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FOC 12.26.16

Hope everyone’s Christmas was wonderful and pre-Christmas sales were wonderful as well. On to the shortest FOC in recent memory. Angel: Never does as well as Buffy and Buffy is rolling along on the fumes of the few faithful these days.  75% of BTVS current sales.  Don’t “unlock” a variant that no one will care about if you’re not there by accident to begin with. Dead Inside: #1 arrived DOA.  Subs only. D4veocracy: Not a lot of love for the third installment of a series that was down to subs only by the end of each. Revolutionary: Pull for Revolution subs but not a lot more sales to come on a collection of tertiary characters. Star Trek Green Lantern: #1 did okay. I think fans will stick around like they did last series so 90% of sales on #1. Peter David’s Artful: Was hoping that Peter still had some fans who would support this but alas there was naught but coal in that stocking.  Subs only. Divinity III Aric: Pull for Divinity and X-O...

FOC 12.19.16

A friend of mine in the Marines was deployed to Iraq in late December some years ago. He said that USMC stood for U Suckers Miss Christmas.  Looking at our sales, though not headed to the Middle East, I feel like we’ve missed Christmas as well. The books we’re ordering now will be hitting in mid-January.  As December has been as big a bust as the previous 3 months, we’re no doubt in a new dynamic for comics and comic stores until proven otherwise.  It’s time to look at your hedgehog concept (Built to Last); when danger comes around, a hedgehog curls up and fortifies itself.  We’re there.  What cuts can you make to bring down your overhead?  Are you staffing for current sales levels or sales levels of 6 months ago because that’s been the schedule? Likewise, it’s time to look at your orders more carefully.  There was a time not so long ago that not ordering a Marvel of DC title for the stands was unthinkable. Now it seems more a fact of doing business – don’t order what you can’t sell.  Are subs up to date?  If they’re behind now there won’t be a lot of extra cash once the credit card bills hit in January.  Do you need that might-sell trade paperback?  Do you need the ancillary items or do you still have unsold Christmas stock?  Due to the holidays, we’re ordering 3 issues out on a lot of DC & Marvel titles and considering how they’ve been dropping we’re placing subs only numbers until we have more data. Speaking with multiple comic retailers over...

FOC 12.12.2016

Lobster Johnson: Down to subs and hardcore BPRD fans. All Star Batman: New arc, new art.  I don’t see fans jumping off a Snyder Batbook so maintain to current sales. JLofA Vixen: I’d like to give this a better pitch but it’s tertiary character who even with TV appearances has had no buzz.  Maybe 25% of JLofA but that’s likely high.  JLA Power Rangers: More a Power Rangers thing than a JLA thing.  Looking at Power Rangers numbers though somewhere between JLA & Power Rangers. Pick your number and divide it between the covers.  Main cover is a bit weak but the Flash, WW, and Cyborg covers are pretty sweet. JLA Suicide Squad: Sorry DC but I’m not putting 4 weeks of books into the pipeline without knowing the reaction on #1.  Subs only and we’ll ARO when we see how #1 is received. Kamandi Challenge Special: Speculating that the numbers were so bad that DD decided to add content.  A former “who cares” boo, this is now a must-have for any diehard Kamandi fan as it now features the final two unpublished issues of Kamandi.  Problem yet remains: Are there any diehard Kamandi fans?  Subs and a copy or two. Box Office Poison: Lots of critical acclaim but not a lot of sales to go with it.  A few. MASK: First issue did well at mediocre numbers. AD After Death: #3 without info on #2?  Despite #1 doing well I’m reticent to go equal numbers on #3 as Image tends to drop after #1 and #3 could be selling a small fraction of #1.  Placeholder and ARO once...

FOC 12.05.2016

Sell something.  Along the way we’ve seen a lot of relaunches, reboots, retoolings, and retreads, not all of which have been spectacular.  But inevitably, we have to find SOMETHING that we can sell.  If all you have is day-old bananas then you better find the best ones and talk them up if you want to make your rent.  There’s a lot of questionable decisions being made by publishers that anyone in the trenches could look at and know, just know, that the project is DOA.  But we have to sell SOMETHING.  Pick something.  There’s a lot of projects that have something redeeming about them that’s worth mentioning.  Pick something and sell it.  Talk it up.  Get people excited.  Just because it’s not on the top 25 list for the country doesn’t mean you can’t get people excited about a book you enjoy at your store level.  So pick something and say something positive about it.  Now on to the not-always-positive stuff. Nearly 450 items this week makes this the biggest FOC to date. AVP Life & Death: These all tend to sell the same. Order 15 of the main and unlock the other 2.  Don’t chase the unlockable covers. DC Dark Horse JLA: Cool cover and can sell to an eclectic audience.  I’d like it a lot better at 19.99. Aquaman: Significant drop over the last few issues and no covers on FOC makes this a perfect candidate for a significant  cut. Batman & the Outsiders HC: Oh hell no.  Just no. DC Rebirth Trades: HUGE news: These will be available for free through libraries –just like every other...