Now if we could be issued Fortnite codes to insert into old copies of Deathmate, we’d have somethin’.

§ April 23rd, 2021 § Filed under retailing § 4 Comments

I have a new post on variant covers in progress, but it’s getting late, it’s not done, and I’d like to avoid making any grievous errors like last time. And so, I’ll let the pot simmer an extra day or two before serving anything up, he metaphored, and we’ll continue next week.

In the meantime, more Batman/Fortnite news: yup, I’ve sold out…ran out sometime on Wednesday, and the calls keep coming in. I’ve been taking phone numbers and making reserve lists for folks for future issues and coming reprints, so it’s not all lost sales, thankfully. But, like I said the other day, while I ordered a pretty good number and was able to make plenty of kids (and parents and grandparents!) happy, boy I sure could have used a lot more than what I got in.

I did notice at least one retailer online somewhere griping about the demand for this Batman/Fortnite comic and wanting it to be overwith, which…well, I can sympathize a bit, anyway, especially if you don’t have any to sell. Every request feels like a jab in your side, reminding you that you fell down on the job by not ordering enough to meet demand. One really shouldn’t feel like that, if you did your best, because you never know for sure how these things will work out…could very well have had the result of “eh, don’t really want to buy a comic book to get a code” and nothing would have come of any of this.

That’s not how it happened, however, and even if demand outstripped whatever supply I had on hand, hoping those requests simply go away is a mistake. I’m taking preorders (some even paid in advance), so I’m making do best I can. Yeah, I hate saying “no” to folks when they call and ask, but I try to let ’em know “…I’ll have more soon!” And since these aren’t comic collectors, they don’t care if it’s a second, third, or ninth printing. They just want the comic…and yes, mostly for the game codes inside, the primary impetus for the rush, but these are still lots of new customers desperately wanting to exchange money for product, a circumstance some comic shops may not see very often.

Some other thoughts occurred to me: I don’t know what kind of deals are involved here, and whether or not other comic publishers can horn in on this action and also get Fortnite codes into their own comics. But if they can…look out. Everyone’s gonna want to boost sales on their books by baggin’ em up with those precious codes inside. At the very least, I expect DC to follow up with another series almost as soon as this one is over. Like I said about some retailers, comic publishers don’t often see this much money being waved at them by a whole new audience.

Also…issue #4 of Batman/Fortnite was the first issue on which retailers could adjust their orders after seeing how the first one sold (or would have sold had they had any). I think there’s a good chance the supply on the comic may go from the “totally not enough” status of right now to the panic-ordering/nigh-Deathmate levels pretty quickly. Yes, there’s a lot of demand for this comic, but it’s not infinite demand, so we may be seeing a flooded market in a couple of months. I’m sure we’ll all find out at about the same time.

4 Responses to “Now if we could be issued Fortnite codes to insert into old copies of Deathmate, we’d have somethin’.”

  • Robcat says:

    Isn’t every week a pain in the tush? You can’t order precisely on the nose for demand of a comic. Every issue sitting on the rack unsold costs money and every issue NOT on the rack that someone wants costs money. So do you figure within 3 issues? 3%? (I am making these numbers up.) is a win? Which hurts worse- too much or not enough? How do you deal with it mentally? I think it was Jim Collison, the great football coach who said every season he figures one game they’ll win no matter what and one they’ll lose no matter what, and he just tries to do his best with the rest. There’s gotta be a little zen in selling comics. Zen and the Art of Selling Comics (Without Driving Yourself Crazy)… Best of luck to you (and us all), mate.

  • Brian Hughes says:

    It seems to me like Marvel must be kicking themselves over this latest tempest-in-a-teapot too, given that they just had a big Fortnite push last December. I recall they loaned their characters to the game and ran a bunch of goofy ads in their books, but as far as I can tell, there was no particular sales benefit to the comics. What a crazy market.

  • Allan Hoffman says:

    I was at my LCS on Wednesday and a guy was there thanking the owner for selling him a copy of the comic for his son the day before who loved it. He put his name down for the rest of the series and said his son is interested in reading other comics. This is an opportunity for LCSs all over.

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