CA Talks to Jim Lee and Dan DiDio on $2.99, Digital Comics and Glo-Balls [Video]
DC Comics has seen major shakeups over the past few weeks, but the biggest story it brought to New York Comic-Con was its main line cover price drop to $2.99. ComicsAlliance had a chance to speak with DC Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio about that particularly hot topic this weekend at NYCC, which opened up a wider conversation about comic book pricing in print and digital. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also take the opportunity to bring up snack cakes.Lee and DiDio discussed the $2.99, which DiDio said would apply to 85 to 90% of DC’s line. Asked why they made the decision to roll back the process DiDio said that “we did see the market softening, and that is a concern. Granted, he same dollars might be being spent, but they’re being spent on less product and that means less people are purchasing things, less books are being read… We want to be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.”
Lee indicated that DC is hoping to see a response from fans in terms of sales: “This is something [the fans] are asking for, and we want them to show us that it does mean something. Because really, the conventional wisdom up till this point have been that the fans will pay whatever it takes to buy their favorite comics, and I think there’s a certain amount of cynicism in that. And I think it ultimately leads to the destruction of our business because you can’t just keep asking people to buy more and more expensive books, especially in a down economy like we’re experiencing.”
The Co-Publishers also indicated that the loss of two pages from the books where the cost rolls back, with Lee saying that many of his favorite stories in the past were 17 pages, “I think we’re also in an era with decompressed storytelling… and there’s an amount of room in every story where I feel that the writers could probably pull it back a little and dial it back,” said Lee. “It’s definitely doable, and I don’t think there’s going to be any impact at all.
DiDio said that the lower page count may help avoid late shipping of books. “One of the other aspects that we hear from fans about is delivery or late delivery… We hope we’ll gain a little extra time to keep the books on track.”
Digital publishing was also discussed, although the co-publishers made it clear that print was still the core of their business and printed titles’ pricing and availability are a top priority in the coming year.