Retailer Summit notes

Limited posting this morning as we wrap up at the Diamond Retailer Summit. The show has been surprisingly focused on the positive aspects of a business that has proven unexpectedly buoyant in the face of a serious recession, although anxieties on all sides over some of the looming mysteries (what will Disney/Marvel look like? Who will take over running DC’s publishing day to day? When will Diamond’s warehouse woes subside?) have been shared after hours. We’ll wrap up some of the best intel we’ve gathered later, but in the meantime, a quick recap of last night’s publisher presentations:

Image talked up new first issues for both JACK STAFF and INVINCIBLE (who’s going back to his original costume) and reported that the first issue of COWBOY NINJA VIKING has been ordered at Chew-like levels.

Marvel made a few major announcements, aside from showing a new trailer for SIEGE, which is already up at YouTube (Thanks Robot6) for the time being. David Gabriel announced that Marvel would be focusing less on giant nine- or 10-month line-wide events and more on “mini-events” that lasted a few months and spanned a few titles.

The most interesting Marvel announcement from where we sit was a year focusing on “Marvel Women,” which will include a superheroine-focused event, and a “Young Guns” artist promotion and a writer search with only female participants. The program seems well-timed, both for the growing number of “girl nerd” customers, and with future owner Disney’s strong track record in the female space.

DC announced an 11×17 hardcover collection for WEDNESDAY COMICS in May, and a new line of pulp-hero ongoings spearheaded by Brian Azzarello. Perhaps the biggest announcement was the largest experiment in street dates yet — a promotion called “Green Christmas” which will see BLACKEST NIGHT #6 ship to retailers with the December 23rd books, to be held for sale on December 30th, when Diamond is making no shipments.

This morning’s Diamond/publisher Q&A session was relatively low-key, with questions on package damage, invoice timing and the possibility of simultaneous hardcover/softcover releases. We’ll wrap up the issues covered shortly, but despite some chatter over the possibility of removing their reorder penalties, Diamond announced no changes in trade term policies. Although Diamond had a profitable year, according to VP Bill Schanes, margins were still tight, and pulling revenue from one column meant that it must be made up for in another. However, he expects more announcements along these lines in a few months.

Comments

  1. StrongWall says:

    The Marvel SIEGE promo reminds me of Adam Sandler’s Cajun Man. Decimation. Dissension. Assassination. Devastation. LOL

  2. mark coale says:

    dc/diamond experimenting with street dates?

  3. I would certainly consider funneling more money Diamond’s direction if they did away with the restocking fee. They’ve been getting a smaller and smaller percentage of my business in recent years because of it.

  4. timothycat says:

    Glad to see DC is doing the right thing by going with 11 by 17 with Wednesday Comics. $50 is a good price. I know I’ll be buying a copy of this.

  5. I wonder if there will be any bonus strips included in that DC Wednesday hardcover collection?

    ~

    Coat

  6. For my money, the biggest story here is “Green Christmas.”

    There are a lot of stores in this area… but I’m pretty sure we’re all pros. If Blackest Night #6 is going to be held for the 30th, that’s great news, as it means we’ll get folks in that Wednesday that might not otherwise have made it.

    I applaud DC for trusting the retailers enough to try it… and hope that the retailing community as a whole will prove worthy of that trust.

  7. Rob Jensen (aka ShutUpRob) says:

    Umm, yeah, no. Why would retailers hold Blackest Night #6 until *after* Christmas?

    DC is being just plain idiotic if they think that retailers are going to tolerate sitting on massive quantities of a top-selling book for a week.

    Forget passing the smell test — this doesn’t even get an admission to take the test.

    — Rob

  8. Yeah – what Rob said.

    This is not the record or movie industry – whereas if a retailer stocks a new CD or DVD release before it’s intended street date, he or she could get fined.

    ~

    Coat

  9. mark coale says:

    I had the street date discussion with a retailer today about this story.

    He said Diamond just don’t have a policiing mechanism in place and even if they did, they might be liable if they tried to impose a penalty on someone who did break street date.

  10. BoozerX says:

    Cool.
    Blackest Night #6 is gonna be scanned by the 24th.
    Happy Christmas indeed.
    Stupid move from DC.

  11. michael says:

    can’t wait to see what the Wed Comics Collection will look like! :D

Trackbacks

  1. […] Just got back from the Retailer Summit in Baltimore on Tuesday where I met and talked with over three hundred comic shop owners and managers from all over North America. Got a lot of good feedback on RASL, which was nice. Above is the art for the cover of #7, which will be in the Diamond catalog for items shipping in Feb. With #7 next year RASL will begin shipping bimonthly. Amazing color from Steve, huh? Wild! […]

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