Saturday, June 21, 2008

Marvel flood, and some neat news.

Waiting in some trepidation for next week's invoice. Word on the net is that it will be HUGE. Marvel has apparently decided to dump every big selling and/or late title into the same week. 37 titles, vs. DC's 17 titles.

There is some thought that Marvel is doing this on purpose to drown out DC's big Final Crisis series. Everyone seems surprised that Final Crisis is being outsold by Marvel's Secret Invasion (not me, no matter what I do, Marvel way outsells DC here in Bend.)

DC is pretty weak, right now. Most of their new offerings haven't gone anywhere. They destroyed a lot of goodwill be insisting on weekly comics that taxed even the biggest fans need for continuity. And they gave us a bunch of lame spinoffs. So, they're against the ropes. A cutthroat competitor might see an opportunity.

I wouldn't put it past Marvel. They've done it in the past, and there is a school of thought that they managed to drown First Comics and Comico comics back in the 80's and 90's. Back then, a comic retailer didn't dare not order every Marvel title.

Personally, I've gotten over this need. Marvel hit us with so many crappy English reprints and other retreads at the peak of the comic boom, that I'll never go for that again. (Too many may have even contributed to Marvel's bankruptcy.)

Ironically, Marvel overreacted for almost the next decade; not putting out nearly enough titles and not printing enough of them.

But over the last five years, old habits have begun to creep into their policies. Multiple covers, incentive covers, incentive reprints -- though they haven't gone for the gimmick covers, (die-cut, shiny, jewel encrusted, etc.), though that may just be a matter of time. Big events. One-shots. Crossovers ad infinitum.

Unfortunately, comic retailers are probably going to take the biggest hit. Almost all of us have limited terms, in my case 7 days which I can stretch into 14 if I don't do it too often. Even that is better than most stores, which operate on COD.

Getting twice as much material doesn't mean we will sell twice as much. For cash strapped stores, this could be brutal. There was a time when it would've put the hurt on me.

Nowadays, I'm so diversified, even in comics, that it will hurt, but not that much. I worry more about my customers, who are already strapped by gas prices and a shakey job market looking at a big pile of comics and freaking out.

I'll try to reassure them that its an unusual situation, and that they needn't pick it all up on one week.

Meanwhile, watch tomorrow's Bulletin for something kind of neat -- an article starring my sweet wife, our lovely cat (who is not sweet, but a grumblepuss), and 'our' charming store, the BookMark.

1 comment:

Duncan McGeary said...

Yep-um. It's a humdinger. I compounded it by falling off the wagon a couple weeks ago and order sale product and it all showed up this week.

Still, if it had to happen, going into the 4th of July week is as good a time as any.