Marvel announces THE STAND gn is direct sales only

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TheStand CaptainTrips PremiereHC LE Marvel announces THE STAND gn is direct sales only
After getting some brickbats for shortages of the Obama Spidey comic, Marvel did something yesterday that made comics retailers very, very happy, by announcing that THE STAND graphic novel would be made available only to direct market retailers. What’s more, the book will be available for a special Tuesday, March 10th, release at 9 pm.

Marvel is proud to announce the highly-anticipated The Stand: Captain Trips Premiere Hardcover, collecting the first critically-acclaimed graphic fiction adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal novel, will be released EXCLUSIVELY to direct market retailers on March 10th at a special Stand Advance Release Opening at 9pm local time. This hardcover collects the entire The Stand: Captain Trips limited series by the superstar creative team of writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four, Angel: Revelations),Eisner-nominated artist Mike Perkins (Captain America, House of M: Avengers) and Eisner-winning colorist Laura Martin (Astonishing X-Men) with two stunning covers—one by the red-hot Lee Bermejo and a limited edition gatefold cover by Perkins. King fans should know that both editions are available ONLY in comic shops across the country, and through online comics and collected editions sellers.

In the tradition of Civil War and Secret Invasion, The Stand: Captain Trips Premiere HC will debut amid a flurry of mainstream and hobby market press, with Marvel providing retailers an array of complimentary promotional tools.


It’s certainly an interesting move — Marvel has been criticized by retailers on many fronts, including raising prices, making material available outside of the direct market, order incentives and so on. Giving them exclusive access to one of the year’s big sellers should put smiles on a lot of faces.

Comments

  1. Kenny says:

    Honestly, I don’t see what Marvel hopes to accomplish here. In a city with a population large enough to support non-babymen clients (NYC, SF, Chicago, etc.) I imagine this book will have some support. However, in the majority of cities, this will be a book people won’t go out of their way to buy for 2 reasons:

    1) Braving the babymen stores – the average comic store is a terrifying place for most people and a hassle altogether

    2) Not much interest in this work – Most King fans aren’t obsessive collectors. A lot of material written by King himself comes out and goes unnoticed. The Dark Tower series was special because the series had a lot of very obsessive fans, but that has never translated to other King work.

  2. I wouldn’t say there’s not much interest in this work, at least at the DM level. From Paul O’Brien’s most recent sales charts…

    25. THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS
    09/08 Captain Trips #1 of 5 – 82,671
    10/08 Captain Trips #2 of 5 – 64,443 (-22.0%)
    11/08 Captain Trips #3 of 5 – 55,076 (-14.5%)

    That’s not too shabby. Also, it should be noted this says that the “premiere hardcover” will only be available in the direct market. I think it’s safe to assume that the eventual paperback will be available everywhere. So this is set up specifically to drive the hardcore Stephen King fans into comic book retailers. That doesn’t strike me as such a bad idea.

  3. Well, Barnes & Noble had the exclusive with the trade paperback Masterwork editions, so no big deal. And we had an exclusive cover for the Dark Tower. And that massive 6-volume-in-one Ultimate Spider-Man hardcover sold out quickly.

    I see it’s not just comicbook stores, but websites as well. So instead of using my employee discount at B&N, I can get the same discount at TalesOfWonder.com.

    Now, one potential criticism. The book had to be ordered in December.
    THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS PREMIERE HC (DEC082308)
    THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS PREMIERE HC LIMITED EDITION VARIANT (DEC082309)

    Will retailers be able to amend their orders if demand suggests?
    Will we see hundreds of copies in the discount bins of conventions, as comicbook retailers get stuck with unsold copies? Were I a retailer, I’d be silently cursing Marvel for making me speculate on a $25 book.

    That said, I wonder how libraries will get copies. Some have accounts with local stores, but many libraries are not near a comicbook shop. And will the book have an ISBN? I see no data in Books In Print.

  4. Is that Ronnie James Dio?

  5. Henrik J says:

    What exactly are babymen?

  6. “What exactly are babymen?”

    Don’t pretend you don’t know what he’s talking about.

  7. Eric Reynolds says:

    It’s a nice idea from one of the very few publishers who might actually have the clout to drive non-collectors into comics shops. It might not work, but it’s a step in the right direction if Marvel really wants to keep the DM around. But I hope it’s really a sincere effort and not just a way of throwin’ the DM dog a bone. If what Torsten says is accurate (and I have no reason to think it isn’t), I can’t understand why Marvel is only releasing this news now, it seems like this would have been very helpful to know at the time of ordering.

