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Better get on board with #1 because retailers aren't stocking back issues

Mike Sterling has an interesting point from a retailer's perspective regarding the trend of constant re-numbering:

I've said before we do good business in back issue sales. Even early issues of most of DC's New 52 titles still move, so long as those titles are still producing new installments. So long as any of the titles on the stands are producing new installments, I can usually move the back issues for that series. But the likelihood of any title maintaining a continuity of issue-numbering, thus also maintaining that stretch of increased back issue demand, is rapidly decreasing, and I am ordering accordingly.

Tom Brevoort said recently (on tumblr, which doesn't have good search capabilities, so no link) that he's a new car salesman, not a used car salesman, and so he doesn't really care about the ability for retailers to sell back issues (it was on a more direct question of renumbering, e.g. "How am i supposed to find Hulk #3 in the back issue bins when there are 19 different Hulk #3s?"). And while that's a really cavalier attitude and representative of a paradigm shift that's probably not good for the industry even regardless of this issue that i'm discussing, i understand where he's coming from. He has an immediate need to hit numbers to keep Marvel/Disney execs happy and the comics division profitable short term. But as Sterling's quote reveals, the re-numbering is affecting the sales of currents as well.

I think this is part of the transition away from retailers to digital sales, but it's definitely a disruptive shift.

By fnord12 | January 22, 2014, 10:49 AM | Comics


you keep defending him, but Tom Brevoort is a dick. that is a dick attitude to have with a group of people who are there selling your product. instead of fostering a symbiotic relationship with retailers, he instead tells them "i got mine. what the fuck do i care about you?".

and his cavalier attitude and sneering dickish responses to any question he gets about comics makes me wonder if he's in the business of selling comics or of making sure he stamps out the last remaining sparks of comic book fandom.

Reference from SuperMegaMonkey

Sterling has talked about this before, and i noted at that point that Marvel doesn't really care about problems that retailers have selling back issues.    Read More: No, retailer, we expect you to die