Robot 6

Tom Brevoort sounds off on Marvel’s DC trade-in offer

"Wanna trade?": unintentional commentary from Geoff Johns, Art Baltazar & Franco's Tiny Titans #25

"Wanna trade?": unintentional commentary from Geoff Johns, Art Baltazar & Franco's Tiny Titans #25

It’s a Tom Twitter Twofer today! Perhaps unsurprisingly, Marvel Executive Editor and Twitter king Tom Brevoort took to tweeting on the topic of Marvel’s offer to exchange unsold copies of the Blackest Night tie-ins that were part of DC’s successful power-ring promotion for a rare Deadpool-themed variant-cover version of Siege #3. His opening statement:

I see there’s a lot of chatter about our SIEGE #3 offer, so I have to ask the question: how is this bad? We’re making no money on the deal (actually losing a little) but it will put some more much-needed cash in retailers’ pockets, And if your retailer doesn’t have these books in stock, excellent! Good on them, they ordered appropriate to their customer base. But while no retailer wants to hurt their relationship with DC, we’ve been hearing from lots of them that they’re happy we’re offering this. As for the stripping, that’s all about making it cheaper for these guys to send the books back. But we’ll take complete copies too. And sure, send the stripped insides to the troops–well done, you! They tend not to keep comics mint on the battlefield in the first place. And while we listed the titles we’d be taking–all of the “ring” books– we never mentioned either DC or Blackest Night at all. Not a knock. And if DC wants to make their own offer, let ‘em! That’s cool too, if it frees up deadlocked capital for retailers to order new stuff.

As the responses — many of them antagonistic — from Brevoort’s followers started floating in, a few prominent strains in the editor’s thinking emerged. The one that struck me most stemmed from questions as to why these Blackest Night tie-ins, which came packaged with various Lantern Corps rings, were singled out for return, as opposed to Marvel’s own Dark Reign tie-ins. Brevoort’s argument hinged on the rings, which he appears to see as fundamentally deviating from the Direct Market’s core mission of selling comic books, and thus making it harder for cash-strapped retailers to accurately gauge customer interest:

We heard from a number of retailers who got stuck with books chasing rings and decided to do something. We’re not making any money on the deal, but we are helping our retailer partners during a tough economic time. Making sure that our retailers can keep the doors open if they tied up a lot of cash on inventory they can’t move. We’re doing this because we’re in the business of selling content rather than Cracker Jack prizes. And we need retailers to be able to keep the lights on and afford to order next month’s books. [Marvel won’t be accepting trade-ins for unsold Dark Reign and The List books] because there, what we were selling and what the retailers were buying were the books. But DC can if they want to! Retailers ordered those books for the content–that’s part of the job, knowing your clientele. I think smart retailers know how to gauge the interests of their clientele most of the time and order appropriately.

My two cents? Plenty of retailers seem to be willing to go on the record both pro and con on the offer — see this piece at Comics Alliance, for example — so I’m not sure if fear “hurting their relationship” with either of the publishers involved is that much of an explanation for who’s saying or not saying what, one way or the other. Also, I think it’s pretty clear how people got the idea that this is something of a shot against DC and Blackest Night, given that no matter what the initial press release said or didn’t say, the books it listed were all DC Blackest Night tie-ins. Finally, anyone who’s gone to a comic shop knows that selling nerd-related tchotchkes and gewgaws is, for better or worse, an integral part of many stores’ business model. So while the plastic rings undoubtedly introduced some unpredictability into retailers’ monthly orders, I’m ultimately not sure how different it really was from predicting how interested readers would be in tie-ins that didn’t come with toys — or books with variant covers, for that matter.

That said, the notion expressed by some of Brevoort’s Twitter interlocutors, that this is a conspiracy to get retailers to pull otherwise viable Blackest Night books off the stands, doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush — if retailers feel like they can sell their copies, why take money out of their own pockets and take a flyer on a random variant? Brevoort pretty much says this repeatedly. He also dispels the idea that stripping the covers is some sort of extra insult or attempt to suppress the books, rather than the usual postage-saving mechanism by which many publications are returned.

Of course, Brevoort wasn’t the only industry figure to riff on the controversy. Blackest Night author and Earth 2 retailer Geoff Johns got in a little snark in response: “A Deadpool variant is anything but rare. Trust me. I own a store.”

My question is this: If this is the comics biz’s equivalent of this week’s Jay Leno/Conan O’Brien controversy, who’s who? On the one hand, Blackest Night‘s Hal Jordan is the heir to the Green Lantern mantle just like Conan inherited The Tonight Show, while Siege‘s Norman Osborn is nothing if not a cut-throat corporate type. On the other hand, Osborn’s got funny red hair and Jordan’s got a prominent chin…

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95 Comments

“And while we listed the titles we’d be taking–all of the “ring” books–we never mentioned either DC or Blackest Night at all. Not a knock.”

Biggest bull- line I’ve ever heard. No, he didn’t “mention” the words DC or Blackest Night, but he didn’t include any other books at all. It’s ludicrous. If it’s to help the retailer, the return offer should have been for any book from that month or any book period.

As for this quote, “We’re doing this because we’re in the business of selling content rather than Cracker Jack prizes.” That’s just another low blow. Even if he thinks the quality of the giveaway was crappy, I haven’t heard one Green Lantern fan complain. They, including myself, love the rings and think it was a fantastic idea to create them for fans.

Yeah, Brevoort, “…selling content…” what about t-shirts, busts, refrigerator magnets, action figures, limited edition variants…how is that “…selling content…”?

Brevoort wishes DC would do something to respond. Everybody saw this ploy for what it was: a childish publicity stunt intended to suggest that these DC books aren’t as popular as the sales suggest. Grow up, Brevoort. DC isn’t going to come down to that level. Geoff’s hilarious response was more than enough to put these guys in their place without falling to their level.

I think Marvel should have just stayed silent after making the initial offer. The more Brevoort tries to explain it the worse it sounds.

Johns’ comment was pretty funny. Sounds like he’s taking the whole thing in stride.

“Yeah, Brevoort, “…selling content…” what about t-shirts, busts, refrigerator magnets, action figures, limited edition variants…how is that “…selling content…”?”

Easy, genius: Marvel doesn’t sell that stuff. Marvel sells comics, and that’s about it. Everything else comes from whoever paid for the merchandise licenses.

I think its just disingenuous the Brevoort is trying to spin it. If it was anything more than just showmanship, they would get some of their own product back (FF one-shots, Dark Reign minis, Wolverine one-shots)

Mammalian Verisimilitude

January 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

> My question is this: If this is the comics biz’s equivalent of this week’s Jay Leno/Conan O’Brien controversy, who’s who?

Oh, in this scenario the parallel is blatant.

Hal Jordan = Jay Leno
Kyle Rayner = Conan O’Brien

The single biggest flaw in his argument is the aforementioned fact that it’s only DC books they’re taking. Every shop I’ve been to has just as many, if not more, heaps of unsold and essentially-worthless Dark Reign books sitting around as they do Blackest Night titles. DC did something fun and cool and boosted sales on a lot of smaller books and now Marvel is crying foul and being a petulant child about it.

This really isn’t that big a deal. I don’t see why people are going crazy about what Marvel is doing.

Why are people taking it personally.

Has the comics industry lost all of its ability to take a fucking joke?

I think the whole thing is frickin’ hilarious.

XD

“We’re doing this because we’re in the business of selling content rather than Cracker Jack prizes.”

LIke Avengers ID cards with Origins of Siege? Nice, Brevoort.

“And while we listed the titles we’d be taking–all of the “ring” books–we never mentioned either DC or Blackest Night at all. Not a knock.”
and
“DC isn’t going to come down to that level.”
Well, I needed a laugh.

I think the argument against doing this for other stock is that if you over-buy on standard non-returnable stock, that’s your own lookout. Knowing how much you can sell to be sure of how much you should buy is what retail IS. Market knowledge is what you give Marvel in order to be allowed sell their product at retail markup. Otherwise you could always over-buy and then return the excess, which would nuke Marvel’s profit margins.
But if you HAVE to buy it in order to be allowed to supply your customers with a product they desire, that’s a bit skeevy. Not very skeevy, but a bit skeevy.
What Marvel’s doing is just *weird*, though. I mean, we KNOW that the rings boosted sales. It’s not like Ted Kord hasn’t appeared in Booster Gold before, and I didn’t see 35,000 more copies selling then. We *know* it’s a bit skeevy, and that they’re effectively giving away free comics with rings rather than the other way round.
I assumed it had to be that they saw some market data advantage, because otherwise this is just flamewar baiting. In which case, mission accomplished.

I think it’s fair to say this falls in an area of grey. I see what Tom is saying here (and believe me, we don’t see eye to eye on many things!) in that a retailer potentially bought a large number of extra DC books that month to acquire the rings, more so than they could sell. Now, it was up to the retailer to determine what to do with those rings, be it sell it with the book, sell the ring on it’s own, or give it away, but the fact still stands that there were plenty of retailers who spent a lot of extra money on book they simply didn’t have the audience to sell to.

Tom and Marvel may not be doing this altruistically as this is a shot in the arm for Marvel in the eyes of retailers who were losing money on the DC deal but it isn’t fair to say that Marvel should offer this deal with any other book as other books were sold purely on the quality of the book and not a ring that came with it.

To argue that t-shirts, etc make that fair is, ludicrous. Those are bought on the same standards as the comics are bought and more often than not through outside licenses. People don’t buy more copies of a book because they are going to get more copies of a t-shirt for it. The expenses are totally separate, what in the world is anyone bringing this up for?

That said, this is a jab at DC, no two ways about it and the more Tom talks the more snide remarks he is gonna sneak in to hurt the rep of this little event. Now the Avengers ID cards on the other hand. You could make a case with those.

The Deadpool variant will recoup losses sustained from 50 issues of any comic book ??

I think not.

Stupid move by Marvel. Recently I have begun to think of as arrogant a$$h**es. Nice of them to prove me right.

Wont stop me from buying Daredevil, but there is really nothing else they produce that I will buy

I don’t see how this is putting money in retailer’s pockets. They’ve already paid for the DC books, sending them back means they’re loosing that money, will a Deadpool variant sell for as much as the cost of the books they’re sending in? Around here, variant covers are about as hot as the weather (NE USA) .

It was a pretty juvenile move. How about taking back unsold Marvel books?

Well, Marvel sur eis selling a lot less content for more money than DC in the moment.
What about all this 3,99- and 4,99- books, with nothing but reprints and previews of coming books to justify the price?

What kind of content is this.

I’m reading Blackest Night and Dark Reign books, and a lot of the Dark Reign stuff is pure crap, you know “content-wise”.

This is simply put bad “sportsmanship” by Marvel.

Well, hats off to Marvel for taking their clever little shot but that doesn’t really diminish the fact that it seems like a prickish move at best. I’d love to see Johns announce some retaliatory promo event for his store…

Did anyone ask Tom if Cap Reborn and Siege with the Avenger tie-ins will be returnable?

Sean T. Collins

January 15, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Yes they did, Ken. Check out the link to Tom’s tweets.

This story has gotten a bit out of hand don’t you think?

Marvel – The Media Whore’s really putting it all out there just to rile up a lil attention

I think the negative reaction many people, myself included, have to this move by Marvel has to do with the old adage, “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” I mean sure, both companies have their faults at times. But by Brevoort trying really really hard to point out the other company’s faults, it just makes many people take a harder look at at his own company’s faults and his apparent unwillingness to acknowledge or correct them. You’ve got to take care of your own house before you can criticize someone else.

If the retailers don’t want to participate, they don’t have to mail in books.

If consumers don’t want to participate, they don’t have to buy the variant.

I don’t see that there’s an issue whatsoever.

I guess Marvel has nothing better to do with their time these days–not like they are in the midst of a corporate merger or anything? Here is an idea, ask Papa Mouse if you can lower your price to 2.99 for most books since you are so concerned about struggling retailer costs in these tough economic times. A lower price point would sell more books, thus helping retailers–my LCS has very few of the tie ins left–maybe due to excellent inventory management as well as customer incentives like 20% off US list price (I live in Canada). DC and Marvel are in the business not for content, but money. If the content sells neither company really cares how good it is–just so long as it sells. Out of the 200-300 bucks I drop each month on comics–Marvel is lucky to see $10 of my cash–and this is just one more reason why.

Its called literally “undercutting you’re competitors.”

Actually there probably should be some sort of legal action that DC can take. I mean there has to be. The ripping off of Nemesis as Joker as one thing, but this probably takes the cake.

Like someone said above, they should have just let this lie. The more they try to explain it, the dumber and more slimy they sound.

LMAO @ Geoff Johns!! Nothing about DeadPool is rare, so true!! I bet they don’t try this malarky again.

And they are not about helping the retailers either. LOL @ waxing altruistic. Why don’t you put as much effort into making quality comics, as you do with these bullshit marketing schemes?

Oh, and that Tiny Titans is so spot-on!! Johns is a genius!!

I find it hilarious, myself. Both the promotion itself and the fact that some people are reacting to it as though Marvel personally insulted their mothers.

@ Jill the Nerdy Bird- I still think Diamond comics is doing a “no return” policy, not that I side with Marvel or DC. However, the point is, my LCS had mountains of those Blackest Night promotion rings titles. It didn’t help on a lot of levels.

1. My LCS has stacks of the Ring Promotion books on display at a table.
2. When people bought the comics, largely older ages, they actually refused to take the rings.
3. My LCS store started giving them out for free, and the saddest thing is, the rings were more popular among non-comic fans.

I’ll say it again: You don’t see Kellogg’s putting out notices that they’ll give grocery stores a break if the stores take Post cereal off of the shelves, yet this is what Marvel is doing. It sets a bad precedent and needlessly ups the ante in the “us v. them” debate”.

They aren’t doing anybody any favors. After all, these stores that are “stuck” with unsold Blackest Night product? How hard are they trying to upsell? If they blew their chance, that’s the store’s problem. No one twisted their arms, and Marvel, despite what they publish, aren’t doing this to look like heroes.

I have yet to see an answer to this question: who does this hurt?

Not the retailers. Not the fans. Not Geoff Johns, personally.

Soooo…. what’s the problem?

“We heard from a number of retailers who got stuck with books chasing rings and decided to do something. We’re not making any money on the deal, but we are helping our retailer partners during a tough economic time. Making sure that our retailers can keep the doors open if they tied up a lot of cash on inventory they can’t move. We’re doing this because we’re in the business of selling content rather than Cracker Jack prizes.”

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This folks, is a classic “politician response”. It’s a half true designed to paint Marvel as the “good guy” and paint DC as the “bad guy”. Marvel might not sell “Cracker Jack prizes” (and technically, neither does DC), but they use gimmicks (just like DC) to boost sales on their comics. Brevoort is either under the assumption or has apparently forgotten that in order for retailers to get those rare variant covers from Marvel (all of those 1 in 10,1 in 15,1 in 25,1 in 50,1 in 75,and 1 in 100 variant covers), retailers have to order more then their usual amount of copies for a particular comic in order to receive those variant covers.

In a nutshell, Marvel is the pot and DC is the kettle, and both companies are full of crap (and publish a lot of crap).

Michael:

It hurts Marvel’s image when they are trying to act like a savior to the retailer when, compared to DC, they have been much more apathetic to things that would create a better business relationship. Marvel don’t make as many books returnable as DC, they also pull order systems in weird ways like having to order so many copies of Hulk to get Captain America #600, or something very similar, I might be messing up with the titles.

Granted, they have a right to hurt themselves, but we can still comment on it being a dumb move.

The problem with this, and the reason it’s completely classless, is that Marvel is acting like they’ve never made retailers buy more books to get an incentive.

Imagine thousands of greedy, thoughtless people go to Burger King, and buy and eat dozens of Kid’s Meals apiece just to get a special collector’s toy. They all get really sick, and . Then a rep from McDonald’s comes over and offers everyone a bottle of Pepto for every ten Burger King Kid’s Meal bags they turn in. Are they just “helping people out in these rough times”, or are they hoping it’ll leak that “MCDONALD’S CURES SICK BURGER KING CUSTOMERS!”? You’re full of crap, Brevoort.

Marvel,the biggest troll in the world.
Is outstanding the level of response of this.
A lot of people need to evaluate his priorities again.

That’s actually a really good point. Marvel sure does sell a lot less content these days with their 32-page $4 books, 32-page $5 books, and $4 books with filler material.

It is a classless move by Marvel, meant to imply that Blackest Night is not as successful as the sales chart would indicate. Even if that is not true, they throw it out there to suggest DC’s success the last couple of months isn’t “real.”

Since Marvel remains the number-one publisher by market-share, this is about as cry baby as it gets.

Will Marvel announce how many retailers participated if this promotion is an utter failure? It would not surprise me if fewer than 100 retailers take Marvel up on the offer. Nope, they will keep that quiet. The goal was to suggest to fans that DC’s sales are illusory, not to help retailers. Again, doesn’t matter if it’s true or not to Marvel–throw out the big lie and see who buys it.

And how is a variant cover selling “content?” A variant cover is a collectible, much like the rings being decried (and no, I don’t own one)

I read both DC and Marvel, but I’m more into DC. I criticize DC’s own decisions all the time. (The SDCC DC Direct Green Lantern exclusive mess comes to mind)

But this time, I thought it was a fair deal.

It’s true that basically DC deal resulted in fans buying the rings and getting a free comic book.
What’s wrong with that?

The books themselves were tied in to the story about the rings. It was not like they had no link whatsoever.

And if it picks up new readers, great! Some of those books have great content. Booster Gold?Rebels? Doom Patrol? All are great CONTENT. (On the other hand, JLofA is NOT good content but sells well on average anyway)

Marvel does marketing gimmicks all the time. Some cool, some crappy.
This really DOES reek of poor sportsmanship.

How different is this from Marvel making them order a certain number of issues to get a variant cover?
Geez, Breevort, we’re not as dumb as you think we are. We can see a d*ck move when we see one.

You all seem to be forgetting that getting variants can offset the cost of the issues that you say they “have to order” to get, and that variant covers are, get this, still comic books with stories in them, with, and I know this is gonna sound crazy, but art on the cover.

I don’t think anyone really understands the humiliation Marvel is experiencing right now. Having gone from the House of Ideas to nothing more than another lap dog of Disney must be hard to swallow. D.C. remains free and autonomous, they still control the destinies of their characters. For Marvel the dream is dead and in a last act of bitterness they are throwing the cheap shot. Like Mike Tyson when he was losing the most humiliating fight of his career Marvel too has decided the rules no longer matter and they too have gone for the ear.

It is pathetic…

It is sad…

It is the action of a fighter who has no chance of winning the bout and in lieu of victory their only concern is leaving a mark on the face of the other guy.

Time to move on and start working on the inevitable Marvel Disney character crossover event, “Thor Duck in”.

EPIC FAIL..

Only a few days into 2010, and Marvel’s already defined clearly how fans will view them for at least the year.

I’m really blow-away with how much of a negative public image dent this is going to give Marvel. It’s seldom corporations make such a poor public image gaff. I mean…who the hell signed-off on this?

The Tweeting and lame defense of it, with added 5th Grade snipes like “Cracker Jack” prizes and “We sell content”…Tom Brevoort’s job should be on the line here.

This situation reminds me of a guy I used to know. He was successful financially, had a pretty wife, nice-looking kids, and always had to be in the spoot light. His most annoying trait was that when someone he knew was recognized for some achievement, he simply could not stand it. if someone outshone him or took attention away from his “greatness,” even for a moment, he would pout and try to either tear the other guy down, or claim he could have done the same thing, only better.

This made the otherwise good guy seem, at times, like a petulant little b*tch. Look at me! Look at me! Wah! Wah ! Wah!

And that is what Marvel is in this situation. They can’t stand it that DC had a successful event, even though– and this is what kills me and makes me think them a bunch of whiny 12 year olds–they remain the number one publisher.

Marvel isn’t forcing anyone to send their unsold books in. If you had a stack of books sitting on a table at your store that you can’t rid of, wouldn’t you like to get something for them? This isn’t going to hurt the sales of any “Blackest Night” tie-ins. They make their money within the first week or two, then the retailer is stuck with all the copies he bought just so he could get the rings.

I’ll take a DC comic over Marvel any day of the week, but I don’t see why people are so pissed about this. Unless you all plan on going out and buying three more copies of each “Blackest Night” tie-in so the retailers will actually make money on this little stunt by DC, then you all just need to chill out. The books are sitting there NOT making money for the stores.

But do they have stacks of books laying around? Marvel is implying just that, hoping you will think the Blackest Night tie-ins, and by extension, Blackest Night was not successful.

They want you to believe that. They don’t care if even one retailer responds. They just want to leave that implication out there.

“You all seem to be forgetting that getting variants can offset the cost of the issues that you say they “have to order” to get”

_________________________________________________

Only if you are able to sell those variant copies at a higher price.

Blade X , Good point! The variant cover value is a myth. Variant covers today are worth no more than the old Image variant covers or the old Todd McFarlane Spider-Man variant covers. Variant covers are fools gold and always have been.

I can go to any comic shop in America and buy any previous variant cover ever made out of the dollar boxes. They are a sucker buy for the novice collector and anyone who’s been collecting for more than ten minutes leaves them alone. Any retailer stupid enough to think he’ll ever make his money back by selling Darnfool variant covers deserves to go out of business.

And hey, all you novice collectors who think variant covers will bring you riches some day. The next time you’re looking through the fifty cent and dollar boxes pay attention to how many Todd McFarlane Spider-Man variant covers you run across. Pay attention to how many poly bagged books you’ll find. Gimmick books only bring profit to the companies who sell them. The rest of us get squat…

Marvel isn’t Marvel to me anymore. I could never see them doing this 10 years ago. I couldn’t see a multi-year line starting with an unbelievable war between super-powered ‘heroes’ that is taken from an old X-Men storyline and never goes anywhere despite great ideas like CLone Thor and ruining Spider-man and I forgot to mention the constent delays and it didn’t have an edning. Oh, once again I forget. “I quit':” Terrible. No doubt stuff like this has been going on through Secret Invasion and now something called ‘Siege’ but this is just stupid. Is their attitude at Marvel just to let a few writers dictate whatever happens so that all the writers can’t do anything really good anymore? Now this stuff. Is everything a gimmick or a jab at the other rival company? I was always a Marvel fan, but how can anyone defend this stunt.?

