Inside the Diamond Retailer Appreciation Breakfast

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While fans lined up outside in the early hours of Thursday at NYCC, Diamond Comic Distributors hosted their annual Retailer Appreciation Breakfast. Diamond teamed up with DC, Valiant, IDW, Dark Horse, Titan and Marvel to present to retailers. Beforehand, retailers were treated to a breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and bagels. Dear out of town retailers, please do not judge New York City by these bagels.

I talked to a couple of retailers over breakfast. We talked renumbering and variant covers. Overall, the retailers I talked to were fans of variants, because they have customers who come in just for the 1:200 variant. One retailer said he wished that when it came to renumbering, the renumbering followed the numbering similar to Marvel Legacy, which gave readers the legacy number in the corner for the longtime reader trying to keep track of their collection, and the storyline part number (1 of whatever) for newer readers so they know when a new storyline or creative team is taken over.

We were shuttled into a large panel room to see presentations from Diamond and the publishers present.

Halloween Comic Fest will have a Halloween Gift Guide sporting a 15th Anniversary Walking Dead cover.

Early Bird Registration has opened for the Diamond Retailer Summit in Las Vegas, May 18-20,2019. Retailers can register on the retailer Diamond site.

There is no skip week this holiday season. 20 new titles ship December 19 for release December 26. Product intended for sale on January 2, 2019 will arrive in stores by Friday, December 28.

Previews Pullbox, which was pitched at last year’s breakfast is in its beta phase. About 20 retailers are trying it out right now. It costs $20/month or $200/year for retailers.

Marvel

In a surprise change from last year, Marvel did not present to retailers at their own, separate panel, but were looped back into the overall cross-company Diamond Retailer Appreciation Breakfast. Could this be the direct result of a retailer going off on a bigoted tirade during the Q&A of Marvel’s Retailer Panel in 2017?

Marvel presented first among the retailers.

After X-Men Disassembled, Age of X-Man is coming. It’s a 10 part weekly story.

Marvel Rising was met with a smattering of applause from retailers in the audience. The new comic series will launch in either Febuary or March.

2019 is Marvel’s 80th Anniversary! Marvel Tales is returning!

As part of the anniversary, Marvel will be telling stories that took place in the lost years . Crypt of Shadows and  War is Hell are coming back as part of this. As is Gunhawks.

Uncanny X-Men #268 is coming in a 3D format reprint in January. it may or may not be coming with 3D glasses modeled after Cyclops’s visor.

Chip Zdarksy and Butch Guice are bringing back The Invaders in January.

Marvel Comics Presents is coming back as a new ongoing series in January 2019. Will it be bi-weekly like the original series? Marvel didn’t say. Marvel did confirm that it will be an ongoing series in the vein of the original.

Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw are bringing a new Guardians of the Galaxy series. Who will be part of the new team? Marvel isn’t saying. But…Cosmic Ghost Rider WILL be on the team! Donny Cotes was supposed to be a surprise guest at the Marvel presentation today but no-showed.

January brings us Venom Unleashed by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman. Venom Dog! And with that creative team, you know it ties into the main series.

Conan the Barbarian is coming back to Marvel in January. There will be retailers parties with variant covers and a sword bookmark.

Skrulls are coming back to the Marvel universe in a major way in February, because of their involvement in the Captain Marvel movie.

Speaking of Captain Marvel, a new Captain Marvel series is launching in January by Kelly Thompson and Carmen Carnero just in time for the movie.

David from Marvel finished his presentation with “I want to thank you all for coming and not rioting this year. Thank you, everybody.”

Dark Horse

Umbrella Academy is back for the first time in 9 years! Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba are here at NYCC

Retailers were given Stranger Things NYCC Variant by Gabriel Ba and Mike Mignola’s NYCC Umbrella Academy variant.

Berger Books is continuing. Nnedi Okorafor, Tana Ford and James Devlin are launching Laguardia, an alternate earth title. If retailers order 10 copies, Dark Horse is offering full returnability.

Avatar: Tsu’Tey’s Path is coming to comics in January. It takes place during the time of the movie. This will be the first of several Avatar comics leading up to Avatar 2 in 2020.

