Potentially 71 Stores refuse to order the Marvel Lenticular Covers

DC made their recent and previously released Lenticular covers open to order. Marvel took a different tact by making them orderable only if shops ordered an x number of books above other books in order to get them. For example if they ordered 10 copies of one book they would have to order 15-17 to qualify to order the lenticular covers.
This didn’t make many retailers happy. as there were concerns, the biggest of which were “what are we going to do with all the non-lenticular covers that will end up not selling. They are unhappy with being forced to buy extra of a version of a book that the customers will not want. (One solution is to only sell a copy of the lenticular paired with a non-lenticular.) For smaller shops that may only order a few of the books that are part of the meet or exceed program, this will be easy for them. If they order 5 copies of a book and have to order 150% of that order, they would only have to order 7 or 8 copies. But my Local Comic Shop that will order over 100 copies of some of the bigger books, they would have to shell out considerable money to get the non-Lenticular books in that will just sit on the shelf. 
The Comic Beat wrote a piece that Big Bang Comics has dropped out of doing this or any other of the “meet or exceed” variants. 
From The Comic Beat

Tweeting out a statement on Monday, Big Bang Comics of Dublin let its fans know that they Marvel Legacy event lenticular variants will not be available to customers at their store, citing the problems of Marvel’s requirements to order.
Instead of having an open order on their lenticular variants, like DC, Marvel is putting them under a “meet or exceed” requirement- in BBC’s words, making local comic stores jump through hoops to be able to order. For Big Bang Comics, this would mean having to order up to 170% more on a regular title than needed in order to be able to order the lenticular variants. Another concern for the retailer is that lenticular covers will sell out, leaving regular covers on the shelves. These concerns are stated as having been repeatedly discussed with – but not addressed by – Marvel.
The writer signs off by noting that they have been in contact with around 70 retailers who share their concerns, and that they are no longer going to be ordering anything with a “meet or exceed” requirement, stating:
“We’re not going to do it anymore, it’s not good for us, it’s not good for you and it’s not good for Comics. We’re over jumping through hoops, and the term “meet or exceed” needs to be put to death in that order form and never seen again.”

Now, if a bunch of stores end up backing out of the lenticular cover program, they could become very hard to find.
M & M Comics are offering the full sets but they have to be ordered by the end of the day today (8/23). You can find them at M & M Comics Website.

37 thoughts on “Potentially 71 Stores refuse to order the Marvel Lenticular Covers”

  1. Good Job on the boycott. Hope many more stores step up. Marvel is proving once again how little they care about their customers and the comic industry as a whole. An industry that is barely staying afloat as is because of the direct market and not being able to return unsold items (unlike EVERY other book, newspapers, magazine in the world) shouldnt have its leading brand holding its head under water even more.

  2. How about if a customer buys a comic that isn’t going to be re-booted 9 months later, that they enjoy and like the story and art, and doesn’t have 17 variants, that the customer can buy next months comic and keep everyone in business. I’ve dropped so many titles as have many others. Back to basics please Marvel. Stop shafting your staff, customers and retailers !

  3. Listen:
    In 2012, I got back into comics after a 15-year hiatus mainly due to the Marvel NOW! initiative. (God: Thor of Thunder was tremendous.) I quickly realized that titles were ending after less than a year. I saw titles start their numbering over, but with the creative team. I noticed that an event was constantly going on. In short, I realized that Marvel was a mess. It was sort of heart-breaking. Other comic companies kept me going (mainly Dark Horse, Image, and Oni), but I’m sad to say that, for the first time since I got back into collecting/speculating in 2012, I didn’t preorder a single Marvel title from the latest solicits.
    TL;DR: RIP Marvel. At least we’ll always have back issues.

    1. Oh my goodness.. Thor: God of Thunder from Jason Aaron made me a Thor fan when I never really cared about Thor. Those first 10 books in that run were just complete awesomeness. I was hooked, I read them all at the same sit down too.. That run should be a Marvel Movie, it’s just that awesome.

    2. Yeah…Soooo many good story lines from the Silver, Bronze and Copper age. Many of them cheap in lower to mid grades.

  4. “they could become very hard to find”
    I’m just getting back into the whole comic thing myself, so forgive me ignorance 🙂 … but is the print run pending the # of copies ordered? I know orders are usually 30-60 days before release, and being in the printing business, I know it should only take around a week to print a book. That’s the only scenario I can see where this book would be hard to find simply because a few stores don’t order it.

    1. Yes. The print run is pending. Basically they have to be ordered by tonight for FOC and then the print run will be based off how many will be ordered by the shops that qualify. I called and spoke to tfaw and since they order so much to qualify would be too costly. They are skipping it.

      1. Are you sure the print run is still pending? When DC did Villains Month, the print runs were set prior to FOC which led to massive allocations. When they did Future’s End lenticulars, those had to be ordered 2 months before the usual FOC so DC could print to demand. I suspect, since Marvel said allocations might occur, that these print runs were set a while back to get the covers done in time.

    2. The books will be harder to find because it’s not just going to be a few stores that don’t get any. It’s going to be MOST stores that don’t get any. Many other stores will only be able to get a few of the titles.

  5. i love comics but i would not be able to collect them if my local shop went out of business ordering inventory that he could not sell or that took up square footage normally needed for quality back issues.

  6. I don’t know I’m sure you could come up with a way to get rid of the non Lenticulars sell em a bundle 1 of each non lenticular for $1.50 each book. Give them away in multiple bundles in a raffle. Sell them on eBay. Stomp all over them say they are damaged and send em back. Give away one of them with every purchase over $40. It’s not like they are trying to sell 2000 copies of the same Venom book. Many stores don’t want to order these that works out great for a secondary market. As a comic store customer I would be pretty upset if my store didn’t even try to order these I would go to a store that did order them the whole month of October and beyond. There’s only 8 comic stores in my whole state so if they choose not to carry them sucks for everybody here. I’ll be covered with my preorders as I’m use to my LCS never having anything.