How could you put an end to this controversy?

Oh yeah, ‘I quit’. I wonder who thought of that.

I see people buy variants ALL THE TIME. So there’s that.

Not to mention that there’s a difference between variants of the early 90’s and variants now.

When I originally heard about this my very first thought was: Marvel wants to figure out how successful this promotion was to figure out if it’s worth doing something like it themselves. I think they produced a lot of great books. However, Marvel has turned themselves into a big-crossover-event-a-year based publisher. There business model seems based on events and cross promotion to push up sales. It immediately occurred to me that they were looking to jump on board if they could find out if it actually worked.

People are going to buy the Deadpool variant 200 bucks (about the cost of the fifty comics to the retailers)? Please. If they got $20, they’d probably be doing good, If they had all these comics laying around (and who says that they actually do?), they would be further ahead knocking the price down to and selling them for 50 cents a piece rather than going for Marvel offer.

…and that is why this offer is completely disingenous on Marvel’s part.

Adam – Please enlighten on the difference between variants of the eighties, nineties or any era for that matter and those being produced now?

They’ve always been for the suckers, and they always will be. Sure you see people buying them all the time and five years later those very same folks are walking into comic book stores looking for the “big payoff” and discovering the entire long box won’t bring them what they paid for one of the stupid books.

Fools gold, always has been and always will be…

I agree with Dave Anderson above. The only rational explanation for Marvel to do this from a business standpoint (assuming it’s not merely for showmanship or dickery) is that it is market research; for them to try to get some kind of idea of how much of (X) a retailer would be willing to buy solely to get (Y). Which they would then like to use for a similar promotion strategy down the line. That would of course make everything that Tom Brevoort is saying here complete and utter crap, especially the dismissive “crackerjack prize” comment, but what are you gonna do?

any retailer who didnt require the purchase of the comic to receive the ring wasnt doing their job right.
Anyone who wanted a ring but not the book, should have been sold a ring for no less than $3, which would have covered the cost of the comic (figuring a rough 50% discount), with a nice profit.

Basically a smart retailer has already recouped their cost and made a mint on this promotion…if they have left overstock from selling more 3 dollar rings than 4 dollar comics…they will send them in to marvel for a shitty variant.

Has anyone actually done the math? 50 copies of $3.99 comics at, what i believe is marvel’s highest possible discount of 56% is $87.78. Plus postage…lets say $90. It will cost retailers NINETY DOLLARS OUT OF POCKET for a deadpool variant that might be done by a stroke victim, or worse rob liefeld. How long do you think a (minimum) $150 variant, with an unknown cover, of an uninvolved severly over exposed character, of a THIRD issue of a mini series will sit on a shelf?

newyorkmcgee – You said, “Or worse rob liefeld…” Yeah, I’d take the one by the stroke victim first too.

Thanks for making me laugh out loud.

I think some people need to tak a chill the f**k out pill. I think the whole thing is funny. Plus no one is twisting the retailers arm to do it, DC doesn’t seem to care. I should also say that I enjoy the current Deadpool run(and the classic series) more then everything Johns and his over rated mits have ever touched save Green Lantern and Blackest Night.

Wacker is a good guy, so I feel bad for this, but this sleaze-bag stunt by Marvel makes me not want to buy their books. And Andy Diggle has been doing such a good job succeeding Brubaker on DD , that I know I am only causing myself to suffer

Given that I only buy Spidey and Daredevil from Marvel’s monthly offerings, I realize they will not suffer overly much from me dropping five books a month. But it will make me feel better about myself that I don’t support nor endorse such childish dickery.

Believe me…I’m looking for DC books to drop, too…and if their editorial department devolves to the totally classsless jackassery exhibited by Marvel, then I will be done with them, too. I started the comics habit in 1973, but went over a decade without buying comics before starting back up in 2001. My life did not suffer in any meaningful way from the absence of funnies during those years.;

I know it is a meaningless gesture for me to boycott what few Marvels I buy a month. They ain’t gonna miss me, after all. But this is a totally un-humorless, dickheaded move that i hope backfires big time.

Shawn —

I think it’s more that DC is taking the High Road here, rather than they “don’t seem to care”

I’ll be very disappointed in DC if they rise to this bait.

Let Marvel lay in the stink they’ve created (Brevoort has only made the impression I had of Marvel worse — gotta wonder who approved his defending this childish idea).

…Well, for those who thought that those in charge at Marvel would start behaving like adults once Paul Levitz retired as EIC, looks like you get to eat crow now.

How about if Marvel let the retailers return “Captain America Reborn” #6 for a full refund after all the copies are left sitting on the shelf because no one will buy them. That would be an appropriate aoplogy rather than the “sorry folks” we got in ‘Who will Wield the Shield”. Just to go off topic a little, how about both companies stop using super slow artists on important books. Any other proffession these very talented people would be fired for not turning in material on time. To make this come full circle, maybe the problem isn’t promo’s from either company. Maybe its the time sensitive material that doesn’t move anymore because part way through the run issue #5 is super late, and people lose thier patience, and don’t care anymore. That sounds like something familiar. *cough “Flash Rebirth” cough cough*

Any retailers that participate in this so they can keep their doors open for a while longer completely fail at business. Marvel doesn’t care about retailers. This was a failed swipe at DC. Now there will be customers that will ask their retailers to get this Deadpool variant (the very definition of focusing on content) and they wont be able too because if the shop is worth their business license they wont have 50 extra ring books.

