“Do you have any copies of Action Comics #1 left?”
“Sorry, no, all our copies pretty much blew out the door. We’re all sold out.”
“Wow. So, what were you selling them for?”
“Really! …Do you have any more copies in the back room?”
“No, we’re all sold out.”
Had a variation or two of that particular conversation over the weekend, as we experienced a phenomenon we hadn’t quite planned for: lots of out-of-towners, unable to find copies in their area as their stores have run dry, driving many, many miles to come buy them at our shop. So, as we were planning our orders, in addition to the extra copies we ordered to accommodate the estimated increased demand from our own regular clientele and then some, we should have ordered even more copies to cover regular customers from other shops.
This is the sort of thing, like the not-always reliable media coverage-driven sales, that makes it really difficult to order comics, sometimes. And seems to have caught a lot of people short.
Yeah, I know, “boo hoo, we’re selling comics,” but still. Like I noted before, we ordered what we thought were plenty, but this New DC thing really took off beyond expectations.
I had a customer ask me the other day when I thought DC might revert to the old numbering on some of their titles. Honestly, as I told that customer, I don’t think that’s going to happen for a while, as that would be tantamount to an admission of failure of this new initiative. Frankly, if things get that bad that quickly, I think “renumbering the titles” will be the least of DC’s worries. And on a related note, I don’t expect any of these new series to be cancelled right off the bat (even ones like the awesome OMAC, which might as well have a “SOON TO BE CANCELLED!” banner right above the logo) for the same reason. I’m guessing a year’s worth of issues, minimum, for the bottom sellers. …I have no idea, really…that’s just a gut feeling, is all. (EDIT: Further rumination on this point here.)
The other thing I mentioned in response to that customer is that there are built-in future sales boosts already evident in the titles. Like, for example, Superman…as soon as the court-ordered Superman: The Man of Steel movie wraps up its break-even-plus-maybe-some-change run in theaters, the need to keep the comic book version of the character close in appearance to the mass media version will diminish, and we’ll probably get the attention-grabbing “The Return of Superman’s Original Costume” Saga. Or in Green Lantern, when we get “The Return of the Green Lantern Everyone Knows…No, Not The Black Guy, The Other One” Saga. And, you know, other similarly marketable events.
Of course, it won’t be long before it all goes back to the old standbys, like death (“In this issue, a character with no mass media presence but all you fans claim to love dies!”) or crossovers (“Crisis of Batman Appearing in Multiple Books You Wouldn’t Ordinarily Look at Otherwise”). And as I noted before, assuming things last that long, we’ll see acknowledgements of the 1000th issue of Action and other such milestones, without necessarily renumbering the books.
Okay, perhaps I may have been slightly too cynical up there. All that aside, I can say customers are still really excited about what’s going on, and that’s good to see.
Also, Omac really is a hoot. Trust me on this.
In related news, pal Dorian reviews the first week of DC’s new titles. He liked Omac too. Just buy the stupid thing.