Currently most comic stores get their comic books on a Wednesday, for Wednesday sale (Thursday in the UK). Which necessitates simultaneous sorting, collating, stacking, pulling for pull lists, all on the busiest day of the comics week, when you have comics customers standing by waiting for their hit. It can create quite a logjam.
However a number of shops, often with previous deals with previous distributors that were bought by Diamond, get their comics on a Tuesday (Wednesday in the UK). They can’t sell them on that day (or at least they are not meant to) but it gives them a chance to sort the new stock away from prying eyes, and get everything ready for the next day’s sales when they open.Or, in A Comic Shop’s case, a chance to look through the comics before sale time to see what they can recommend to customers – and to Bleeding Cool readers every week.
Shops that get the Tuesday delivery have them ready for sale on Wednesday morning, other shops get them ready whenever they can – depending on the time they get the comics.
There has been a fear that a Tuesday delivery nationwide would see more shops breaking the self-imposed embargo and start selling on a Tuesday. With rival shops forced to follow suit, negating any advantage to getting the comics early. And everyone running a Red Queen’s Race.
But a series of embargoed comics such as Blackest Night #6 and Scott Pilgrim Book 6 have seen almost all comic shops behave impeccably when it comes to on-sale date.
Which has led to what I understand is a new Diamond policy. In December, I’m told that comics deliveries will be staggered through the month,with a number of comics distributed a week in advance so as to avoid the Christmas skip week of last year.
And then, as of January 2011, the word is that all US/Canadian shops will get their comics on the Tuesday, for sale on Wednesday.
If true, this will demand a self-policing policy on embargoing sales, and a system of sticks as well as carrots for shops that step out of line. And it may be a step towards the Tuesday on-sale date that Diamond Comic Distributors suggested this summer.
But it is going to make a lot of comic shop retailers work a lot easier. And reduce advantages that certain shops have over their rivals.
Look for an announcement as to what is actually going on next week.