I love Marvel and I love DC and I love IDW and DH and Image and all the rest. I love comics. This silly crap is annoying.

DirkStar…
Have you forgotten that DC is owned by AOL/Time-Warner (or whatever they’re calling the company these days)?
That hardly makes them autonomous.

Alexander Johnsontown

January 16, 2010 at 12:32 am

To the people saying, “You guys gettin’ angry at Marvel need to chill the f out! This whole deal is just funny and hahahaha and my mom told me I look handsome so you shouldn’t be angry at Marvel because that’s just plain childish.” Please, stop. Stop, stop, stop.

The reality here is, this was a publicity stunt by Marvel. A very political publicity stunt that very viciously backfired. They’ve got nobody to blame but themselves. Do they know nothing of politics? Are they that inept when it comes to working with the public? When you screw the heck up like this, you don’t dig down to dig yourself out. You say, I’m sorry, we screwed up.

How is this a bad thing, Tom? It’s bad because you’re lying. You’re pretending that you’re doing this for “the retailers,” for the good of the people (if you will), when you’re clearly doing it for nobody but yourself. Good for you, big guy. That’s fine. Give yourself a high-five and what have you. But for the love of god, call it what it is instead of calling yourself the Good Samaritan.

Also, mocking DC for their “crackerjack” business in the aftermath of this heinous bull**** is the epitome of hypocrisy. That is why “this is bad”–for you and the rest of Marvel. Nobody likes a hypocrite.

I have read every post on here, and you want to know something, you’re all full of shit!!!!!!!! If a comic store can get rid of books sitting on their shelves that they got to get rings, its good for them, if they don’t want its good for them too. Its up to an individual comic shop that if they have extra books taking up shelf space and not selling to get a comic a fan wants to spend extra money for then why bitch and moan and make them sound like judas giving Christ to the Romans. People its only comic-books. It’s a promo just like the ring issues. Give it a break already. get lives and stop bitching about things that won’t be of importance when your in the comic shop buying the new Avengers # 1. and you all know you will be.

“I have read every post on here”

Why is it I actually doubt people who say this?

I’m slightly puzzled by all of this and the digging Marvel are doing, making it worse and making themselves look bad. They have the dominant share of the market at present, so if they and DC were on equal footing, you might expect more of this, more quick and fast moves to get them more PR and more internet buzz to make people check out their books. The real puzzle is, Marvel do produce a lot of good books (Cap, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, Daredevil etc). Sure there is some chaff, but same at DC, and they have great artists and writers, so why resort to cheap and low tactics to poke fun at DC’s Blackest Night crossover event? Only logical reason I can see is that there is a lot more buzz around DC events at the moment and Siege is not doing nearly as well as they hoped and they want to get the name Marvel in front of people more.

Yes, it’s just comics, but newsflash to those who are surprised by the fans enthusiatic response, this is a comics website where we talk passionately about comics. If that surprises you then you are obviously in the wrong place and don’t understand. And look, I didn’t even use one profanity, unlike some people who are unable to express themselves without swearing. Very clever people obviously. Genius in fact.

Retailers (elsewhere on the internet) have very clearly posted their responses in a news story about how they feel on this and on the whole they are equally puzzled and appalled. They asked if they could instead send back Marvel unsold books from recent events, and how sending back 50 for 1 is a good deal? They could send back just the covers, but then the comics cannot be sold and will have to be given away or trashed, so how do they benefit?

Surely they should just focus on producing better comics, doing better events (if they are going to stick to them for the near future) and writing better stories, not trading blows on the internet and making spiteful swipes at the competition. Sure they can do it, but it makes them look childish and juvenile.

“We’re doing this because we’re in the business of selling content rather than Cracker Jack prizes.”

1) Marvel isn’t selling the variant.

2) Marvel should be in the business of marketing & producing good comics, not promoting a b-plot (“Not Brand Echh”) to the a-plot for their comics division nor promoting variants.

I’m loving Blackest Night, and I can’t say the same for any of the Marvel events from the last few months (Realm of Kings, Fall of the Hulks, Siege, Dark Reign, Utopia, Necrosha, Gauntlet). Marvel should be pushing their comics more (not variants, collectors will find that stuff nowhere what). Marvel seemingly had more canceled titles and canceled more through 2009 then anyone else (New Warriors, She-Hulk, Eternals, Iron Fist, Ghost Rider, Exiles, Captain Britain, Agents of Atlas, Runaways, Ms. Marvel, Dr Voodoo). I hope their better comics (FF, DD, Hercules, Iron Man, Punisher, X-Factor) start climbing up the sales charts because they’re earning it.

T think that was a dumb idea from Marvel, but…

I love good stories, good ideas and good characterization.

I Don’t give a fuck if they are from Marvel or DC. I love them both.

Give attention to your homework, dear professionals of the comics industry. Write good stories. That’s enough.

@ newyorkmcgee “any retailer who didnt require the purchase of the comic to receive the ring wasnt doing their job right. Anyone who wanted a ring but not the book, should have been sold a ring for no less than $3, which would have covered the cost of the comic (figuring a rough 50% discount), with a nice profit.”

Exactly!

I was speaking with a retailer yesterday who said he’d rather donate his books and write them off or find some other way to recoup the costs of any unsold books then send them to Marvel. He said there’s no way the money he’d make on the variants would equal the cost of the DC books. So, “helping the retailer” is not accurate at all.

It’s all just a publicity stunt that probably shouldn’t have left the gate. Marvel already did the retailiers a bit of a favor with the free copy of the Origin of Siege and the 2010 Calendar. My LCS guy told me Marvel did that because Diamond was taking that week off for the holiday and there would be nothing new to ship, except for the BN copy that shipped the week before and they were forbidden to sell. Marvel has given out a free backstory issue in the past related to events. As for Dark Reign related titles, the retailer only ordered what they thought they could sell. No extra copies were forced on them.

