Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oh, c'mon already

There are 10 different Marvel books arriving tomorrow that have the word 'Dark' in their title somewhere -_-


One is a trade, so whatever. Nine titles and all at $3.99. I'm used to being hit over the head with the event crap from DC & Marvel, but seriously. They've managed to go past event overkill since the actual Dark Reign isn't an event but just the umbrella theme for the season. We have people going for it, so the sales will point them towards believing they can get away with it. Is this just a temporary sales bubble, or will this actually generate a whole new level of interest but throw us into another Dark Age of the comics industry?

Does Wolverine really have to be any more grim and gritty?

This sounds about right....
"If the Golden Age and the Silver Age were the childhood of Super Heroes, and the Bronze Age and the Dark Age were their adolescence, the Modern Age is surely the college years: all the work gets turned in late, people come up to you with crazy-awesome ideas all the time (most of which don't really pan out), and there's still some of that adolescent attitude left, but it's fading into adulthood, and you start to realize how much you miss the simple pleasures of your childhood."

via TV Tropes

Monday, June 22, 2009

Primate of the Moment

You really should go and find yourself some Skyape

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How to price things so they will actually sell.

Please keep in mind this is just my opinion as someone who is actually trying to, y'know, sell this crap. Then again, what the hell do I know, right?

Here are examples from this week on some bad packages, along with some great packages so we can get a good comparison going.

X-Infernus HC
Why fail?:
1. As a minor X-Men mini, most people would prefer to save their money and buy a soft cover.
2. Why does this deserve to be over sized?
3. Ok, 4 issues at $3.99, plus the one shot thingy, and the saga pages (which who the hell needs anyway.....). My math still says this isn't worth more than $19.99. And it is priced at.....$29.99.

WIN:Sleeper Season 1
Why win?:
1) Out of print for the past year, Brubaker's work (notably his work with Sean Phillips) is in high demand. Bringing this back to print in a condensed format is smart.
2) 12 entire issues for $24.99. Yes, that is a fantastically good deal. If I remember correctly, the original cover price was $2.95, so the actual value of the trade is at least $35.

FAIL:Power Pack Classic Vol 1
Why Fail?
1) Classic? Really? You guys throw that word around way too much. Classic Champions? Really? If you crack out Classic Secret Defenders, we are going to have a long talk I think.
2) $29.99!!! For 10 issues! You shouldn't have to pay $10 for 10 issues guys, c'mon.
3) These need to be priced down and reformatted for the appropriate audience: kids. That should be your target group, dumbasses. No parent wants to drop that much money in one shot for a comic that their kid will most likely destroy. There is no reason this should be glossy and there is no reason to market this as some sort of fancy complete edition.

WIN:Nexus As It Happened TP
Why win?
1) Nice reprinting of the original stuff, smaller format so not everyone will like that but a handy introduction package.
2) $9.99 price tag, Really, that's a lot of good reading for your buck.

The Irredeemable Ant-Man TP
Why fail?
1) The package is well put together, but considering this is one of Kirkman's slower sellers in comparison to say Walking Dead and Invincible you would want to put it out at a reasonable price, not say
2) $34.99 >:( Yes, this is 12 issues, so that's about the right price technically. Look over at Sleeper though, which also has glossy paper. I think you can probably put together an actual set of the single issues of this series for less money simply because you'll find them in bargain bins. Sure the same could possibly be said about Sleeper, but the fact that the very thought jumped to my mind as someone who wants both volumes should be an indication of the possible market strength of the book.

WIN:Hitman Vol 1
Why win?
1) Out of print for a while and written by Garth Ennis, this is basically guaranteed to sell
2) Reprints the first appearance in the Demon Annual, a story from Batman Chronicles, and the first three issues of his own series, the price tag on this sucker is $14.99 which is not a bad deal at all.

This was just one week's worth of books, and DC does pull plenty of shenanigans. I try to look at the trades and their prices every week as they come in and the general trends sink in pretty hard and pretty fast.
1) Unnecessary hardcovers in a confusing assortment of formats, with DC publishing soft covers way slower than Marvel therefore sucking out as much cash as possible from less patient readers.
2) Marvel will gouge you silly till they can use your blood as a cheap alternative to ink.
3) DC does the same as well, with HCs that reprint only four or five issues for $19.99-$24.99. However, they seem to do it a little less frequently and the gouging doesn't seem to go as deep.
4) It would seem to me that Marvel is banking on these larger packages to sell at Barnes & Noble and other large bookstore outlets. I would assume the logic behind it is that most shoppers who don't go to comic book stores don't know any better to compare prices with the original source material and are used to most books costing $24.99-$29.99 anyway.
5) Dark Horse prices are generally agreeable, their books shipped with more care, and if there is a softcover or a hardcover choice, they only tend to make you wait a month at the most for a softcover. Sometimes they ship both at the same time.

