Archie Plans to Release Two New Graphic Novels a Month in 2011, Starts New Subscription Program

Archie Book Club ad

An ad currently running in the Archie comic books is promoting the Archie Comics Book Club, a new subscription offer beginning January 2011. For $19.99 a month, billed automatically to your credit card, you’ll get two new graphic novels a month, plus a one-year subscription to an Archie comic book, plus a one-year subscription to Archie Digital Comics.

The digital product itself is priced at $9.95 month or a year for $49.95. The Archie “baby trade” collections (my term, since they’re small and contain four issues) are $9.95 each. So a year’s subscription adds up to $239.88 for 24 books ($238.80 cover price), which effectively makes the print and digital subscriptions free. If parents know that they’re going to want all the books for their kids, I suppose this is a no-hassle way to ensure they arrive, although I’m always suspicious of those too-convenient “we’ll just keep billing your credit card until you remember to cancel” offers.

Archie Book Club ad

I also wonder who picks out the print subscription, you or the company. Some titles aren’t published monthly (such as Jughead, which appears quarterly, and some of the Betty & Veronica titles are every two months), which may complicate things.

But the thing I find most significant about this is that Archie is committing to releasing at least two collections a month, which is a major increase to their graphic novel reprint program. Watch for more high-promotion storylines like that Archie kisses Valerie one, with a hook that gets media attention and collects easily into a book. The two books shown in the ad are The Archies & Josie and the Pussycats and Betty and Veronica: Storybook, both due in January. Amazon already has a number of otheres listed under the Archie & Friends All-Stars umbrella title, including a Jughead book, the “Night at the Comic Shop” story full of historical characters, “Archie Babies”, and the return of Archie’s Weird Mysteries.

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