Image Cuts Out Stores, Announces Image Direct

image comicsYou’d think this would have been a good announcement at Image Expo earlier this month. Today, Image Comics has announced “Image Direct,” their own subscription service for physical comics. The subscription delivery service cuts out physical stores, allowing Image to mail comics directly to individuals’ doorstep at a discount.

Orders have to be placed the previous month, but depending on how much you order you’ll receive a discount up to 35% off the cover price. If you order 2 or more comics you receive 10% off, 4 or more its 20%, 10 or more its 30%, and if you subscribe to it all its 35% off. Subscriptions are for 12 issues (so not sure how breaks or limited series work, though we’ve asked).

There is a twist though, shipping and handling seems a bit high making the prices not as solid as would seem. The cheapest shipping is First Class Mail which will clock in at $1 per issue or $3.25 per issue to get them bag and boarded too (or $1.25 after that per each additional subscription). So, on a $2.99 comic, it’ll cost you about $3.69 per issue ($2.99 x 10% discount + $1 shipping). So, to get an actual discount below the cover price, you’d need to subscribe to everything Image produces, that unlocks a $13 flat shipping fee that includes bags and boards and 2-day shipping.

Comics will be mailed in one shipment in the last week of the month and the service is only available in the United States currently.

Getting everything will cost you $1,117.99 instead of a retail cover price of $1,719.36. When you add in the $13 shipping you save $588.37 (plus the costs of bags and boards) for 12 issues of 43 series. That comes out to about $2.19 an issue with shipping included. Bag and boards roughly cost $10 for packs of 100 (so $20 total between the two for 100 comics). It’d cost you an additional $103.20 for bags and boards , which you get if you order everything. In total you save $691.57 if you were to order everything.

It’s also unknown how the comics will arrive. I remember subscribing to various Marvel books back in the day and my comics arriving beaten to crap. We’ve reached out to various retail stores for a reaction.

So, what does everyone think about this new service?

2 comments

  • It seems like a good, efficient deal for consumers. Not great for your LCBS. Condition upon arrival is key.

    • Good for consumers if they don’t have a shop close by. They’d wind up paying more generally unless they buy everything at which point they save. I used to do subscriptions to Marvel comics way back in the day (80s or 90s) and the comics were often beat up pretty bad.