Friday, October 7, 2011

What Value?

Marvel announced that they will be including a digital claim code in some $3.99 titles that will be coming out soon. The titles will be poly-bagged so you have to buy the physical issue to get the code. The Bleeding Cool article below goes into more detail on this, but I wonder if this will really pan out for Marvel. I like the concept of having the digital copy available for download if I buy the physical comic much like the movie industry has done with movies, but the idea that your local comic book store will get a credit if you redeem the code under the store's affiliate program is a joke. Is this going to work? Marvel is going to test this out in the coming months.

I for one don't understand why Marvel doesn't team up with Comixology to release their titles digitally. That would make things a lot more convenient for digital comic book readers, and for Comic Book Stores to get a kick back from digital comic book sales, but hey "Common Sense" hasn't applied in business for a long time. Maybe Marvel should offer their graphic novels exclusively to Barnes & Noble for use on the Nook color e-Reader (if they don't already).

And what is to stop people from buying the physical comic and then turning around and selling the digital claim code for far less than Marvel would charge for a straight digital comic purchase?

As to my original question, what value? Marvel comics are $3.99 and the price per actual comic page is the highest in the industry and the content of those pages is not of the highest of quality when it comes to art and story. So, for my money the "value" of a Marvel comic is no where near that of a DC comic or an Independent comic for $3.99 even with a claim code for a digital copy of the title.

Marvel needs to accept the fact that DC has made head way on the Day-and-Date Digital Comic side of the business, the value of a comic when it comes to price per page and the quality of the titles themselves, and just follow suit.

Bleeding Cool Article: Giving Value To The $3.99 Marvel Comic, For Readers And Retailers


  1. Marvel is owned by Diseny I'm waiting for them to just buy Comicxology or build out their own e-biz hub for tablets. At least they are giving you a way to get into the digital space.

  2. Good commentary here brotha! This is just their perverse way of having polybags for all of their books...LAME! Omar

  3. Knowing Disney they will somehow screw things up. Look at for an example.
    Anyone can get in to try out digital comics right now because there are free downloads of older titles to see if digital works for an individual.
    Marvel is just forcing readers towards digital with a move like this with no non-digital claim code copy on the shelf. For stores the credit amounts to a possible 12.5% credit of 50 cents if a code is used. Stores get 30% paid to them from Comixology for a digital comic purchase ( a little over a dollar per $3.99 sale).
    Marvel is as usual going about things in the wrong way.