Comic Store In Your Future: Playing Charlie Brown To Marvel’s Lucy

Posted by October 8, 2017 Comment

Rod Lamberti of Rodman Comics writes weekly for Bleeding Cool. Find previous columns here.

We had a great weekend sales-wise. We celebrated the store’s seventh anniversary. I even wrote a column about being open for seven years. Then I came in Tuesday to get everything ready for Wednesday.

Marvel’s October lenticular covers arrived this week, and I spent some time Tuesday night trying to figure out why some of them didn’t look quite right. I went around the store with the Iron Fist lenticular cover trying to see if I could get the light to hit right and make it look cool, but I never could.

Before we got the lenticular covers, I thought we’d have to limit these to one per person and pass along the non-lenticular cover as part of the purchase. But by the time I’d looked over the lenticular covers, my stance had switched to: “Why did I order these?”

Then Wednesday morning, I read on Bleeding Cool that even though DC has done lenticular covers before (recently and years ago), Marvel went with a thinner cover stock. The thinner cover stock doesn’t look as good as the thicker stock.

I am just stunned. Marvel not only had comic stores over-order to get these, capped stores discount at 50 percent for these, but they also made them look terrible.

2017: the year Marvel shut their brains down and tried to tank the comic industry single handedly. Marvel’s Legacy push was announced as industry changing — I just didn’t know they meant it was how badly they could hurt the industry.

I assume most retailers believed that these lenticular covers would at least look as good as DC’s lenticular covers. They are the same price as DC’s, and Marvel is making more off of them.

Is Marvel tired of being number one on the Diamond sales charts? Is Marvel tired of publishing comics?

At this point, I no longer can play Charlie Brown to Marvel’s Lucy. I keep believing and wanting Marvel to return to their sales greatness, but they are getting in their own way. Marvel Now (again) and all these odd business decisions seem to be the way Marvel is going to stay. And instead of losing money on Marvel, I need to accept the new Marvel.

On Wednesday, we did see some people in we hadn’t seen before. I was told another store did not order the lenticular Marvel covers, and that’s why they were in. That said, this Wednesday’s sales paled next to the previous Wednesday’s. The Marvel lenticular covers for October were not a hit for us. I just went and slashed our orders on what upcoming Marvel comics I could. I did the ordering for December, and DC’s total amount ordered is roughly a grand more than what we are spending on Marvel that month.

I thought there was spark for Marvel with Marvel’s one-shot Legacy. Make no mistake — I hope Marvel’s lenticular covers have legs and prove me wrong. Though at this point, I have to accept things change, and now and for the foreseeable, Marvel isn’t the sales force it once was.

(Last Updated October 8, 2017 5:57 pm )