I have no idea if Gilgamesh II is even still available.

§ June 8th, 2020 § Filed under dc comics, fakeapstylebook, real world stuff, retailing § 10 Comments

So…it still feels weird to be writing about comics right now. Things continue to be in a huge state of upheaval, folks are remaining angry (and rightfully so) and even as changes to the system are appearing to be slowly progressing, the pushback is still hurting folks and costing lives. If you wish to contribute to resources helping out Black people, this list is a good place to start (which also includes support for the gay and transgendered). There may be organizations local to you that could use help as well. I know wallets are pretty much emptied after months of state shutdowns, and you might not be able to donate. At the very least, promote resources like those linked above, and be vocal in your support of those in need of it.

• • •

So the comic news that’s kinda hard to ignore even with everything else going on is the fact that DC Comics is bailing entirely on Diamond Comics as a distributor of its product.

Okay, when DC decided to start distributing their items through a couple of other sources during Diamond’s shutdown, I figured things were going to change for the industry. Mostly I thought we’d see a lot more publishers, mostly indie types, deciding to either split from Diamond themselves, or at least wholesale their items directly to retailers in addition to offering them through the usual system. Mostly, I anticipated having to go through a half-dozen catalogues and cut separate checks to everyone every week, like The Good Ol’ Days. However, I didn’t anticipate DC leaving Diamond entirely. That came as bit of a shock.

Still not sure what the ultimate impact of this will be to the industry as a whole, or to me personally. I mean, aside from not knowing when the new DCs will arrive each week. Hard to meet DC’s new Tuesday on-sale time when I don’t get the books ’til a few hours before closing that day. The actual process of ordering from this other distributor is fairly easy, and I noticed they changed the user interface to make things more organized and convenient. Items don’t always get listed in alphabetical order, which I would prefer, but they weren’t at Diamond either so I’ll live. [EDIT: Oh wait, now that I look at the new distributor’s website with newly cleared vision, following the most recent eyeball procedure, I can see there are teeny tiny buttons that let me change the ordering of the lists. NEVER MIND]

Plus, I’ve yet to experience a single damage or shortage on DC product from this other distributor, so that’s a nice change. I am curious about backlist titles, as so far the only older items the new distributor has is whatever they had come in since they started shipping out DC books to retailers in April. I presume eventually more books (and older comics) will move over there, but far as I can tell I can still order that product from Diamond. Wonder how long that’ll last? Will DC buy it all back from Diamond to move to their other outlets, or is Diamond going to be stuck trying to sell those Gilgamesh II graphic novels ’til the end of time?

Also of concern is the financial impact on Diamond. With the loss of one of its two biggest vendors, that’s gotta cause the ol’ pursestrings to be tightened a little. I presume that means fewer employees manning phones and packing/shipping product, but there’s also less product to be packed/shipping, so maybe it’ll all balance out? I suspect we’ll see soon enough. I know Diamond told retailers directly that losing one vendor, even a large one like DC, is something they could ride out, and I can believe it. So long as Marvel doesn’t Heroes World-it again and also depart, I suspect we’ll still have Diamond to kick around a while longer.

On the personal side of things, my business has been doing…okay so far now that I’ve been able to reopen. Most days have been having normal business, though my Wednesdays have been pretty short of what they once were. Almost by necessity, since new comic shipments are only a fraction of what they once were, and Marvel’s only shipping a handful of titles every other week. As my former boss Ralph once told me, decades ago, “as Marvel goes, so goes the industry,” and it certainly feels like it’s Marvel that drives the folks in the door each week for their fix. Anything else can wait ’til it’s convenient to show up, but the new Avengers and Amazing Spider-Man must be bought right away.

The big question coming up is Batman #92, which prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns was The Big In-Demand Comic, what with that issue’s focus on the new villain Punchline. I’d actually ordered quite a bit on that, expecting a rush, plus having to meet the demands of advance requests for multiple copies, etc. Now I’m wondering it that same demand has maintained itself over our extended break? I’m curious to see. I’ve also noticed a decrease in Random Hot Books, where there’s one comic nobody expected, or ordered a lot of, that suddenly everyone wants so they can flip it on eBay or whatever. Last week was the first example of this in a while (the “B” cover for most recent installment of Blackwood, selling for around $30 online the day of release). Oh, this crazy business.

