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Saturday, May 18, 2024

A retailers perspective on DC Comics

 DC Comics has come under fire for numerous things in recent times. The latest being the furore over the departure of the creative team on Batwoman and an ill thoughout 400872_3357680155402_784861965_ncompetition involving Harley Quinn. Whilst these well publicised events may incense fans it’s rare for retailers (the owners of the multitude of comic shops catering to those fans) to get involved. That changed with DC’s much maligned Villain Month and it was this which lead to Jared Myland owner of OK Comics, in Leeds,England to write an open letter to DC Comics on the retailers perspective of their events. Raising several points which highlight some of the problems that comic retailers face, particularly when it comes to promoting a title or organising an in store event, but also points out problems which affect fans too.

 

Dear DC Comics,

I thought you’d welcome a retailers thoughts on DC event months.

I understand the importance of keeping DC Comics fresh and exciting for existing readers, as well as inviting to potential new readers. Having a special month every year to promote the whole line is a great idea.
At my store, OK Comics in Leeds, England, we’ve had great success with the launch of DC’s New 52 and, a year later, Zero Month.
Villains Month has not been so successful, for many reasons.
Hopefully DC will continue to see September as a jumping on point. If that’s the case, next year this is what, from a retailers perspective, I’d love to see:-

– 52 (or however many series there are) different comics promoting the current ongoing range of comics.

– An enticing price reduction. Producing the comics with a $1.99 or even a $1.00 price will encourage people to try something new, and maybe even see retailers giving them away to hook in new readers!

– Content should be relevant for existing customers, and potential new or lapsed readers; perhaps two stories in each comic, one establishing the character and one continuing current storyline.

– Over-print, rather than under-print. Make sure there’s enough stock for people who want them and extras available for people who don’t yet know that they want them.

– Make sure the best writers and artists are working on them. Don’t view it as a fill-in month.

– Make sure the naming and numbering of the series isn’t confusing. Don’t make it difficult for retailers to predict what quantities they’ll require. The comics should fit in with the ongoing sequence.

– Allow retailers to promote your comics in a way that suits them and their customers. I recently requested authorization to host a midnight launch party for Superman Unchained, but was denied permission. I know a launch event would have had a positive effect on sales at my shop.

 

Andy Haigh
Andy Haigh
Andy Haigh started writing to counteract the brain atrophying effects of Retail Hell, now it's an addiction. Andy is an unrepentant sequential art absorbist and comics are one of his passions. Other interests include Film, Music, Science Fiction and Horror novels and quality TV like Game of Thrones. He can talk about these at great length if only someone would listen. He lives a somewhat hermit like life in The Shire, spends too much time on social media and is still waiting to go on an adventure.

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