Coliseum Central (407) 816-8002 phil@coliseumofcomics.com

FOC 12.27.15

Small week this week. I had a conversation this past week with another chain-store owner about the state of the industry and trade paperbacks in particular. We seem to have a lot of trades coming out that have limited appeal but because that’s how things are done, every 6 issues we see the next collection regardless of sales on the series. If a series is selling 4 copies in your stores, is there a 5th person waiting for the trade? Is that 5th person jumping on Amazon and dropping 14.38 instead of 19.99 in your store? I’m seeing a huge number of trades coming in and not seeing the customer base absorbing them. For every trade going out of print there must be 3-5 coming into print. So what’s the line? If I didn’t sell the previous volume, this one doesn’t get an order. If no one wanted that one then no one will miss this one. If we carry everything that everyone wants then we carry everything, even if we don’t carry that odd series that no one is asking for. Curate! Not everything deserves to be enshrined in a collected edition. Amazing Forest: Not a lot to recommend here. Dark Horse Presents readers might bite. Judge Dredd: About as expected. #2 should sell about the same. TMNT HC Annual: Neat sketchbook for hardcore Turtles fans though probably a bit too costly and esoteric for your average TMNT reader. Victorie City: No love on this one. As a 4-issue mini-series it will come and go before anyone latches on. Welcome to Oz Adult Coloring Book: Okay, enough is...

FOC 12.21.15

I’ve been warning against the FOC abuses of Marvel for a few months now and recommending that retailers be wary of ordering blind on 2nd and 3rd issues without data on the previous issue. Those who follow that seem to be doing okay while those who took the risk are paying the cash-flow price. Brian Hibbs hits it pretty spot-on here. http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/tilting-at-windmills-trouble-on-the-horizon Take a moment to read it and then take another look at your FOC. It’s your money, not the publishers. Marvel is now FOCing books 3 issues out (Deadpool, Extraordinary X-Men) and we all know that some titles free-fall 3-4 issues in. Deadpool, probably not. EX-X? Prime candidate. Put in subs and revisit it when you have numbers on the previous issue. Marvel is doing things to make Marvel money; if you can turn a profit then that’s okay but not their concern.   Leaving Meglopolis: Gallery is split on this. Some think Gail Simone will bring in a few looks while the others think it won’t be missed. But 10 copies gets returnability so that’s a viable target if your cash flow allows.. Gutter Magic: I like the concept and the cover is pretty cool BUT this will likely get lost on the stands. Gallery is okay with skipping this one. Luna The Vampire: Gallery is in a mood. No love from the Gallery. No chance this will be missed. Walking Dead 150: Kirkman goes all out on these anniversary issues so don’t skimp. The Ryan Ottley cover could be one of the coolest covers this series has ever had. Homage cover by Tony Moore will...

FOC 12.14.15

With the holidays we’re looking at ordering a lot of books without the previous issue’s information. Some are pretty easy to determine – Harley won’t suddenly change direction 24 issues in. But in the current climate of canceling and restarting titles by #6 makes the early issues more difficult. Being conservative. BPRD Neon Sign: I see these signs as something that attracts potential fans from the road. Limited audience and almost no log recognition outside a handful of customers. Lone Wolf 2100: 10 copies gets you 10% but 10 copies may be 8 more than most stores need. Mystery Girl: No data on #1 gets it a placeholder. Batman Europa #4: #2 isn’t out yet and we’re supposed to order #4? LESS than subs because when Jim Lee’s name is no longer attached those numbers will drop. Revisit later. Doomed TP: It’s Christmas, not April Fools. Zero. Lucifer: Tis the season. Placeholder. Poison Ivy: Harley fans dig PI but pulling for Harley would be optimistic at best and folly at worst. Thinking about 35% of Harley. Red Thorn: #1 was poorly received and with no info on #2 this is subs only and hoping those subs are still there when it hits. Wonder Woman: Coloring cover is pretty sweet. Worth a few more. Star Trek New Visions: Looking at STNV Hollow Man from Nov. Not a huge number. Four Eyes: The first series didn’t impress fans enough to continue buying it so despite a very cool looking book I don’t think we’re looking at great sales. Very low end Image title. Lady Pendragon TP: This was good stuff but...

FOC 12.07.15

I know much of this is negative. We’re in a somewhat negative turn right now and looking at things from a “That’s soooo cool” perspective will get you into financial trouble far quicker than looking at numbers and setting realistic expectations. Marvel’s job is to sell book and they’re very good at it. There’s a Hip Hop sampler coming out. Why? Does it benefit you, the retailer, to hit those incentives now that you have customers demanding these variants or does it benefit Marvel to encourage your customers to force you into higher orders? Looks like the latter to me. Simple fact is that every publisher is in business to make money. They owe you nothing. You, likewise, owe them nothing. Order what you can sell. Think with your wallet. If a number looks high, it probably is. We don’t get to make the rules so we either learn to make money within the rules, however lopsided they may be, or we lose. It’s your money. You don’t owe any publisher a nickel of it unless they are sending you what you can sell.   Lobster Johnson: Lower end Hellboy title. Look at the last ones that shipped. DC Adult Coloring Book covers: Fun is the operative word. As usual, it’s crapshoot on how these will be received. Could have been a nice stocking stuffer thing but these are showing up 3 weeks later. Some but don’t go too crazy. Batman 66 Man From Uncle: Subs only until we see how #1 does. Batman Eternal: 5 and 6 issues out. Nope. Subs only as a lot can change in...