Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 3, Issue 36

Wow! Miss one day of work, and apparently everything in the office explodes!

Sorry for the (extreme) lateness of this week's Waiting for, but I haven't even had a chance to sit down at my desk, let alone log in to Blogger. As you might expect, I'm going to make this pretty short and sweet, which is actually better since there are SO MANY new books hitting shelves today.

I mean, really. Talk about a big comics week.

DC's "New 52" lineup really starts its impact on stores today, with 13 (I think) number one issues pouring onto your local retailer's racks. That's a big number, and one that's going to prove tricky for retailers ordering product from DC over the next few months.

Historically, issue one's sell like hotcakes, and from what I've heard from store owners today, that's pretty much what's happening--with certain titles.

Scott Snyder's Swamp Thing, issue one, seems to be an early favorite for quickest sellout, with Grant Morrison's Action Comics and Gail Simone's Batgirl right behind it. I think Swamp Thing's going to prove to be the tougher-to-find book, just because retailers likely ordered oodles of Action, and many fewer of the former.
Which brings me to the Big Issue with this relaunch, in terms of how retailers might fare throughout it.

Sure, everyone wants a first issue--we still have that wonderful collector's mentality to deal with in this industry, after all--but what happens when issue two ships?

How about issue three?

Everyone's swept up in the new, shiny, but as is the unavoidable nature of comics, there are going to be more than a few clunkers in the bunch. And those books will not make it to, say, issue 10.

And if that's the case, then the customers will have jumped ship at issue four or five.

So it becomes particularly difficult for retailers to plan their short term and long term ordering for these books. Remember, there are, literally, 52 new number ones that fans will at the very least want to flip through in stores, and at the other extreme, will be disappointed because a title has sold out.

Sellout, of course, are Good News for the publisher and--as long as it doesn't happen too early in the day--they're good news for the retailer.

DC's got some big time talent on some books that look interesting and different. Some of these books--Morrison's Action, for example, and Snyder's Batman (shipping next week)--have the potential to bring in both brand new readers and lapsed comics fans.

As I've said many times, this is an incredibly exciting time to be a fan of comics, and today is really a benchmark for what will be the shape of the industry in the next couple of years.

No comments: