I have to admit, at this point in my life, I’m not much of a floppy comics reader. I’ve been fishing SAGA and PROPHET out of my Image comps, and every two months or so I go to Hanleys in search of a missing back issue but…I’m not part of the Wednesday Crowd.
Which is why all the talk of pull lists and ordering and racing to get to the store go right over my head.
So it wasn’t until i read this piece by Todd Allen for PW that I finally understood:
Buying comics each and every week is like getting to H&M when the new collaboration opens, or the Jimmy Choo shoe sale.
YOU GOTTA GET THERE EARLY.
At lunch, I went down to my first retailer of the day. I picked up a few books, but at 12:30 in the afternoon (for a store that opens at 11am), he was already out of Punisher, Wonder Woman and Batman. At least two of those three titles, you would really expect to be in stock for the weekend, let alone over the noon hour.
A bit later in the afternoon, I was able to slip out and make a trip to the second store of the day, which did have those three in stock. I was fortunate. My record is visiting five different stores while looking for Flash Gordon #2. I ended up buying #2 and #3 at the same time. It took me three trips to find The Twelve #11. Off the top of my head, some other titles I’ve had to bounce between stores to pick up have been All-Star Western, Captain America & Bucky, I… Vampire and Elric. This are not terribly obscure titles, especially for shops in a major metropolitan area. I’m making multiple trips usually two out of three weeks in a given month.
I know I’m sitting here in a privileged position in my New York/comp list world.
But virtually everyone in the comics publishing industry lives in a similar bubble. We get our comps delivered every month and wonder where we’re going to put the darned things. It’s not like we have to get out of bed and camp out early just to buy a copy of…BATMAN, fer cryin’ out loud.
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.