Image Comics is offering its readers a chance to get their comic books delivered straight to them -- and at a healthy discount. CBR has the exclusive first details of Image Direct, a new mail-order subscription service from the high-profile publisher of creator-owned comics. Starting today, interested parties in the continental United States can sign up for 12-issue subscriptions of more than 35 Image titles, including "The Walking Dead," "Saga," "Wytches," "Sex Criminals" and "Rat Queens," among others.
As is typical with subscriptions, the publisher will offer a significant discount -- up to 30 percent, or 35 percent off for Image die-hards who subscribe to every available title. Given the variety of ways Image's comics are available as same-day digital releases, Image Direct marks a further commitment to print. One week ago at Image Expo, Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson discussed during his keynote address how he sees print and digital as working in tandem to grow the comics-reading audience, despite digital initially being viewed as a threat to the existing model.
"Digital is a great option, but I think a lot of people still prefer print, and I think that's going to be the case for a significant amount of time, especially where comics are concerned," Stephenson told CBR News.
Mail-order subscriptions were once heavily promoted in comic books themselves, with Marvel, DC Comics and other publishers promoting their services in colorful house ads. Marvel and DC's programs are still in place, and at launch, Image Direct has similar placement on Image's website as its competitors' respective services.
Stephenson told CBR he "absolutely" sees an audience for Image Direct, hearing from readers who aren't able to track down the Image titles they seek -- either because they're not near a comics shop, or the one sthey are near don't stock what they're looking for.
"Our partners in the Direct Market do a fantastic job, but just as our relationship with comic book stores has not prevented us from exploring other sales channels, in book stores and via digital distribution, I don't think it should hold us back from trying to reach those readers who aren't either aren't served by their local comic book shops, or who don't have one in their area via our own efforts," Stephenson said.
Image's full Image Direct press release follows.
Official Press Release
IMAGE COMICS LAUNCHES MAIL-ORDER SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE:
IMAGE DIRECTCustomers can now opt to purchase 12-issue subscriptions to their favorite Image comics and have them mailed to their door
Image Comics is pleased to announce Image Direct, a newly launched mail-order subscription service that allows fans to purchase 12-issue subscriptions to their favorite Image comics and have them delivered straight to their doorstep. Image Direct serves continental U.S. customers only. Subscribe here: http://subscriptions.imagecomics.com/.
Image Direct will allow subscribing readers to receive the latest issues of over 35 titles, including THE WALKING DEAD, SAGA, SEX CRIMINALS, WYTCHES, BLACK SCIENCE, VELVET, RAT QUEENS and more, immediately upon release. Subscribers will receive discounts of up to 30% off and will have the option to subscribe to every available title and receive 35% off.
"Even with all the wonderful work our retailer partners in the Direct Market do, the number one comment we get from fans is they frequently can't find the Image titles they're looking for," said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. "Given that there are fewer comic book stores than ever before, we're hoping that Image Direct makes our titles available to fans who don't have easy access to a local comic book store, or whose shop doesn't carry the full range of Image titles."
Image Direct launches today. Readers interested in subscribing to the service can find more information on how to sign up here: http://subscriptions.imagecomics.com/.