The iPad costs too much? Compared to what?

Glenn Hauman

Glenn is VP of Production at ComicMix. He has written Star Trek and X-Men stories and worked for DC Comics, Simon & Schuster, Random House, arrogant/MGMS and Apple Comics. He's also what happens when a Young Turk of publishing gets old.

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12 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Compared to what? Other devices that'll do more for less. It's more a status display than useful for anything beyond a limited spectrum.

  2. mike weber says:

    Compared to anything i'd actually have a use for.

  3. Marc Alan Fishman says:

    While true… many comic book owners are fans of the collecting aspect as well. Without the paper version to tuck away in a long box somewhere, will the finicky comic book fans take the digital age? And specifically to the iPad… how assured might we be that DC and Marvel would release the books at the same time as the paper copies? Or that they would be at the 99 cent price point. As details surface, I look forward to seeing and gaging fan reaction.

  4. Andrei says:

    Save 560… while spending 500-1000 on the device? Count the provider, accesories and the apps. And the next year to buy the iPad 2, because u have to, because it comes with inovative technologies like USB. Right. My comics will stay on paper.

  5. Brrr says:

    Think of all the generations of electronic devices and obsolete file formats that have passed us by while our saved paper comics remain in their box. How many times would you have to re-purchase those comics over the years in order to keep reading them electronically? Just thinking of what I've spent going from LP-cassette-CD-iTunes or VHS-DVD-iTunes is staggering, I'd never want to have to go that route with my comics (or any other reading material).Digital reading is cool, but printed books are still superior.

  6. Goodman says:

    Actually, Marvel comics sell for $1.99 now on the iPhone, so that's presumably the price they'll be on the iPad. (And comics WILL definitely be available for the iPad). Some other comics go for $1.99 (including Irredeemable and Walking Dead) while most of the others go for 99 cents (which I think would ultimately make more money, since it's an impulse purchase).It would take some time for an iPad to pay for itself just in comics purchases. And it's a moot point since many companies (like Marvel) don't release digital editions until long after the paper comics and trade paperbacks. And then there's DC comics, which is waiting for this whole internet thing to blow over (theyr'e the only major company who don't sell digital comics).The iPad is still worth getting though. Frankly, I find the iPhone more fun to use than my brand new Dell PC. But when at home I'd rather read the iPad's 9.7 inch screen than the iPhone's 3.5 inch screen. Plus, I have a ton of Marvel comics in PDF format from those DVDs GIT Corp used to sell, and those will be great to read on my iPad.

  7. Stuart Moore says:

    I will be shocked if you ever see new, first-run 99-cent e-comics on anything other than a promotional basis. By far the largest part of the cost of DC/Marvel comics is creative, not printing & distribution. It's just not feasible. I wouldn't be certain that $1.99 iPhone price point will stay there forever, either. Is that for brand-new, first-run comics?

    • Glenn Hauman says:

      I've seen a bunch of books come from IDW at the 99 cent price point, including all issues of Star Trek: Countdown when that was in stores, and IDW sold more units online than they did in print. They mix and match on prices.

      • Goodman says:

        Yeah, most iPhone comics are 99 cents, except for Marvel and comics by Mark Waid or Robert Kirkman. As I say, it's the perfect price because people will spend 99 cents without batting an eye. I've bought lots of comics I'd never even heard of for 99 cents on the iPhone. (Also, the first issues are often free… except for Marvel.)

  8. Stuart Moore says:

    Sure, but that's a perspective that doesn't take into account the cost of producing the material. $9.99 seems to be the ideal price for a manga trade, but most American publishers have discovered it's difficult to pay for 150+ pages of all-new material with that list price. I suspect this will shake down the same way it looks like book publishing will go, after this past week: higher prices for brand-new material and lower for "back issues." It's basically the publishing industry's old hardcover/softcover pricing model, with greater flexibility for in-between prices and periodic discount sales. But we're going to go through a lot of interesting, sometimes misleading ups and downs first. SF writer Charlie Stross has some interesting thoughts on incremental pricing, and other recent ebook events, here.

    • Goodman says:

      The Comixology iphone app has already started to release lower priced collections, after the individual issues have been on sale for a while. I'm surprised that Marvel is selling their comics for $1.99 across the board, rather than mixing it up some (as with their actual comics). But Marvel seems pretty concerned about not spooking the direct market. In the short run though, I think the direct market will benefit from more people being introduced to comics.

  9. Chuck Rozakis says:

    Give the iPad two years–a new generation with a lower price point (and more memory, and longer battery life…) will be out soon enough.And let me say again: I've been predicting the color e-reader will kill pamphlets for years, and I continue to do so.