Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary














January 14, 2010


If DC Had A Goat, Marvel'd Kidnap It

There were a few articles of the "press release that foments commentary" variety foisted on the comics world over the last day or so. Two of them worthy of note -- Wizard and Diamond proclaiming they still like and respect one another and that this will result in some sort of trade show presence at June's Wizard-related Philadelphia convention, and Random House becoming exclusive worldwide bookstore distributor for an Archie not yet known for making stuff that goes into book stores -- came and went without much incident. A third was clever enough to at least temporarily capture the imagination of several comics fans and press outlets, at least according to my not very focused initial survey. That was Marvel's announcement of an incentive plan whereby they will send retailers an alternate cover version of their new Siege effort in return for what they suspect were over-ordered copies of books related to DC's Blackest Night event.

That sounds amusing and provocative, and it is, and they'll get a certain amount of (particularly new media) press from it. However, with levels set as high as initially announced (50 to 1) it's doubtful how much actual churn they'll experience. And once you realize the whole thing comes down to the retailing community maybe -- maybe -- having been stuck with thousands of unsaleable comics in order to secure plastic rings for a subset of their customers, you may join me in an urge to climb back into bed for a couple of hours. The comics business news and analysis site ICv2.com has the best explanation of what's at stake. You could also see this as further evidence that the two mainstream companies are slowly retrenching into past behavior -- exclusives, event comics, tweaking the direct competition -- despite new ownership and/or management teams.
 
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