Saturday, June 5, 2010

Downloading 'The Marvel Way'

Rummaging through the recent news, I came across an announcement from MARVEL concerning the upcoming release of the 80 page INVINCIBLE IRON MAN ANNUAL #1 by Fraction and Giandomencio... Marvel's idea is to release the print edition and the digital app the same day of release. Now, while some bloggers are touting this as '... taking the BIG TWO battle to another level in serialized comic distribution...', it does come with a slight hitch (and while some may see this as nitpicky, the economy gives us all a reason to pause)...

In it's printed version, the book will retail for $4.99 (like standard issues aren't expensive enough), in it's digital version, it will come in 3 parts via the Marvel app at a standard price of $1.99 per chapter, making the app more expensive than the print copy. While the advantage in digital distribution makes books supremely less expensive, Marvel's additional charges kinda defeats the purpose of wanting to support their new digital initiative. While this is only one title, this is definitely a precursor of what's coming.

From a business standpoint, the entire Marvel initiative makes sense: Disney owns Marvel... Steve Jobs, that creator of fine iPad technology, sits on the Board of Disney Directors (due to the sale of Pixar)... Marvel saddles up for the 'new digital frontier' (via the Apple iPad store) to charge more for 'less expensive distribution'--- which also explains why the winning the lawsuit against the Kirby heirs is so vitally important--- but that is another story.

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