Welcome back to another I’ve Got Issues post! This is my chance to talk about some books I have read recently, and why I think you should read them too! (And for one book, why I think you need to stop whining about it on the Internet!) Check in at the bottom for a recap of last week’s activities at the Worst. Comic. Podcast. EVER!, and a look ahead at what we are doing this week.
I cannot emphasize how much I LOVE THIS BOOK!! Seriously, we live in an age where there are a lot of great titles on store shelves each and every week, that’s it’s easy to overlook a staple of the comic book shelves. Archie has been on the shelves all my life — and all of my Dad’s life, too! Now, Archie is at the top of my read pile each time a new issue comes in. Mark Waid has made Riverdale feel so much like a real town, I want to plan a family vacation there for next summer. Fiona Staples’ art is so real, it brings to life these characters we’ve known our entire like without ever really knowing them. And looking back, I just used the word REAL in the last two sentences. That’s what sets this book apart from everything done with the characters in the last 70+ years – these are real teenagers, with real problems living in a real world. This issue brings to an end the first story arc, which basically reintroduces us to Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica. We’ve learned their history, their backgrounds, their motivations. These are your typical teenagers, filled with hope and ambitions, but still struggling to get through another day at high school. As a parent, I want my kids to read this, to let them know what they can expect in a few years. As a life-long comic book reader, I wish this title had been around in this format prior to this past summer. As a human, I want you to read and enjoy this book as much as I am. Please give this a read – you’ll thank me later.
Before we get started, please do not reveal the story twist to anyone that hasn’t read this already. Remember the feeling you got the first time you saw The Sixth Sense in a theater, and how thankful you were that no one spoiled it for you? Exactly the type of response you should have reading this issue of Grayson from Tom King, Tim Seeley, and Mikel Janín. Admittedly, I am a little behind on everything that has been going on in the New 52 Batman storylines – who knew that Alfred was left-handed now? King has crafted a story that fits into the ongoing story line, but remains solid enough that you could read it, like I did, without reading any of the other Bat-books. I wish I could go back and re-read this book for the first time again, just to pick up on the clues that were planted in the panels. Trust me when I say that you will want some tissues handy as Dick reunites with his first love in Barbara, his first replacement in Jason, his first equal in Tim, and especially his first partner and son (in a manner of speaking) Damian, just to say goodbye again.
Scooby-Doo Team Up! #12
Writer: Sholly Fisch
Artist: Dario Brizuela
Colorist: Franco Riesco
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
I referenced this comic on the podcast last week. It’s a fun issue, and you should read it if you want to. I love the fact that Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo now get the opportunity to team up with other properties in the WB family – Superman, the Flintstones, the Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and more. With this issue, the gang encounters Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Without trying to spoil the story, expect to see another familiar face or two during this visit to Gotham City.
Not that it should surprise anyone, but this book was quite popular. As a result, lots of stores sold out of this book right away, and many speculators were trying to flip the book that same day of release on eBay for $15-$25, well above the $2.99 cover price.
The problem I have right now is the Internet reaction to this comic. Seriously people, enough already. Ever since this book came out, I have heard nothing but anger and crying and sarcasm over and over and over. Sadly, one of the problems with social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, or even WordPress, is that any idiot with a few fingers can publish his or her opinions for the world to read. So this idiot is going to take this space to address some of the more frequent comments I read. Get comfortable, friends, there’s a lot of stupid that needs correctin’.
- “My store didn’t order enough!” – You know what, you are probably right. With the book being part of the DC Kids line, a lot of stores don’t go overboard on ordering this title. Because a lot of kids books just sit on the shelves for months on end until they are thrown into a quarter box. In this instance, a retailer that is looking at the big picture should have looked at their monthly subscribers for the ongoing Harley Quinn book, and upped their order for Scooby-Doo Team-Up! to match the Harley Quinn preorders.
- “Some idiot came in and bought every copy in the store!” – I’ve been reading comics for a lot of years. Based on my experience, the people running the comic book stores may enjoy reading the comics, but they are much more interested in collecting money. Specifically YOUR money. If someone comes in with money and wants to buy five or 10 or 20 copies of a book, most stores will gladly make the sale. There are some stores that may choose to limit the number of copies of one title that someone can purchase at one time. But that’s up to each and every store to decide. Not me, and not you.
- “I take my kid in each month to buy this book off the shelf, and it wasn’t there this month!” – First, if you truly are going in each month to buy this book, you’re lying, because Scooby-Doo Team-Up! is a bi-monthly book. Next, if you truly are buying the book each month (or every other month), then create a pull-list with your LCS and have it reserved for you. The stores LOVE to have pull-lists set up for their regular customers, as it gives them a starting point when placing their monthly orders. Most stores will protect the pull-list holds for their regular customers – the ones that come in each week, or each month, and clear out their pull-box each time. Stores want to keep their regular customers happy. If you are good to your LCS, your LCS will be good to you.
