Dark Horse inventory spotlighted again

The other day Chris Butcher had another complaint about Dark Horse: namely that despite the huge popularity of the new Joss Whedon Buffy book, the trade paperbacks of his work are not available:

I’ve bitched about Dark Horse’s inability to use their trade paperback program to properly capitalise on media events in the past, lots, but after they were almost able to meet demand for 300 (periodic multi-week outages of product, but not so bad if you were expecting it and just front-loaded a few hundred copies of the book) I figured they’d turned a corner. Not so, as you may have noticed above. The thing is, Dark Horse have actually been really good about keeping the single issues in print, and new printings of Buffy: Season Eight #1 and #2 are due in this week! But every single Joss Whedon trade paperback they publish is gone-daddy-gone, and 5-8 weeks from store shelves. Not to belabour the point, but this is totally unacceptable when the heat for the series is on NOW.

Comments

  1. Wow. I find this really interesting especially since it’s happened more than once on a big project. Butcher doesn’t even mention Hellboy, which IIRC had the same problems of shortages as the movie interest was at its peak. It has to make a completely unknowledgable outsider like myself wonder if the company doesn’t need to borrow money, bring in outside investors, etc. I know that’s a dicey situation and I remember Fantagraphics discussing that at one point when their financial situation was precarious and opting against it (perhaps the Kitchen Sink story serves as a reminder of how dangerous that can be). Other companies have been pretty public when it’s come to such problems but Dark Horse has been mum. Have the distributor bankruptcies affected their ability to ratchet up their press runs on books or have they just been burned so often they’ve been scared out of taking chances? The funny thing I keep reading about this in the comics blogosphere but haven’t seen anyone actually call up Mike Richardson and try to ask him. I understand given their attempts to get more projects launched in Hollywood that going public with financial woes may not help but at some point I’d think it would need to be addressed and I’d like to see someone asking the questions to people who might actually have answers. Whither comics journalism? Paging Michael Dean…

  2. Titan Books in the UK printed massive amounts of Buffy and Angel TPs at the height of the Buffy boom, and they’re still clogging up bargain bins in comic shops and bookstores over here. There’s a ton going for less than half price in the basement of Forbidden Planet in London, for a start.

    I’m not sure whether ‘Season Eight’, which is very much a separate, more blatantly ‘canonical’ comic, is going to ignite too much interest in comics that drop in gaps between previous seasons and episodes, and which don’t have the magic Whedon touch.

    Still, Dark Horse could have at least made a cursory effort to move some old stock, and they don’t seem to have even done that. Odd.

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