Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Price You Pay

Recently comic book shoppers have seen cover prices increase. Marvel specifically announced that they would raise the price on their mini-series titles (which are now dominating their solicitations) to $3.99 while maintaining a $2.99 price for "most" of their ongoing titles. DC comics did not follow suit. While they do have some titles in the $3.99 zone, many are still $2.99.

The other day I rang up a customer's comic book purchase and noticed that most of what he bought came up at $3.99. There was only one DC comic on the list, and only one comic for $2.99 - they were the same comic.

This got me to wondering - who really does have MORE comics at $3.99 or over? Marvel or DC? So I looked at their May solicitations for the answer. Here's what I discovered:

Marvel comics had (not counting the Marvel Adventures comics) 100 comic book solicitations (this is plus or minus 2, since I could have counted something twice or missed something). 59 of those Marvel titles were $3.99 and 6 of them were priced OVER $3.99. There were a total of 35 comics priced below $3.99. This puts Marvel at 65% of their titles with a cover price at or exceeding $3.99.

DC & Wildstorm (not including the DC kids titles or any Vertigo titles) solicited a grand total of 62 comic books (again, plus or minus 2), including their new weekly series (which does come in at $3.99 per issue). 20 of those May solicited comics had a cover price of $3.99, and they did not have any over that price listed. 42 of the DC titles had a cover price of $2.99. DC rings in with 32% of their titles having a cover price of $3.99.

Could this all change? Of course! But based on my quick research of upcoming titles, DC comics are a lower cost of purchase. Does this make them better? Worse? Well, that's for fans to decide. As long as people continue to enjoy them and purchase them it doesn't make much difference to me what the cover price is.

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