- “This is a kids’ book. Adults shouldn’t be buying this!” – Um, have you looked around your LCS on Wednesdays? It’s not filled with kids. Maybe some teen-agers paying with cash, but mostly it’s grown adults paying with a credit card. I’m going to refer you back up to point #2, where I mentioned the LCS owners like to collect money. They are not there to determine who should be buying or not buying most books. (Yes, most stores are smart enough to not sell adult-audience comics [think Sex Criminals or Saga] to younger customers, but they should have no issues with selling kids comics to adults.0 Besides, do you really want the kid at the cash register checking your ID to see if you are too old to buy a book?
- “Someone is selling this book for $25 on eBay! Can you believe that?” – Yes, yes I can. If you can’t believe it, then you obviously don’t understand how eBay works. When you put an item up for sale on eBay, you have two options – you set a firm price, and hope someone agrees to it; or you let it go as an auction price, and the eBay marketplace will help determine what the going rate should be. As with any transaction anywhere, the sale is dependent on the product (Scooby-Doo Team-Up! #12) being available at a price that a buyer is willing to pay for it. You can think its worth $15 or $25 – but the true value of the book is what someone is willing to pay for it.
- “DC should have printed more copies! Don’t they know how popular Harley Quinn is?” – Yes, they do know that Harley is popular, which is probably why she was co-featured in this issue. In terms of the number of copies printed for comic book stores, go check out the real numbers at comichron.com, a handy website that tracks those numbers. This doesn’t include comics sold to large retailers, such as Barnes & Noble or Hastings. It doesn’t include digital sales. Only the sales to a comic book store. You’ll see that Scooby-Doo Team-Up! has an average print run somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 copies. That’s a healthy number for a “kids” book. You want to know how DC comes up with that number? They list the book in Diamond; stores place their orders (see point #3 again); then DC decides on a run based on the number of pre-orders for the book. No one (DC or Diamond or your LCS) wants to sit on a lot of unsold books, so the print run number will be close to the pre-order number. If there is a greater demand after the fact for a book, companies will gladly go back and do a another print run for a title. (Case in point last week, Marvel is going back to do a seventh printing of Star Wars #1. SEVENTH PRINTING! Enough people are still asking their stores for copies of this book, which came out in January, to warrant yet another print run.)
- “I went into Barnes & Noble, and they had nine copies of the book on their shelves. This wasn’t a short print run!” – Go back and re-read point #6. The print run that everyone is talking about does not cover the comics you find at Barnes & Noble. That’s a separate figure, which is kept under wraps because retailers don’t want their competition to know how much product they are selling, or not selling.
So if you didn’t find a copy of Scooby-Doo Team-Up! #12 at your LCS, go check out a Barnes & Noble (or Hastings or Books-a-Million…) for a copy. Buy a digital copy. Check eBay again, as it can now be picked up for right around cover price. Or wait for your LCS to get a second printing of the book. If you want a copy of the book, you can find one. Just stop complaining about it, please! I’ve got enough issues as it is!!
Finally, let’s rewind last week, and fast-forward this week!
- Cullen put together on a feature on a live-action Batman Beyond web series coming out soon!
- Having survived his move, Cullen did some catching up on DC comic reading, and made his picks for Four Comics I Want.
- John got in some TV reviews, with a written feature on Limitless & Blindspot and a video review with Miranda for the season premiere of the Flash.
- Jerry couldn’t get enough of the Flash, so he took a look at the early Barry Allen adventures with Throwback Thursday.
- Cullen went to Things From Another World – Beaverton to interview artists David Marquez and Tara Rhymes.
- The guys go over Star Wars #10 and recount our adventures at the Free State Comicon in our weekly podcast.
- Brent and Jerry discuss locked rooms, memes, and deaf interactions in a discussion about the third episode of Doctor Who.
- Plenty of shows on TV this week. Be sure to check out the WCPE TV listings to see what is on tonight.
- Cullen brings back the 60 Second Review later today.
- John has his picks locked in for Four Comics I Want for NCBD this week.
- John and Miranda will be checking in on Wednesday with their thoughts on the new Flash episode.
- Jerry takes a look at the early days of Iron Man with Throwback Thursday.
- The guys discuss the news and notes following the New York Comic Con on the podcast this week!
- Brent and Jerry will have a review of Episode 4 of Doctor Who for the Second Opinion feature.
- This Saturday, look for Jerry and John at the Project: Comic Con in St. Louis.