    1. But that’s the very problem retailers are trying to avoid: they’re going to have to do all this extra work to unload a bunch of comics, and in your given scenarios they’d be losing money across the board, more so than if they lose one or two customers for not carrying a particular item. So really, they’re screwed whether they order these books or not, they’re just choosing the lesser of two evils.

  7. I ordered the ones I wanted (I think 6 of them) from DCBS. I regularly read only 1 of the titles I ordered the variant for.

  8. This works out for smaller stores that usually order 2 or 3 copies of a book. They can order a few more and corner the market if the boycott continues

  9. I agree with most everything everybody has been saying. With that said I placed my order with Midtown for the books that I really want. There were only a handful that I really wanted in the first place. To me its a win win. If I get the books I want then based on this thread the print run may not be ridiculously high increasing the spec value. If by some chance Midtown decides to back out for some reason, then I think this will send a message to Marvel much stronger than that of 71 other stores backing out.

  10. I’m sure folks will be able to capitalize (i.e flip for profit) on this, but principle and health of industry is more important imo for this. I support the retailers and will not purchase any of these

  11. I don’t care about these lenticulars. To those that order and obtain them, good luck! I hope you swim in the money you make with them if that’s your intent with them. I’m not even gonna waste any time hunting these down.

      1. I like some of them but I’m not gonna be hardcore getting a majority of them, most if not all of them will be spec books.
        I love the Walking Dead but I really love the earlier cover art, particularly Tony Moore’s artwork, sadly, it was superior to Adlard’s artwork and cover art when he took over. I wish they did more of the earlier cover art for some of these tributes.

  12. The saddest part of all is, the Publishers lack of historical knowledge .. Having had my shop since the 1980’s, I lived thru (barely) the market meltdown of the mid-1990’s .. caused my Publishers pushing limited covers, etc ..
    Marvel, in this case, makes some sort of convoluted ordering equation which is just plain hard to grasp .. here is a real life example of the Lenticular Variant Order Formula ::
    To qualify for unlimited quantities of The Invincible Iron Man #593 Davis LH Variant LEG
    Your order for The Invincible Iron Man #593 Regular Cover
    Must meet or exceed 200% of your order for The Invincible Iron Man #7
    So, a retailer must order x2 what was ordered months ago of Invincible Iron Man #7 .. (based on the Regular Cover :: The Invincible Iron Man #593) .. in order to get unlimited ordering of the Lenticular Version ..
    1) It’s too confusing
    2) It will guarantee unsold copies of the Regular Cover
    All lenticulars have their own formula .. making it even more confusing .. all us Retailers that have been in business forever, like me, just want to sell some comics, keep it simple, not have a ton of unsold .. with books pushing $3.99 – $4.99 these days, it does not take long for your cash flow to go upside down ..

    1. Thanks for posting that breakdown. As I said I sort of had an idea how this all worked but not to the extent you outlined.
      …and maybe this is a dumb question…but I’m assuming that when you ordered Invincible Iron Man #7 (as per your example) you had no idea that that would become the basis for your ability to order variant covers of something many months later…correct?

      1. The Retailer never has any clue what book or when a months old order may suddenly come into play .. if you ordered none of a certain book months ago, because you had no demand for it, then, essentially, you are unable to order the formula copy of a new book that ends up somehow tied to the book you never ordered ..

        1. Ya, that’s just shitty. You’re essentially being penalized for trying to be smart about how you run your business so you can continue to stay in business.

      2. Basically they’re sort of rewarding those shops that order heavy on their books, despite the fact that it may take weeks, months or years for the shop to sell the heavily ordered books. Most shops are small, on a budget and can’t order heavy on books that just sit in inventory for ages.. It’s only the retail giants that can do such things, like Midtown, etc. It is rather crappy way to print the incentive covers and who can get them.. until the shops and people who buy comics start pushing back by not buying into these variants and such, the publishers are gonna control the markets with their bully tactics.

    2. I understand why they do it .. shops back in the old days were much more likely to order heavier than many do today, simply because the cost of a book was much less .. add to that the large escalation of UPS deliver costs over the years, etc .. I’m fortunate, I own my building outright .. unsold inventory control is important, unless you’re Bill Gates ..
      if I knew a young person looking to get into a B&M shop, I’d caution them against it, most likely .. sadly and as much as I love the business ..

  13. To be honest I’ve never really understood Marvel’s “meet or exceed” ordering guidelines. I don’t own a shop and thus have never really had to work out the math…but as I understand it just seems needlessly restrictive and burdensome for LCS’. Online stores are another matter entirely, and they’re probably just fine with so many B&Ms making this decision.
    It’s just a shame that decisions like these even need to be considered let alone made. I would think it would be in Marvel’s best interest to keep their direct customers (stores) happy…but then what do I know…

  14. I’m glad retailers are doing this. The simple fact is that Marvel doesn’t care about their comics, as long as the movies are making countless millions the comics are just going to be just an after thought. I only pre-ordered 3 or 4 of these anyway. You can still pre-order them from Midtown.

  15. #awesomesauce. marvel hasn’t been the same since avengers vs x-men. since then marvel has just been a facorty of crap. withs ome hits here and there. they got lucky with spider-gwen deadpool and spidrman and even stuff like mutant h has been a funr ide. however things like civil war 2/secret empire just sucked the life out of marvel renumbering rebooting and just making fans retialers and business partners angery has hurt the brand . I am not surporting the variants . blind adam out



Leave a Comment