  8. Primary School says:

    Babies don’t read superhero comics…perhaps firstgradermen is more appropriate?

  9. I suspect the timing of the announcement has more to do with the potential readership than the DM store managers. Though, really, without repeated follow-up, making this kind of announcement two months out seems curious. One would hope that orders could be amended in light of this development, though.

  10. The Beat’s copy of the press release didn’t include this…

    THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS PREMIERE HC (DEC082308)
    THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS PREMIERE HC LIMITED EDITION VARIANT (DEC082309)
    Written by ROBERTO AGUIRRE-SACASA
    Penciled by MIKE PERKINS
    Covers by MIKE PERKINS & LEE BERMEJO
    Parental Advisory SLC …$24.99
    FOC—01/22/09, On-Sale—3/11/09

    Final Order Cutoff is 1/22. I would imagine that’s why they announced it now.

  11. franklin richards says:

    I want this. This is a beautifully drawn book

  12. Charles Knight says:

    Anyone fooled by this? it will be in bookshops in six months.

  13. Jesse Post says:

    I wish people would stop using “babymen” as a legitimate discussion term. It’s patently offensive. Seriously. “Inside baseball” type fans drive the industry and we all enjoy some insidery fan talk every now and then regardless of our social aptitude or maturity level.

  14. Rob Jensen says:

    MMMmmmm, yeah. That makes up for the piss-poor handling of the Obama Spider-Man solicitation. Not.

    The chief of Marvel’s marketing division (and whoever else thought that tying orders of the issue to ASM #575 was a good thing) should be fired immediately. If not yesterday.

  15. SpyBoy says:

    Anybody who thinks that this was/is Marvel’s preferred plan is fooling themselves.

  16. Scott says:

    I agree with Kenny’s assessment.

    Marvel will have this is a real bookstore 3 or 4 months after the babymen stores get it. If they are smart they will, but this is Marvel…Steven King hardcore fans won’t go into a comic shop just for this, and if they do they won’t be buying any superjock books while they are being rung up, so the stores won’t be getting any new clients, and the trend of the same core base coming and going into a store each week will continue… no new readers…

  17. I wouldn’t be so King doesn’t have enough hard core collectors to make this an event. Remember, just because your higher population density areas are more likely to have an “opening night” crowd, doesn’t mean that there aren’t another 2000 smaller venues that will sell one or two copies each. These things add up. Besides, they’re getting competition for King licenses, IIRC. Make hay while you can.

  18. I wouldn’t be so sure King doesn’t have enough hard core collectors to make this an event. Remember, just because your higher population density areas are more likely to have an “opening night” crowd, doesn’t mean that there aren’t another 2000 smaller venues that will sell one or two copies each. These things add up. Besides, they’re getting competition for King licenses, IIRC. Make hay while you can.

  19. The Beat says:

    WORD TO YOUR MOTHER:

    Next person who uses the term “babymen” is getting banned, okay?

  20. Kat Kan says:

    Okay, the whole DM exclusive thing basically blocks libraries, because most libraries have to place orders through their book distributors (whichever company has a contract with the library). When I worked in public libraries, I was one of the very few who would venture into a DM retailer, using either Friends of the Library funds or, in the case of one library, special funds earmarked for “direct purchases.” I can only hope that eventually Marvel will let Diamond ship to the book distributors so libraries can get the book.

    As the graphic novel selector for one of those book distributors, this news makes my job difficult.

  21. Henrik J says:

    “Don’t pretend you don’t know what he’s talking about. ”

    Errrr, i have never heard that term before in my life

  22. Eric Reynolds says:

    Well, of course this will end up in bookstores. That’s not really the point.

  23. Rob Jensen says:

    Eric’s right. It’ll end up in the bookstores. My: this is Marvel trying to make like they’re doing something for the DM without actually doing anything for the DM. Here’s a better idea: if you’re going to do variants, don’t “incentivize” them and certainly don’t solicit a variation (much less one with a Spider-Man lovin’ fangeek who just happens to also be the first black president) in a frakkin’ mid-month update. Oh yeah, and better yet: get all of the rest of your books out on time. That would be [strike] super [/strike] marvelous.

  24. the freaky tiki says:

    Jeez o’man.

    People will bitch about anything.

    I applaud Marvel and I applaud the Direct market. Kudos to all.

    the Tiki

  25. Rob Jensen says:

    “People will bitch about anything.”

    Welcome to the Internet.

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