Rave : 2003 : Comics: What Price Do We Pay? Continued...

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Last month I did a little rave on the price of comics and mentioned some ways that I thought would be great to get comics into people's hands at a cheaper price. Well, this month it seems that I spoke too soon, as Marvel has just announced a price increase on a number of its titles.

In response to this, the good people over at Pulse did a little survey to find out what some prominent comic pros thought. You can read the full article here. The article focuses on what effect this price rise will have on the comics in question. But, one of the most interesting answers and an answer that highlights the point I was trying to make, was from CrossGen Head Mark Allessi:

THE PULSE: Why can't comics be prices in the US$1.00 to US$1.75 range again? What is going to happen to the industry if these rates keep increasing?

MARK ALESSI: I have always said that we need to find a way to provide more reasonable pricing for comics which is what we have tried to do with the " Pocket Size Compendia " which fans are writing us that they were originally worried about the size reduction affecting quality, but now that they have seen them they are amazed at the quality of reproduction. I mean 8 comics for 8 bucks, hard to beat !!! Comics on the Web are also a great price reduction option ! Even if you still want the hard copy on certain titles, it cost $2 dollars a month for unlimited access to over 180 titles and growing monthly , some with voice over and many in multiple languages. Two dollars for 180 comics seems like a legitimate bargain and since they have cellular support you can read them anywhere you can pick up a cellular connection. You will never get lost in our continuity with every title ever published available !!! Currently, we are releasing Brath, Crossovers and Lady Death " A Medieval Tale "plus two new mini-series one, " The Mark of Charon " and two, the long awaited return of Brandon Peterson in " Chimera " as well as George Perez's return to a monthly title in " Solus " . Some top flight stuff from some very talented creators . I hope fans will give them a look!

Mark obviously uses the opportunity to blow his own trumpet, but you've gotta admit he's got the right idea! Imagine if Marvel put its Spidey comics on the web for a reasonable price? I'd never leave my computer and I wouldn't have to spend huge amounts of money and time trying to find all of Spidey's comics just so I can read his adventures. Marvel has taken a positive step with its "Essentials" line, but they're too few and far between for my liking. Marvel are also being pretty aggressive with getting any recent Spidey stuff into trade paperback format. But, it's still not significantly cheaper than buying monthly. Plus, you never know if they are going to collect all the issues or just the ones they think best.

I really hope that Marvel will take notice of CrossGen's innovative plans and give fans like myself another option for enjoying their product!