The Now 52
Art © 2011 DC Comics. Pencils, Inks: Francis Manapul. Colors: Brian Buccellato.
I guess the new "52" initiative from DC, which rewrites the continuity of its main superhero universe (again) together with setting up a comprehensive digital-release plan for its comics, gives another meaning to "downloading the latest version of
Your friendly neighborhood comics shop — if one exists — faces a tougher marketplace than ever. New comics readers don't tend to jump on the periodical train, while the trend among even dedicated longtime readers has been to give up the single-issue habit in favor of collected editions; unfortunately for comics shops, Amazon discounts almost all in-print hardcovers and softcovers deeply as a matter of course, while Borders (not without its own troubles) routinely offers coupons for at least 30% off a single item in-store or online to members of its free rewards program. And now single-issue readers who don't want to wait for collected editions but are willing to wait just one month for prices on the digital version to drop from $2.99 to $1.99 on standard issues — likely not a big deal for those who already don't visit the comics shop weekly and, of course, prefer or at least don't mind owning a digital copy rather than a physical one — have a compelling alternative to what had been one of the comics shop's main selling points. I have lots more to say about the DC plan, the retail conundrum, and digital vs. print in upcoming posts.
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