travel friendly size –  and will fit in nicely on table placement at traditional bookstores. They’ll also fit in with traditional racking for genre books. 

More from DC’s announcement:

The new line will showcase DC stories across many genres, including science fiction, thrillers, horror, fantasy, adventure, and mystery. Featured among the DC Compact Comics launch titles in 2024 are DC’s recent Hugo Award-winning sci-fi graphic novel Far Sector by N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell, along with perennial classic graphic novels like Catwoman: Trail of the Catwoman, Batman: Hush, Batman: The Court of Owls, and more.

The initial DC Compact Comics launch in 2024 will offer the following titles at $9.99 US:

    • Watchmen (9781779527325) by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
    • Batman: The Court of Owls (9781779527271) by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo
    • All-Star Superman (9781779527257) by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely
    • Far Sector (9781779527295) by N.K. Jemisin, Jamal Campbell
    • Wonder Woman: Earth One (9781779527332) by Grant Morrison, Yanick Paquette
    • American Vampire Book One (9781779527349) by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, Rafael Albuquerque
    • Batman: Hush (9781779527264) by Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee
    • Joker (9781779527318) by Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo
    • Harley Quinn & the Gotham City Sirens (9781779527301) by Paul Dini, Peter Calloway, Tony Bedard, Guillem March, Andres Guinaldo
    • Catwoman: Trail of the Catwoman (9781779527288) by Darwyn Cooke, Ed Brubaker

The new trim size is similar to the young reader graphic novels DC has been publishing for the past few years, though those books include new material and not scaled-down stories from their back catalog. With these books aimed at more adult audiences, a unified library of titles in the same physical scale for all age groups will look nice on readers’ bookshelves, and may also serve as a bridge to bring readers over into the adult-oriented books as they age out of the younger-themed titles.

The size is also similar to the Marvel-verse graphic novels Marvel has been releasing for a number of years. Those books, printed at 6″ x 9″ scale, are largely media tie-ins that reprint previously-published stories in a format aimed at younger readers. The Mighty Marvel Masterworks line of books are similarly-scaled reprints of the earliest stories from the Marvel Age of comics, aimed at all age groups.

In the statement announcing DC Compact Comics, DC Senior Vice President & General Manager Anne DePies talked more about the thinking behind the move:

“The DC Compact Comics price and sizing is perfect for readers of prose and manga looking to pick up a new-reader-friendly storyline in a self-contained full color graphic novel. This 5.5″ x 8.5″ paper cut is the most widely circulated softcover book size in the US and is popular among graphic novel aficionados in international markets. At $9.99, it’s a great price point for retailers to stock these classic titles. For readers, DC Compact Comics deliver a new graphic novel reading experience that fits in the palm of their hands, with no loss of readability.”

We’re all for programs that put comics in front of new audiences, and if it’s as simple as making the books a little smaller (not to mention a little cheaper) that sounds like something worth doing. The genre indicators on the trade dress are also a smart way to indicate to non-comics readers what to expect if they pick one of these books up, which should help increase their crossover appeal.

Look for the first entries in the DC Compact Comics graphic novel line to hit stores in June of 2024.


  1. I support this move. But it’s only going to work if DC asks B&N (and other brick and mortar stores) to stock these books in the Manga section. And then the brick and mortar stores have to agree to do so.

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