The comics industry is doing better than it has in years. Comic Book movies have become a staple of American cinema, and the formerly “nerdy” hobby of being into superheroes, has gone mainstream. However, there is a lot of room left to grow and the next frontier seems to be an unlikely one: Walmart.
DC comics have been doing decently better than Marvel with its imprints. They are making a pretty big move to help increase their lead and will start selling one hundred page “giant” issues exclusively in Walmarts across the country.
The publisher of DC comics, Dan Dido:
We are extraordinarily excited about working with Walmart to expand the reach of our books, These new monthly books combine new and accessible stories with reprints of classic comic series. It’s a great way for new readers to get into comics and follow the characters they’ve grown to love in TV and film.
That last sentence is key. DC sees the surge in interest in the characters appearing in their movies, and wants to use that momentum to get their books into more peoples hands. Walmart is everywhere, getting brand new comics into their stores is impressive on its own- but to get exclusive issues that won’t be available anywhere else is genius.
DC will be flexing its muscles to make sure these new giant comics will be big sellers. Famous writers like Tom King, Dan Jurgens, Brian Michael Bendis, and Andy Kubert will be writing these books- they are some of the biggest names in the business and regularly turn out stories that debut to both commercial and critical acclaim.
Starting July 1st, Walmart stores will be stocked with four giant issues: Superman Giant, Batman Giant, Teen Titans Giant, and Justice League of America Giant. Beginning the month after, Walmart will be stocking new monthly issues of these titles every two weeks.
These will go for 4.99, and at 100 pages that is a pretty good deal. As an avid comic book collector myself, I can tell you that regular “special issues” that get priced around 4.99 only have 1/3 of the pages at best. What remains to be seen is what do we actually get with the 100 pages? There is mention of reprints of New 52 stories, that’s great for new readers, but current enthusiasts may be paying for 90 pages of old content and 10 new- we don’t know.
I am not a big fan of Walmart, but I am excited to see DC making moves to get comics into more peoples hands. Hard to tell how this will workout, but I’m hopeful.
Decades of video games and comic books have molded me into the nerd with a heart of gold that I am today. I can go full fanboy one second, and then gleefully play devil’s advocate the next- life is just more fun that way.