DC Comics just made a big move in the digital space.  If you read The Beat regularly, you’ll have seen me scratching my head at the idea of why any publisher would want to do a digital exclusive, since it completely misses the point of digital. I’ve also said a thing or two about the ultimate destination of comics being in the ebook format, just like all the other books in the bookstore.  Surprise!  DC agrees with me.DC has announced today, they’ve going to have all their material, and that includes monthly comics, in the native formats for On Amazon/Kindle, iPad/iBooks, B&N/Nook.  Amazon has their own format for ebooks.  Apple/iBooks have some proprietary hooks in for graphics.  I’d have to check and see if the Nook version is a standard (i.e. portable/platform independent) ePub file or has custom code in it.  Regardless, this is opening comics up to a wider audience.

The caveat: Looks like we’re still looking at print cover price for the DC comics.  For ebooks, there’s almost always some discount and there are a lot of full novels you can buy for $2.99-$3.99.  We’ll have to wait and see if price point is a barrier to the mainstream audience.

If all that sounded a little too techie, let’s simplify this.  Would you like to read Detective Comics on your Kindle?

Here it is from Amazon: $3.99

How about on your Nook?

Here it is from Barnes & Noble:  $3.47 with a 13% discount.  Great Ceaser’s Ghost!  A discount on a digital comic!

What this means to Comixology is unclear, but they’re not the only place to buy DC comics as of today.

Official PR:




DC Comics’ Entire Line-up, Including BatmanSupermanWonder WomanBatgirl and Many Others, Now Available for Direct Download from All Major e-Bookstores

 Burbank, CA – Nov. 7, 2012 – DC Entertainment, the #1 comic book publisher in the U.S., announced today its entire line of periodical comic books are now available for download from the top three e-bookstores including Kindle StoreiBookstore and NOOK Store™.  The precedent setting new digital availability brings bestselling DC Comics and Vertigo periodical titles, including JUSTICE LEAGUE, BATMAN, SUPERMAN, DETECTIVE COMICS, ACTION COMICS, BATGIRL, WONDER WOMAN, GREEN LANTERN, FABLES and AMERICAN VAMPIRE, among many others, to an even broader audience of digital readers.

 “As e-readers and tablets continue to explode in popularity it’s important for us to offer consumers convenience and choice in how they download digital comics and graphic novels and these new distribution deals with the top three e-bookstores do just that,” said Jim Lee, co-publisher, DC Entertainment. “We’re very excited to work with Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble to bring bestselling DC Comics and Vertigo periodicals to their e-bookstores.”

DC Entertainment is now the only comic book publisher to offer its periodical line-up across all major e-bookstore platforms.  The deals reinforce a long track record of digital comics industry leadership and innovation from DC Entertainment that dates back to its game-changing decision to make its entire line available same-day digital with the launch of DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 in Sept. 2011. That launch is widely seen as reinvigorating the comic book industry, and has led to increased sales of both digital and print comics.

Lee continued, “We were the first to offer our entire comic book line same-day digital and now we are the first to offer fans the convenience of multiple download options.”

In addition to now being available for direct download through the top three e-bookstores, DC Entertainment will continue to deliver periodical comics online at www.readdcentertainment.com, through the DC Comics and Vertigo apps, and all comiXology platforms.

Prior to this announcement only DC Entertainment graphic novels were available through the top three e-bookstores.


  1. It’s a good idea, but man, those prices are still killer. From the right store or retailer, even after the month-long waiting period, physical comics can still be cheaper. We’re already making a heavy investment up front with the e-reader of choice, and then asked to pay cover price? It’s ridiculous.

    That said, when I do buy digital comics, I’ll still go through Comixology since I can also support my local store when I do. But for the general public, it’s a brilliant move to have the books available everywhere. It’s the spinner racks and grocery stores of the 21st century.

  2. So does this mean that we’ll be able to purchase DC’s digital comics on the Kindle via Comixology again? Because THAT’s what I’m interested in…

  3. This would seem the explain why DC single issues were inexplicably all of a sudden not available on the Comixology app through the Kindle Fire last year for purchase (and to this day still don’t seem to be). And it also seem that I will have to continue to have to by them outside the app and then upload them. Kind of annoying and also makes me nervous about the future relationship between Comixology and DC. If they can sell direct through Amazon themselves, why will they need to continue any relationship with Comixology.

  4. Diversifying purchase options for digital comics is good, but I’ll still not purchase any while they stubbornly refuse to price them appropriately ($1 or less).

  5. I will never understand what makes you guys think that GREAT ideas should be Free? Really?

    Let’s see you create, edit, draw, sell and market the brilliance behind all of this genius in a timely manner. Then complain about the price. Can you feed your family off of a dollar a day?

  6. What makes you think than 1$ or less is the appropriate price? People seem to think that given the fact that mp3 are sold at 99cents this is the right price for every digital product. A product still requires to be created, edited and marketed. Amazon, Apple and co. take 30% off the total price. If we consider that print/distribution takes 50% off the total price of a comicbook against the 30% of digital distribution a 4$ cost may be sold at 3$ but not at 1$, unless you want to go bankrupt.

  7. It always surprises me when people complain about paying $4 to rent a digital copy of a comic, and then get a snarky response.

    Readers jump to the defence of companies who charge full cover price for a digital rental.

    Honestly, guys. The cost to the publisher for online delivery is negligible. The comic art already exists from the print version that sells for $4.
    Look at the savings from digital delivery: it never sells out, there are no returns, no shipping, no printing costs, and lower screen resolution (lower quality original needed) than print requires.

    I’d like to hear your cost rationales!
    Where is this huge sacrifice that the publisher is making? How is $1 to read their copy of a 22 page story so unreasonable? How about this idea: 50 cents to rent/read it ONCE online. Another 50 cents to rent it again.

  8. I must’ve missed something: Nowhere does Eric. S say that he wants his comics for free, just that the digital prices are too high, given that he can get a physical copy for far less, due to discounting by retailers. Comics are the rare case where — minus the frequent 99¢ sales at Comixology and Dark Horse Digital — the digital product is actually MORE expensive, at least when you’re talking new releases.

  9. It’s Captain Economics!

    Question: What is fair pricing for a digital product?
    Clue: It has nothing to do with production or delivery costs. Those are irrelevant. That’s like saying the cost of a dish at a restaurant has something to do with the cost of the food used to make it or the labor used to create it. (Hint: They don’t.)

    So what is the one true answer?

    The price of a digital product is determined by the marketplace. Period. Full stop. There is no other argument to be had. The marketplace will determine pricing, not production costs, not delivery costs, not the cost of Dan Didio’s Hair Club for Men membership.

    In the future, someone saying the production and delivery costs for a comic book is related to its pricing needs to explain to me how I bought a ticket to SKYFALL (production cost: US$150 million) for $13. That is now the law!

  10. Having just bought a Kindle Fire HD (which I’m very happy with) I’m curious too about whether you can now purchase DC through the Comixology app on the device. It sounds like you can’t, though the workaround of ordering it on your desktop and then downloading to the Comixology app works fine. But it would save an extra seemingly superfluous step.

  11. Depends. If he bought his ticket at the Arclight in L.A. (or an equivalent premium theater elsewhere) for a nighttime showing, heck, yeah, I can see a $13 price for even a non-3D ticket.

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