I was planning to write more about the new DCs this week, but got a late start on the post. Sorry.

§ September 16th, 2011 § Filed under retailing, this week's comics § 9 Comments

So the weekend before Justice League #1 was due out, I had a last minute feeling of “hmmm…maybe I should have more copies of this, since it is the first New DC title, and will likely sell well.” Thus, along with my regular reorders I sent in that Sunday evening, I put in an order for an extra bushel or two of that first Justice League comic.

Well, the immediate response from our distributor was “only available via back order,” which most of the time is the equivalent of “fat chance, laughing boy.” That, coupled with the reports of sellouts and announcements of reprintings, told me that my reordering was in vain.

…Until this week, when we received a big ol’ stack of Justice League #1, first printing, with our regular weekly shipment. Not sure how our distributor came across these (warehouse find? initial order for a now defunct store?) but there they were. And I threw them back on the new comics shelf, with a little “1st printing!” tag on them, and sold them for cover price. I didn’t do the “one per customer” thing, if only because 1) that results in panic buying, making people feel like they have to buy it rather than just picking it up if they’re interested, and 2) I didn’t feel like dealing with dudes returning to the shop five minutes later wearing a beret and a fake mustache saying “Bonjour! I am Monsieur I-Wasn’t-Just-Here-Buying-A-Copy-of-Justice-League-#1…may I buy a copy of Justice League #1?”

Speaking of panic-buying…remember a while back, when I looked at the sales patterns of the multiple Flashpoint tie-ins, and thought maybe the seeming new-series fatigue that sort of set in there may reflect a similar fatigue with this onslaught of DC debuts? Looks like the opposite may be true…with the constant sellouts and reprint announcements, this seems to be encouraging higher and faster sales than before, with folks not wanting to miss out. We planned ahead as best as we could, trying to anticipate sales among our clientele, but with customers from other comic shops coming to us for their books, along with a cascading demand feeding more sales and even more interest, we went from looking at our initial orders thinking “hope we don’t get stuck with these” to “oh crap, that’s not nearly enough.”

I did place back orders on everything hoping for a repeat of that Justice League situation, but lightning probably won’t strike twice. I did get some confirmations on some of my advance reorders, so we’re not totally out of luck. And I’m getting lots of the second printings as well.

In other non-DC news…the new Optic Nerve (#12) is out, and it’s a good’un. Actually, really good. Sergio Aragones Funnies #3 is also out, and you should be grateful that there’s a regular monthly booklet of cover-to-cover work by one of the world’s greatest cartoonists. You really should buy it. Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera’s Daredevil (also #3) is pulling off what I thought was impossible – me buying a Daredevil comic that doesn’t have the name “Miller” anywhere in the credits. Punishermax #17, that great comic with the worst name, (re-)introduces a character that usually isn’t of any interest when appearing in comics that don’t have the name “Miller” anywhere in the credits, but is sure used effectively here.

And that Sugar and Spike Archives is really good. Yeah, that doesn’t fit under “non-DC news,” since it is DC, but I don’t care. It’s great cartooning by Sheldon Mayer, and in every way deserving of its reputation.

9 Responses to “I was planning to write more about the new DCs this week, but got a late start on the post. Sorry.”

  • Mike Z says:

    It’s too bad you didn’t pick up the Kesel/Nord run on Daredevil, it was quite good.

    Or perhaps you did and were just making an overly road generalization. :)

  • Steve says:

    My comic shop in Connecticut has plenty of copies of Justice League #1 and everything else you could want. I actually did not purchase it until the week after it was released. After hearing all the Sold Out! 2nd Printing! 3rd Printing! hype I was skeptical I would even be able to get a copy, but lo and behold there it was with 10 other copies behind it. It does not seem like the DC hysteria hit very hard in this area. Very much business as usual around here.

  • fl000b says:

    So is it alot of people buying one copy of Justice League or a smaller amount of investor types buying multiple copies? ‘Cos I know I’m livin’ large right now on those 800 issues of X-men #1 I bought all those years ago.

  • ExistentialMan says:

    If only this were a podcast…then I could hear your awesome Peter Sellers impression of the cleverly disguised fake-bearded, beret-wearing customer.

  • Noah says:

    This has nothing to do with the post but I just wanted to say, “Journey into Mystery” made me sad that we don’t have more books about devils. Since Lucifer ended the Satan-American demographic has been lacking.

  • De says:

    You deserve some kind of Comic Retailer of the Year Award for being so bloody *reasonable* about the Justice League windfall.

  • Matthew A says:

    Gotta commend ya, Mike, for going with the cover price on those JL’s you put out. Yesterday I went to my local shop to grab Batman & Robin #1 and they had it bagged with a $9.99 price tag on it. Needless to say I walked out without it and I won’t be back.

    Shame on them.

  • Cole Moore Odell says:

    Similarly, my shop was shorted half of its initial order of Justice League #1, and I resigned myself to waiting for the 2nd/3rd printing next week. Lo and behold, when I went into the shop this past Wednesday, the other half of their shipment of first printings had arrived. The distribution of this particular comic has been pretty peculiar to say the least.

  • comicbob says:

    That Optic Nerve #12 was really good, but also kinda sad/scary if you are in the business of selling comics. It had a sense of finality and closure on the whole print/digital argument and definitely set a tone on how respected and established indie creators feel about the traditional stapled comic format.