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DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

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DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Old 07-05-20, 09:47 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Fuck variant covers. I stopped playing that game a decade ago.
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Old 07-05-20, 09:57 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by TheBang View Post
Fuck variant covers. I stopped playing that game a decade ago.
Yup. They just help further turn this niche hobby even more niche.

How about make all the covers available to everyone? So everyone can has a chance to get them?

I remember Marvel and DC giving the regular copies crappy covers, and then putting the good covers as rare variants that were immediately sold behind the counter for $20 and up. I just didnít buy the issue at all.

I did manage to get some once-rare Adam Hughes variant cover issues in a .50 cent bin years later. I think it was JSA Classified. Good job DC!
Old 07-05-20, 10:46 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

I don't mind incentive variant covers unless they have a convoluted way of getting them, like the Three Jokers bullshit. For years now, Marvel has had a similar bullshit way of getting some variants too. For example, in order to get hip hop cover variant for a Squirrel Girl issue, they would required that you order 125% more copies of the regular cover of that issue than you had ordered from an Amazing Spider-Man book. Basically, they used this to pump the sales of low selling titles by attaching them to an unrelated high selling title. No fucking sense at all and to this day Marvel still does this for many of their variant books.
Old 07-05-20, 11:54 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
Didn't take long for DC, DCBS and Midtown to screw smaller LCS. The most anticipated book over the past 4 years has been The Three Jokers. This spawned from the big reveal in Justice League #50 (N52) and then the Rebirth special, with small teases here and there. In a move even artist Jason Fabok doesn't like at all, DC has made 7-8 covers per each issues of this mini-series. And this is where things not only get confusing, but they clearly benefit big LCS like Midtown and DCBS while fucking every small LCS in the ass.

So there are 3 issues in this mini-series. Each issue will have 7-8 covers, something that still is not 100% clear to retailers.




Each cover is drawn by Jason Fabok. The way it has been explained to retailers is that the 2 books on the left side of the chart here are the regular cover and the variant cover. Then, each issue will have 3 different premium variants. To get these variants, stores have to order a minimum of 50 copies of each cover. So cover A and B have no minimum, C,D & E have a 50 copies minimum of each cover and then there's cover F which is a 1:25 and cover G which is 1:100. That goes for every issues, which retails for $7 each. But that's not all. Stores that order 50 copies of each premium variant of each issue will get 1 variant at the end of the series. That variant turns to be basically a 1:450 one. So who benefits from this shit? Midtown and DCBS of course.

My LCS politely informed me that they won't be able to order any of the premium variants as is not financially feasible for them, which I understand completely. I already placed an order with another big retailer friend of mine who will get them, but not everyone I know has this luxury. Collectors many LCS will have to go to other stores like Midtown and DCBS to be able to get a complete set of these covers. This will certainly bring extra money (and new customers) to these bigger retailers while leaving the smaller ones high and dry.
I don't know much about variant covers, but isn't this pretty much how marvel does their variant covers? I remember LCS's buying stuff in bulk just to get the variant covers to sell for some issues.

How did DC do variant covers in the past?
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Old 07-06-20, 02:10 AM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

You can blame retailers for jumping though hoops to get Marvel variants. If they decided not to play the game, Marvel would have stopped their variant program long ago. But since retailers bent over backwards to get these covers, Marvel continued with it. I don't blame DC for finally taking a bite from the Marvel apple.
Old 07-06-20, 08:24 AM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
You can blame retailers for jumping though hoops to get Marvel variants. If they decided not to play the game, Marvel would have stopped their variant program long ago. But since retailers bent over backwards to get these covers, Marvel continued with it. I don't blame DC for finally taking a bite from the Marvel apple.
Yup, order a bunch of copies, flip a variant on eBay that week for $500. Just feeding off each other at that point.
Old 07-06-20, 10:51 AM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I don't know much about variant covers, but isn't this pretty much how marvel does their variant covers? I remember LCS's buying stuff in bulk just to get the variant covers to sell for some issues.

How did DC do variant covers in the past?
Like I explained on my previous post, Marvel has 3 ways of doing variants. The regular ratio ones (1:10, 1:15, 1:25, 1:50, etc.), the store exclusive one (minimum order of 3000 copies) and the % one, which is basically requiring to buy between 80-150% copies of the regular cover of an issue based on the previous purchase of an unrelated title. Most stores will do the ratio variants to a point they can afford, but most stores have stopped playing the game for the %variants, even though Marvel insist on doing them. Right now, bigger retailers are the ones doing the store exclusive variants and playing the game with the % ones, but even some of them like Coliseum of Comics and Ultimate Comics have stopped as they weren't doing good business by jumping through hoops to get them.

