When DC announced it was dropping the price of its $3.99 issues to $2.99, there were a few gotchas that came with the announcement – the eight-page co-feature disappears for eight books, and the story page count goes from 22 pages to 20 pages. While the co-feature may not be missed by many (The Avenger co-feature from Doc Savage was probably the best of the group), the main story cut of two pages seems to have some people on edge.
The drop in page count does mean that writers will need to cut their stories by two full pages, and for the titles this affects, it may actually be a good thing (yes, sarcasm). The one area that appears to be sticking in some people’s craw is the potential increase in price per finished story page.
Here is a quick break down of the price per page for the reader:
- $3.99 for 22 pages of story – 18-cents per story page (rounded down)
- $3.99 for 30 pages of story (8-page co-feature and 22 pages of feature) – 13-cents per story page (rounded down)
- $2.99 for 20 pages of story (new price structure) – 15-cents per story page (rounded up)
Bottom line for the reader is yes, there is a slight cost per page increase for the reader to the tune of 30-cents when you do all the maths on the co-featured books, but considering the overall cover price is being dropped by a buck, that is still 70-cents savings per issue. For the $3.99/22 page story, there is still a great deal of savings.
I have always found the 22 page count to be kind of odd. Why not 32, 24, 20, or 16 pages? I find that comics written for the trade(which is a lot of them) are much more filler than substance. This price point doesn’t bother me, and if this means it trims some fat, then all better in the long run. I am waiting for the day when comics are 16 pages for $2.50, and people will nit pick but still buy them.
In a way, I kind of like this. I don’t have a lot of disposable income so I’m usually very selective on what comic titles I pick up, and while $4 may not seem like a lot to some people, it is for some of us. While I may not get as many pages of story for the cheaper price, it might make me purchase a few titles I normally wouldn’t and get a broader range of the overall DC Comics Universe story instead of the little corners I normally stick with.