INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
After announcing over the weekend that Mile High Comics may not return to Comic-Con International because of the “detrimental effects” of publisher exclusives, CEO Chuck Rozanski has had a change of heart.
“… I want you to know that I ultimately did heed the outpouring of requests that I received from fans and professionals at the show, and renewed our booth for next year,” he writes in his latest newsletter. “In all honesty, however, I have to admit that my decision to renew at SDCC for one more year was driven more by an emotional response to all the kind words of support that we received, rather than any kind of good business sense. Simply put, I do not have any faith or belief that the circumstances that devastated our sales at this year’s convention will be in any way mitigated at next year’s show. Our comics publishers will all express sympathy with the plight of participating retailers at conventions, but will then continue engaging in behaviors that solely benefit them. Such is life.”
Pointing to “seismic changes” in the number of convention-exclusive variants offered by publishers and toymakers, Mile High Comics President Chuck Rozanski has announced that after more than four decades, this may be his last year at Comic-Con International.
While he acknowledges in an installment of his Mile High newsletter that “the detrimental effects of exclusives at San Diego is not a new phenomena,” he asserts “the breadth and the scale” of those products have changed.
“No longer are exclusives limited to just a few booths, or only to Wednesday evening,” Rozanski writes. “We are now seeing all of the major comics publishers, and every single toy and game company, creating limited edition products that they deny us. This aversion to helping comics retailers has become so agregious [sic] and pernicious that I heard from my fellow dealers that some publisher and manufacturer booths were refusing to even allow anyone wearing a dealer’s badge to stand in line. That is beyond ridiculous.”
DC’s The Source blog provides a look at the variant cover to Action Comics #10, featuring artwork by famed The Ultimates and America’s Got Powers artist Bryan Hitch, with colors by Paul Mounts.
Check it out after the jump.
Wow, DC Comics has returned from the holiday break with a vengeance. On its multiple blogs and here on CBR, the publisher has unleashed a veritable avalanche of announcements and initiatives for 2011.
Topping the list is the announcement, first mentioned by DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson and then expanded upon by Jim Lee, that DC will be holding the $2.99 price point across its line for all standard format ongoing series from both the DC Universe and Vertigo.
Meanwhile, PR guru David Hyde unveiled the return of letters pages to DC’s comics, presumably in the place of the current DC Nation column. Letters will be collected from both snail-mail submissions and messages submitted to the publisher’s new DCLettersPage.com website.
It’s a classic case of “sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.” Marvel made waves earlier this year with a swap offer in which they’d send retailers a rare Deadpool variant of Siege #3 for every 50 stripped covers of DC’s “ring books” — Blackest Night tie-ins retailers had to order in bulk to qualify for promotional plastic power rings for the various Lantern corps — they received in return.
Then earlier this month, Marvel flipped the script, offering a rare Deadpool variant of the upcoming Wolverine #1 relaunch in exchange for every 50 covers they receive from Marvel event tie-ins, specifically books from the X-Men: Second Coming and Siege events.
An update on our current Marvel book-swap. With one week to go till cut-off, we’ve gotten less than 15% as many books as we did ring-books. In other words, for every 3 Marvel books returned, we’d previously gotten 20 ring-books. Could be that people wanted the SIEGE variant more.
… or, as one could infer, it could be that the Siege and Second Coming tie-ins eligible for this trade genuinely sold through to readers better than the Blackest Night tie-in “ring books” did, so retailers have fewer unwanted leftovers to unload. But far be it for Tom Brevoort to tweak the competition!
Remember when Marvel offered to send retailers a rare Deadpool variant of Siege #3 in exchange for every 50 stripped covers from various Blackest Night “power ring promotion” titles they received? Remember how the comics Internet lost its collective marbles over this? Well, Marvel’s doing it again — but this time, they’re offering retailers the chance to unload unsold event-comic tie-ins published by Marvel themselves.
According to Marvel, the publisher will send retailers a Deadpool variant version of Wolverine #1 in exchange for every 50 stripped covers it receives of a slew of tie-ins to their X-Men: Second Coming and Siege events. The eligible issues include New Mutants 12, Uncanny X-Men 523, X-Force 26, X-Men Legacy 235, Avengers: The Initiative 34, Dark Avengers 15, Dark Wolverine 84, Mighty Avengers 36, New Avengers 64, Thor 609 and Thunderbolts 143.
Obviously, there are some big questions here: Why must Marvel continue to childishly taunt and tweak itself, even going so far as to encourage retailers to destroy their own comics? And how long will the likes of Brian Michael Bendis and Matt Fraction put up with this outrageous insult before taking their business elsewhere?