Humboldt County Needs More DC Comics!

14 Sep
Location in the state of California

It looks small on your screen, but it's actually pretty huge... (Image via Wikipedia)

My local retailer here in Eureka, Barry Osser of North Coast Role Playing, has been having a difficult time getting enough DC comics for his customers. He writes,

Here’s the fun I’ve dealt with, SO FAR, from DC’s new 52.

Damages and missing items from the first week included Batgirl 5 copies damaged, NOT replaced at all. AND I can’t order the 2nd printing the day they came in. So no 1st or second printings?

Action, they shorted me ALL the copies (10) of my variants – they did finally send them, though.

But my biggest gripe runs to Swamp Thing. Last week it released, I reordered it immediately and it was sold out. I’ve been watching everyday for the 2nd print to come avaialble to order. Finally, Tuesday this week, it comes available and I CAN’T order it because it’s already sold out. THE DAY IT WAS RELEASED? Come On!

This isn’t an isolated case: Barry reports that shortages and damages are very common in his Diamond shipments. His store is the only one to service all of Humboldt County, California, so a lot of customers are missing out on their chance to try a lot of New 52 titles. How many of them are going to try a title’s #2 when they can’t get #1?

He says that all of the DC #1 reprints have been pushed back to the end of the month, so a lot of potential DC customers may not be able to buy the comics they’re currently interested in – will they still be interested when the reprints arrive in a few weeks?

DC just announced third printings of Action Comics #1 and Batgirl #1. Exactly how generous were the first printings’ overprints? Or the second printings, for that matter – it does seem odd that a second print run would be sold out the day the first printing goes on sale…

These frequent problems are, in my opinion, making Barry paranoid: he’s starting to wonder if DC is purposely short-printing the first printings so that retailers will be stuck with non-returnable second and third printings in a few weeks. That doesn’t sound like a smart long-term business strategy to me, but I’ve heard worse shenanigans than this, so who knows?

(On a related note: DC has extended its New 52 returns program one more month to cover the #4 issues, while announcing a third printing for the Justice League#1 Combo Pack.)

Jim Lee's Justice League cover for Comic-Con 2011 souvenir book

This artwork may be on the cover to Justice League #1 3rd Printing.

Are other retailers getting enough copies to satisfy demand? Including copies to keep on the stands until the second issues arrive? Or are they just putting all of the first printings on eBay? Are both customers and retailers turning into speculators? And, if so, how long until this bubble bursts?

Has anyone else on the West Coast had problems with ordering or reordering the New 52 titles?

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10 Responses to “Humboldt County Needs More DC Comics!”

  1. Kris Shaw September 14, 2011 at 18:45 #

    My LCS is suffering from the same thing, and he believes that the shortages and difficulties in re-ordering are DC’s attempt to push people to digital.

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