Excuse me while I steal this blog for my soapbox even more than usual, but… Well, let me tell you what I thought about yesterday’s Justice League of America #60. No, wait, I can’t, because my local store didn’t get any copies. In fact, JLA was just one of a staggering thirty-eight titles that my local store was shorted by Diamond yesterday, with others including all but one of the Flashpoint tie-ins for the week, Generation Hope and X-Men: Schism and the deluxe We3 hardcover with additional story pages.
Apparently, this isn’t even an uncommon occurrence these days. Sure, most weeks don’t see 27% of the titles ordered not show up in time thankfully, but from asking around, it seems that it’s far, far more rare that Diamond shipments show up complete to any store in the area than show up missing at least one title or with a number of damaged copies (Another local store apparently had more than 100 books arrived damaged this week). From what I’ve heard, this is just the way things are these days: Retailers order books, and maybe they’ll show up on time, and maybe they won’t.
This is insane. I get that Diamond is essentially a monopoly and therefore can get away with this kind of behavior because of that, but, I mean, seriously. Retailers have pretty much no recourse here; they can (and, I’m sure, do, on a regular basis) call up their Diamond rep and complain, but beyond that, what can they do? They can’t go elsewhere. So who can fix this? Readers? Publishers? Everyone ganging together and demanding that Diamond improves shipments? I have no idea, and really just wanted to vent my frustration on behalf of the various retailers who, it seems, are getting completely screwed by their distributor here. Consider this an open thread for retailers to commiserate, Diamond reps to explain why distribution is so spotty, and everyone to agree that this kind of thing is what may make DC’s day-and-date New 52 more of a success than they might have expected.