Friday Trending Topics: Cover Prices And The Page Count Barrier

Friday Trending Topics: Cover Prices And The Page Count BarrierOne of the interesting and lesser-discussed aspects of the page-count moves of the past year is what it says about the comic economics of the near future.  If 20 (story pages) sticks as a new standard, some serious front-office bean-counting is soon going to come into play.

Because the next step is to start thinking about how many ad & supplemental pages are really needed, and at what point it makes sense to drop total standard page count (story+supplements+ads) down from 32 to 24 — and what in turn that will ultimately mean for story page count (will we stick with 20 story pages plus 4 ad pages?  Or then move to 16-18 story pages plus 6-8 ad pages…?).

Significant printing and shipping savings would be garnered at that point, which would have to be weighed carefully against ad revenue.  Some publishers have experimented with this format for years, sometimes with accompanying cover-price savings,  but often without having to weigh additional ad pages very heavily into the equation as Marvel and DC might.

Given that the 32-total-page-count format American comic book has been the general standard (with many exceptions of course, but still) since the mid-1950s, a jump to 24 pages industry-wide would be a fairly dramatic move.  But with the rapid page-count/price changes happening now, it may be inevitable.

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(UPDATE) Five Teaser Panels For X-Men Regenesis

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About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.

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