Digital VS Print: Round 1 Cost

Let’s start this series with the first thing on most peoples minds: MONEY!

Is is cheaper to go digital?

When most of the major comic book industries announced that they were to “Same-day-digital” releases of their books. Most of us thought that it would mean you would have a cheaper version online. Thus it would kill print books and brick and mortar stores as we know them. Such was not the case however. All new comic books are the same price for their digital counterpart. So, when it comes down to it, if someone has to pick between a virtual copy of a book for $2.99 or real physical, collectable book for $2.99. Most people will take the print copy.

A win-win:

Sometimes buying in print is an even better deal because you get both! Marvel releases most of their $3.99 books with a promo code to get the book digitally for free. For a collector this means you can buy the book and read it without ever opening it! For them it’s a win-win. I bought a few of these, and I have to confess, I never redeem the codes. I would always rather read it on paper if it’s written that way (More in this in round 2) so the code is pretty pointless.

living in the past (by a month):

If you are a person who doesn’t mind waiting a month extra for you comics, it can pay of to go digital, however. DC Comics has gotten into the habit of dropping the price of all it’s digital books once they become back issues. Some really old book are $1.99 or even $.99 on a special sale! So if you don’t mind being behind and can manage ignoring all the spoiler-ridden reviews for a month, you stand to save an extra buck if you buy digitally.

When the latest issue of Justice League released last month, the previous issue dropped a dollar.

But can you control it?

There is a perception of value that was created when DC starting it’s “Digital-First” books, which are weekly, short, $.99 comics. It sounds really cheap but I find it really easy to just think, “Eh, it’s only a buck. click.” and after a while I get the bill and it’s MUCH more than a dollar! Especially with that new story being only a click away, it adds up very quickly. And think of it this way: The short issue is a buck, but it’s weekly. So, at the end of the month you have spent at least 4 dollars, and and in some cases 5 dollars! You get a few more pages than a monthly $2.99 book but you pay more in the end.


1. If you are a person of extreme discipline, and don’t mind being a month behind, it can be cheaper.

2. For us regular folks, there is no difference in price.

3. For those with even a hint of addictive personality it can be WAY more expensive to get into the world of one-click downloads.

See you next Tuesday for Round 2: The Story

***We did not mention the added price of buying the technology to use digital. iPads are around $400, and smartphones aren’t cheap either. But we are assuming that if you own one of these devices, you didn’t just buy it to read comics. If you did. wow.


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