DC Goes Digital

A panel from 2001: A Space Odyssey # 5 (1977) that didn’t make the cut for my Kirby Space Odyssey Video

DC Comics Launches Digital Publishing
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010.

By David Hyde

NEW YORK / BURBANK, Calif., June 23, 2010 – DC Comics, publisher of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Fables, is partnering with comiXology and PlayStation®Network for two separate digital comics distribution deals launching today, Wednesday, June 23. In addition, a DC Comics App for the iPhone®, iPad® and iPod® Touch is available allowing consumers an easy way to access DC Comics’ content. The announcement was made jointly today by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. “At DC Comics, it has been a top priority that DC forges a meaningful, forward-looking digital strategy,” said Jim Lee, Co-Publisher, DC Comics. “As both a comic book creator and Co-Publisher, it was incredibly important that our plan includes not only creator incentive payments, but also an innovative component that supports comic shop owners. We see digital as an opportunity to grow our entire business.” Both the comiXology and the PlayStation Network Digital Comics launch offerings will include classic titles from DC Comics, Vertigo and WildStorm. Both programs will share a tiered pricing format, with digital comics priced from $.99 to $2.99 per issue.

$2.99 for a digital comic book sounds like a lot of cash to me. You’d have to think in the near future they’ll slash the prices dramatically on that content if they really want regular readers. I’m sure at some point DC and Marvel will offer a digital comics archive with relatively unlimited access to their entire catalogues for a basic subscription fee, but this is a transitional phase where they want to milk every last penny out of the process.

I wonder how this will eventually effect the ever-declining sales of print comics. There used to be about 10,000 comics shops in the United States, now there are only about 3000. How will local comics shops be able to compete with digital editions sold by DC, as well as free editions springing up on filesharing networks? I guess comics shops will have to start selling iphones, ipads, and playstations alongside Batman statues and back issues.

Soon you’ll be able to read Kirby’s OMAC on your ipod. The world that’s coming…