The frontline in this fall’s comic book war
Zack Overton knows what's on Oxford Comics customers' minds.
September 12th, 2011
09:46 AM ET

The frontline in this fall’s comic book war

Editor’s Note: You know that deep conversation you have with the purveyor of your local comic book shop? The one where you have incredulous questions about what comic book publishers, artists and writers were possibly thinking, and the clerk gives you a Yoda-like lowdown that brings everything into focus? Those conversations are a more accurate litmus test of the comic book industry than any corporate interview will ever reveal, so that’s why Geek Out! is going straight to the brick-and-mortar source.

DC Comics is taking 52 of their superhero titles back to number one. Marvel Comics won’t take that lying down, so they’re turning the clock back on fan favorite “Uncanny X-Men” and then upping the ante by offering to reward comic book show owners who destroy DC comic books.

This war is not over, and it is not a clean fight. Zack Overton knows it, and as the clerk at Atlanta, Georgia’s Oxford Comics, he knows which books to recommend for you, your friend, your sister, your dad, and anyone else you might be shopping for this fall.

We sat down with him to talk about the current state of the comics industry and how the staff and customers of his little brick and mortar are reacting to the latest buzz. Specifically, Overton told us how comic book buyers are actually reacting to DC Comic’s plan to start 52 of their superhero comic books back at issue number one, rival publisher Marvel’s tit-for-tat and alternative publishers. Here’s what he had to say:

CNN: DC’s universe-wide “New 52” reboot is getting the most publicity out of all the events announced for this coming fall. What is your reaction to this New 52? Do you expect this to drive sales your way?

Zack Overton: That’s exactly it. There are 52 new "#1" issues. Anyone that works at a comic shop will tell you, a "#1" always sells the best. Sometimes it takes a little while for a book to get going, then people will come back clawing for it. Sales for new first issues are usually the highest, though, and numbers tend to drop from there.

What’s also exciting about DC’s “New 52”, to me, is that many characters will be getting completely new origins and we’ll be getting a completely different look at that character. There won’t be any heavy, established history you’ll need to know about these characters before diving in. It’s a clean slate. It’s the perfect jumping-on point, which is exciting to me, but you also have to look at it from the perspective of a long-time customer who has been giving DC their money since they were six. These guys are in their late 30’s, into their 40’s, and some of them are furious. They’ve been reading these books for a long time, several decades, and they’ve just been told that everything they knew and loved doesn’t matter anymore.

A lot of customers have asked to have DC taken off their pull list as a result. On the other hand, a lot of people have asked us to suddenly add DC to their pull list. It’s sparked a lot of interest and I think a lot of people are going to end up buying more books than normal, which is exactly DC’s goal. It may upset a lot of people, but I think that, in the end, a lot of people will be lured in by their curiosity.

CNN: One of the most controversial characters in this whole announcement and build-up has been Superman. “Action Comics,” a consistent release since 1938 that featured his first appearance, is going to start over with a new #1 issue. How have your customers reacted to that news?

Overton: There are definitely collectors who complain that “Action Comics” is getting rebooted. They take offense at the dismissal of that legacy. I say to them, “Yeah, but would you dare miss any new issue of ‘Action Comics,’ even if it starts over?” No, they wouldn’t. That’s the answer, and that’s what DC is hoping for. I couldn't care less, but I think it’s a good financial decision. I think it’ll sell really well.

Some people are really looking forward to Grant Morrison’s take on a young Superman. He's really hit-or-miss for me. Some of his stuff has been unique, different, well written. Other things have been haphazard and carelessly placed in hopes that someone else will come along behind him and pick up the pieces, almost as if he didn’t have a genuine direction planned.

He just knew that, eventually, he wanted to get to a certain point and if it didn’t get there in a way that’s popular or that makes sense, “Oh, well.” He’s getting paid anyway. I hope his Superman will at least be unique and different. Traditionally, Superman does not sell well until there’s some big event. In those cases, he’ll spike and then immediately drop. He's been so stale and boring for so long that any new, different direction they take Superman is a better direction for that character, as far as I’m concerned.

CNN: What are some of the books you're most looking forward to with DC's “New 52?” Do you think this is a good decision, creatively?

Overton: Certain titles I was picking up from DC have been cancelled. Those characters are not coming back. That really upsets me. At San Diego Comic-Con, people were lining up to ask the editors, writers and artists, "This character is one of my favorites and I know they're not in the spotlight right now, so what are the chances of them ever coming back in this ‘New 52?’" There's no definite answer yet, because the teams haven't mapped that far ahead or, even if they have, they aren't allowed to talk about it. Some characters like Power Girl will still be around, but they've been stripped of their powers and are just the supporting cast to a different hero. That's upset a lot of readers, myself included.

