Sterling on Cheap Comics

Comic retailer Mike Sterling disagrees with those who think Fell should have been priced at $3. I’m sorry to reproduce so much of his comments, but they’re so pithy:

Speaking as a seller of funnybooks, I think having a $1.99 comic that’s actually good is just dandy, particularly one by a writer with a significant amount of material in the marketplace. I use it as an inexpensive sampler book for people who want to try some of Ellis’ work but don’t want to dish out for the cost of one of his trade paperbacks. On the flip side of this, I have several customers who only buy trade paperbacks of Ellis’ work, but buy Fell because it’s only two freakin’ bucks.

I don’t know, maybe I’m totally out of line, but I’d rather have a $1.99 book on the shelf that actually sells, rather than a boatload of, say, $2.99 reprints of Marvel books that really didn’t need reprinting sitting around and gathering dust.

I hadn’t thought about the sampler idea, but that’s a great use of a cheap series, especially since it’s similar to his current ongoing Desolation Jones and his well-known book series Transmetropolitan. I’d love to know what Sterling thinks of the possibility of a less-well-known writer and/or artist using the format and price point.



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