Dark Horse Digital Twice As Expensive

Dark Horse Comics announced Preview night at San Diego Comic Con that its fall publishing schedule will include three comics with writers from outside the comics community.

Tom Morello’s Orchid, P. C. Cast’s House of Night, and Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain will be joining the Dark Horse roster. The first issue of each of these new series will be priced at $1.00 in comic stores.

Now here is where it gets interesting… every issue of each comic will be available on release date through Dark Horse Digital for $1.99.

I am all about convenience.  I like the idea of day and date digital release.  I am even moderately comfortable with paying the same price for a digital comic as I am for the actual book (more on that in another post).  But, what I cannot understand is why these comics would be double the price of their comic shop counterparts, especially since Dark Horse has their own app and sells the books through their own site.

Some could argue that the people buying these new books may be a different audience than the people who go to the comic shops.  The Dark Horse licensed properties sell quite well in book stores to people who do not regularly buy comics, but who are fans of Buffy, Serenity, and Star Wars.  But, why punish those people?  Why make them pay double?  Why not make this an opportunity to hook them for under a buck?

Digital distribution of comics is in its infancy.  Comic book companies are still trying to figure out what does and does not work.  But it is clear that digital distribution is the future of comics.  Why would any company discourage people from adopting the technology that will serve them best in the long run?

Tom Morello’s Orchid is on sale October 12.

P. C. Cast’s House of Night is on sale November 9.

Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain is on sale December 14.

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