So why was Captain America #600 made available to be in shops today again?
Retailer Brian Hibbs of The Savage Critic(s) has made his displeasure known on the retail side of the Captain America #600 situation. Hibbs bluntly points out his belief that Marvel did a disservice to retailers by focusing the release of the issue for a Monday, presumably to coincide with a media push.
Part of the problem seems to be that while many outlets carried news on the return of Steve Rogers, precious few actually indicated that Cap #600, the beginning of the story, hit comic shops today. CNN.com’s coverage includes comments from Tom Brevoort and makes some terrible puns (details are “shielded”? Yeeesh), but there’s no mention of the issue hitting stands. Same with New York Daily News; they pimped Reborn, which begins next month, but not today’s special issue. Heck, even the L.A. Times’ Hero Complex Blog, which has a preview of Reborn #1 doesn’t mention that the lead-in is in stores now. The New York Times gets it, but hey, they are a paper of record, and reporter George Gene Gustines is a fan who’s been known to read a comic book news site or two in his time (ahem). But by and large, you can’t help but wonder if anyone at Marvel made sure to mention to these outlets that issue #600 was in stores today.
So, while some retailers went out of their way (and paid for shipping) to have the book in-store two days ahead of time, it seems that there’s little info out for the “civilian” populace that would let interested parties know that they can get the book right now. What else did Hibbs have to say?
At the end of the day, Marvel decided to fuck with retailers in the hope that news would break big. That doesn’t seem to have happened.
The shame of it is that if they had told us this at point of initial solicitation I could have played it up in store, I could have gathered subs and interest and preorders, and I would have had a stronger order placed because there would have been excitement about the “how” of it.
Now, not so much.
To be fair though, it’s hard to make the argument that Marvel just decided to f with retailers (though Hibbs obviously thinks differently about the company and has a successful class action lawsuit to prove it) rather than try to sell some books. Unless you own or fully control the media outlet, the media outlet will do what’s best for said media outlet 10 times out of 10. Who knows if a mention of Cap #600 being in stores today was in Sacks article in the Daily News (the “break” article), but it seems likely, if Marvel was pointing to major media coverage for the issue, that they felt it would be. When news stories go outside of the comics media which can be largely controlled by the publishers, you rolls the dice, and hope for the best.
It’ll be interesting to see how other retailers react. Retailing readers, how about you? Have you had phone calls, increased interest, and increased traffic? Did getting the book today make a difference for you? And what about the readers? Are you waiting till Wednesday, or did you have to have the book ASAP?
Note: As was pointed out in the thread, the CNN story did mention that Captain America #600 was available on Monday.