Now the DC #1 REPRINTS are Selling Out… Are Copies All Ending Up on the East Coast?

9 Sep
Barack Obama in comics

Will copies go to readers or investors? (Image via Wikipedia)

A couple days ago, ICV2 reported that

the second printing of Justice League#1 will be allocated, with retailers receiving 32% of their orders.  The release of the second printing has been pushed back so that it will ship to retailers on September 21st, the same day that the 3rd printing will be released.

Retailers contacted by ICv2 who had sold out of Justice League were somewhat dismayed concerning the allocation of the second printings.  It appears that the print order had to be set before the weekly Final Order Cutoff (FOC).  Now retailers are worried that the “civilians,” who were motivated to visit comic shops to check out Justice League #1 by DC’s well-orchestrated publicity campaign, won’t understand the two-week wait to obtain the comic.

So, are all retailers who ordered the 2nd Printing getting 32% of their orders?

And, more significantly, were some retailers not even given the opportunity to order more copies?

My local comics retailer, Barry Osser of North Coast Role Playing, is reporting on the store’s Facebook page that

Two days after the release of the DC Reboot’s real first week, 3rd printing of Justice League is already sold out. Batgirl, Action, Detective and Swamp Thing got eaten up by the East Coast stores so there are none available and no word yet on a second print (although I’m certain it’s coming and a 3rd as well.) So is this a success? I’m still uncertain.

Though my store saw only ONE person by a duplicate copy of a book, I’ve talk to stores all over the states saying they were selling issues in stacks of 100 or more. A NY store had some stock broker on the phone calling people telling them how many of the issues and which title to come in and buy…

… If we really sold through 1.1 million Justice League #1’s in a week and are printing TWO more printings, then where were all these buyers for the past 10 years?

1.1 million copies of Justice League #1? I hope most of those copies are going to readers…

Apparently the same BS is going on with Batgirl and Detective. They are doing the same thing that was done with the Spiderman Obama stuff. East Coast COMPLETELY wipes out the reprint so they do a second so that us West Coasters can get the reprint when we order 3 hours later…

…need to open on Tuesday and pay the ridiculous extra money to still be competitive. Sadly, UPS won’t deliver here at 6 am so the point is moot anyways. East Coast Wipes out their alottment and the next time zone over before I could even get a delivery from UPS

North Coast Role Playing is the only comics retailer in ALL of Humboldt County, California. He gets Wednesday-morning delivery because he doesn’t need to get comics earlier to make his sales – but does this prevent him from being able to reorder hot-selling titles that he won’t know he needs until it’s too late to reorder? Are West Coast retailers who don’t get day-early delivery essentially being screwed out of reorders by East Coast shops?

What do you think, and what can be done about it?

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10 Responses to “Now the DC #1 REPRINTS are Selling Out… Are Copies All Ending Up on the East Coast?”

  1. tbrotomoo September 9, 2011 at 14:11 #

    Reallllly weird. Why does the business of comics stink so much?

  2. David Tai September 9, 2011 at 15:42 #

    I wonder if that’s because East Coast stores open 3 hours earlier, so they sold out earlier, and promptly reordered much sooner?

  3. All Day Comics September 9, 2011 at 17:20 #

    David – that’s definitely part of it. And thanks for checking the site out; hope you’re doing well.

    I’ve got feelers out to get more of the story: stay tuned.

  4. Joe Field September 9, 2011 at 17:32 #

    A few things to consider about this from another retailer’s point of view:
    1) JL did NOT sell 1.1 million copies. Its first printing sold 220, 000 copies, with the 2nd an 3rd prints probably selling a combined 50K.
    2) East coast retailers do have a three hour headstart to place reorders on Wednesday, but that’s not the full picture of where DC’s over-printed copies of JL, Batgirl, Action, etc went.

    The sad fact is that most retailers were really hesitant to place strong initial orders for the New 52. When initial orders were placed, there was some reluctance from many (retailers and fans) to place hefty initial orders. Retailers had another chance at FOC (final order cut-off), and while I’m sure some of those numbers adjusted higher, many retailers just didn’t go strong.

    So between FOC and when the books were released–so this is after DC has to set its print run— the buzz really built to the point that a lot of retailers placed AOR (advance reorders). That ate up a good chunk of DC’s overprint. Then on the days of release, when lots of people responded to DC’s excellent promotional and publicity campaign by buying up copies (not necessarily multiple copies) there just weren’t enough over-printed copies to take care of all the demand.

    Is DC to blame for not printing to the sky on these titles? No way! They saw orders for JL that were five times higher than the previous JLA series…and they still overprinted by a bunch. Are retailers to blame for not ordering enough? Yeah, kinda.

    Retailers have become so gun-shy after years of not being able to trust that headline creators can get their work out on time. Retailers are essentially numb to hype–and that cuts both ways. That makes believing something like 52 new titles all coming out on time just seem ridiculous!

    So ridiculous… it…might…just…work.

    What we’re seeing here is something very positive. These titles ARE selling out all over—and that’s a good thing! We’re seeing that readers and curious newbies will respond to a well-executed publishing promotion that also features attractive creative content.
    We’re seeing some of what the true potential of print comics is even while digital sales climb from just barely visible to miniscule (and that’s a 300% jump!)

    I really hate to say that you’ve got your facts bound up here, but it looks like you do. Make no mistake: so far, DC’s NEW 52 is an unqualified success. It’s just that retailers—all retailers, west coast, east coast, international, north and south— have all become so shy with their orders that they could not see the sales potential in DC’s bold and audacious plan.

    Once we get past the period of being frantic over instant sell-outs, there’s good news in this for all of us, really.

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