Marvel and DC To Roll Back Comics Prices

Up is down, black is white, cats are marrying dogs, and for once, comics are getting cheaper. Both DC and Marvel Comics announced Thursday that they will be slashing price points from $3.99 to $2.99 on huge proportions of their publishing catalogs.

DC will be cutting back prices on all of its ongoing titles, including stalwart titles like “Action Comics” and “Detective Comics,” as well as more recent successes like “American Vampire.” In a statement, DC Co-Publisher Dan Didio admitted that the $3.99 price point of individual books had left fans “increasingly reluctant to sample new titles,” with “Long term fans… beginning to abandon titles and characters that they’d collected for years.”

Starting in January of 2011, all standard length ongoing DC titles will be priced at $2.99. Over 80% of the line will be held at $2.99, after considering annuals, mini-series and specials.

Marvel made a similar statement, with Senior VP of Sales & Circulation David Gabriel telling a industry panel audience prior to New York Comic-Con that beginning at that same January 2011 juncture, all newly launched Marvel titles will be sold at $2.99. He cited the gains of Marvel’s digital output as a factor in the newfound price flexibility, explaining that Marvel’s official digital app had just passed 2 million downloads.

The success of same-day release digital downloads, notably this week’s Ultimate Comics Thor #1, was also cited as proof of the success of digital comics. Downloads of the issue have nearly matched the sales of the issue at major retailer Midtown Comics. This complimentary revenue allows Marvel to reinvest in the print comics’ market.

Needless to say, both the retailer and fan community should be thrilled at the respective announcements. During a hard recession that has effected all walks of life, a little funnybook relief could go a long way. Especially when it’s wallet-relief.

Check out the full DC press release below.

Press Release

DC COMICS DROPs prices on $3.99 titles

MOVES TO $2.99 price point for ongoing COMIC BOOK series

New York, October 7, 2010– Beginning January 2011, DC Comics will implement a line-wide pricing adjustment, lowering the prices of all standard length 32-page ongoing comic book titles currently priced at $3.99 to $2.99, it was announced today by DC Comics Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio.

“Today’s announcement re-affirms DC Comics’ commitment to both our core fans and to comic book store retailers,” said Jim Lee, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “For the long term health of the industry, we are willing to take a financial risk so that readers who love our medium do not abandon the art form.”

“As Co-Publishers, we listened to our fans and to our partners in the retail community who told us that a $3.99 price point for 32 pages was too expensive. Fans were becoming increasingly reluctant to sample new titles and long term fans were beginning to abandon titles and characters that they’d collected for years.” said Dan DiDio, DC Comics Co-Publisher. “We needed a progressive pricing strategy that supports our existing business model and, more importantly, allows this creative industry to thrive for years to come.

With the exceptions of oversized comic books, like annuals and specials, we are committed to a $2.99 price point.” When taking into account mini-series, annuals and specials, more than 80% of DC’s comic books will be priced at $2.99.

As of January, the following titles standard length ongoing titles, previously priced at $3.99 for 32 pages/22 story pages, will be priced at $2.99 with 32 pages/20 story pages:

American Vampire; Batman: The Dark Knight; Batman Incorporated; Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors; JSA All-Stars.

As of January, the following licensed titles, previously priced at $3.99, will be priced at $2.99: Gears of War; God of War Kane & Lynch; Ratchet & Clank.

As of January, the following ongoing titles previously priced at $3.99 for 40 pages/30 story pages including co-features, will no longer include co-features and will be priced at $2.99 for 32 pages/ 20 story pages: Action Comics; Adventure Comics; Batman: Streets of Gotham; Detective Comics; Doc Savage; Justice League of America; Legion of Super-Heroes; The Spirit.

In January, five books are $3.99 for 40 pages/30 story pages: Batman: Europa # 1 First Wave # 6 DCU: Legacies # 9 Weird Worlds # 1 World of Warcraft: Curse of the Worgen

The following oversized anniversary issue will be $4.99 for 48 pages/38 story pages: Hellblazer # 275

“Fans of our co-features should stay tuned. Some of these characters will find a new platform,” said Dan DiDio. “Going forward, mini-series and special events may feature a different price point and page count to best allow writers and artists the flexibility of format and story pages they need to tell their stories best.”


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