San Diego Comic Con-
Notes Part #2 from #1 New Comic Retailer on the show floor
Last week I posted some retail highlights from the San Diego Comic Con #Comicmarket. No surprise Walking Dead dominated, Batman’s only competition was with other Batman books, Before Watchmen was greeted with open arms, AVX is playing itself out in the funnybook world while Marvel Movie News is muscling out competition, Mark Millar’s brand is still strong, and Deadpool got another shot in the arm with a buzz worthy trailer.
And here is a list of secondary observations of note:
*Where’s the NEXT Walking Dead?
Dozens of people came to the JayCompany booth to express their regret of passing on Walking Dead #1 when it was $15 book, or a $100 book, or a $500 book, as prices are now fetching $1500-$2000 on convention floors. These big cash jumps are leading to comic collectors to evaluate their purchases today, basing them on potential.
CHEW from John Layman is already the second most requested behind TWD. Prices for Walking Dead 60- 1st appearance- are shooting up, #1 1st prints sold for $500 on my back wall, with the Larry’s Comics Sketch variant kissing just shy of $100. Glow in the Dark Variants from SDCC, the Image Expo Chocolate/Butter alternates, and the new foil Poyo books are commanding good dollars.
So what else are people sniffing around? THIEF OF THIEVES went from being largely ignored until AMC TV news was announced quadrupling prices if not more so, while sending each issue into multiple prints. Some requests for Fatale. But the quickest climber is SAGA- 1st prints jumped from $10 on the floor to $20, as we sold dozens. Quite simply people are willing to spend a little more cash now not to regret missing out on something that has the potential to be big money later.
*Momentary underperformer- Adventure Time
Adventure Time has been a gem book from Boom all spring. While JayCompany initially missed the initial blitz at Wondercon and Emerald City Comic Cons, we jumped on the bandwagon, and it has been a sweet surprise at weekly Frank & Sons set-up and other regional shows like Phoenix Comicon and even the sluggish ABQ Comic Expo in New Mexico.
So is Adventure Time now played out with the comic community?
I highly doubt it. Boom studios had a plethora of Adventure Time product, competing directly with retailers exhibiting at SDCC. Add to this, there was a huge Adventure Time Scavenger Hunt on the show floor also sucking interest away from comic retailers. Mentioning this isn’t to crying foul play though- quite the contrary- Adventure Time SDCC show variants as well as back issues have been some of our biggest movers SINCE Comic Con. This points to a bright long-term future
*Most requested book that JayCompany did not stock:
GET JIRO by Anthony Bourdain and Vertigo.
I dunno if the book is legitimately a hot item, or if civilians sucking up to a snarky super chef on the show floor fueled interest. While there is a ton of foodie Outakus in the comic industry I would suspect it’s the latter. We’ll see if people request Get Jiro at Wizard World Chicago and other upcoming shows before rushing to judgment.
For the last decade a small but fervent fan base of Valiant faithful have been coming out to SDCC, requesting Pre-Unity and other incentives, variants and more from the publisher’s glory days. Each year we interact with these fans, and it has been a positive experience-This fan base knows what they want, and are generally polite, not to mention enthusiastic. The Valiant fans have been patiently waiting for the glorious return- they have sat through crazy litigation, saw partial relaunches with the Gold key characters from Jim Shooter and Dark Horse, but now the Valiant have a line to officially claim as their own, with the return of Valiant in early summer 2012.
While I was one of those kids that chased gold books at the start of the Valiant era, as a retailer I was on the fence about the new books. There have been controversy of back room deals, and juking the print runs, but those rumors have never been my issue with the company. Instead I wondered if a new generation of fans- ones that grew up on Marvel movies and the Walking Dead TV show- would embrace a barbarian wearing Tony Stark’s suit (X-O Manowar), X-Men First Class Lite (Harbinger), and a Kung Fu Odd Couple (Archer & Armstrong)?
I’ve read strong market reports for the variants and retail incentives on the Valiant books. The upcoming Bleeding Cool print magazine has wrapped themselves in the flag much the same way the original incarnation was in bed with the then taste making Wizard Magazine. Other retailers I respect have broken their formulas down on how they ordering and packaging the books. I crunched the numbers too going into Comic Con, took a grab at the brass ring, and found retailing this line was a push at best. The Valiant faithful visited the JayCompanyComics.com booths, spent their cash on new incentives, easing off the older keys. While I can’t blame them to gravitating toward recent releases, the regular books are struggling to find any significant audience. While cash wasn’t lost ordering these books because of the variants, I have a box of books that most people don’t care about…
So after claiming blockbuster launches, why did valiant opt not to have an official presence on the show floor, or have creator signings scheduled? Missed opportunity, especially if all the engines are revving like they claim. At least there was a small circle for an after hour poker game among the valiant faithful and upper management from the imprint.
*Another Self Distribution quick start—
Following the Twitter #COMICMARKET hashtag, much has been discussed about the success of self distribution, naming Comixtribe.com titles and the rise of creator Sam Humphries. It seems that the mechanisms are readily available in 2012, much more than a decade ago when my own ARCADE COMICS imprint published Rob Liefeld properties written by Mark Millar and Robert Kirkman. Joining this new wave of self distribution that is popping in price due to low print runs and quality work is BLINDSIDE by Marat Mycheals and Jon Goff. Of course, a sexy J Scott Campbell floods cross over interest from the fanboys scooping up micro print Zenescope titles, opting for something that is new and potentially more collectible
Enjoy this Post? Well, then buy me a beer!!