§ January 15th, 2009 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on THE PRICE & BLURB STICKERS ON THIS COMIC WERE JUST A JOKE. REPEAT: JUST A JOKE.

We ran through our copies of that new Amazing Spider-Man by mid-afternoon, but we saved a copy for Employee Tim since he wasn’t going to be able to pop into the store until after school let out.

So I prepared a copy specifically for him:

I just did this as a joke, but I’m sure there were stores you could walk into and see something pretty similar done to their ASMs hanging on their walls.

Anyway, we didn’t have the hassle that I feared we would over this. Had a few people get snippy over the fact that we didn’t have the Obama cover, including a couple of phone calls that ended with the folks on the other end slamming their phones down as soon as the words “don’t have the Obama cover” left our mouths, and so on. But by and large we weren’t swamped with people seeking to make their fortunes. It was more “a spattering of interest in the ‘Spider-Man unmasking’ story” than the “oh sweet heavens there’s a line of people around the block waiting to buy the Death of Superman,” at least for us. But hey, after months of the book dropping sales we finally got an issue of Amazing Spider-Man that actually sold well…now there’s change I can believe in.

In related news, I found this message thread through my referral logs, where they’re going on about Marvel not sending people the Obama covers. To wit:

“I don’t think it’s fair that the men and women who pick up every issue of this comic cannot get the alternate because Marvel has only sent them to select retailers. Yes, I firmly believe Marvel deliberately sent the books to the specific stores so they could get the price jacked up for online orders. There, I said it!”

I don’t know how that argument follows exactly, but someone did try to send him to my post on Tuesday where I explained how Marvel actually distributed the comic. To recap: so long as you matched orders of a previous issue with the regular cover of this new issue, you could order as many Obama covers as you wanted. You could order a thousand. You could order ten thousand, but you’d probably get a lot of questioning phone calls and e-mails from the distributor, I’d imagine. Marvel has been offering several variants in this fashion in recent months.

From the sound of things, a lot of stores found themselves in the same position we were in: looking at the dropping sales of Spider-Man, trying to decide whether raising the orders and ordering the variants on top of that was worth it, and either opted not to do so or to order very conservatively. It’s not a case of Marvel picking and choosing who gets the variants; it’s a case of many retailers having little or no confidence in sales on the comic, and keeping orders low. (Again, keep in mind all this order decision-making was done and finalized prior to the news coverage.)

That’s just a generalization…I’m sure some stores ordered TONS, and some stores didn’t order it because they didn’t know about it. But regardless, I wish Marvel just stuck with one cover on this book and avoided all the confusion.

Of course, it’s hard to explain this over and over again in the store to people who want “the comic with Obama on it” and wonder why the comic we’re handing them has an implied-threesome gag on the cover. But What Can You Do? I did tell ’em we’d have a new printing the following week, with the Obama cover, which made some of them happy.

Well, here’s to the weekend…wonder how many calls about this comic I’m going to get over the next few days?

READ MORE ABOUT IT: Dr. K tells a story about a store where the guy behind the counter apparently had his fill of the Spider-Obama comic. It’s remarkably unpleasant.

In other news:

  • So it’s bad enough I accidentally duplicated part of someone else’s post yesterday…but it had to be part of a post by Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull! Even down to the same panels. Boy, I’m a jerk.

    Don’t worry, everything’s cool between me and Bully. Plus, I think my focus was more on my continuing fascination of the filling of the gaps/backstories of every single aspect of the Star Wars universe, though we both had to say something about the “Piggy” comment. I mean, c’mon, you kinda have to, he said self-justifyingly.

    Speaking of which, as I Twittered last night, it’s not enough that Han Solo has a stripe design on his pants. It has to be a Corellian Bloodstripe, with its own significance and backstory.

    I’m not taking the moral high ground or anything: I’m a big ol’ Star Wars dork. I’ve read all the books. But I’ve got enough self-awareness, I think, to occasionally roll my eyes at some of the “Expanded Universe” excesses. Did you know pretty much every character in the Mos Eisley cantina has a backstory that’s been told? Of course they do. And it doesn’t stop there. (Again, no moral high ground, I read all those.)

    As I told a friend of mine on Twitter yesterday: while the 8-year-old Mikester loves this stuff, the 39-year-old Mikester can’t help but wonder why he keeps reading these. Probably because the 8-year-old Mikester is the one in charge of the book budget.

  • Speaking of Star Wars, pal Dorian posted a good example of one of the most effective advertising strategies: confusing the customer.
  • Here, have a review of Final Crisis #6 from someone not taking a paycheck from Marvel. Seriously, this is some crazed superhero stuff, and a lot of fun.
  • When Fangirls Attack and Written World‘s Lisa Fortuner makes her triumphant return to her “Just Past the Horizon” column at its new home.
  • Now seems like a pretty good time to link to Andrew’s tale of “Mr. Tawny’s Pleasure Peril.” (For the record: I can enjoy Tawny both here and in Final Crisis, because my sense of humor is simultaneously innocent and cruel.)
  • Tim O’Neil writes smart about the Wasp (who’s had her share of problems lately), and has some insightful reviews of a handful of super-books.
  • Boy, that was a lot to read. Well, you’re not doing anything right now anyway, right?

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