The first trade [of DMZ] is 10 dollars. That’s 5 issues for 10 dollars, mind you. If you bought these 5 issues in their original format, you would have spent 15 dollars (more or less). Why on earth would anyone buy these in single issue format, I ask? The second trade contains seven issues and will cost you 13 bucks. That’s 12 issues, each originally $2.99 (thereby costing you 36 dollars, more or less) that you can get in handy trade format for 23 dollars.That, in one paragraph, is why I can not see myself ever being a comics reader who buys a lot (if any) monthly books. I'd love to be that kind of guy. I like the idea of going into my local shop every week. I like the feel of floppies. I like the idea of supporting creators by buying monthly, when it will most help to keep under-appreciated titles in print. I'd like to be able to follow along with the comics podcasts I listen to more closely by reading the monthly books. But I just can not justify a 50% markup per unit story.
Especially since, as someone relatively new to comics, I have decades worth of trades and collections and OGNs to catch up on. Add on top of all of that the fact that most titles I read benefit from reading an entire story line at once, and a razor thin entertainment budget, and you have a recipe for a trades-only reader.
Postscript: I was listening to one of Around Comics' Emerald City ComiCon episodes and Dan DiDio said something along the lines of "$3 still isn't a lot of money for the entertainment you get from one book." Let's do some back of the envelope figurin'
comic book: $3 / 15 minutes = $12/hr
collected edition: $12/ 90 minutes = $8/hr
movie ticket: $10/ 2 hours = $5/hr
DVD rental (Netflix): $2 / 2 hours = $1/hr*
novel (Amazon, used): $6 / 12 hours = $.50/hr
He does admit later that they're competing for people's attention with other media. I'm not sure how you can reconcile each of these statements.
* This gets even more affordable when you rent discs of TV shows, dropping down to maybe 75 cents/hr.
Post-postscript: Brian Wood happened to ask today (22 May) how much people would be willing to pay for a DMZ collection that went straight to trades. Publishers would be giving up ad revenue and going to a less predictable income stream by switching off of monthlies, but from the sampling of his commenters it doesn't appear that people would be willing to pay much more than they already do.