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Comic book price stunts: Do they work?

We see them in the shops, but do comic book price stunts really work?

Photograph of comics
Image credit: Popverse

Remember when Mark Millar announced Night Club, the Image Comics mini and soon-to-be Netflix series about a teenager becoming a costumed vampire? In the press release, the Scottish superstar scribe declared that the $1.99 cover price he slapped on the book marked the first time in comics history someone charged less money for a new series. That, of course, isn't true. Image Comics’ Fell and Casanova did this back in the mid ‘00s, which the creators also released at the same price point. Granted, that was almost 20 years ago and most comics were going for $2.99 then, not the $3.99 and $4.99 which have become the standard price points in today's market.

What Millar did on Night Club raises some questions. For one, do pricing stunts like these work? And do they work for all? Or is there an easily overlooking downside to releasing comics at a price point that's much lower than the standard? In the end, does it all add up economically for publishers, creators, and retailers alike?

A first easy answer would be to look at the numbers. But since Diamond Comic Distributors no longer represents Image Comics nor most of the bigger publishers – BOOM! Studios and Dynamite Entertainment being notable exceptions – looking at their sales charts is no longer of any use.

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