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Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Time Event
Ill-conceived Saturday post
You know I hate to post on the weekend, but today's the only time I've had for a while with some free time and extended internet access, so there you have it.

First, a thing; admittedly a thing you might have already seen on Nate's blog, but a thing nonetheless:

Those of you who have been paying attention will know what this is.


Second, this is a week replete with great books shipping. The last two weeks have been something of a dry spot (save the new issue of Comic Foundry hitting and being great, as always), but this is kind of insane. I've mentioned before how I wish they would spread these things out a little bit, but this is kind of ridiculous:


I've already talked about these books, so I hope you were paying attention, because here they are.


Part the third, in which Benito answers your answers (re: this post):


I really don't buy enough comics to have a use for Previews. The only one I still get monthly, regrettably, is Invincible. I wish I could get more, but it gets to be kind of expensive after a while.

This is terrible. Basically the only way this answer could be worse is if you switched out "Invincible" for, say, "Mighty Avengers." Ten demerits.


I look through every page.

I've also tried to get others to do the same...meh. They all rely on word of mouth, and never seem to realize I was the mouth.

I know exactly where you're coming from.


I only look at previews when I have an excess of money, which hasn't been true for months. Generally I'm up to date on the creators I follow, so it doesn't matter. And if I miss something,I usually hear about it within a week or 2 of it coming out.

This probably works out okay for you, because I would wager not insubstantial money that the "creators you follow" are Bendis, Brubaker, and Johns. It's not hard to get what you want when your favorite pizza comes from Pasta Pizza Hut, I guess.


This guy right here buys and reads Previews. Incase you can't see through my computer monitor, I was pointing at Jody's post. I never buy previews and never use the codes. My LCS probably(Most likely) wouldn't even remember the shit I'd ask them to get anyways. I pretty much do what ChangingShades does.

This is the kind of thing I mean when I talk about not liking comics retailers. Why would a retailer turn down a guaranteed sale? If you came up and asked for a book, why wouldn't they order it for you? That is the worst customer service, and counter to basically every retail rule. Does your LCS not have a computer? It takes about 30 seconds to place a reorder on Diamond's website. You don't even need the order code, just the title. Or part of the title. Some letters in the title. If this continues to be a problem, I have some links for you: here or here.


Buying Previews would feel like buying a menu to me, its a catalog. You don't pay for catalogues!

Your retailer pays for that catalog. Those things are heavy, too. Freight on those books is immense. And it's not like buying a menu, unless a menu is completely 100% overhauled every month. Some retailers offer a discount on Previews for subscription customers; many offer them for free. Do you know your store's policy?

In another simile, routinely looking through previews would be like hanging out on a new car lot all the time. There's no point in taunting myself with nice things I can't afford.

How's GTA 4? Pretty good? Guitar Hero: Aerosmith: The Tour: The Game?


I read the Marvel supplement first so I can get the cussing out of the way.

Hahahah. Oh, Bob.

I like to be aware of the stuff that's out there. I also like to look at the other crap that's in it. If not for previews I might not know what my favorite cartoon characters look like in sexy poses and lingere.

You are aware of Previews' intrinsic value, yes.


I read comics news and talk to friends and colleagues in comics so I usually know what's coming out and ask my shop to pre-order such titles for me and they always have.

I read more comics news than pretty much anyone I know, and yet I never know exactly what's coming out from, say, Oni or Top Shelf or Fantagraphics or myriad other "back half" publishers until I'm holding the catalog in my hand. Obviously the premiere publishers put their solicitations online; do you have a source for smaller publishers that I don't know, or do you not concern yourself with them? (Not snark; I am sincerely asking.)


The idea that you have to PAY for a CATALOGUE strikes me as PROFOUNDLY RETARDED, so no. I don't look at it anymore.

Again, your retailer pays for it. Each copy costs them $3.25, plus the significant expense of shipping cases of heavy catalogs. That's a modestly hefty expense for you to expect your retailer to eat, especially considering the fairly dreary atmosphere surrounding the direct market.

I mean, fair enough and all; I'm just saying there's a reason you have to pay for it at some stores.


Sure, 90 to 95% of it is stuff that I'll never buy or read, but I think it's really important to know what's out there, and I've come to realize over the last three years that no matter how much internet "news" reading I do, I'm never getting the full picture.



P.S. Glad to have met you at Heroes, brother.

Great meeting you, too, Herc. Thanks again for the book.

(This part has nothing to do with Previews.)


I never buy Previews. I'm curious as to why you think it's important to pick up for a buyer?

Well, Mike, I'm glad you asked. And honestly, given your tastes and predilections when it comes to comics, I'm a little surprised that you don't see the value in it. Previews is literally the only way to know exactly what's coming into comics shops. The internet doesn't cover everything; the internet CAN'T cover everything, honestly. I would love to be able to tell you about every book that's hitting shelves; hell, I'd love to be able to tell you about every GOOD book, which decreases the load quite a bit. But I can't. I don't cover everything interesting or good in my Previews posts, I only cover the stuff I find it within my relatively meager budget to buy. I skip a lot of stuff that I think you personally would find very interesting. But again, maybe there's some site you and Piers go to that covers everything and I just don't know about it.

I don't really have any problem knowing what's coming out with the internet, and I have the benefit of basically being spoiled by a store in my city that has a wide selection of everything I'd want to buy (The Beguiling), including stuff not available in Previews so I rarely ever have to specially order things

Unfortunately, Mike, the sad fact is, not everyone has the luxury of access to one of the best retailers in North America. But, and I guarantee you this, even at a great store like The Beguiling, your retailer would appreciate knowing for sure what he should order and how many. A retailer can't know for sure unless his or her regular customers tell him/her via pre-orders. Especially since many publishers print their books basically to order, the retailer's pre-ordering process is a very risky venture. A retailer has no idea how many books to order without solid pre-orders from customers: order too many, and they're stuck with a shelf full of books that may not be returnable; they eat that expense. Order too few, a book goes out of print, they've lost customers or potential customers, possibly to the internet, possibly to another comic shop, possibly to Borders.

Additionally, think of this: let's presume you're a regular customer at your store. You have a subscription account, whatever. You want, let's say, Meathaus SOS (shipping this week). You did not pre-order it, because, hey, eff Previews, amirite? So your retailer did not order an additional copy for you because you didn't ask for one. So you snag the copy off the shelf, and suddenly there's no copy for the casual reader who walked in off the street. Bad for the customer, bad for the retailer, bad for the publisher. But, I mean, I guess you got your book, so...great, right?

This person:

I refuse to purchase the catalog and I fill out an order form in the store. My store has a little table set up and a stack of photocopied order forms for people who don't want to purchase the catalog. I do it every month.

This might be a decent alternative for those of you who are so prissy about buying a catalog. Worth asking your retailer about, anyway. I guarantee you that any retailer worth a shit is going to appreciate you reading Previews and ordering accordingly rather than not.


Okay, I think that covers everything. Sorry if I didn't reply to one of your answers. That probably just means I either agreed with you or felt I had covered the territory already.

Regardless of how uninformed your opinion on comics or Previews is, I probably still love you anyway.

(Not AAlgar. Sorry.)

Ciao, ragazzi.

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