This is just a douche move by Marvel. Plain and simple. The rings add unpredictability to? No sh*t. Its a promotion to sell more books. All promotions don’t necessarily help, and to the extent that they may lead to uncertainty as to future sales. BUT THAT’S NOT A REASON TO NOT TRY TO SELL MORE BOOKS. Also, the ring promotion’s a great idea: the current Green Lantern stories look very accessible for kids, and Green Lantern and Spider-Man are probably the only two super heroes that are prominently known to people who have comic books that are currently accessible in the first place, so its a well-placed promotion for handing out these things.

Big whoop.

And it’s Uzumeri FTW on this one.

I still think Marvel’s stunt feels juvenile. And Tom’s “defense” of Marvel’s actions made him & Marvel look worse….

Brevoort’s rallying cry – basically, “We’re just trying to protect our poor, fragile retail partners here” – is pretty hypocritical. And it’s BS.

First, because Marvel has done plenty of gimmick promotions that are designed to make retailers pay for extra books knowing they’d end up with lots of extra copies sitting on shelves. And second, because DC **offered** this as a promotion to retailers. They didn’t force the poor, scared retailers to order more books at gunpoint.

This all just episode 26 of Trash Talkin’ With Big Joey Quesada. Looking to steal a little thunder from DC during the height of their event. And Joey thinks trash talk helps competition, so I have no problem with this as a PR move by Marvel. It may not be their classiest stunt…but what else is new.

But be a man and call a spade a spade

I agree 100% that if retailers overordered the Blackest Night tie-ins and are left with product that takes up space that they cannot move, that is certainly their own fault.

However, there is nothing illegal, immoral or unethical about this marketing ploy. Period.

I have no idea why people get their dander up to such a degree. If there is a retailer who can benefit from this promotion, more power to them. While I don’t think that Marvel’s motives are altruistic, I don’t really care. Marvel is not in the business to sell altruism…they are in the business to sell comics.

Comics are great, but to a retailer, comics are product and if the product can’t move, it should be their prerogative to dispose of the inventory that they paid for in whatever manner they wish.

The fan vitirol is actually quite silly.

Slapstick:
The problem is, they are trying to make DC look bad, when they should be looking at their own marketing ploys (multiple variants were retailers have to order more copies to get that precious 1 in 15 and 1 in 50 variant).
Marvel doesn’t find an end to publishing tons and tons of event related books each month and a lot of them are really bad.
Lots of retailers have to dig really deep into their pockets to get copies of all the comics Marvel publishes each month, or they have to buy less stuff from smaller companies etc. just because Marvel is flooding the market with bad event related books, which also offer less content for the same or even more money than the DC titles.

and acting like this seem squite immoral to me.

Alexander Johnsontown

January 16, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Slapstick, I honestly could care less about the promotion itself, one way or the other. My problem is when Brevoort goes out there and basically verbally attacks DC for something they’ve done quite enough of. I’m well aware that Marvel is not in the “business of altruism,” but every business on Planet Earth would do well to not be huge, lying hypocrites. “We’re the good guys! It’s not like we’re doing this for money or somethin’!” Lordy.

“We’re in the business of selling content.” HEH. This from a guy whose company’s marketing department invented the foil cover, the multiple-variant covers, the shrink-wrapped mini-posters, and several other novelty gags which became the bane for retailers in the 90s.

Rings be damned. I just think Tommy B can’t stand to see his rivals come up with an original promotion of their own.

Maybe if Marvel actually put out something worthy of Stan and Jack and Steve I’d take his “content” claim seriously.

Who cares?! Who cares?!!?@?@ STOPP stop with corny opinions and corny deals and corny news making scandalous tricks or whatever this garbage is, stop twittering and write comic books.
Enough with this kinda baby high school crap, Youre grown men and keepers of lore and chracters that are very important to people. This kind of crap is embarrassing.
Almost no one wants to see marvel and DC fighting, its like mommy and daddy fighting, it sucks. Are their people who only read Marvel or DC sure, and those people fucktards who nobody likes.
write comic books/edit comic books, ive been reading alot of corny shit in otherwise decent books, perhaps they slipped by when you were twittering about this awesome deal you made for retailers or whatever.
Joey-

and yes i typed this out wearing a red lantern ring.

Ya know, I was pretty ambivalent about this whole “promotion” and saw it as just another typical Marvel “Look at me!” stunt.

But Brevoort’s Tweets really demonstrated how mean spirited this whole thing is. (Or maybe it’s just the man himself being mean-spirited? He sure comes across that way.)

“Making sure that our retailers can keep the doors open if they tied up a lot of cash on inventory they can’t move. We’re doing this because we’re in the business of selling content rather than Cracker Jack prizes.”

Ya gotta love the hypocrisy- “We sell CONTENT.” Yeah I bought Seige #1- kinda light on content there Tom.

So ya wanna help the retailers Tom? Never mind the give up $100 of saleable books for Marvel’s own Cracker Jack prize of a Deadpool variant, how’s about taking returns of Captain America Reborn #6 that those retailers you;re so concerned with are going to get stuck with?

The “surprise” ending to that story has been blown in probable 10 different books- who’s going to want to read a story that they already know the ending of??? No-brainer the retailers are going to take a bath.

I read both Marvel and DC, but more DC than Marvel for most of my life and generally don’t let company politics influence my reading choices. Having said that- Brevoort’s Tweets leave a pretty sour taste in my mouth.

.

‘D.C. remains free and autonomous, they still control the destinies of their characters.’

This is not true. It hasn’t been true since DC became just another unit of Time Warner.