I typically bring home thirty DC titles every month. I know for a fact that ten of those that I loved are now gone. Some of the ones that are returning have all-new creative teams attached to them instead of the original names I enjoyed reading, and a lot of them feature an entirely different roster of characters anyway. Personally, I have no incentive to pick up those books. I'm always willing to give a new book a chance, but with some of these I just do not care about the characters.

Believe it or not, one of the books that I'm most looking forward to is Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis's “Aquaman.” I don't think I'd ever have picked up that book before now. I'm really excited about it. They're going above and beyond, as Geoff Jonhs usually does. When he and Reis tackled “Aquaman” briefly in their “Brightest Day” event, they were even exploring avenues of that hero that had never been seen before.

That's what they're doing with this new title, they're introducing a sense of humor into this character and his world. He gets no respect, but he deals with it. It's the old gag, you know. He talks to fish. He's got super strength and super density to survive in deep water, but he mainly talks to fish. One of my coworkers would always argue that Aquaman was a great character, and I'd ask him, "Okay, what are his cool powers? Why is he a cool character?" He'd reply, "Well, he's a prince, he's rich, he's blonde..."

CNN: How has Marvel been responding to DC's media prominence following their “New 52” announcement? Who do you think is coming out on top right now?

Overton: Traditionally, for years, Marvel's stable of books have outsold DC—at least in our store. DC's flagship titles like “Batman” and “Green Lantern”, however, regularly outsell the bigger Marvel books. It's fairly mixed.

Marvel's retaliation to DC's current universe-wide event, “Flashpoint”, which is leading directly into the “New 52”, has been to say to retailers, "Got any Flashpoint books you can't sell? Well, if you're willing to strip the covers off of those books and send them directly to us, we're going to give you a shipment of Marvel issues with rare variant covers that'll sell for more than any of those DC books."

I think this is great for store owners and anyone who has this opportunity. This isn't anything new for Marvel, either. Last year was DC's hugely popular “Blackest Night” event. Marvel decided to combat that with a similar exchange program that featured a special “Deadpool”-focused variant cover drawn by J. Scott Campbell. It sold for a lot of money, so it was definitely in our favor.

CNN: What are some Marvel events you're looking forward to this fall? How are they planning on counteracting DC's big reboot with their established universe and characters?

Overton: Marvel's big storyline right now has been “Fear Itself”. Some ancient, forgotten Norse gods have returned and are drafting and transforming some Marvel villains, heroes and anti-heroes into agents of fear and destruction. I was really excited by that. I really liked the initial premise, but so far everything has been a little too easy for the heroes to handle. That will be ending in another two months, right when DC's “New 52” will be released and ramping up.

Marvel's also relaunching “Uncanny X-Men”, one of their longest-running titles, with an all-new #1. They're dividing the X-Men team into two main books; “Uncanny” and then “Wolverine and the X-Men” #1. I almost wish they'd called it something else, because “Uncanny”, which is lead by Cyclops, isn't being called "Cyclops and the X-Men." They're just blatantly cashing in on the immediately recognizable name, which is no big surprise.

The bigger event that I'm excited about is Dan Slott's “Spider-Island” storyline. That just started this month and, at first, I wasn't looking forward to it. It screamed "Return of the Clone Saga." A lot of fans want to forget about that old storyline entirely.

“Spider-Island” is a completely different beast, though. Dan Slott is completely in-control, and he's great. I know fans have had a bad taste in their mouths with Spidey ever since Joe Quesada stuck his nose in and ruined everything a couple of years ago. I dropped it immediately, but Dan Slott brought me right back. His humor and his love for the character of Peter Parker/Spider-Man shines through every time he's at the helm. He knows this should be fun, and people have fun reading it. I certainly do. It's a breath of fresh air next to all these books that are taking themselves way too seriously and trying to sell themselves on shock value.

CNN: DC is about to begin same-day digital sales with their New 52, meaning that new titles will be made available for download on the same day that they’re placed on the rack at comic shops. Marvel followed soon after with a similar announcement for some of their books. As a comics retailer, do you think this might have a negative affect on your store's sales?

Overton: We like to hope not. What we’ve seen with digital downloads, traditionally, is that they cause a lot of people to start coming in to the store who normally wouldn’t walk through our doors. They say, “Hey, I got this free download. I read the first issue and loved it, so I want to own the book.”

This is different, but it might still work in our favor. These downloads are being made available online for the same price that we're asking, at release, so I think a lot of people are going to end up preferring to own physical copies of the books. Someone might download an issue of something that’s a few months old for the reduced price of $1.99, love it, and then come into our store to buy the graphic novel. We’re hoping it’ll drive both interest and sales, but we’re not sure how it’s going to affect our business.

CNN: How are publishers responding to those shops that might be concerned about their business in light of this new digital delivery method? Is there a conversation taking place between these companies and comic shops?

Overton: DC is taking a great stance and displaying a great confidence in their own books – so much so that they’re going as far as to allow store clerks to return copies of books that don’t sell. We're still responsible for 10%, but a 10% loss compared to a 100% loss is still great. They're looking out for us in that fashion. It also signifies to us that we should take a bigger gamble and have faith in DC.

There are a few books DC is not willing to compensate for, but those books are a given that we should feel confident about such as Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and Justice League. Those titles we cannot return, but for the other, smaller books that don't have that immediate, assumed audience, this allows us to take a bigger gamble. Personally, as a customer and as a store clerk, I know that there's nothing more frustrating than popping into a comic book store on release day and find that the book is sold out. I can't stand it.

CNN: What about alternative publishers outside of "the big two?" Are there any events coming out of the smaller publishers like Boom, IDW or Dark Horse?

Overton: I can't think of anything that I'm personally excited about. I feel like they're probably taking a step back and letting DC and Marvel duke it out for the major media attention this fall. That’s actually a big reason to like the other, alternative guys in comparison. They never do these major, headline-grabbing events just for the sake of making headlines. They're the ones telling the consistently strong, powerful stories that actually resonate and mean something.

I love, love, love IDW's “Locke & Key”. It's the first issue I pick up when I get home. I just devour it. I'm disappointed because it's coming to an end within the next year, but it's going to be great because you know he's got a clear direction of where this story is going and how it'll end. He's not going to have a rug yanked out from under him with a shoehorned ending.

CNN: As a veteran of many seasonal events and game-changing bomb drops from the major publishers, what do you think the rest of the year is going to look like for you and for other retail shops in light of this year's big announcements?

Overton: I think the “New 52” will be very successful, at least for our store. I can't speak for other stores. Looking down the line, it's harder to say. I know that, if they keep up the quality and content of these books, they'll continue to prosper.

They just have to stand behind a quality product and not be afraid to tell everyone just how good the book is. I feel like the major companies are way too eager to just drop a great book based on dwindling sales and pretend it never existed. Other books that have major characters in weak stories, ones most people just aren't willing to read, I think, are unfairly cushioned from dropping sales. DC and Marvel are way too determined to just shove those books and characters down our throats.

Take” Deadpool”, for instance. There's not a lot of incentive or reward to keep picking up “Deadpool”. He should be the curveball in a straightforward universe, that's when he works best, but now he's everywhere all the time and it's just too much. He has a fan following, certainly, but they embraced his popularity by plugging him into a million titles, places where he wasn't a natural fit. They shoved him down our throats and now his books are dropping in popularity.

The only book that he's good in right now is “X-Force”; he's a heavy hitter there, but not every page is a Deadpool joke. He plays off the other characters and functions in the team in a way that actually makes him matter. He even gets a few rare moments where he provides insight or says something that makes him the sane one for a brief moment, and I like that. When you can make Deadpool sympathetic and relatable, I think you're succeeding.

soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. chile abuse prevention

    Someone essentially assist to make seriously articles I'd state. That is the very first time I frequented your web page and up to now? I amazed with the analysis you made to make this actual put up amazing. Magnificent activity!

    April 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  2. plus de facebook likes

    Pretty nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I've truly enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing for your rss feed and I am hoping you write once more soon!

    April 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  3. Skyjoe

    DC finally wised up and realized that their characters, however great they've been and however great their legacy has been – were losing major ground to Marvel's characters. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern – these characters are dying a slow death. Rebooting them and truly making newer, fresher, relevant stories could help. I'd say that out of the 52 new titles – 12-15 are gonna stick. The rest will be folded into other books or cancelled altogether and DC will end up having an even smaller market share from which – if the 12-15 remaining books are good – could end up growing over time. DC would also be wise to go out there and outright buy some other characters – like the Image characters and fold them into this new DC universe. Marvel properties, fueled by their Movies and Disney's marketing – are going to reign over the next 10-20 years. Warner Bros is hurting and while the next batman & Superman movies might do well – they have little else to compare with IronMan,C.America,Thor,XMEN or The Avengers. Reboot or die.

    September 14, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • KajinPL

      I can concur.

      September 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  4. robert

    this is dumb. we have to experience the intro of all these characters over again? with all the movies, tv shows, cartoons, and comics. i will not buy the same story told over and over and over again. superman vs. lex luther is or batman vs. the joker is not what I want. Are there people that want this recycled story....again?

    September 13, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  5. Kamensence

    Sorry can't catch 'em all.

