These days with the price of new, standard, color, main-stream comics hovering around $3.00–4.00 spotting a comic for just a single buck is something of a bargain. More and more — with so many titles from which to choose — it seems that comicbook publishers are beginning to realize that from time-to-time they have to offer their comics at less than normal price just to get fans to give them a try. Sure there is always Free Comic Book Day, but that only comes once a year; so several publishers have determined that offering (or re-offering), some landmark issues at well below the going rate for new books.
Currently, Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse are all offering up special lines of their product for just a dollar. In all three cased, the comics are reprints of previously-issued material (with Marvel it is slugged MGC, or “Marvel’s Greatest Comics,” DC’s line falls under the header “What’s Next?”; Dark Horse has “One to One,” and Image has “Image Firsts”). DC also offers select Vertigo titles for $1.00, while other companies such as Radical and Archaia also offer $1.00 comics — the dollar comics from the last two are different in that they tend to be lead-ins to up-coming series as opposed to reprints of previously-published material.
Still, in either case (as a lead in or a reprint), the concept is fairly clear, with such a vast array of product from which to choose (much of which is often gathered up and re-published as graphic novels or trade paperbacks), the concept of “seasoning” or “teasing” fans with dollar comics is not that bad a marketing strategy. Even if the fans only pick up the dollar reprint, it still is not a bad idea, as it does help increase revenue for both the publisher as well as the comic shops that carry them.
DC started off itsWhat’s Next? line by prefacing that tag line withAfter Watchmen (which included the following titles): Y the Last Man, Identity Crises
Thus far, DC’s What’s Next line has included the following titles, Batman and Robin, Action Comics, Green Lantern, The Flash, Jonah Hex, Batwoman,
Wildstorm: What’s Next?: The Authority, Astro City,Ex Machnina
Vertigo’s: izombie, John Constantine: Hellblazer, Human Target, The Losers, Jack Fables, Sweet Tooth, Scalped
Image: Haunt, The Darkness, Liberty Meadows, Wanted, I Kill Giants, Godland, Madman Comics, The Hero Discovered Mage, Hack/Slash, Dead@17
Dark Horse Comics: One to One: The Goon, Conan, The Umbrella Academy, Groo
Marvel MGC: Daredevil, New X-Men, Invincible Iron Man, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Captain America, Thor, Wolverine (Old Man Logan), Hulk, Alias, Agents of Atlas
While it is not certain if Radical and Archaia will issue more $1.00 comics, the others (Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse) are sure to issue more $1.00 comics (in fact, Marvel has already announced several more due to be released over the coming months).