Wednesday Comments – Crisis of Finite 3D Motion Covers

So, by now everyone knows that DC’s big event this September is the beginning of Forever Evil, in which one of DC’s 52 offerings that month is a villain-centric one-shot. And on top of every one of those issues features a nifty 3D motion cover.

Something else you may have heard is that there are going to be quite a few shortages of those nifty 3D covers. Basically, because of the complex printing process for the covers, DC had to lock down the run numbers using estimates based on comparable issue orders. And since they were estimates they couldn’t fully account for how potentially popular they might be with fans.

That means that next month a complete set of all 52 comics with 3D motion covers is going to be hard to get. How hard to get? Well, as a I write this there’s an auction on ebay for a set of all 52 issues that’s set to end in 20 minutes. The current bid is $412.99. And individual issues are hitting bids of over ten dollars.

And those prices are for comics that haven’t hit the stands yet.

So it’s a good time to be in the speculator market.

But on the bad side, it’s got to be a tough time to be a retailer. The retailers tried to order the comics for their customers and DC completely dropped the ball. Plus your local comic shop owner has to deal with letting down their loyal customers, many of whom probably won’t be happy with not being able to get all of the book they want with the fancy covers. And some of the customers might react by lashing out at the store owner instead of the comic company.

I’d heard rumblings about shortages, but I didn’t know for sure until I received 19 emails from Midtown Comics, my local comic shop, telling me that 19 titles had been removed from my pull list. They were all Villains Month titles. And by the time I logged onto their website, they’d completely removed all of the listings for the Villains Month titles.

As a customer I’m frustrated by the entire affair. I completely understand DC’s desire to try to boost sales by offering up gimmick covers and a theme month. And I understand retailers who want to make the bad situation as painless as possible by offering up a “first come/first served” model. But I’m don’t dig that, in September, I’m not only going to have to physically pull all of my DC titles, but I’m also going to have to rush to Midtown first thing in the morning to increase the odds of my getting everything I want to read.

I’ve been collecting comics, nonstop, for decades, and despite this I’m chances are I’m not going to be able to get every comic I want from DC in September. And it’s not because I can’t afford to buy these books when they come out next month. I can’t have what I want because of poor planning by DC.
I imagine that September is going to be a tough month for DC with tons of bad publicity. For their sake I hope the adage that “all publicity is good publicity” is true.

Anyway, it’s Wednesday; go out and get some fresh new comics from your local comic shop. And while you’re there, you may want to give the shop owner a hug because they could probably use it.

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