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Thread: Diamond Drops Marvel UK Titles

  1. #1
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    Default Diamond Drops Marvel UK Titles

    My first superhero comic book I remember buying was a copy of the Fantastic Four weekly in the early eighties, reprinting Lee and Kirby Fantastic Four in black and white, published by Marvel UK and sold at my local newsagent. It would be another eight years until I would discover the existence of a comic shop.

    Today, Marvel UK is still a newsagent brand, running compilations of a number of Marvel comic books in one card covered issue, with several titles on the stand in any one time.

    It's also been a cheaper option for comic readers over here to buy their comics - a few months late but often less than half the individual American price would be. Three of four comics for 2.95 ($4) can be a real deal. And in these times of economic austerity, comic shops have been selling them as well to their hard-strapped customers.

    But not enough it seems.

    As of April, Diamond Comic Distributors UK are no longer offering the likes of Essential X-Men, Mighty World Of Marvel, Astonishing Spider-Man, Wolverine And Deadpool, Incredible Hulks, Avengers Assemble and Marvel Legends to UK comic stores due to low sales, apparently. Shops are free to order them on a returnable basis by setting up a contract with a magazine distributor, but that can make them less profitable...

  2. #2
    Wrote the Book on Cool
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    These are not / nor have they ever been, "Marvel UK" titles. These are published by Panini, and Marvel have allowed them to use the Marvel M on the cover.

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    But is this Diamonds decision or has pressure come from Marvel? As whilst Panini obviously pay Marvel for the license to print their collections, by going into comic shops they are taking away from the Marvel US issues which surely make more money for Marvel?

    Marvel obviously won't mind these reprint titles in areas where they're are no comic shops for that extra profit, but won't want them leeching more profitable sales from actual comic shops themselves.


    BTW with regards to articles title, i took it to mean "UK versions of Marvel titles" rather than a reference to the old "Marvel UK" company itself (which has gone anyway hasn't it?) guess it's all in how you read it - Paul isn't wrong, but i didn't interpret the title that way.
    Last edited by CSBlakebrough; 01-23-2013 at 03:37 AM.

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    Zen Master of Cool Rich Flair's Avatar
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    How does being able to return unsold magazines make them less profitable?

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    Wrote the Book on Cool thecomicbookshop.co.uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSBlakebrough View Post
    But is this Diamonds decision or has pressure come from Marvel? As whilst Panini obviously pay Marvel for the license to print their collections, by going into comic shops they are taking away from the Marvel US issues which surely make more money for Marvel?

    Marvel obviously won't mind these reprint titles in areas where they're are no comic shops for that extra profit, but won't want them leeching more profitable sales from actual comic shops themselves.
    They are still carrying the Panini trade paerpbacks and the Marvel Graphic Novel Collection.

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    Consultant of Cool The Sword Is Drawn's Avatar
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    As mentioned above, I hate to split hairs over it, but "Marvel UK" was closed in 1995.

    'Panini UK' are the company responsible for these Marvel reprint titles. They have done a pretty good job since acquiring the right to reprint in 1995, but they should not be confused as being part of Marvel Comics. They aren't. They are an Italian owned third party company with a license to reprint Marvel books in the UK. For a while, pre-disney, they were still allowed to produce new, out-of-continuity, all ages material under their banner. But that came to an end after Disney acquired Marvel.

    I damn well wish that we still HAD Marvel UK. There'd be a fair bit more work for British comics pros if their still was, and we might see Britain's profile within Marvel Comics itself raised up a bit.

    We'd probably get the likes of Captain Britain and Death's Head published semi-regularly again, too.

    But right now that's not going to happen. Since Disney's acquisition of Marvel, Panini UK are purely a reprint company, and their remit ends there. Something they understandably do not like to publicise, but is answered directly on the FAQ page of their website. Panini UK FAQ

    I wish that were different. But sadly it's not, any more.
    Last edited by The Sword Is Drawn; 01-23-2013 at 05:40 AM. Reason: clarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Flair View Post
    How does being able to return unsold magazines make them less profitable?
    Presumably there's significantly less markup on each copy. Something to discourage stores from ordering in too many extra copies that they probably won't be able to sell, knowing that any they don't shift are returnable anyway.

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    I believe this also affects Titan's DC reprints as they're also absent from the latest Diamond Previews catalogue.

    However, although it's a shame that comic shops will miss out, it shouldn't affect readers one iota. All of the Panini and Titan comics will still be available on the High Street from WH Smith and selected newsagents, just as they always have been. I'm sure that's where most readers of these titles were buying their copies from anyway.

    And there's always the option of subscribing of course, which works out cheaper.
    Rich Flair likes this.

  9. #9
    Consultant of Cool The Sword Is Drawn's Avatar
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    I guess so. Panini UK's primary sales outlets have always been newsagents and subscribing. From the late 90s up until about 2006 I subscribed each year to several of their titles. I only stopped because I reached a point where they were reprinting material which I'd already read in the US issues I'd started buying.

    I've always had a lot of respect for the way in which Panini do business. I was hoping a few years back that they might have expanded into doing more original material beyond their all-ages books. Sadly, Disney seem to see them as the competition, and put a stop to that.

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    Were the translations any good? In my country it was terrible and switching to the originals helped me learn another language as well. So this may be the brits' chance to learn english too.
    CaptObtuse and DarthEwok like this.

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