DC comics announced recently that several of their Rebirth titles will be seeing a price increase from 2.99 to 3.99 and I know a number of readers who will now be trimming their pull lists, which is a shame. DC is trying to add more value by including a code to allow the download of digital copies, but really, I am not sure how many people would want both the digital and the physical copies.
I love having a physical comic in my hands. I used to have quite a substantial collection several years ago, which included a few issues that could today be worth some decent money (Daredevil’s first appearance in his red costume, Spidey’s first appearance in black, the first appearance of Cable and what would probably be my most valuable, the first appearance of Deadpool). I had hopes of keeping those comics and ultimately passing them on to my kids, but when I went through a difficult financial situation, I sold my entire collection for a fraction of what it was worth even at the time.
Reading is something I love and my preference is to always have the actual book, but more and more I find myself reading on an e-reader, for a number of reasons. Reading in bed without needing the lights on is nice. The portability factor is even better. I carry several books and a couple hundred comics with me wherever I go these days. In addition to this, I can get my reading materials without leaving the house, or even my bed. But as advantageous as those things are, an even bigger selling point for me now is the price.
DC will be keeping their digital comics at $2.99 (for now at least) and that will allow me to continue reading at least about 6 titles that I would have to drop if I was going to be paying $3.99. That’s not a small thing. For people who read more titles than I do, it would be a significant saving. Factor in the savings from tax and bus fare or gas if you drive to the store, that can really add up.
I understand that comic publishers are not making the money they used to, but I think that a much better idea would be to keep the comics at $2.99 and offer a code for a digital copy at $1.00. That way, anyone who does want both will be paying the $3.99, but those who don’t can continue to read the titles they are currently collecting. Increasing the price will not likely increase revenue that much; it will just as likely cause people to drop titles, which, if enough people drop the same title, may result in cancellation. Nobody wins in that case.
Unless you’re planning on collecting comics with an eye toward reselling them at some point (and most comics these days aren’t really going to go up much in price in the future), your best bet is really to look into digital comics. Cheaper, more portable, better for the environment, quicker and easier to purchase (especially if you want to read back issues)… I don’t see any real reason not to switch
But I’m going to miss the feel and smell of the paper in my hands.