You wanted 99 cent comics? You got ’em. Digital comics, that is. In what’s a first for the Transformer series, IDW is making one of its premiere licensed comics available first as a digital-only 12-part series selling for 99¢ for an eight-page chapter. The chapters will be released every two weeks, starting today.

Just so comics shops don’t feel left out, a page (screen?) will promote the Comic Shop Locator and IDW’s sizable print Transformers library .

Written by Blizzard’s Chris Metzen and long-time Transformers savant Flint Dille, the story itself is a tie-in to the print ROBOTS IN DISGUISE and MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE Transformers series also coming out this week. Art is by Livio Ramondelli (TRANSFORMERS: CHAOS)

“IDW is very excited to launch this digital-exclusive series,” said IDW CEO and Publisher Ted Adams in a statement. “The TRANSFORMERS brand has a broad international fan-base, this series will continue to increase the comics audience.”

At the low 99¢ price point, this seems to be a bit of a loss leader for promoting IDW’s overall Transformers series. There are many, many tools and formats in the publishers’ arsenal these days.


  1. At 99C for every 8 pages that’s still $2.97 for a standard 24pg comic, so I don’t really see that as a loss leader.

    Interesting to see how it sells though, and how comic stores react.

  2. I’m with Stephen…this isn’t a loss leader in any way…quite the opposite…it’s a $3 comic with next to zero distribution costs. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made more money selling it this way.

  3. Disappointed with the 8 pages of digital content, but hurray for the 99 cent price point.

    Still, this is a flawed test case. If people flock to purchase this one at 99 cents, it signals that they will pay 12 cents a page for digital content. If they DON’T purchase it, then the grand 99 cent experiment didn’t work and we will have to listen to that sad tale over and over.

    Since the incremental cost is um.. very (cough)low, how about 99 cents biweekly, consisting of 8 pages new content and throw in a 12 page reprinted back up story….

  4. 99cents for 8 pages?
    I wish I bought the Transformers comic so I could quit buying it.

    That’s just ridiculous.

    Further – you are going to need to show me some data to convince me that purchasing behavior for comics isn’t EXTREMELY elastic. These publishers are NUTS not to be selling their stuff less pricey now that they don’t have to worry about distro or the quality of paper.

    I guarantee you people would buy more comics if the price went down. I’m guessing that lots of people respond pretty favorably on Comixology, fo example, when they do their sales (at least, if they are interested in the comic).

    The first folks into those price points are missing a huge arbitrage profit opportunity here (at least until the rest of the industry gets sensible about prices).

    99c for 8 pages = 0 points in my book. Fail.

  5. It’s an experiment, folks. If IDW were to offer digital 20-pagers at 99 cent at this time, retailers would be coming to get them with pitchforks and torches.

    The notable thing here is the price point. Once that’s established — which I think it will be in less than a year, thanks to experiments like this one — value for money will become an issue. That’s the only way it’s going to work. Baby steps.

  6. I don’t get you people at all.

    Print TRANSFORMERS comics from IDW cost $3.99 for 22 pages of content, or 18 cents a page. This is a one third reduction in cost, and they are EXTREMELY unlikely to sell anything even remotely like the roughly 13k copies they can expect from the print series.


  7. 18c per page is too much. Way too much.

    14c per page is also too much. Way too much.

    I quit buying comics because of prices like that, and I have a salary and supervise two people.

    I buy about five digital comics per month right now off Comixology. That’s my pace.

    When I was a kid with $5 per week allowance, I bought six comics every week if I could scam my mom into giving me change for the sales tax.

  8. This sounds cool, but I’d like to have this as a complete story in print form, because I don’t care about Digital comics !!

  9. @Brady–I’m interested in your comment, and trying to figure out why would you need extra money for the sales tax.

    If you could afford six comics for $5, cover price would have had to have been 75 cents, which would be a total of $4.50 for six comics. Unless sales tax was more than 11%, you could still afford that with $5.

    What am I missing?

  10. @John Warren – you’re right. My math was screwed up. yeah, I could get 6 comics for 5 dollars.

    @rich – and if comics cost the same as they did when you were a kid now, but adjusted for inflation, they would cost about $1.36 each now. At least… I seem to remember they cost .75 in 1988. .75 in 1988 dollars now is $1.36.

    So, if you see that comics now cost $3 or $4, that’s just crazy out of whack with what a kid can afford to pay. See the problem?