I mostly bring this up because there are a lot of things that I think we could actually sell if they were just packaged appropriately. I also realize there may be a number of factors I haven't thought of and perhaps certain things have to be packaged the way they are. It would be nice if there was more interaction with retailers on this front.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

aaaaaaand nobody gave a damn

So yeah, talked to one of the guys who worked the store yesterday. 2 phone calls of interest, and no real extra traffic whatsoever besides a few subscription customers coming to pick up the book so the Internet wouldn't spoil it for them.

Granted, it's not like I ordered a crapload to support it or anything.
I do like the title of this article, looking back on it. Retailers Unhappy With Cap #600?
The question mark makes me kinda laugh, is all.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Greblach! Fah! >insert noise Sideshow Bob makes when getting hit by a rake<

So far it's just a rumour, but....ugh. The art looks legit though, and if we compile the latest list of atrocities from Marvel this really isn't that hard to believe in.

Also, in regard to Captain America #600. First, it's handy to read this. Now, Monday is my day off from work. There were going to be three guys working the store on different shifts today with some crossover on the off chance it would get busy. I told them if hey, they need anything, gimme a call. Well, no call, so I'll find out what the traffic was like tomorrow.

But here's the sad truth of it. If it's a resurrection, no one in the general public gives a shit unless it's Jesus.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

Are you there God? It's me, Norrin Radd

So this guy comes in looking for Silver Surfer stuff. He wants newer stories, not old ones. So he's basically denying himself the best material right off the bat there, but never mind that. After I aim him in the right direction and hook him up with the names of some of the trades we don't have in stock at the moment, I ring him up and he says:

'I have an agreement with God; that when I die I get to cruise the universe as his Silver Surfer.'
....bo-kay. He said it real matter of fact like and didn't seem to be joking. So a few conclusions from this:
1) That direct line to God thing must be handy
2) Dude, if I knew I could just make that shit up and it was good to go when I die I would have been planning for my afterlife way back
3) Why do so many people seem to lack that important thing that tells you it's best not to say certain things in public?

Now, as far as an afterlife choice goes, granted, that one is almost sweet despite the endless brooding and whining that comes with being the Silver Surfer. I myself would have had trouble deciding on an afterlife full of either Transformers or monkeys, but now that I know that I can just change it up willynilly I guess I can have both.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You had me at crucified on Stilt-Man's legs...well, ok, you had me before that

I like reading Let's Be Friends anyway, but the first panel of this strip pretty much cemented my eternal love for it. Just check the white board out.
Check them out @ http://www.letsbefriendsagain.com/

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Primate of the Moment

I like to believe the gorilla is pointing out a flaw in the dude's math. But that's just me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Bleh, been a bit since I posted. Just too dang busy and tired lately =/

Have a new point of sale system we've been working with and the data entry is evil, plus just normal monthly Diamond orders and a few other things. Ideally I should have some more time to catch up and actually get crap posted all up in here.

A few things of interest:

-This whole Captain America #600 thing. Now, I will start with saying that I probably should have increased our orders on the issue much more than I did. However, between the economy sucking ass and the general fall of sales in Marvel books for our store I decided to be conservative in my orders. Also, because there is an entire series called Reborn written by Ed Brubaker, we pretty much figured that the actual return would not be in #600 and that issue #600 would essentially just be a double sized hooplah. A well written hooplah, but just a hooplah. Not a 'ZOMG-WE-SHOULD-ORDER-200-COPIES' kinda deal.

So, my order increases for #600 after the announcement of the media involvement are on back order, meaning we won't get any of them on the actual release date. Meaning that whatever I get on the Monday shipment (the day the larger media will break the news of whatever the hell is happening in the issue), will be just enough for the subscription customers and very few off the street people. That means there is virtually no real benefit for paying the extra shipping to have the books delivered on Monday, other than just to say we did it.

So, once again, I have to ask the obvious question: Why will the assholes at Marvel not just over ship copies and charge for whatever isn't returned? They do it. They did it for Dr. Doom & The Masters of Evil. WHY NOT DO IT WITH SOMETHING YOU KNOW WILL SELL OUT.

I know the actual answer, it just contains too many swear words for me to actually print.

-C'mon, really? Did you have to print X-Men 2099 in a collection? And charge $29.99? When Marvel decides it's time to publish Ravage 2099, that's it. I'm pretty much done with ever trying to understand comic book marketing departments.

-On the plus side, Marvel did release this over the past week:
And it is just as awesome as that cover leads you to believe.

That's pretty much all I got in me for the time being. I'll try to zip online again soon to write some more hopefully.

For now, watch this: