The second issues of Batman and Teen Titans have appeared at Walmart and the saga of the exclusive comics continues to be a very fluid thing.
My spies observed 2 copies of Batman 2; 6 copies of Superman #2; 3 copies of Teen Titans #2; 2 copies of Justice League #2; and 2 copies of Batman #1 in Cedar Rapids… and we’ll come back to the oddities of that sighting in a moment.
The Beat’s own Joe Grunenwald observed 5 copies of Batman #2; 5 copies of Teen Titans #2; 1 copy of Superman #2; 1 copy of Justice League #2; and a single copy of Batman #1. His story also had a neat and tidy display with the usual cardboard box.
So it looks like they’re continuing to drop 5 copies of each title on initial release and then do some restocking. Which effectively means increasing the initial stocking of Superman and Teen Titans. DC’s Dan DiDio has spoken about increasing the print runs and it’s going to be interesting to see how many copies are dropping when the King and Bendis issues arrive next month. Those two are what’s really driving the buzz and they haven’t arrived yet.
So about that Cedar Rapids location. Some things were unusual there. First off, the comics weren’t in the usual cards and collectibles aisle, they were in the book section. Sort of. This is going to take a little explaining, particularly if you live in a place like NYC and haven’t been to a lot of Walmarts. There seem to be two different section layouts in Walmarts. One layout has a books aisle in the back of the store, usually near the DVDs. The other layout has a sort of U-shaped area at the front of the store, often with a couple little aisles inside it.
This store had the U-shaped books area.
As you can see, the comics are packed in between some candy and some Pokemon and Magic cards, so it would seem some of those collectibles are in a different area in that store. I’m not entirely sure what to make of it, but that’s how things were displayed. No cardboard, just a pile of comics. I would think being in a corner of the book section probably still gets you a little more appropriate foot traffic. And… hold on… what else was in the pile with the new DC titles?
X-Men Blue… “Only at Walmart.” There were two of these packs there. I’m assuming when they say “Only at Walmart,” they’re referring to that pack of 3 comics only being sold there?
And guess what? The Beat’s own Kate Willaert also had a Marvel comics pack siting at her local Walmart.
Guardians of the Galaxy and yet another X-title mixed in with the old DC 3-packs.
I’m not actually sure if these Marvel packs are new or not. But the point is, they’re getting mixed into the pile in some messy sections. Kate reports that they had too many comics to fit in the display box and that old failed DC Showcase magazine was also in the display box. The #2 issues were in a stack with some of the comic packs mixed in. So a section of stacks.
The net effect is similar to that Cedar Rapids store. And I suspect both piles were a bit less neatly stacked before being prepped for photography.
It’s just kind of a sloppy flea market look when those cardboard display boxes aren’t used and I know there are more than two stores in this situation.
What can we take away from all this?
- It doesn’t appear the #1s are being removed when the #2s arrive. And this is a good thing if DC wants to get new readers. If there’s a still a #1 lying around, a new reader can start at the beginning of the story.
- If the comics aren’t selling through at a given store, there are going to be stacks lying around sooner or later.
- There appears to be some consolidation of the various comics that have been sold over the last couple of years into the same area. Whether this is intentional or not, I have no idea. But the DC comic packs and the Showcase issues are definitely at least 6 months old, probably closer to a year.
I’ll probably be passing by a Walmart with one of those U-shaped sections tomorrow and I’ll have a look to see if their comics have moved from the collectibles area to the book section. That would be an interesting development if it isn’t an isolated incident.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.