DC on the other hand only did ratio variants until the 4th year of the New 52. Around that time, DC decided to do theme variants for their books, so retailers could order without any restrictions regular covers and a themed variant (Neal Adams month, Darwyn Cooke month, Mad Magazine month, Lego month, Batman 75th anniversary variant month, etc). There were a few exceptions, like for example the He-Man books, which had 1:25 variant covers and store exclusive ones. Also the Batman/TMNT first series and animated crossover had 1:50 variant covers and store exclusive ones. When Rebirth arrived, they did a 1:100 variant for the first printing of the book but after that they went to the 2 covers per book, cover A considered the regular cover and cover B considered the variant. They allowed for store exclusives of some of these #1 reboots, with a minimum order of 3000 copies per store. Around the beginning of 2018, DC started doing cover A for the regular cover and the B cover would be either a almost virgin cover or an almost virgin cover with glossy stock paper. Those with better cover paper had a higher price tag of $1 or $2 more than the regular cover. They also started doing some ratio variants for books like Batman #50 and the first 7 issues of Justice League. They also started doing store exclusives with random books, like Action Comics #1000, Batman #50, Detective Comics #1000 and foil covers of random books that are convention exclusives.

After Didio got fired back in March, DC decided to go back to the ratio variants with the 1:25 Batman 92 and 93. The reception was good so now they are doing the same for Legion of Superheroes 7.

Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
You can blame retailers for jumping though hoops to get Marvel variants. If they decided not to play the game, Marvel would have stopped their variant program long ago. But since retailers bent over backwards to get these covers, Marvel continued with it. I don't blame DC for finally taking a bite from the Marvel apple.
In reality, Marvel is doing this no matter what. From the retailer's summit I've been to, Marvel has basically told every LCS that they are not changing their business model. This meant 4 things:
1- They will continue releasing the same amount of books and series, no matter what sales are.
2- Marvel will continue to release trades based on at least 5 issue storyarcs for all titles.
3- Marvel will continue the variants program, doesn't matter if only few stores take advantage of it.
4- Marvel will continue pushing diversity throughout their books and brands.

The only one I agree with is with #4 as it has made the company grow popularity-wise and set the table for the future. Two of the biggest hits Marvel has had for their diversity have been Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (centered around Miles Morales) and the upcoming Avengers video game (centered around Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel). The other 3, they won't change because they want to keep their market share and they see it as real state in shops. Their ideal scenario is to have all Marvel books take up all the shelf space at stores. At the same time, they see their release output as giving new artists and writers the opportunity to work with B, C and D-list characters and keep them in people's mind.

Originally Posted by stingermck View Post
Yup, order a bunch of copies, flip a variant on eBay that week for $500. Just feeding off each other at that point.
The reason some of the variants sell for $500 is because not many stores got them. The stores that can afford to do this are few but the stores that can't afford this but place orders anyway have gone out of business over the past 5 years. I know of 3 stores in my area that decided to play this variant game and lost.
Old 07-06-20, 11:05 AM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

I agree that diversity is a good thing and Ms. Marvel is a great step in that direction, but I'd hesitate to call the new Avengers game a hit before it even comes out and while Kamala is in it, if it is a hit it won't be because of her... how did those Marvel Rising shorts do? I assume not that great since we stopped getting them, but I liked them.

Back to variants, I guess my question is, did DC do this because of the switch away from Diamond or were they doing this anyway? I agree it screws the smaller retailer but it seems like that was already happening with Marvel and has nothing to do with DCBS and company.
Old 07-06-20, 11:34 AM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
For example, in order to get hip hop cover variant for a Squirrel Girl issue, they would required that you order 125% more copies of the regular cover of that issue than you had ordered from an Amazing Spider-Man book.
If I were a retailer, and somebody wanted a variant cover, I'd let them buy one on the condition that they also bought all of the books I needed in order to get one.

So, yeah, I'll you that Squirrel Girl Hip-Hop Variant, but you'll have to buy twenty-five copies (or however many I need to order) in order to get it.

You want that 1:100 Batman #xyz variant? Well, you'll have to buy 100 copies of Batman #xyz.

And I would sell them the variant at cover price, but they would still need to buy all of the copies I needed to buy to get it. I might even offer a discount, like 20% off all of those duplicate copes, in that case. Oh, and they would need to pre-pay, as I don't want to get stuck with all of those copies of some book I can't sell.

Do any retailers do this?
Old 07-06-20, 11:51 AM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
If I were a retailer, and somebody wanted a variant cover, I'd let them buy one on the condition that they also bought all of the books I needed in order to get one.

So, yeah, I'll you that Squirrel Girl Hip-Hop Variant, but you'll have to buy twenty-five copies (or however many I need to order) in order to get it.

You want that 1:100 Batman #xyz variant? Well, you'll have to buy 100 copies of Batman #xyz.

And I would sell them the variant at cover price, but they would still need to buy all of the copies I needed to buy to get it. I might even offer a discount, like 20% off all of those duplicate copes, in that case. Oh, and they would need to pre-pay, as I don't want to get stuck with all of those copies of some book I can't sell.

Do any retailers do this?
I think that's a little too complicated. Most just sell the variant for enough money that they make up the cost (for instance I think DCBS lets you order variant covers but they're really expensive, I'm sure that's their cost for buying those extra comics they probably can't get rid of). The risk is if you can't sell it, but that's where you allow people to preorder and pay up front.

The hard part is that because it's months in advance, sometimes you don't even have the art yet.

It makes sense for DC and Marvel to push these, though. These are basically pushing comics as a collectible which is really one of the last remaining reasons to buy comics and not wait for the trade or go digital (or do other unsavory things). I've said it before but it's such a waste, you could basically have a blank comic in there with the cover and nobody would know for years. Of course, if that's your thing, go for it, it props up the industry. I'd just think you'd get a bit more maybe spending to commission a unique piece from your favorite artist or something.
Old 07-06-20, 01:54 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Back to variants, I guess my question is, did DC do this because of the switch away from Diamond or were they doing this anyway? I agree it screws the smaller retailer but it seems like that was already happening with Marvel and has nothing to do with DCBS and company.
The change was done by DC after they broke up with Diamond. Just because Marvel does it doesn't mean that DC doing the same right now is ok. And not only that, DC took the Marvel % formula and exploited it by 1000.

Something I need to add is that as of now, DC only broke with Diamond in the US. In the UK, they are still the sole DC distributor and will have the same requirements for this Three Jokers variant books.

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
If I were a retailer, and somebody wanted a variant cover, I'd let them buy one on the condition that they also bought all of the books I needed in order to get one.

So, yeah, I'll you that Squirrel Girl Hip-Hop Variant, but you'll have to buy twenty-five copies (or however many I need to order) in order to get it.

You want that 1:100 Batman #xyz variant? Well, you'll have to buy 100 copies of Batman #xyz.

And I would sell them the variant at cover price, but they would still need to buy all of the copies I needed to buy to get it. I might even offer a discount, like 20% off all of those duplicate copes, in that case. Oh, and they would need to pre-pay, as I don't want to get stuck with all of those copies of some book I can't sell.

Do any retailers do this?
Yes, there are retailers who are willing to do this if 1- they trust the customer or 2-the customer is willing to pay for those books in advance. I actually do this with my LCS as they get me the 1:10 TMNT variants and I buy 2 extra copies of each cover to cover the cost.

Still, most retailers sell those variants based on demand or ratio to cover the cost of the extra books they are buying. For example, a store that buys 25 copies of He-Man to get the 1:25 variant will most likely sell the book at the store for $25. If the book already has a buzz and may be in high demand, they'll sell it for what market (ebay) average dictates.

When Rebirth one-shot was released, I ordered 600 copies of the book, so I had in hand 6 copies of the 1:100 variant. Weeks before the book had come in, customers where asking for it and 5 of them were basically willing to pay anything for it. I checked ebay sales and at that moment the book was selling between $150-$250 with a couple of sales as high as $280. I priced the books at $250 and all 5 customers agreed to pay that amount, which also gave $20 off their next purchase at the store. I kept a book for myself.

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I think that's a little too complicated. Most just sell the variant for enough money that they make up the cost (for instance I think DCBS lets you order variant covers but they're really expensive, I'm sure that's their cost for buying those extra comics they probably can't get rid of). The risk is if you can't sell it, but that's where you allow people to preorder and pay up front.

The hard part is that because it's months in advance, sometimes you don't even have the art yet.

It makes sense for DC and Marvel to push these, though. These are basically pushing comics as a collectible which is really one of the last remaining reasons to buy comics and not wait for the trade or go digital (or do other unsavory things). I've said it before but it's such a waste, you could basically have a blank comic in there with the cover and nobody would know for years. Of course, if that's your thing, go for it, it props up the industry. I'd just think you'd get a bit more maybe spending to commission a unique piece from your favorite artist or something.
This is something the industry in general needs to fix. I hate when Marvel/DC/IDW/etc, solicit a variant but doesn't tell retailers who is the artist or show the cover. Even worse, is when they solicit a book and promote it with an Alex Ross cover and then when time comes to get the book, they announce that the Ross cover is actually a 1:50 variant and the regular cover is something else.
Old 07-06-20, 01:58 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Geez, 250 bucks for a variant cover? I'm curious, how much does it go for now?
Old 07-06-20, 02:17 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Geez, 250 bucks for a variant cover? I'm curious, how much does it go for now?
between $.99 and $10. Of all covers, the one actually selling now is the 4th print of that books that goes for around $60.

The whole variant cover is a huge gamble for both the retailers and the customers.
Old 07-06-20, 04:26 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
In reality, Marvel is doing this no matter what. From the retailer's summit I've been to, Marvel has basically told every LCS that they are not changing their business model. This meant 4 things:
1- They will continue releasing the same amount of books and series, no matter what sales are.
2- Marvel will continue to release trades based on at least 5 issue storyarcs for all titles.
3- Marvel will continue the variants program, doesn't matter if only few stores take advantage of it.
4- Marvel will continue pushing diversity throughout their books and brands.
Marvel has said a lot of things in the past but the second the dollars stop rolling in, they put a stop to it. Some of the above have been adjusted more than once. IMO, if there was a unified front from retailers early on, the variant program would have been nipped in the bud or at the very least, adjusted it to be more reasonable.

When Marvel did their Legacy lenticular variants, they added more rules to the ordering process. A number of retailers revolted against Marvel and refused to order any of the lenticular covers citing the “meet or exceed” ordering requirement and the resulting overstock of the regular covers. After ending up with a "warehouse full" of extra lenticular covers, Marvel revised the ordering process to make it "easier" to get the variants. The comic stores that went all in the first go-around complained so Marvel kiboshed that quick.

At the last convention I went to (in the Before Times), several booths had the Marvel lenticulars for $1 each.

What the math looked like:

To simplify things, we order 15 copies of Invincible Iron Man, in order to qualify for the lenticular covers, we need to order an additional 15 copies, then we can order as many copies of the lenticular cover as we want (although at a lower discount).Let’s say 5 people want the lenticular cover instead of the regular cover, we would have 20 extra copies (15+15 extras + 5 lenticular=35 copies, we have pre-orders for 15, meaning we are left with 20).

Titles like Amazing Spider-Man which are higher selling, also have minimums. If you regularly sell 37 copies of Amazing Spider-Man and need to order 125%, that’s an additional 11 copies just to qualify for the new ones. If 1/3 of the people who get Amazing Spider-Man opt for the lenticular covers (that’s the same math as I used for Iron Man above) that is an additional 12 lenticular covers we need to order, putting our order at 22 copies more than we would normally order.

That’s an additional 42 copies of just two comics – multiply variations of that scenario across 29 titles, and you have hundreds of extra copies that will likely go unsold.

Even in cases where we need to order 100% of the qualifying title (Cable where we need to order 10 copies to qualify), we would be left with unsold copies of the non-lenticular cover.

Marvel is doing this with 29 titles. Potentially leaving us with 100’s of unsold comics with 0 returnability, a lower discount, and a ton of money laid out for no extra return.

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Old 07-10-20, 11:31 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

My best variant cover buy is when I ordered the Sienkiewicz cover of Warren Ellis' Moon Knight #1 series. It was solicited like this:

https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog/JAN140640

But it turned out to be a 1:75 of this gorgeous painted cover:

Rare Comics - Moon Knight #1 1:75:

I bought it for $40 through DCBS. I didn't buy it for speculation purposes; I just really like Sienkiewicz on Moon Knight. That issue now regularly sells for $500+ ungraded on eBay, and $2000 or more for a high grade CGC copy.
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Old 08-04-20, 09:03 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

So here is where the bullshit and the conflict of interest lies with these 2 new exclusive DC distributors. Wonder Woman 759 came out last week and it went up in value around Wednesday afternoon. Several stores claim shortages or damages like it always happens in this business the Monday when they received the DC books. UCS said that they were sold out and didn't have replacements so they would credit the stores. Now Midtown, who owns UCS, seems to have plenty of the Wonder Woman book and are selling them for $15. First, they left LCS hanging with damaged or no books whatsoever, then claimed they run out of them and now they are selling them for a pretty good profit. But yeah, this move from Diamond was going to save the industry.

https://www.midtowncomics.com/product/1932857
Old 08-04-20, 09:09 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
So here is where the bullshit and the conflict of interest lies with these 2 new exclusive DC distributors. Wonder Woman 759 came out last week and it went up in value around Wednesday afternoon. Several stores claim shortages or damages like it always happens in this business the Monday when they received the DC books. UCS said that they were sold out and didn't have replacements so they would credit the stores. Now Midtown, who owns UCS, seems to have plenty of the Wonder Woman book and are selling them for $15. First, they left LCS hanging with damaged or no books whatsoever, then claimed they run out of them and now they are selling them for a pretty good profit. But yeah, this move from Diamond was going to save the industry.

https://www.midtowncomics.com/product/1932857
It might be (and I would think that) they purchased the books like any other store as far as allocations go, and just because they're the distributor they don't feel like they need to distribute books that they purchased themselves. I can understand that. However because of their position this will naturally raise eyebrows, even something as simple as whether they got first pick on which to keep and which to distribute, let alone keeping the "extras."
Old 08-04-20, 09:48 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by Red Hood View Post
So here is where the bullshit and the conflict of interest lies with these 2 new exclusive DC distributors. Wonder Woman 759 came out last week and it went up in value around Wednesday afternoon. Several stores claim shortages or damages like it always happens in this business the Monday when they received the DC books. UCS said that they were sold out and didn't have replacements so they would credit the stores. Now Midtown, who owns UCS, seems to have plenty of the Wonder Woman book and are selling them for $15. First, they left LCS hanging with damaged or no books whatsoever, then claimed they run out of them and now they are selling them for a pretty good profit. But yeah, this move from Diamond was going to save the industry.

https://www.midtowncomics.com/product/1932857
Anything special about issue 759?
Old 08-04-20, 10:36 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by ddrknghtrtns View Post
Anything special about issue 759?
Just speculation of a first appearance of a character named Liar Liar. Book has been selling between $10-$20 on ebay.
Old 08-04-20, 10:40 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

I also forgot to add that last week UCS-Midtown decided that from then on, LCS issues such as shortages, damages or reorders can only be done through their dealer sales page and that they are effectively discontinuing their availability through phone. So basically, every dealer is at the mercy of their generic customer service and donít have a dedicated company rep like Diamond does for each LCS account.
Old 08-05-20, 08:14 AM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Damn, if I was a retailer, I'd be switching over to DCBS (Lunar, isn't it called?) pronto.
Old 08-05-20, 09:45 AM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Damn, if I was a retailer, I'd be switching over to DCBS (Lunar, isn't it called?) pronto.
They are pulling similar crap, but the main issue of switching for stores in the east coast is the shipping costs. If these stores switched, the shipping costs will them lose money buying DC books. That's why this move that DC pulled was just taking the monopoly from one place to another. There's no real competition and worst of all, the distributors are the 1 and 2 biggest comic book retailers in the world.
Old 08-05-20, 12:01 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Got my copy of WW, but I also sub to it.
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Old 08-10-20, 07:40 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Warner Bros. is leading an absolute bloodbath at DC Comics right now.

Lots of big names have been shitcanned or demoted, and they've shut down DC Collectibles.

Last edited by Josh-da-man; 08-10-20 at 07:46 PM.
Old 08-10-20, 07:50 PM
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Re: DC Comics Cuts Ties with Diamond

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Warner Bros. is leading an absolute bloodbath at DC Comics right now.

Lots of big names have been shitcanned or demoted, and they've shut down DC Collectibles.
Hearing similar stories. One of the names I heard got fired is Bob Harras.

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