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Wait, What? Ep. 21.1: Our Year in Review Part I

Jeff Lester


I have no reason why there is an illustration of Devil Dinosaur accompanying this post.    Surely, you would think that “because it is awesome” would be reason enough, right?  At the time, I was trying to find a way to illustrate some points Graeme and I make about Marvel in this particular installment but…well, sometimes Google Images is just not kind when it comes to expressing abstract concepts.

In any event:  Episode 21.1 is here, and in it Graeme and I spend a certain amount of time (the first 22 minutes and thirty seconds, in fact) catching up before launching into our discussion of what we thought were the top news stories of the year.  It’s just the sort of thing to listen to while huddling for warmth on a stranded A Train or wondering which member of your snowed-in family will be the first to be eaten…or so I have it on good authority.

This installment should already be burning a hole in your Itunes, but if not, or if you’d rather just stare at wonderful Kirbyness while listening, you can listen to it here:

Wait, What? Ep. 21.1: Our Year in Review, Part I

We hope you enjoy and Part 2 should be forthcoming shortly!

7 Responses to “ Wait, What? Ep. 21.1: Our Year in Review Part I ”

  1. My take on DC and Marvel these days is that they roughly correspond to the Democratic and Republican parties. DC maybe used to have good enough intentions (so long as you don’t go all the way back to their corrupt machine days), but have allowed themselves to be defined by their opposition and in trying to win have started to become too similar to them, whereas Marvel is just actually out to get you.

  2. I’m pretty sure DC announced that all of their books were going to 20 pages when they did their original press release. Aaron mentioned in his article that DC was going to raise the price on all of the Vertigo books to $4 before they announced the price/page drop so the choice seemed to be $4/22pg. comics or $3/20pg. comics.

  3. Eric – According to the original press release, only seven books were going to lose story pages from the title feature, and only one of those was a Vertigo book (American Vampire). Unless something’s changed behind the scenes (always a possibility, if not a probability), Scalped shouldn’t’ve been affected by the shift at all.

  4. Guess that’s what I get for only skimming the original press release. All of the discussion at the time made it seem like it was as line wide change rather than just affecting the $4 comics.

  5. Doesn’t that press release mention 13 titles? (plus 4 licensed books plus 6 more expensive anniversary/oversized issues)

    I hadn’t realized it wasn’t anything linewide. But since in the solicits they mention the full number of pages including ads, it’s hard to know for sure how many storypages they’re planning for all the other books.

    I guess we’ll have to find out. The issues affected are strange ones: some are very new but hardly finding an audience, others are their highest-numbered series. And then a few others are high-profile, well-selling new books.

    If they’re genuinely committed to $3/22, then they have to spend the majority of 2011 pricing them like that, effectively lessening their chances of getting a higher dollar share since Marvel is raising their prices. Interesting decision, then. Let’s see, as Batman would say, “who benefits?” :)

  6. It looks like the original press release is pretty much DCU (except for that Vampire book and the licensed stuff). But for DCU books, it’s pretty clear that all the $2.99 books are going to be 20 pages.

  7. I don’t think they ever officially announced a change in story page counts across the line, but that’s not the kind of thing they ever publicize. Go back to the 1980s and look at how the increase from 17 pages to 25 pages and then to 27 page a year later were trumpeted right on the covers above the titles, while the subsequent gradual drops that finally settled on 22 for a long time just happened with no fanfare.

    I wonder if DC hadn’t tried that back-up feature 30-pages-for-$4 experiment and made the initial move to launching new titles at 22-pages-for-$4 before retreating if they would have just gone to 20-pages-for-$3 without any publicity at all, except to say they were holding the price at $3.

    Regarding the old 1971 price change, DC’s line went from 15 cents to 25 cents, adding reprints across the board, and stayed there for 10 months before dropping down to 20 cents. Marvel was at 15 cents, then just after DC’s jump had one month where almost everything was 25 cents with longer new stories (around 34 pages, I think), then went to 20 cents the next month. There seems to be some disagreement about what exactly happened, if it was an intentional bit of misdirection by Marvel or a hasty retreat from an ill-advised plan, but the upshot was that for almost a year, most Marvel comics were 20 cents, most DC comics were 25 cents (with reprints for the extra price), and supposedly it was during that stretch that Marvel started to outsell DC, though the sales trends were in that direction anyway.

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