Remember what I was just saying about how if Marvel made any money selling periodicals in bookstores, they would never have stopped the program? David Gabriel, sr vp of sales at Marvel spoke to Calvin Reid at PW, and gives the entire overview:
Gabriel confirmed that Marvel’s single-issue comics program to bookstores has been ended. He said that Marvel ended newsstand sales of print comics “about two years ago,” and the single-issue program at BAM and B&N “ended almost three months ago to no fanfare or notice from the comics industry.” Gabriel said “the business in the direct market [the comics shop market] is a much stronger model and try as we might, we have not been able to make the comics newsstand model work for years, I don’t think anyone has.”
I had no idea Marvel had ceased newsstand sales TWO YEARS AGO. But the fact that it took MONTHS for anyone to notice there were no more Marvel comics in B&Ns should tell you how many of these copies were cold.
You may also recall a few months ago Marvel publisher Dan Buckley throwing cold water on the romantic notion of kids walking into a 7-11 to buy a Coke Zero whilst SnapChatting on their iPhone and seeing a spinner rack and falling in love again. Not gonna happen,” said Buckley:
The question was raised if these comics will “be in 7-11s”—a reference to a commonly expressed desire among those who wish to see comics returned to an easily accessible newsstand environment. Buckley pointed out that “we think about 7-11s because a lot of us started at 7-11s or a facsimile of 7-11s.” But, he noted, “It’s not about being in 7-11s per se, it’s about being where kids are now. The new five-and-dime shop is a kid grabbing your smart phone or tablet and finding the stuff that they like or you feel comfortable them looking at.”
So yeah, there you go: comics on newsstands RIP. Luckily we have the book channel and the digital channel to make up for it. All good. Moving on.
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.