Marvel's short lived experiment with increasing the amount of $2.99 books against $3.99 books earlier in 2011, and DC's rather longer lived experiment in doing seems to have had real benfit for comic book readers this year.
According to Comicchron numbercrunching by John Jackson Miller, the price of an average comic in the Top 300, fell in 2011 from $3.58 to $3.49. And, weighted to how many were actually ordered, the average price drops from $3.54 to $3.44.
Basically, comics got ten cents cheaper in 2011, in a year when American inflation should have taken the price from $3.58 to $3.70 or from $3.54 to $3.67. Which means they are around twenty cents cheaper than general inflation would suggest.
This has been achieved in part by a reluctance to move to the $3.99 price point, that saw both DC and Marvel retrench their price plans, and the reduction in page count, a standard twenty-two page comics is now twenty pages long. In both cases, DC Comics made the lead.
This year will see an increase in $3.99 comics from the big players, as Marvel introduces free digital downloads to incentivise the extra dollar, and DC bring in more pages for certain titles.