• • •

In other news, Fake AP Stylebook has come back for the nonce, in our time of greatest need. Yes, I’m writing for it again. Probably not getting another book deal out of this comeback, but that’s okay, we’re doing it out of love. And bitterness. And just pure, unadulterated sarcasm. Anyway, no one stopped us, so it’s back. We regret nothing.

10 Responses to “I have no idea if Gilgamesh II is even still available.”

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Superman’s other girl-friends”

    I sold one of those issues a couple months ago!

    “like…um, his cousin”

    Well, she’s a girl, and she’s his friend, so… technically true!

    “not knowing when the new DCs will arrive each week”

    First thing I thought of when I heard DC was dumping Diamond!

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    Re: Supergirl as one of Superman’s girlfriends:

    DC actually did a story back in the ’60s that explored the possibility of a romantic relationship between the two. We were told that, in Kryptonian culture, marriage between first cousins was perfectly acceptable. However, after giving the matter serious consideration, Kal-El and Kara decided that they just didn’t feel that way about each other.

    The obvious question raised by this is: Why, then, allow for the possibility at all? If you are not going in that direction, why not simply declare cousin marriage taboo, and leave it at that? That would have been simpler, and the readers would surely have accepted it.

    My best guess is that this was due to DC’s writers and editors at this time being a big bunch of science fiction nerds. I suspect that there was at least one person there who objected on principle to the last two survivors of a species (well, the last two normal-sized, non-phantom survivors) refusing to mate and perpetuate the species. That is exactly the sort of thing about which science fiction nerds will argue. So, in this theory, a compromise was reached by allowing for the possibility that the pair will change their minds and start producing a brood of pure-blooded Kryptonian babies.

    I note that my spell checker is fine with “Superman,” but challenges me on “Supergirl.” I think we can all agree that this is nothing but the rankest sexism.

  • Considering the news on Diamond we really need an End of Civilization post right now, don’t we? You must be sitting on a great Monopoly joke!

  • Casie says:

    So happy about Fake AP Stylebook coming back. These things are needed now. Hmm, maybe Content Farm will make a return as well. ;)

  • Thom H. says:

    I agree — thank you for continuing to update.

    I love hearing about the inner workings of the comics biz, which means I’m fascinated by the DC / Diamond split.

    I hope it works out for all of the little guys, who it sounds like are going to be paying more in shipping and getting less in way of discount. Not great.

  • Chris V says:

    Was there a Gilgamesh II TPB? If so, I do hope it is still in print, as I thought that was a glorious series.
    I expected it was going to be some random sci-fi space opera with nothing to do with the Babylonian epic, based on the covers.
    I was more than pleasantly surprised to see it was actually a science fictional retelling of Gilgamesh.
    I loved how nihilistic Starlin’s ending was too.
    Such a pleasant surprise.

  • George 'Scumdog Millionaire' Floyd says:

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

    There’s a sucker born every minute.

    You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. Unless, y’know, they want to be fooled. Because admitting the truth would be waaaaacisssss’!!!

    So go on and take a knee wearing yer mandated slave scarf and maybe the crocodile will eat you last.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “a brood of pure-blooded Kryptonian babies”

    All of them with health problems from being inbred!

    “a Gilgamesh II TPB?”

    I dunno, but those original squarebound issues are still available!

    “nihilistic Starlin’s ending was too.”

    MASSIVE downer emding!

  • CalvinPitt says:

    OK, so this probably a really dumb question, but is Previews connected to Diamond, or are they separate entities? I usually visit Previews’ website when they put up the new monthly solicitations, and I was wondering if this means DC’s won’t be there anymore. And from the retailer side of things, if that would make it more difficult to keep track of what DC is releasing 2-3 months from now so you can get your initial orders in.

  • Mikester says:

    Dude using George Floyd’s name – did I hit a nerve or what.