Sometimes I felt like italicizing Blackest Night, and sometimes I didn’t.

§ January 17th, 2010 § Filed under Uncategorized § 1 Comment

Reader deworde asks for clarification on my statements re: Marvel’s Blackest Night exchange program:

“Is that $200 figure accurate? I mean, surely as a retailer you’d have a hard time selling remainder 3-week old Booster Gold stock that you haven’t already managed to unload.”

Well, okay, no, I wasn’t entirely accurate…fifty books at $3.99 a pop actually comes to $199.50 retail (and about half that, more or less, in wholesale). Okay, okay, I’m being a smart-aleck, but he does have a point in that the likelihood of a new comic selling off the rack does drop considerably past the first week or two of its release, and the potential of its full value being realized in the short term dips. However, we’ve been experiencing fairly consistent demand for Blackest Night tie-ins, so even if we did have fifty copies of the tie-ins left over, I’d be hesitant about giving them up. Particularly if the overages were, by some strange coincidence, fairly even, as it works out to about seven copies per title. Then again, if we were stuck with fifty left over of, say, the R.E.B.E.L.S. BN tie-in and one or two each of the rest, yeah, I’d probably go for Marvel’s deal.

My assumption at this point is that we’re probably good for another three or four months of Blackest Night back issue activity, so we should stock accordingly. As I’ve stated before, I’m actually out of most of the tie-is, so I’m looking into getting a few of the second printings via reorder.

As I recall, the numbers you had to order to be eligible for the bags o’rings promotion weren’t all that onerous anyway. On most titles, like Justice League and Doom Patrol and such, we were hitting those numbers anyway. On the other hand, a title like R.E.B.E.L.S., which I personally like but doesn’t sell terribly well, we ended up quintupling our order to 1) get the number of rings we wanted, and 2) sort of match the numbers of other BN tie-ins we were ordering…but thankfully, that blew out the door, too. But we’re a larger store, and sell pretty good numbers on the popular titles. If we were a tiny store that sold, say, three Justice League any given month, having to order (I think it was) 25 to get the rings may have been a tough choice.

In conclusion…well, I don’t have a conclusion. It’s easy for me to poke a little fun at Marvel’s offer (which, I suppose, is a bit amusing in its thumbing-its-nose way) because we did very well with Blackest Night sales and don’t need the exchange. But there are always those stores that overestimate demand and way overorder things…and if they’re stuck with stock they don’t think they’ll ever move, then they should go for Marvel’s deal. Which, as I said the other day, is likely just a publicity gimmick trying to make it look as if DC fell on its face with their ring promotion. But hey, whatever their reasons, if you need to take advantage of it….then take advantage of it!

When I saw pal Dorian on Saturday, we were thinking that DC should do a counter-offer…free Blackest Night sketch cover for every fifty copies of Marvel’s recent event tie-ins…you know, anything with a “Dark Reign” or “Utopia” (or whatever) banner on the cover. Or for anything where the promised media coverage didn’t do diddly for sales. That’d be okay with me.

On a related note, those “revived DC title” Blackest Night books, the one-shots that pick up the numbering from where those titles ended years ago…boy, we did not order enough of those. I even bumped the orders up a smidgen when it came time to do the weekly order adjustments through our distributor. We really weren’t sure how these would do, and we guessed on the side of caution, assuming (well, hoping) that they’d be available for reorder. Which they are, thank goodness. All we have left at the moment is a couple of copies of Catwoman #83, and I’m sure those won’t last long.

Another title that’s doing surprisingly well and has nothing to do with Blackest Night is the new Punishermax series. Jason Aaron’s writing some very pared-down and brutal comics, and having Steve Dillon back on the art makes it feel like Garth Ennis never left the title. I don’t like even giving the impression that I’m implying that one writer is aping another’s style, and I’m really not trying to. But the pacing, the dialogue, and yes, Dillon’s art makes it very much of a kind with Ennis’ early work on the character. It has more to do with the similar storytelling strategies involved, I think, knocking away all the excess to get to the basics of the character, and thus Aaron and Ennis can’t help but appear to have similar voices.

Anyway, good comic. And with Rick Remender’s “Frankencastle” storyline in the other series, that makes two good Punisher comics on the stands! Whaddaya know?

In other news, pal Dorian has been running a series on his site called the Paperback Book Club, where he posts a cover of a paperback book from his collection and talks a little bit about it.

For his One Hundredth Installment, he asked for book contributions and brief descriptions from readers and friends, resulting in this epic entry. Yes, I submitted a book…a novel I’ve read and reread countless times since first discovering it in a library in 1981, and buying my own copy in 1982. It’s kinda dopey, but I love it anyway. And this would make the second time I’ve done a book report on it…the first being in Mrs. Smithro’s 8th grade English class.

One Response to “Sometimes I felt like italicizing Blackest Night, and sometimes I didn’t.”

  • […] since the title seems to be slowly gaining readers with each issue. And it is a good series…I talked about it before, and it really is a return to the Garth Ennis-style Punisher. And as people catch on to […]