Hello Nerdites! Last week Dark Horse announced that they would be going day and date digital starting with the December 14th releases. For me this is very exciting news. If you listen to the Nerd and I’s podcasts then you know that I buy almost exclusively digital these days. My tablet has changed my life allowing me access to more books at my finger tips than ever before. Dark Horse is particularly interesting as they have decided to distribute exclusively through their apps. Marvel started with their own app on iOS but has partnered with comiXology on their Android app; DC is fully committed to distributing through comiXology. There is still a chance that Dark Horse will follow Marvel’s lead (they have yet to release an Android version of their app), but for the time being, they are committed to their own app. Either way digital may never take over comics like it has other print mediums, but it is certainly part of the game plan, and I for one am on board. 
That being said I do miss print at times and digital as a venue it not without its share of controversies. Well chalk another one up for crazy digital controversies. Yesterday it was reported via iFanboy that traditional retailers were upset at news that suggested Dark Horse would be selling their digital copies at $1.99 as opposed to $2.99 like the print issues. This caused quite a stir as retailers across the country were considering boycotting the publisher at the news. At the same time many fans across the nation were rejoicing as many have always felt that paying for a digital copy should not cost the same as a print copy. This is not completely unheard of as Archie Comics already charges a reduced rate for their digital copies, but no one can argue that Dark Horse would be a much bigger deal. There is obviously a value difference in having the physical copy and scrolling through a digital edition. I for one miss the glossy pages and looking for print imperfections (something that was always fun back in the day). That being said I personally have always been ok with buying digital anyways as I have felt that I am paying for the story and the experience not the paper investment.
Regardless of your take, this was some big news and caused a lot of ruffled feathers and outcries from everyone involved. Well it was all for not. Later last night Dark Horse released a statement clarifying that the pricing would not be different. In line with what DC is doing, Dark Horse will be pricing the standard $2.99 upon release but will be reduced to $1.99 after the first month. In an attempt to smooth over hurt feelings Mike Richardson, founder of Dark Horse had this to say: 
Dark Horse values our retail partners and is grateful for the twenty-five years of business we’ve done together. We have considered the retail community in all of our digital decisions and look at direct-market shops as crucial to our continued success. With that in mind, Dark Horse will make every effort to keep our comics retailers strong in a changing market.
Comic geeks can be fairly sensitive, so hopefully Dark Horse has not burned too many bridges. This could easily have been a PR nightmare for a company that has done so well in competing in a market dominated by the big two. Either way I am glad to see that they will be adopting the DC pricing model. I am too much of a DC snob to wait a month for my books, but waiting a month for Dark Horse books to pay a third of the price less works for me. Now they just need to get that Android thing worked out. Till next time Nerdites!
By JP
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