Thursday, 19 January 2017

My reaction to DC's price increase.

Most recently, I've become a bigger fan of the outhousers comic site. I'm not sure why, though I suspect it has something to do with their more satirical take on comics news, whereas most others (but not all) other more (in my opinion) biased comics information.

Anyway, while scanning quickly through the site yesterday, I came across this article which announced that DC were going to be raising the prices of certain single issue comics from $2.99 to $3.99 in exchange for including a free digital code a la Marvel.

After reading this, I was originally going to entitle this post 'Bye, Bye DC' simply because my knee-jerk reaction was to go 'right I'm done. I'm cutting all DC titles'. Thankfully, I've slept on it and cooler heads have prevailed (although, not less annoyed ones).

For me, this is quite the nuisance because, month in and month out, I run on a rather restrictive comic book budget (the downside of being a family man) and DC raising their prices is not going to help. But also, doing this in order to supply me with a digital version of a book I now already own in print is very much double dipping and, while I'm sure plenty of people enjoy doing that (although I've never met any, I don't think), I'm not one of those people.

What mostly concerns me though is will the comixology prices rise to reflect this print copy price rise? At present, I pick up two DC titles (not an earth-shattering number, I know); one in print and one digitally. For my print book, Trinity, my local comic shop charges £2.80 for a $2.99 book (it was less but 'yay' Brexit. Hope the sarcasm came across there) while Comixology charges £1.99 the $2.99 Titans. However, with this jump in price, my LCS will charge me £3.60 while Comixology will sell for £2.49, an increase to my budget of £1.30. That's not a terribly large amount, but when you are on a budget, every penny counts.

So, past the annoyance and concern, I really have three options:
  • Take the hit and either raise my budget (I don't see that happening) or cut something else.
  • Drop everything as A. It now costs more and B. A metaphorical middle finger to DC. Of course, I'm probably just cutting my nose off to spite my face as my two books aren't gonna hit DC's profits.
  • I drop one title in order to offset the price rise of the other. I don't like this idea as I like both books, but it seems like the best option of the three.
In truth, there is a fourth option, although it hinges on Comixology's generosity. If digital titles remain at the same price, I'd be tempted to 'sell' the print book's digital codes for the difference in price (so 80p-£1). This should be easy enough because there are plenty of comic book groups and forums out there (I'm a member of quite a few) and taking the codes off me would sure be cheaper for those sellers. Also I don't lose out financially (I don't gain either, but it's not all about profit) meaning cuts don't have to be made.

Of course, maybe I'll get lucky and DC will release a code-included version and a non-coded issue for the cheaper $2.99, taking all my problems away. But this is DC so let's not expect miracles here.

At present, I'm not sure which way I will go with this. Titans and Trinity are two enjoyable titles and cutting one over the other might be just too big a decision for me to make. Either way, at least one of them may have to go and I may not know which until right up to the wire.

Of course, if DC about-turn on this and save me the need to cut, I'd appreciate it.