At some point soon, I’m going to feel compelled to write a post called “Death to floppies,” or something similar. Because this week I was hit by an epiphany: it’s time for me to stop buying single issues. Without getting into it too much now, it’s an expensive format, and between paydays my pull box becomes more and more unruly until I’m newly moneyed again. And then the process starts afresh. If I dropped single issues I’d be able to spend the money on trades/collections, which is both a cheaper and much more attractive format.
With this in mind, I’m impressed with Marvel’s newest method of promoting one of its titles. This week’s Superior Spider-man #30 also includes the entirety of Black Widow #1. Two comics for the price of one, in other words, a simple-yet-clever way to encourage people to read a book they might have ignored by providing it alongside one of the publisher’s most popular titles. I can’t imagine the extra cost to Marvel is astronomical, and if even a few Superior Spider-man readers are convinced to buy Black Widow #2, the strategy will have been a success.
There’s a discussion to be had about how the single issue format benefits the publisher much more than the reader, not just in terms of profit but also engagement. And indeed, this strategy is an example of the latter – it amounts to promoting a product to a (kinda) captive audience. But it’s also a friendly suggestion more than a forceful one. Rewarding the reader for sticking with floppies (the success of which is critical to any series published by Marvel or DC). And while it’s almost certainly coincidental, it still seems significant that Marvel has tried this approach in a title that reads best in single issues. I may be about done with floppies, but clearly they still have their uses.