Thursday, January 26, 2006

Breaking News on DC's "52"

Ok, I just received the "official memo" with a few details on the upcoming DC epic to follow Infinite Crisis: "52" Here it is, copied & pasted (I took out some non-essential retailer info that you all won't care about), followed by a few comments of my own.



On May 10, DC Comics presents one of the most eagerly anticipated new debuts of the year: 52: WEEK 1, the first issue of the incredible weekly DCU series written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid with layouts by Keith Giffen and covers by J.G. Jones.

And if 52 wasn't exciting enough already, each issue will be priced at the special, low price of $2.50 U.S.

The first four issues will feature art by Joe Bennett & Ruy Jose. In addition, beginning with WEEK 2, the series will include the 10-part back-up feature "The History of the DC Universe," written and pencilled by Dan Jurgens with inks by Art Thibert.

"This is one of the most extraordinary and challenging projects ever to come from DC Comics," says Dan DiDio, Senior VP - Executive Editor, DCU. "We are the only publisher that has the ability to deliver quality and excitement like this on a weekly basis."

"We've been working with Diamond and the retail community to help retailers stock 52 appropriately and to make it an event that will bring fans into comics shops each and every week," says Bob Wayne, DC's VP - Sales. "With that in mind, we will not collect or reprint any chapter of 52 until the final issue is published in 2007."

There you go, the offical word from DC on "52." What do I think? Well, I like the idea. It is an interesting way to continue to capitalize on the momentum of Infinite Crisis and hopefully it will continue to keep folks interested. Here at my store we have definately seen an increase in DC readership, and DC usually outsells Marvel here on a weekly basis. The "history" series is a great way to bring in new readers too--many people fear getting too into DC because the long stream of continuity makes them feel like they can't jump in without getting lost. Hopefully DC will do this right and make these a great way to bring new readers into the DCU stories. I think the $2.50 price is good--less than the $3.99 I.C. issues, but better for retailers than a $.99 book would be in terms of profit per book.

As far as waiting for the trade until the series is over... I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, it helps sell the individual issues - people can't use that excuse of waiting for the trade. So, it should bring in a steady stream of customers week after week. However, the immensity of this series should prove very tricky to inventory. We will order LOTS, so they will hopefull last a while, but each week a new stack of them will come out, making the shelving of them very tricky! On the other hand, there are people who only buy items in trade, for a variety of reasons. So, they might get "stuck" being left out of one of the biggest DCU stories because they will have to wait a year to read them. A few will just give up and buy this one thing in single issue form. The others won't. So, either they will just stop reading or they will focus on other stories while they patiently wait for the year to go by.

Stay tuned - I will share other updates as they become available.

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