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  1. #1
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    Default Tilting at Windmills - May 23, 2014

    Brian Hibbs offers his takeaways from the Diamond Retailer Summit in Las Vegas and gives his thoughts on Bob Wayne leaving DC Comics.


    Full article here.

  2. #2

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    Thanks Brian, although not a retailer, I always find your pieces interesting to read and gain some insight from the "other" side.

  3. #3
    Tilting at Windmills
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    That's always the intent, so you're very welcome!

    -B

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    That's always the intent, so you're very welcome!

    -B
    I always enjoy your articles, as well. I have been considering opening a store for some years now. I am basically volunteering at my LCS to get some idea of how the industry works.
    I was shocked to read that you think DC stands a real chance of slipping to third in your store. I assume you mean Image would move up... How close are they currently, if you don't mind my asking? Has it ever NOT been Marvel/DC as the top two, in your store? The common thought seems to be that DC's loss is usually Image/IDW/etc's gain, more so than Marvel's. Do you agree with that?
    Thanks again for all of the interesting articles. I appreciate your time in hopefully answering my questions, as well.

  5. #5
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    I've not yet run the numbers, I will when the quarter is up -- check savagecritic.com, for the half-year stats in about 10 days.

    We've ALWAYS been a "DC Store" -- they have been, somewhat unusually, our #1 publisher for most of the last 25 years, but they've just cratered in the last few years, and Image is certainly picking up the slack.

    Marvel's "All New Marvel Now" books (She-Hulk, Ghost Rider, Ms. Marvel, Surfer, etc.) have been very well received, and they've surged to #1 on that editorial strength.

    -B

  6. #6

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    >I'm fairly sickened to see that site updated nearly in real time about what publishers were saying,

    I wish it were. Most of the stories we ran, ran the day afterwards. But a little afterwards Diamond ran all the news on their website anyway.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hibbs View Post
    I've not yet run the numbers, I will when the quarter is up -- check savagecritic.com, for the half-year stats in about 10 days.

    We've ALWAYS been a "DC Store" -- they have been, somewhat unusually, our #1 publisher for most of the last 25 years, but they've just cratered in the last few years, and Image is certainly picking up the slack.

    Marvel's "All New Marvel Now" books (She-Hulk, Ghost Rider, Ms. Marvel, Surfer, etc.) have been very well received, and they've surged to #1 on that editorial strength.

    -B
    Thank you for answering my questions. Not to pile on tidings of doom for DC, but... DC is dangerously top heavy right now, it seems. At my store, DC's best selling title, "Batman", sells almost as many copies as the bottom THIRTY DC titles combined. DC has almost as many "Subs plus one" as our "indies" section (by that I mean anything non Marvel or DC). Granted, we stock more indie titles than DC titles, but not that many more. And some of those "subs plus one" titles are historically strong sellers. It's one thing to have "Pandora" or "JL 3000" being +1's, but to have Green Lantern-family books (New Guardians, with Corps seemingly soon to join), Catwoman, Constantine, and Flash in that category would have been unthinkable until recently.

    If "Batman" and "Justice League" fall off, DC would probably slip to third in my store, as well. Marvel is positioned differently. Sales are much more spread out. Marvel's floor is much higher than DC's floor. We don't get any fewer than six copies of any Marvel book; we get six or fewer copies of over thirty DC books. Marvel has a solid "middle ground". If "Avengers" or "ANX-Men" dies, it would hurt us, and Marvel, much less. I know data from one smallish store is insignificant, so I am wondering how many other stores are experiencing something similar...?

  8. #8
    Senior Member CSTowle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Johnston View Post
    >I'm fairly sickened to see that site updated nearly in real time about what publishers were saying,

    I wish it were. Most of the stories we ran, ran the day afterwards. But a little afterwards Diamond ran all the news on their website anyway.
    Do you think that might have been because the info was already leaked, or do you think it was their intent all along to put it out there shortly after asking other people not to?
    Formerly finfangfool

  9. #9
    Senior Member cranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSTowle View Post
    Do you think that might have been because the info was already leaked, or do you think it was their intent all along to put it out there shortly after asking other people not to?
    Similarly, I wonder if sometimes they want the info leaked. Although I would have thought Marvel would have had a better release teaser for AXIS then a low quality copy of the previews cover.

    The comparison of publisher sales on a store by store basis is interesting. I have never really thought that it would differ that much from what is represented by the sales estimates. A question along those lines, but if something like ASM #1 ships 500K, so about over five times the normal amount, would the orders increase be uniform across most stores or would that be skewed by the very large retailers, particularly those that do mail orders?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranger View Post
    Similarly, I wonder if sometimes they want the info leaked. Although I would have thought Marvel would have had a better release teaser for AXIS then a low quality copy of the previews cover.
    In Marvel's case, specifically, they asked directly before the presentation, for NO photos to be taken, or posts to be made. That a retailer would go against thier wishes in this flatly boggles me.

    Quote Originally Posted by cranger View Post
    The comparison of publisher sales on a store by store basis is interesting. I have never really thought that it would differ that much from what is represented by the sales estimates. A question along those lines, but if something like ASM #1 ships 500K, so about over five times the normal amount, would the orders increase be uniform across most stores or would that be skewed by the very large retailers, particularly those that do mail orders?
    In the case of ASM we believe that a significant portion of the increase came from "custom covers" for stores, which could run those stores at several multiples of the "average" store's increase. (We were roughly 300% in one of our stores, 250% in the second.... and we mostly sold through)

    -B

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranger View Post
    Similarly, I wonder if sometimes they want the info leaked. Although I would have thought Marvel would have had a better release teaser for AXIS then a low quality copy of the previews cover.

    The comparison of publisher sales on a store by store basis is interesting. I have never really thought that it would differ that much from what is represented by the sales estimates. A question along those lines, but if something like ASM #1 ships 500K, so about over five times the normal amount, would the orders increase be uniform across most stores or would that be skewed by the very large retailers, particularly those that do mail orders?
    It's definitely not uniform, in my experience. It just depends on whether a store is ordering to reach variant bonuses or not. I know one retailer who ordered five hundred copies (where he would normally order around fifty) in order to meet variant benchmarks. He had pre-sold the variants at such a large profit that he was able to sell "ASM #1" for a dollar. It was a great way to get traffic to his site. He both made money from the variants and had hundreds of new customers visit his site because of the #1's. He was, to put is lightly, very pleased.

    At my store, we did not chase variants. We sold seventy issues of "ASM #1". "Superior" had been selling thirty copies for the last six issues. Marvel knocked this one out of the park, doing the obvious (but not guaranteed) things like having FCBD, the new Spidey movie, and "ASM #1" coincide. I don't have faith that DC would take do those seemingly no-brainer things, at the moment.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for your input. I find your advice incredibly necessary when I analyze merchandise in my DragonVine store. Because of the extreme stretch of Forever Evil, my DC sales have nearly been cut in half. My customers seemed to have become bored with waiting for a conclusion.

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