Wednesday Open Forum


Wednesday, the best day of the week, new comic book day. It is like your birthday in the middle of each week (well, one where you buy your own presents.)

We open things up to hear from you. A free for all.

The 217th edition of the open forum!

As always we also want to hear about your weekly pickups.
So, What were your pick ups?
What had disappeared off the shelves?
What was sitting on the shelves?
What back issue deals did you grab?

50 thoughts on “Wednesday Open Forum”

  1. I really like the minimalist tribute to Stan Lee they’ve done with the books this week (and next). I especially like that every “Marvel” book (though not the Star Wars books) has an all black cover with a reprint of one of Stan Lee’s old soap boxes on the inside back cover. No back cover ads, just a tribute to The Man.

    Those all-black back covers are going to make finding 9.8s a lot more challenging for any issues with this tribute. You’ll want to take extra care checking them if you plan to slab.

    Diamond also pre-shipped many of the titles that are on sale for next Wednesday, to help cut down on post-Christmas delays. It’s tough not reading next week’s books early when they are sitting right there lol.

      1. Ive been told that Dismond has been known to use ‘secret shoppers’. I believe the consequences of selling a book before its release date can be devastating to a store relying on Comic sales as its main source of income. This is all hearsay, mind you.

        1. Capstone (before they closed shop) claimed the same thing. He never took that chance, don’t blame them either. They were told they could lose their Diamond account, which would pretty much just put them out of business as a comic book shop.

      2. Diamond allows retailers to get shipments on Tuesdays. It charges retailers $4 a week for the privilege. That money funds secret shoppers who are hired to come in and attempt to buy books early. If they succeed, the first offense is losing Tuesday privileges for a month, second offense is 6 months, third offense is you are permanently banned from Tuesday delivery.

        Given that unpacking and processing a shipment for a typical larger shop with a 55% discount can take 6-12 man-hours depending on the week, receiving your books on Wednesday is a huge inconvenience.

        We’ve been secret-shopped at least 3 times in 2018. The reports from the secret shopping get sent to the retailer about 6 weeks after the fact, so there’s a decent chance we get it four times this year.

        And for the record, you are not allowed to “display” books early either. It’s not just a prohibition on selling them. Allowing a customer to look through them is an offense as well.

          1. Ive had a few shop keeps not allow me to look at ‘tomorrow’s books’ when im in a shop on Tuesday. One shop has them on the rack, with a sheet over the rack, late on Tuesdays. Im not even allowed to look under the sheet, lol.

        1. Thanks for sharing that, oneguy. Very interesting stuff. I always tell non comic folk, when they ask how I make money flipping comics, that the comic book industry is highly regulated, in a sense. What do you suppose is the main reason that diamond is so concerned about early sales, as to employ secret shoppers?

        1. I had one store that used to put those FCBD et al, books in my pull slot, way early too. Its a decent opportunity to make a few bucks by getting the book listed early, imo.

      3. Fundamentally it’s about respect for the publishers. Street dates exist for most everything. Films, Music, Comics, Funko Pops, Mainstream novels like Harry Potter or John Grisham, Statues, you name it.

        What most of those shops that are breaking the rules may not realize is that street dates are one of the biggest reasons they have a shop in the first place. Amazon is not allowed to sell most TPBs and HCs until a week after the date the direct market has them. That respect for the street date gives your LCS an opportunity to compete with firms they couldn’t possibly compete with otherwise. If local comic shops and Amazon both agreed that street dates were irrelevant, very few people would ever buy a trade or hardcover from their LCS again. Amazon would have the inventory for sale days before your local shop, and would be offering it at a price your LCS couldn’t possibly compete with.

        Selling the product early also removes the “event” effect you get from a product going on sale at the same time everywhere. What’s the point in hosting a midnight release party for FF #650 next week if the shop across town started selling it at 2pm?

        As a shop owner, my goal is not to take customers from my competitors, it’s to grow the market. I’ll see much better results in the long run by growing the entire local market by 10% than I will by temporarily taking 10% market share from a competitor only to have him take it back from me a couple months from now. I don’t want customers making decisions about where to buy because this shop or that one got the books two hours earlier. I want them making decisions based on the customer service and shopping experience they received. Mutual respect for the street date falls on the side of growing the market.

        1. Long ago I worked at Best Buy and we would get new CD’s and music releases about a week ahead of time. They kept that stuff pretty much out of reach for employees too because if they got caught releasing it early, they could get in real trouble with the vendors, etc. The only exception would be the night before Tuesday when it was being stocked, we were then allowed to listen (since they would play in the store the next day).

          So we have to respect the release dates so they’re fair to consumers and those selling the items.

      4. I’ve been around my PCs on tuesdays before they close, setting out books, but never attemlt d to buy one, so I wondered what would happen.

        When I was on travel and hit up an lcs on a Tuesday evening, they had several books I knew were hot on the shelves and I tried To buy one and was told I could not. That was the first time I’d ever seen books out on Tuesday so I didn’t know there were “rules”.

        Didn’t even know about the secret shoppers until this evening…learned something new today!

  2. Looks like Hulk 181 is going to be a facsimile after All this March. That bodes well for more facsimiles of classic marvel comics!

  3. I doubt it’s going to climb in value, but Grant Morrison’s latest Klaus and the Crying Snowman is fantastic. Another great option for the people who have no interest in superheroes but might learn to love comics if pointed in the right direction.

  4. Pick ups for the week:
    Grumble #2 (Frison cover X2)
    Darth Vader #25 (Dell’Otto 1:25 variant for $10)
    Teen Titans #25 (Garner variant)
    Domino #9
    X-23 #7 X2

    Spec pick ups this week:
    X-23 #7 Deodato variant for $20
    Marvel Tails #1 1st appearance of Spider-Ham in NM+ condition for $25!
    Gideon Falls #1 (Jock cover)-$5

    BTW, I’m sorry to see Darth Vader volume 2 ending. It has been consistently one of my favorite reads for the last 2 years. When I started the series, I didn’t think they would be able to tell great stories that I was interested in, but was I wrong. Hopefully, we will see volume 3 soon.

    The other great read from last week was Batman Annual #3. Great story about Alfred and a perfect bookend from last year’s annual about Catwoman and Batman’s relationship. I’m really liking how these annuals are great self contained stories with strong writing. Could we get an equally great story next year about Nightwing or Robin?

    Good hunting and Happy Holidays!

    1. I just wish they kept it ongoing for Darth Vader. Starting a new volume at #25 each time is just them trying to pump out more #1 to boost sales. How about they just keep good writing and art, people will read it.

        1. It probably was but Volume one was 25 issues. I just wish they’d just keep going. It’s all around the same time frame from the end of Volume 1 and the start of Volume 2, we could be on issue #50 instead.. and start the next big stories in issue #51… 🙂

  5. Picked up Batman 61 b, Middlewest 2, Catwoman 6 b, Spawn 292 b, and Teen Titans 25 b.

    Some back issue pick ups at cover: Daredevil 21 (vol 3), Morbius 1 (vol 2), The Last Fantastic Four Story (last Stan Lee script).
    Dollar bin picks: Marvel Spotlight 9 Vol 2. Silver Surfer Requiem 1,
    For a tad bit over cover: Secret Origins Vol.3. 27 for $3 (origins of Zatara and Zantanna) and X-Men 1 Vol 2. Wolverine/Cyclops Variant for $4 (First Omega Red app. and nice Wolvie only popping one set of claws out of respect for Cap on the cover).

    Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and hope many of you get some time off to spend with your families (and read comics).

  6. Nothing new for me today. I don’t know if I mentioned this last week, but I picked up a Sandman #1 maybe a 9.6 and a Sandman #8 a 9.8 definitely for $45 total.

    1. Sweet! I have a Sandman 1 CGC 9.4 SS Gaiman & McKean and a Sandman 8 CGC 9.2 SS Gaiman & McKean. I had them slabbed before pressing was a thing. I’ve been debating whether or not to get them pressed and reslabbed. They are for my pc, so there has been no rush.

  7. Picked up:
    Rat Queens 13b
    Avatar The Last Airbender Imbalance Part One TP
    Teen Titans 25a: I could not find a Teen Titans 25b, so I had to settle for 25a.

    I received three homemade fruitcakes from my mom for Christmas. I don’t know if that means I’ve been bad or good.

    In Portland this year, it is a thing to get your picture taken with Krampus. I took my daughter and we bought a picture of her being dragged off in chains with me exuberantly cheering on the proceedings. I am thinking about framing the photo along with my Zander Cannon original Krampus art.

    1. My kids could use a quick visit by Kramlus….the threat of getting no presents or coal in their stockings doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on curving less than good behavior this time of year..

        1. Somehow I have to wonder if the look of misery on your daughters face is real… like, “dad, seriously I am too old for this”. You cheering in the background is the best though.

  8. DC books were pretty well picked through at my LCS, don’t know if that means anything, though. Plenty of Marvel books on the table, though. 75% off sale for older books at this store through the end of 2018, so I’ll be putting my money towards silver and bronze age books over the next couple of weeks. The pulls for this week:

    Aquaman #43 (Cover B Nicola Scott Aquaman Movie Variant)
    Batman #61 (Cover A Tony S. Daniel)
    Batman #61 (Cover B Francesco Mattina)
    Batman Kings Of Fear #5 (Of 6)
    Catwoman #6 (Cover B Stanley Artgerm Lau)
    Damage #12
    Freedom Fighters #1 (Of 12)(Cover A Eddy Barrows)
    Freedom Fighters #1 (Of 12)(Cover B Ben Oliver)
    Harley Quinn #56 (Cover B Frank Cho)
    Justice League #14 (Cover B Stjepan Sejic)
    Nightwing #55 (Cover B Tyler Kirkham)
    Teen Titans #25 (Cover B Alex Garner)
    Gideon Falls #9 (Cover A Andrea Sorrentino & Dave Stewart)
    Hardcore #1
    Middlewest #2
    Regression #14 (Cover A Danny Luckert)
    Warning #2
    Dead Man Logan #2 (Of 12)(Cover A Declan Shalvey)
    Infinity Wars #6 (Of 6)(Cover A Mike Deodato Jr.)
    Old Man Hawkeye #12 (Of 12)(Cover A Marco Checchetto)
    Season’s Beatings #1 (Cover A Marcos Martin)
    Solo A Star Wars Story Adaptation #3 (Of 7)(Cover A Phil Noto)
    Star Wars Darth Vader #25 (Cover A Elia Bonetti & Giuseppe Camuncoli)
    True Believers Fantastic Four Blastaar #1
    True Believers Fantastic Four Frightful Four #1
    True Believers Fantastic Four Klaw #1
    True Believers Fantastic Four Ronan And The Kree #1
    Weapon H #11
    Star Wars #58 (Cover A Jamal Campbell)
    Walking Dead #186 (Cover A Charlie Adlard & Dave Stewart)
    Firefly #2 (Cover B Joe Quinones)

  9. Not sure if it was just my Walmart store or if these were released a bit late, but the sixth issues of DC’s 100-page books finally hit the shelves. All four titles have been released, not sure if there are any first appearances this time around. Happy Holidays!

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