In an interview with Fanzing a few years back, Chuck Dixon described how a Batman editor was nearly fired by Warner for promoting the Batman comic book in a way that the movie people felt would overexpose the character before the latest Joel Shumacher Bat-Schlock movie came out.

DC is a division of a huge media company. It is no more autonomous than any other similar subsidiary. Certainly it doesn’t have the power to influence what is done with its characters in movies, as the original four Batman movies and ‘Superman Returns’ demonstrate.

I am curious to see how the Disney merger will affect Marvel creatively and whether Disney will view their ‘comics division’ in much the same vein of worthlessness that Warner views DC. I hope not, but it’s possible. It would be nice if some smart businesspeople took a look at Marvel’s ordering system, on the other hand, and made some corrections. Several people have said that Marvel, which is beating DC in total sales right now, would do even better if it actually managed its marketing business responsibly. I know the No Reorder Without a New Printing policy really doesn’t help them with retailers at all.

Someone said something about a retailer’s responsibilities and I agree. At the same time, a manufacturer has a responsibility to make sure they are able to meet demand and Marvel sometimes fails to do this.

As for what I think of the big flap, I don’t see what people are worked up about.

It’s a gimmick folks.

DC runs with the ring gimmick to promote Blackest Night. So Marvel pulls the variant cover gimmick to promote Siege. They get a little creative and make it a more original gimmick with the offer to retailers, but to make it sinister is a bit silly. It’s a stunt. To draw attention to Marvel. It appears to be working. We’re all talking about it.

Like the man said, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. There’s no publicity, and there’s good publicity.

This just reaks of the same kind of crap Marvel did back in the 80’s and early 90’s where they were publishing crap books that truly sucked. They didn’t care about content then, it was an effort to put out a ton of books that Marvel Zombies had to buy. Then they would have no money left to buy other books and a lot of Independent publishers went out of business. The sole purpose of printing that crap was to put other publishers out of business, and I believe there was a lawsuit that concluded that as well. Either way, it left a bad taste in my mouth and since then my Marvel purchases have been few and far between. I don’t even look through the Marvel section on my monthly order form. They can go to hell. Tell Mephisto I said hello.

One other thing. I bought a copy of R.E.B.E.L.S. to get the ring, and you know what? That was an awesome book. With so many books out there and a limited amount of money, it kinda made sense to say, “You know, we publish some great books that people just never picked up on because they couldn’t afford to get into another new book. Maybe this will get some more people to take a look and they’ll find something they like.” Well, I’m buying REBELS now every month because it was a good read. Now I see why it gets on the Buy List and Read List here. It’s a real good book. I think it will be interesting to look at the sales figures for the “ring” books before the promotion and then 1 or 2 months after the promotion, to see if any readers did find books they liked and kept buying them afterwards. If that turns out to be the case, and DC sees a permanent bump in sales for those books, then DC did us a great service by calling attention to a quality product. That’s what every publisher should try to do. Once more…. SCREW YOU MARVEL.

For anybody who is confused about the extreme fan reaction to this; understand that this is a symptom of a wider problem with Marvel and it’s relationship to their fans and retailers. I think on the whole, DC has a better relationship with fans, and tries to give them the bang for their buck. When you’re the number 2 company, you’re more likely to care about these things. Marvel has been top dog for so long, they feel they can do anything without worrying about a backlash. Iwould suggest anyone interested in specific examples of Marvel dickery click onto the Comic Culture Warrior youtube page. Jose and Elliott discuss this at length, and it’s very entertaining.

“Mean spirited”?

“Making DC look bad”?

Again, so what? I just read comics…

I think Marvel is getting desperate. First they raised a lot of books like New Avengers, etc to $3.99. DC has still pretty much held the line at $2.99. By raising the prices of these books, I have gone the direct subscription route ($17.97 for 12 issues at Marvel). That means less money gets spent at comic shops due to that bid price differential. If Marvel says they are trying to stimulate and give money back to the shops, wouldn’t it make more sense to lower the cover price of their issues? Without the shops, this industry is dead because people are more apt to pick up something new when they see it and flip through it at the shop rather than taking the plunge and ordering something new directly from the Publisher.

First if there is any retailors out there with extra copies of any of the Blackest Night issues in question(the weakest of the entire series, IN MY OPINION) AND the weaker stories of Dark Reign (there are plenty if not more than the few from Blackest Night) did not do their jobs and don’t know their customers and deserve to have all of them on their shelves.

More importantly, is to drop all of the books that you are buying from Marvel because of this is just as petty as Marvel’s move. You are then punishing the creators of the books that you are reading. Is it the creators fault that there is a couple suits sitting in their offices that thought this would be a great IDEA? The answer is no. Bendis, Brubaker, Slott, Diggle et al. had NOTHING, I REPEAT NOTHING to do with this. You want to punish Marvel, don’t pick up any new titles from them in the future, write them letters. Don’t punish creators that had nothing to do with this.

Oh Tommy, Tommy, Tommy… you should have quit while you were behind. I would have thought the overwhelmingly negative response to this little stunt of Marvel’s might have been enough to tip you guys off that maybe, just maybe, you made a bit of a boo boo on this one.

But no, you let your frustration get the better of you and pulled out that “crackerjack” comment instead, huh? Fair enough. At least it’s helped me made up my mind to cull the majority of your books on my standing order, so thanks for that.

Seriously, you guys really need to learn to just shut up once in a while, or at least put your brains into gear before you turn your mouths on.

I want to add…Tom…where the hell is Captain America: White? Work on that buddy and let the marketing folks do their job.

deadpool: created by rob liefeld. hahaha

I really want to read this comic book…. but my country doesn’t sell this book

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