Comics and the iPad go together like Jack Kirby and exclamation points, but if you've been availing yourself of digital comics products from Marvel, DC and other publishers since the device's debut in 2010, you've probably noticed the cost of convenience isn't much lower than what you're used to paying for print books. Indeed, the most common complaint about digital comics is the seemingly high price point for a single issue. Apple blogger Dr. Macenstein ran into this problem in pursuit of digital Betty and Veronica comics for his daughter, but discovered a clever way to stock his iPad with thousands of Archie, Marvel and MAD issues for pennies each.Available on Amazon and at other retailers are DVDs containing massive archives of ancient material from Archie, Marvel and MAD (among other publishers of all sorts of content), and all for very affordable prices. In the case of Archie, each DVD costs around three dollars and contains nearly a decade's worth of comics, including the original advertisements. DVD archives of Looney Tunes and Star Trek comics are similarly priced. While not as cheap, Marvel offers similarly comprehensive sets like 40 Years of the X-Men or Amazing Spider-Man Complete Collection for about $50 each. The MAD collection is about $20. But all these prices are subject to change, often for the better, given Amazon's frequent sales.

Each issue runs about 10 MB, and installing them couldn't be easier. First, you must make sure you've downloaded Apple's free iBooks app onto your device. Then, simply drag each PDF into iTunes, and then sync them under the BOOKS tab of your device's syncing options. You can also edit their meta info in iTunes to group them better, or create playlists based on whether they've been read or not.

While these aren't the new and in-demand comics available via comiXology and other digital retailers, the ridiculous savings that readers can avail themselves of using this method spotlights the recurring cries for lower prices in the digital comics realm, where single-issue comics can run as high as $4.99. Surely there is a reasonable compromise somewhere between that and a few pennies?


Some of our readers have pointed out that when you employ this method with these sorts of products, the results come with watermarks. Here's what the Archie pages look like in iBooks, courtesy of Dr. Macentstein.

[Via The Daily Cartoonist]