What you don’t what to hear your dentist say as he’s looking in your mouth: “What the hell is that?”

§ October 8th, 2010 § Filed under pal plugging, retailing § 13 Comments

The pain is (mostly) gone, but I’m still pretty wiped out from a night of not really sleeping, and a day of a mouth sore from multiple novocaine injections and metal tools digging into my teeth. Hey, who has abnormally long tooth roots? THIS GUY. Anyway, I’m keeping it short today, and let’s hope for a fresh start next week, without any unexpected medical shenaniganery.


  • On one hand, DC Comics is dropping prices on many $3.99 titles down to $2.99. On the other hand, stories are dropping down to 20 pages from 22. Not sure how I feel about that, especially since, unless sales increase significantly across the board, this is only delaying the inevitable line-wide price increase. At the very least, this creates some breathing room to decide what to do next, which hopefully won’t be 20 pages for $3.99.

    Judging from the reaction I’ve seen online, 20 story pages is less of a disincentive than the higher cover price, which only makes sense…no one wants to pay more money for funnybooks, especially in this economy. But I do worry a bit about the lack of perceived value. Is the loss of two pages really that big of a deal? Depends on the book, I guess…I’m not going to want to see three or four splash pages in one story any more, unless there’s darn good reason for it. Related: will there be a trend away from decompressed storytelling in the periodical market because of the page count decrease?

    …Just some of the random thoughts that came to mind…when I’m fully functioning again, I’ll try to ponder it further. Plus, I’ll probably run the news past some of my customers, and get some feedback from them.

    Also…was it Jenette Kahn who said that when she took over as publisher of DC, one of the first things she wanted to do is increase the page count from 17 to 23 pages, and give the kids more bang for their half-buck? That’s my memory, anyway…this current situation brought that to mind, for some reason.

    One other thing: that new Jimmy Olsen back-up in Action Comics better spin off into its own series, if it’s losing its slot due to the price/page drop. I think we’re all down with a new Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen comic book series by that creative team.

    And another other thing: Marvel announced that they’ll stick to $2.99 for new series starting in 2011. No word on page count, but I’m guessing they’ll keep at 22 pages, for now, just to stick it a little to DC.

  • Give my pal Euge twelve bucks for his new album:

    Limited edition CD of awesome nerdrap, with bonus disc and button, plus immediate digital downloads. GIVE THE MAN YOUR MONEY. (You can also listen to all the tracks from the main disc, in full, on that page.)

    BONUS: Unexpected Swamp Thing reference in one of the songs! I ain’t tellin’ you where.

13 Responses to “What you don’t what to hear your dentist say as he’s looking in your mouth: “What the hell is that?””

  • ExistentialMan says:

    Mike, you know what they say about guys with abnormally long tooth roots…

  • On the other hand, stories are dropping down to 20 pages from 22.

    Great! Perhaps they’ll start cutting out double page splashes of spandex wearing junkies standing around with a deal cat in their hands.

  • mister_terrific says:

    The other thing you never want to hear him say is “Oops.”

  • Jim Kingman says:

    Yeah, Kahn definitely wanted to give the readers more bang for their change/buck with the Dollar Comics line of 1977, the DC Explosion of 1978, and the second DC Explosion of 1980. Inbetween it was 35 cents for seventeen pages of new material, and after the DC Implosion, it was seventeen pages for 40 cents. Heck, I remember in 1981 when DC gave us 27 pages of new material for 60 cents! There really were good old days!

  • philip says:

    I’d love to see DC cram more story into fewer pages, but I half-expect they’ll just pad stories even more and arcs will take an issue or two longer to complete than they might otherwise. Oh, who’s a bitter nerd?

  • Anonymous says:

    So, what did you think of the Swamp Thing #7 reprint in Batman: Hidden Treasures? Len Wein certainly liked it!

  • Dallas Senosco says:

    Yeah, the price of comics just went UP 10% when factoring the pg count. 30 pgs of funnies @$3.99 was a 2% DISCOUNT to the Wednesday 4 color fanboy/girl who paid $2.99 for 22 pages.

    So anyone who shouts huzzah, put them in the corner w/ a cone hat please.

    Also, don’t know how payment really works for artists, writers, inkers, colorists who are under contract, but didn’t their monthly take home pay just get wacked by 10% as well if they get paid under a page rate system.

    Someone please ask/mention this to one of the braintrust who are in NYC@Javitz to show-off the Fall Face of DC Comics.

    I feel bad for retailers. I for one, or many, based on anecdotes (who knows how true?) are going to e-commerce and huge 30-50% discounts on single comics and comic paperbacks and hardcovers. AND I’m not looking back.

    “Keep fucking that chicken” DC Entertainment.

  • danjack says:

    @ Dallas Senosco:

    Give yourself a dunce cap for two things.
    First, DC is responding to their customer base by lowering prices. This may or may not be a long term solution, but it is by far the most a comic company has done to listen to it’s base in a long time.
    Second: $3.99 is one dollar more than $2.99! If you buy a comic that costs $1 less, you get to keep that dollar. It doesn’t really matter the ratios, it matters how much real $ customers get to keep.

    Why would ANYONE complain about a company lowering prices, especially as many of us still buy the product? We will be paying less for comics!

  • buzz says:

    I agree w/mister_terrific

  • damanoid says:

    So what the hell was that?

  • Gnubeutel says:

    How about i sell you a one page strip for a dollar? That way you can keep another $1.99.

    But sarcasm aside – of course it’s about the price per page!
    Just looking at a cover price of $2.99 and going “that way i can afford 4 books instead of 3.” is only half the story.

    First of all: the back up stories are being dropped. That means you actually get only 4 stories instead of 6.
    And in page count you only get 80 pages instead of 90.

    So, yes. No matter how i look at it – you’re getting less for your money.

  • Dallas Senosco says:

    From [REDACTED], they did a cup runneth over test and give me all of your finest DC comics for the month of Dec vs. Jan.


    Dec the price is .1346 cents per page of funnybook goodness.
    Jan the price is .1478 cents per page of funnybook goodness.

    So a customer’s wallet/purse/sack of jewels takes a greater hit in January 2011, than it did the month before. 9.75% INCREASE in price. (That’s the lowest increase compared to any other comic companies)

    So smarty-pants Danjack, fellow dunce Gnubetel illustrated it perfectly, price is nothing w/ out content.
    But science & math along with a healthy dose of economics have long ago left these Yankee-schooled kids and headed to Asia and/or back to the old world.

  • Mikester says:

    Okay, and that’s enough of that. Let’s keep it civil, friends.

    Also, sorry for the edits, Dallas, but my filter stops comments that mention that particular site.