Fight Club 3 launches in January by Chuck Palhniuk and Cameron Stewart. It’s a 12 issue series. Fight Club 3’s first two issues will also be fully returnable.

Jae Lee and John Ney Rieber are bringing Unknown 9 to Dark Horse. Retailers were given a special ashcan of this at the show.

The Legend of Korra (you know, the other Avatar) is launching from Dark Horse in May.

Minecraft graphic novels are coming to Dark Horse. It’s based on the second-best selling game of all time (the first is Tetris for any trivia nerds out there).

Hellboy is coming to theaters in April. Expect a big Dark Horse Hellboy push in April. The Wild Hunt, the Hellboy story that inspired the movie, is being offered at a special value price of $14.99.

A Hellboy timeline print is being given out at the Dark Horse book.

Hellboy: Seed of Destruction, Hellboy’s first story, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in March. Dark Horse is celebrating with Hellboy Day that month

DC Comics

DC has a preview of the first issue up of the first issue of the Grant Morrison written Green Lantern comic.

December brings us The Batman Who Laughs 6 issue miniseries by Scott Snyder and Jock.

The first DC Zoom title is Super Sons: The Polarshield Project, written by Ridley Pearson. This Zoom line is focused at younger readers.

DC Ink’s first title will be Mera. It is a Mera and Aquaman origin story, where Mera has to choose between being a hero or villain.

$199 will buy retailers a DC LED frame that comes with 4 interchangeable inserts per year. $24.99 will buy retailers a insert subscription is following years.

DC’s Publishers Panel at 1:45 will have a huge reveal around characters that look like Young Justice/Teen Titans.

Titan

Andrew from Titan presented next. Andrew never fails to entertain, his first slide showing off his love of NYC rooftop water towers.

Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor will launch in December. The new series “will make a massive impact” according to Andrew.

V.E. Schwab is bringing her Shade of Magic series to comics with The Steel Prince.

Titan is adapting Life is Strange, the video game series, to comics.

Tank Girl is turning 30! A new Tank Girl series is launching in December.

Blade Runner 2049 screenwriter Michael Green will be writing a Blade Runner 2049 comic.

Titan has two Marvel-based coffee table books coming to stores soon, one based on the first 10 years of the MCU.

Titan’s Vinyl Titan figures are continuing with more American Gods and Game of Thrones figures.

Andrew gave a tribute to Norm Breyfogle and Michael Friedrich to cap off his presentation.

Valiant

Valiant gave a big thank you to retailers. They previewed Bloodshot: Rising Spirit. The Bloodshot will be Valiant’s first movie, starring Vin Diesel as the title character.

Outdoing themselves when it comes to variant covers, Bloodshot: Rising Spirit #1 will have a GLASS VARIANT. Each comic of this variant will have  a cover made from a hand cut pane of glass. It’s 1:250 variant with no order limit. Bloodshot: Rising Spirit #1 is also fully returnable.

Livewire #1 will also have a glass variant. Livewire #1 is also fully returnable.

Want a Valiant event in your store? Contact Valiant for a #ValiantVisit.

Retailers were given a copy of The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1 6 months before its publication.

BOOM Studios!

Boom Studios! is beating the market by 13% this year according to Diamond data. The overall market is down 7% and Boom is up 6%. This success is led by Power Rangers: Beyond the Grid.

Boom threw shade at other publishers saying their success with Power Rangers is done without renumbering.

Beyond the Grid will introduce Solar Ranger, “possibly the most important Ranger we’ve ever introduced.”

Joss Whedon will be story consulting on Greg Pak’s Firefly comic series. This is the first time Firefly has been published as a monthly ongoing series. The first story will be The Unification War.

Boom is also now the home of Buffy!

Adventure Time is continuing exclusively in comics in season 11.

Love the WWE? An Undertaker comic, Rise of the Deadman, will launch at Halloween. WWE is doing a big marketing push for this comic.

BOOM is backing up its new series with Full Series Orders, guaranteeing a year of comics on new titles.

Retailers in the BOOM! Studios Guarantee Program makes books fully returnable with no minimums.

BOOM! closed out the presentation with “Every publisher should be putting comic shops first.” Hear, hear!

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