It was only the golden age of last week that Marvel and ComicsPRO, the organization for comics retailers, announced a special promotion for FORMIC WARS #1: ComicsPRO member stores would be able to release the issue on TUESDAY, 2/15, instead of the customary Wednesday.
With Tuesday delivery for Wednesday street dates now the industry norm, we’re seeing more Tuesday on sale specials, like yesterday’s FANTASTIC FOUR #587 release. Seems like a good promo for the big Orson Scott Card title that Marvel is releasing, right?
Wrong. Yesterday Marvel sent out ANOTHER release informing readers that the book would be on sale as usual Wednesday, 2/16, and not Tuesday. The reason was vaguely stated:
“We’d like to thank retailers for their support of this unique partnership between Marvel and ComicsPRO, but unfortunately due to distribution concerns we’ve been forced to hold the line at February 16th to launch this series,” said David Gabriel, Marvel’s SVP of Sales. “But to show ComicsPRO retailers that we’re sorry about the change, we have some very exciting exclusives that will be announced next week in Dallas.”
“Next week in Dallas” refers to the ComicsPRO annual meeting.
So what happened? After asking around a bit, it seems that there were indeed “distribution concerns,” if by this you mean DC (and other publishers) were miffed that stores were releasing comics early for Marvel, starting with the FF this week. Interestingly, other publishers have occasionally had comics released on Tuesday already, including Image, in order to tie in with bookstore release, but when Marvel started doing it, it became a problem. It was too late to stop the FF promotion, but the much less high profile FORMIC WARS promotion had to be canceled.
We have no dog in this hunt except to say that if Wednesday is new comic day, it should probably stay New Comics Day…for everyone. Somehow we doubt it will.
BTW, the other day on his Formspring, Marvel’s Tom Brevoort was asked the following:
If Morrison and Bendis wanted to do a Spider-man Batman crossover how much red tape would it have to go through for it to happen? In past crossover who came to who first?
Too much red tape for it to happen easily, I think. Both Marvel and DC have changed as companies in their respective hierarchies from teh days when crossovers happened with relative ease. Now, I don’t think either company is especially interested in expending resources to promote the others’ characters (or movies or television shows or whatever.) So I tend to think that the day of the Marvel/DC Crossover is done. But hey, you never know.
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.