Lots of news coming out of the ComicsPRo meeting in Portland, including a lot of changes for Diamond.
DC Comics is launching it’s own, separate catalog, to be included free with each issue of Previews, the massive 500 page catalog that is the bible of the industry – and unlike the bible a new issue comes out every month!
DC’s new catalog will resemble Marvel’s long running standalone catalog.
However, I’m told that this is part of larger moves DC is making to pave the way for its expanded line, and increasing move to graphic novels. Stay tuned on that front.
Diamond is not standing pat but is revamping the catalog, with the April and May 2018 issues. To wit, the prose books and magazines sections will be merged with the comics and graphic novels to create a larger print section, titled “Comics, Graphic Novels & Print.”
And the manga section is coming back!
Following the new “Comics, Graphic Novels & Print” section will be the return of a “Manga” section, added as a result of the resurgence and growth of the genre. The new section rolls out at the same time PREVIEWS features “Manga Month” as its April catalog theme. Accordingly, the April issue will feature an essential list of manga titles for readers to pick up, interviews with manga creators, as well as a backlist stock-up sale for retailers.
Finally, the toys section will be part of a “flip book.” All the merchandise, including premier toy vendors like Diamond Select Toys, DC Collectibles, and Eaglemoss, will be be in one handy spot.
AND a digital version of Previews will be available via an app!
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!
Diamond is also launching it’s own digital “pull list” – which will be avaiable for demos at the Daimond Retailer Summit in April at C2E2.
This is a move that many comics creators – most notably of late Greg Pak – have been advocating for a while. With preordering the very lifeblood of comics, making it easier for readers to make their own “pull list” and send it to their preferred retailer is a huge move forward.
The name of this system is the very clever PULLBOX™, a cloud-based software application.
Developed from the ground up to help customers place orders with their local comic shop, PULLBOX handles monthly comic subscriptions, preorders for upcoming titles and products, and special orders all from Diamond’s consumer pop-culture website, PREVIEWSworld.com, while also providing comic shop retailers with the back-end tools necessary to manage their pull-and-hold customer base.
The new cloud-based software is part of a broader strategy by Diamond to create an easy way to funnel orders to local comic book shops and make the preorder process a much more viable and vital process for the entire comics industry.
“We’re excited about the potential of PULLBOX to help comic shops and their customers,” said VP-Retailer Services, Chris Powell. “We want to make ordering from a comic shop as easy as possible for customers, and in turn, further improve our retailers ordering efficiency.”
PULLBOX has a variety of included features to help customers order and purchase from comic book shops:
Manage Preorders. Add titles to your monthly pull-and-hold list, order additional titles and products from that month’s PREVIEWS preorder catalog.
Synch with Your Participating Local Comic Shop. Powered by comicshoplocator.com, customers can choose a local participating comic shop and synch with them to send their monthly preorders, special orders, and more.
Place Special Orders or Keep a Wishlist. Forgot to order a title or saw something new coming in to comic shops that you want to purchase? Customers can use PULLBOX to place a special order with their comic book shop to purchase. They can also keep a Wishlist of other items and then send it to their retailer to see if they have any items in their store.
Enhanced Search and Ordering. Customers will be able to access a more advanced search at PREVIEWSworld.com that allows them to search the complete database of items offered by Diamondand place orders with their local comic shop.
Track Your Weekly Purchases. Customers will get additional tools to track which titles and products they ordered are releasing that week to stores, see future week’s orders, and more.
Retail Functions. Retailers will be get a full suite of functions available from the Diamond Retailer Services website: Back-end approval of new PULLBOX Customers, Alerts to new orders, Set ordering dates, and Upload your own ordering requirements and guidelines. Retailers can synch orders with their initial orders online, or export orders into ComicSuite or other POS software.
Comic-Suite Integration. Seamlessly integrate PULLBOX Pull List, Subscription and Special Orders directly into ComicSuite for approval and ordering, manage new pull-and hold customers, synch customer data and individual orders.
PULLBOX is slated for release later this Spring, and will be available for free from PREVIEWSworld.com to comic shop customers. Retailer pricing and additional retailer information will be released in the coming months.
To see PULLBOX in action, retailers are encouraged to attend the upcoming Diamond Retailer Summit,April 4-6 in Chicago, where demos will be available, as well as sign-up for initial release.
What do you think, readers? Will you be using PULLBOX to make sure your favorite comics don’t sell out?
“The April issue is jam packed with new and exciting changes!” said PREVIEWS Editor, Marty Grosser. “We’re making the comic shop’s catalog a better read for fans, as well providing a better value. Readers are truly going to flip for PREVIEWS!”
In the May edition, more changes come to PREVIEWS as upcoming titles for DC Comics will no longer be included in the PREVIEWS catalog. Instead, DC Comics will be publishing a separate DC PREVIEWS catalog which will be included free of charge, with the purchase of PREVIEWS.
“For PREVIEWS readers, that means you’ll receive a copy of PREVIEWS, DC PREVIEWS, Marvel PREVIEWS, and the Image Plus magazine—all for the price of $3.99!” commented Grosser.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.