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Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

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Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Old 05-30-20, 10:27 AM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Are there any major DC/Marvel comic series which were done purely as graphic novels/trade paperbacks, without doing the monthly floppies first at all?

The only ones I can think of offhand, are a few marginal limited series based on World of Warcraft. Basically stuff which was largely forgettable.

After the various WoW series was cancelled circa 2010-2011, all the further stuff they had planned also died. Though several years later, the "planned" stuff which was already finished was eventually released straight to graphic novels. I didn't know about it, until I came across them on amazon. (I never seen floppies of these later series, and various comic book databases didn't have these later series listed as individual floppies).
Old 05-30-20, 10:40 AM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by morriscroy View Post
Are there any major DC/Marvel comic series which were done purely as graphic novels/trade paperbacks, without doing the monthly floppies first at all?

The only ones I can think of offhand, are a few marginal limited series based on World of Warcraft. Basically stuff which was largely forgettable.

After the various WoW series was cancelled circa 2010-2011, all the further stuff they had planned also died. Though several years later, the "planned" stuff which was already finished was eventually released straight to graphic novels. I didn't know about it, until I came across them on amazon. (I never seen floppies of these later series, and various comic book databases didn't have these later series listed as individual floppies).
Thereís the Earth One series of graphic novels, but itís been almost two years since the last one came out.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cate..._novel_series)
Old 05-30-20, 11:50 AM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by morriscroy View Post
Are there any major DC/Marvel comic series which were done purely as graphic novels/trade paperbacks, without doing the monthly floppies first at all?

The only ones I can think of offhand, are a few marginal limited series based on World of Warcraft. Basically stuff which was largely forgettable.

After the various WoW series was cancelled circa 2010-2011, all the further stuff they had planned also died. Though several years later, the "planned" stuff which was already finished was eventually released straight to graphic novels. I didn't know about it, until I came across them on amazon. (I never seen floppies of these later series, and various comic book databases didn't have these later series listed as individual floppies).
As major joe mentioned, the Earth One books from DC are like that. Marvel had a series of graphic novels 4-6 years ago, including one that introduces Peter Parker,s sister. Back in the 80ís both Marvel and DC had their graphic novel lines. Marvel had stories that have become classics like The Death of Captain Marvel, X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills and The New Mutants. Jack Kirbyís final New Gods story was part of that graphic novel line, and was called Hunger Dogs
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Old 05-30-20, 12:14 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
As major joe mentioned, the Earth One books from DC are like that. Marvel had a series of graphic novels 4-6 years ago, including one that introduces Peter Parker,s sister.
I was mostly thinking of recent times, over the past decade or so.


Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
Back in the 80ís both Marvel and DC had their graphic novel lines. Marvel had stories that have become classics like The Death of Captain Marvel, X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills and The New Mutants. Jack Kirbyís final New Gods story was part of that graphic novel line, and was called Hunger Dogs
I remember several of these.

I had the Hunger Dogs and New Mutants graphic novels from the 80s. I vaguely remember an X-Men one, but never purchased it. I don't remember the Captain Marvel one.

Old 05-30-20, 12:28 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by morriscroy View Post
I was mostly thinking of recent times, over the past decade or so.




I remember several of these.

I had the Hunger Dogs and New Mutants graphic novels from the 80s. I vaguely remember an X-Men one, but never purchased it. I don't remember the Captain Marvel one.
The X-men one is the (uncredited?) basis for the movie X-men 2. They also published more non superhero stuff, like Dreadstar, Star Slammers, and Alien Legion. I think it was a try to emulate the European graphic novels/albums. On the DC side I remember distinctly that the Hunger Dogs was like the only superhero-related one they published, everything else was non super hero. I still remember the Metalzoic one with robotic dinosaurs.

I believe there used to be a distinction (maybe just in my own head) where "graphic novels" were usually original works and Trade Paperbacks (tpbs) were collected works.

They also did prestige format books for a while, notably elseworlds like the Dark Knight Returns (which was the first), Red Son, the Golden Age (which kind of became integrated into the regular DC Universe), Justice League: the Nail and special books like Darkseid vs. Galactus: the Hunger or the original Books of Magic mini series. I think Black Label was supposed to be like this but I never picked any of them up.

Also, DC at least started publishing some school-aged/YA paperbacks that are basically graphic novels that to my knowledge weren't available elsewhere before. There's a Raven one by Kami Garcia, Catwoman: Under the Moon, Mera: Tidebreaker, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass and a Wonder Woman one I can never seem to find on amazon. These are standalone and probably the best way to try to get kids to read comics and not call them comics (seriously, look at the sales of something like Dog Man). So of course they're probably going to go away.
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Old 06-18-20, 09:53 AM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

I thought this was a more appropriate thread for this than the DC/Diamond thread, though they are related:

I wonder how many LCS's have just closed up shop permanently after this. I know places are just starting to open up. I also know some LCS's probably switched over to mail order to hold them over.
a) I'm not sure how many LCS's were able to get stimulus money. Most of that was reliant on retaining staff and I can't see these stores retaining staff just to get stimulus money, since that would still be a net negative if you're only doing mail order and don't need the extra hands
b) Switching people to mail order will run into the problem of people getting used to it and switching permanently to DCBS or something similar where the discounts are insane.
c) Diamond was shut down, DC has their own distribution now with lots of controversy and a bit of an extra expense, and publishers have switched some comics to digital, which I'm sure isn't endearing themselves to collectors. I wonder if some have just given up on monthly. I said it before but take away the monthly drip for even a little bit and it's much easier to wean yourself off of the addiction.

Any anecdotal stories from people here? Are your LCS's still going strong? Or still going at all?
Old 06-18-20, 10:15 AM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Any anecdotal stories from people here? Are your LCS's still going strong? Or still going at all?
The two stores I go to in San Diego are still open and seem to be doing OK (Yesteryear Comics and Southern California Comics). I bought about $75 of TPBs from each of them a couple weeks ago.
Old 06-18-20, 10:58 AM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post

Any anecdotal stories from people here? Are your LCS's still going strong? Or still going at all?
After a drive-up visit a few weeks ago, my LCS reopened last week. I went yesterday. They insisted on masks had hand sanitizer and gloves for customers as they enter. I balked at the idea of greasing up my hands in a comic book store, so I squeezed into gloves. The place wasn't busy, but I don't think I've ever seen it really busy. I'm just glad it's still in business and hope they do well as the country reopens.
Old 06-18-20, 12:42 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

My local LCS opened about a month ago and business has been extremely slow. Other LCS around NC are doing bad too. A mix of not a lot merchandise coming through, the pandemic and the loss of jobs by many people who buy these products has affected LCS (as well as many other businesses) in the nation. So far, I heard that a total of 15 shops have close permanently since late March. I know of 1 store in the area who was doing horribly before the pandemic and is doing even worse now.
Old 06-23-20, 03:02 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Meanwhile my store in NC is rockin, buying and selling like normal. But they were already kicking ass to begin with. Huge eBay store, floor inventory online with Comics Hub, early curbside when this hit, and opened up fully with Phase 2, mask required.
Old 06-23-20, 09:00 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by stingermck View Post
Meanwhile my store in NC is rockin, buying and selling like normal. But they were already kicking ass to begin with. Huge eBay store, floor inventory online with Comics Hub, early curbside when this hit, and opened up fully with Phase 2, mask required.
Those guys are really on top of things. Wish I live closer to there to make them my LCS.
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Old 06-24-20, 07:34 AM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
c) Diamond was shut down, DC has their own distribution now with lots of controversy and a bit of an extra expense, and publishers have switched some comics to digital, which I'm sure isn't endearing themselves to collectors. I wonder if some have just given up on monthly. I said it before but take away the monthly drip for even a little bit and it's much easier to wean yourself off of the addiction.

Any anecdotal stories from people here? Are your LCS's still going strong? Or still going at all?
The store I frequent was closed for over 2 months. I had a pull list of about 8-10 titles with them. I intended to stick with collecting initially but as time went on, I made the decision to stop. The fact that some companies were reopening and starting to distribute books again while my store was still closed made it an even easier decision. Going on a scavenger hunt to track down issues I missed just isn't something I wanted to do.
Old 06-24-20, 02:52 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by EdTheRipper View Post
Going on a scavenger hunt to track down issues I missed just isn't something I wanted to do.
Just a few clicks on my comic shop.com and you're done.
Old 07-07-20, 08:08 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Marvel is making things right and printing the 19 books that were either missing or digital-only

Marvel Puts 19 Missing or Digital-Only Comics Into Print After All

Posted on July 7, 2020 | by Rich Johnston | CommentsBleeding Cool previously posted plans by Marvel Comics to post final issues of comic book series or mini-series as digital-only titles, only possibly printing them as part of an eventual collection. These included Ant-Man, Avengers Of The Wastelands, Ghost-Spider, Ruins Of Ravencroft, 2020 Ironheart, 2020 Force Works, The Black Cat Strikes, Hawkeye Freefall, Star, Scream: Curse Of Carnage, Valkyrie and Revenge of Cosmic Ghost Rider.



Marvel Comics will be telling retailers the good news, that they will be publishing those issues in print after all, nineteen of them in fact. And also including Aero and Sword Master, two of the Marvel Missing In Action titles that had been given no home, print or digitally. And we have new publication dates too, through August and into early September.

Wednesday, August 5:
ANT-MAN #4 (OF 5) FEB200986
AVENGERS OF THE WASTELANDS #4 (OF 5) FEB200989
MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN: THE BLACK CAT STRIKES #4 (OF 5) FEB200948

Wednesday, August 12:
GHOST-SPIDER #9 FEB200931
HAWKEYE FREEFALL #5 FEB 200967
REVENGE OF THE COSMIC GHOST RIDER #5 FEB201005

Wednesday, August 19:
VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER #10 FEB201001
ANT-MAN #5 (OF 5) MAR201046
STAR #4 (OF 5) FEB200987

Wednesday, August 26:
AERO #10 FEB201008
GHOST-SPIDER #10 MAR200929
2020 FORCE WORKS #3 (OF 3) FEB200912

Wednesday, September 2:
SWORD MASTER #10 FEB201009
RAVENCROFT #4 (OF 5) FEB200952
AVENGERS OF THE WASTELANDS #5 (OF 5) MAR201040
HAWKEYE FREEFALL #6 MAR201029

Wednesday, September 9:
RAVENCROFT #5 (OF 5) MAR200996
STAR #5 (OF 5) MAR201047
MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN: THE BLACK CAT STRIKES #5 (OF 5) MAR201003

This is going to make a lot of people very happy and suggests that we will be getting more to follow. There are still a number of Missing In Action comic books, not published in print or digital, either continuing series such as Runaways or comics that were meant to launch like Union. Well, we are led to expect some of those may be scheduled too as well.

But as DC Comics shifts more of it stitles into digital-only, Marvel are pulling more of theirs back again. Let's all keep an eye out for what else comes down the track.

https://bleedingcool.com/comics/marv...int-after-all/
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Old 07-10-20, 02:09 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Some numbers for those thinking that the business is dying

Old 07-10-20, 02:53 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Heh.

Sounds almost like a move countermove tactic, at filling in a market vacuum.

I have to wonder how much autonomy/independence Marvel has in their decision making, and/or where Disney doesn't use the "veto hammer" very often.

Old 07-10-20, 03:51 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by morriscroy View Post
Heh.

Sounds almost like a move countermove tactic, at filling in a market vacuum.

I have to wonder how much autonomy/independence Marvel has in their decision making, and/or where Disney doesn't use the "veto hammer" very often.
Marvel is pretty autonomous. Disney's influence goes as far as synergy projects and some stuff here and there. Most decisions for the year are made at the Marvel retreat and they pretty much forward with the projects that come out from there.
Old 07-10-20, 04:07 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
Some numbers for those thinking that the business is dying

https://twitter.com/comichron/status...113105411?s=20
The worrying thing, if I'm a comic book store owner (and that is what this thread is discussing as far as extinction level events), is that the vast majority of the growth is because of graphic novel sales, and for the first time the book channels approximate sales were higher than comic stores. There's some change in their methodology and counting that may account for some of that, but that's not good. Also not clear is if they include pseudo-comic books like Captain Underpants and the like, which sell boatloads especially through places like Scholastic but almost nothing through comic stores.

Lastly I have no idea how they capture the digital download market when comixology and the major publishers play the numbers really close to the vest and don't reveal them at all. According to that bar chart, it looks like digital downloads have been pretty static for the past five years, maybe even having a slight dip this past year, which doesn't make much sense to me.

Look at that green/yellow/red chart... the green, which is graphic novels, is gigantic, more than two times the comic book bar for the first time. If people are consuming comics via graphic novels/collections, they're going to get them from amazon, Instocktrades, and other discount retailers, not from comic stores.

I am curious where the single digit gains in the comic book periodicals came from as well. Big event books, the big 2, or some other kind of growth in the broader market?
Old 07-10-20, 04:14 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Maybe the Walmart books from DC? I've always wondered how successful those experiments were.
Old 07-10-20, 04:27 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
Maybe the Walmart books from DC? I've always wondered how successful those experiments were.
That's an interesting thought. Though those are also fully returnable, so if they're going to somehow count sales they need to restrict it to sale through and not just what's sent to the store, since I'm sure they pulp a bunch of them and get their refunds.
Old 07-10-20, 06:41 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
The worrying thing, if I'm a comic book store owner (and that is what this thread is discussing as far as extinction level events), is that the vast majority of the growth is because of graphic novel sales, and for the first time the book channels approximate sales were higher than comic stores. There's some change in their methodology and counting that may account for some of that, but that's not good. Also not clear is if they include pseudo-comic books like Captain Underpants and the like, which sell boatloads especially through places like Scholastic but almost nothing through comic stores.

Lastly I have no idea how they capture the digital download market when comixology and the major publishers play the numbers really close to the vest and don't reveal them at all. According to that bar chart, it looks like digital downloads have been pretty static for the past five years, maybe even having a slight dip this past year, which doesn't make much sense to me.

Look at that green/yellow/red chart... the green, which is graphic novels, is gigantic, more than two times the comic book bar for the first time. If people are consuming comics via graphic novels/collections, they're going to get them from amazon, Instocktrades, and other discount retailers, not from comic stores.

I am curious where the single digit gains in the comic book periodicals came from as well. Big event books, the big 2, or some other kind of growth in the broader market?
I believe that Scholastics is more of a driving force behind the graphic novel market than Amazon. Still, when I ran my store, my 2 biggest sellers were new releases and graphic novels with back issues coming in at a close third and toys at fourth. New releases bring in the weekly crowd to the store, but graphic novels are a hook to most customers because they want the complete story in one sitting. I made the most revenue on back issues just because the profit margin on those ran between 70-95% per issue sold.

If i remember correctly, we sold constantly Saga Vol 1, We Can Never Go Home, Death in the Family, Court of Owls, Under the Red Hood, Watchmen, Crisis on Infinite Earth, Infinity Gauntlet and Secret Wars (1984) the most at the store. We easily sold between 100-200 copies of each per year. We also made sure that if a school had a graphic novel on their reading list, we had the book available and with a discount for those students who purchased them at our store.

The key to running a successful store is having the right mix of new releases and graphic novels, carrying back issues ad have them organized and don't get carried away with statues and toys and have an online presence (ebay, amazon, own website to sell). It's good to have them but the profit margin is so minimum on them that owners have to make sure they sell those in less than a month. Also, don't have partners and/or employees stealing and keep the store clean and organized. When we doing good, I made sure all the above bases were covered. Once I couldn't keep being on top of the day to day business and trusted my business partners to do that, things went downhill.
Old 07-12-20, 06:05 AM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
I believe that Scholastics is more of a driving force behind the graphic novel market than Amazon. Still, when I ran my store, my 2 biggest sellers were new releases and graphic novels with back issues coming in at a close third and toys at fourth. New releases bring in the weekly crowd to the store, but graphic novels are a hook to most customers because they want the complete story in one sitting. I made the most revenue on back issues just because the profit margin on those ran between 70-95% per issue sold.

If i remember correctly, we sold constantly Saga Vol 1, We Can Never Go Home, Death in the Family, Court of Owls, Under the Red Hood, Watchmen, Crisis on Infinite Earth, Infinity Gauntlet and Secret Wars (1984) the most at the store. We easily sold between 100-200 copies of each per year. We also made sure that if a school had a graphic novel on their reading list, we had the book available and with a discount for those students who purchased them at our store.

The key to running a successful store is having the right mix of new releases and graphic novels, carrying back issues ad have them organized and don't get carried away with statues and toys and have an online presence (ebay, amazon, own website to sell). It's good to have them but the profit margin is so minimum on them that owners have to make sure they sell those in less than a month. Also, don't have partners and/or employees stealing and keep the store clean and organized. When we doing good, I made sure all the above bases were covered. Once I couldn't keep being on top of the day to day business and trusted my business partners to do that, things went downhill.
Yeah, it's amazing to me how big of a thing theft is on comic store margins (probably all margins but I'm sure comic store margins are tiny to begin with). I remember way back when I would frequent a small comic shop and the owner told me that kids, who he thought were hired by his competitor, would come in and steal stuff all the time, which seemed horrifying to me.

I remember an old Tilting at Windmills column where Hibbs said a ton of sales were from the kinds of graphic novels you mentioned, the evergreen titles that would always sell copies no matter how old they were (you could probably add something like Walking Dead v. 1 to that). And note those titles, they are not issues 52 to 57 of some ongoing series but some event or self contained story that someone could jump into easily or that would be recommended to someone new to comics. But when you can look up the price of that same book on your phone and see that amazon is (usually) selling it for much cheaper (sometimes cheaper than a retailer can even get it), I wonder how much that cuts into the impulse buy of a graphic novel/collection at a store.
Old 07-12-20, 10:20 AM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Yeah, it's amazing to me how big of a thing theft is on comic store margins (probably all margins but I'm sure comic store margins are tiny to begin with). I remember way back when I would frequent a small comic shop and the owner told me that kids, who he thought were hired by his competitor, would come in and steal stuff all the time, which seemed horrifying to me.

I remember an old Tilting at Windmills column where Hibbs said a ton of sales were from the kinds of graphic novels you mentioned, the evergreen titles that would always sell copies no matter how old they were (you could probably add something like Walking Dead v. 1 to that). And note those titles, they are not issues 52 to 57 of some ongoing series but some event or self contained story that someone could jump into easily or that would be recommended to someone new to comics. But when you can look up the price of that same book on your phone and see that amazon is (usually) selling it for much cheaper (sometimes cheaper than a retailer can even get it), I wonder how much that cuts into the impulse buy of a graphic novel/collection at a store.
The Amazon competition surely is affecting business, but most stores can every once in a while price match graphic novels and collections to their prices if they order smart. By this I mean that depending on the store they get between 50-70% discount on trades, so if Amazon is selling something at 20% off, most stores could price match without any issues. Then, stores needs to take advantage of the clearance sales Diamond does. I used to get tons of trades at between 85-95% off that Diamond was clearing out. Many of those trades are the same ones that have ended up at Ollies.
Old 07-19-20, 06:37 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

I don't understand these dipshits are putting people at risk running cons right now.

Old 07-20-20, 02:51 PM
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Re: Coronavirus: An "Extinction Level Event" for the Direct Market

I should be preparing for SDCC today
I'll check out the @HOME stuff but definitely not going to be the same. SDCC is like Summer Camp for me. Getting together with friends during that once a year thing. Catching up.
But it also means getting to walk 3,000+ miles in all of downtown and the convention center. I even bought some really good walking shoes for this year, back in December.
What REALLY sucks, is rather than just fighting the attendees for exclusives, now having to fight the entire world and BOTS.

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