    I started collecting comics in 1991 and stopped about 4 years later. But now in 2011 I found a reason to start collecting again. But that reason fell like a deck of cards when I started to see the prices on these comics. $4.00 for a 40 page comic and $3.00 for a 32 pages comic. If you do the math you are paying $1.00 a page. That's alot of money knowing that when I bought Action Comics #1 29 pages were actual comic and the other 11 pages were advertisements.

    They are charging me for advertisements!!! What ever happened to the good ol' newsprint pages? Its ridiculous.
    So if I decided to collect all 52 of these comics I'll be spending over 200 bucks a month. No thank you. I'll just stick to the 4 I could see myself enjoy the most.

    But the real people i feel sorry for is the young kids who can't afford these comics and want to be collectors.
    Its like they are targeting people who can afford these comics.

    If each comic was brought down to 25 pages with actual comic(NO Advertisements) and sold for $2.50 that would be cool. Even a better idea if comic book vendors had a buy 2 get one free that would sweeten the deal.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • ChicagoRob

      uhm your math stinks...seriously $4.00 for 40 pages does not equal $1.00 a page..put down your comics and go back to school!!

      September 13, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
      • Kamensence

        Oh shit LMFAO..

        My fault I meant 10 cents a page.

        September 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  6. OGRE

    NEEEEEEERRRRDDDSSSS!!!

    September 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  7. KajinPL

    If DC is planning to make a more vulnerable Superman, I'll be willing to give it a chance. He's always been a boring character and has powers for the sake of having powers. I'm sure this does suck for all the people who have followed it since forever. I just hope Marvel doesn't try to attempt this. It's bad enough Uncanny is going back to #1.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  8. Wastrel

    Great. Not news, but an interview with a guy I never heard of, who's a clerk at a comic book store in Atlanta, GA. No doubt he's the geekiest-looking person they could find, with his ironic half-smile, but give me a list, and what the changes are. I didn't read this.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Jason

      I went to high school with him. He's a cool guy. Get f%$#ed

      September 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
      • ProfXavier

        Zack IS cool. Zack was on local tv a year ago saving his store when the area got flooded. Moving heavy comics to higher ground takes dedication (and a strong back).

        Lets beat up Wastrel, take his comics and sell them to Zack.

        September 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • DrKnife

      This is like THE comic book store in Atlanta so this is going to be some hella publicity for them. Its actually a pretty comprehensive shop and this is the only guy that I have ever seen working there.

      September 13, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Teeph

      Nice. A comment from a snarky guy who doesn't even own a comic shop. Oh yeah, cool guy? Well guess what . . .*I* didn't even read YOUR comment. So there.

      Tool.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:57 am |
    • MsAttitude

      Besides the obvious rudeness in your comment, what in the world do you consider "geeky looking" because that guy looks very avg Joe to me.

      Troll.

      September 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
      • Xiomara

        Long time fan of the comic book and I love the trailer, looks great. Only proelbm is that there were no males in the trailer, the book was definetly filled with both genders.

        November 14, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  9. kamereon

    It is a gamble, but I think it'll work. This isn't like Marvel's New Universe, however it is reminiscent of Marvel's Ultimate Universe. I'm curious to see what a lower powered Superman will do. I was always bored with the character. Although, I've always had to contend with one of my childhood friends – his estimation of Hulk (my favorite character) as being a bad character; my response is that there are no bad characters – only bad writing.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  10. Cru

    "and then upping the ante by offering to reward comic book show owners who destroy DC comic books."

    ...What? Is this to create a false rarity and stoke demand?

    September 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  11. Eduardo

    2.99 per 12 pages of comic.. that's the Issue! a comic book is no longer a impulse buy. Who's going to shell out $3 dollars and some change for a comic? stupid.

    September 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  12. tevii

    Im reading alot of the responses and I dont think some people realize that, sure this is a gimick, but its also a last stand. its going down swinging. Comics used to sell million plus per month, now th ebest selling comic of the year is 200, 000. Video games, internet, iPad, satellite radio and TV, Smart phones, and cable with hundreds of channels are all competitors that are killing the industry. Times change. This is something that SHOULD be emraced by the older genereations if they want to have ANY comics to read becasue this will attract the newer generation a little bit more.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  13. GHJ

    Rebooting a whole universe means losing long established characters,and isolating your core fanbase.DC Comics just might find themselves " rebooting the reboot " in less than a year.I've been reading comics since the 70's,and I've never seen the industry as bad as it is now.I'm personally done with DC comics.If they don't give a damn about their fanbase,they don't deserve my money.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  14. T

    Last weekend, I skimmed thru Justice League # 1 in and afterwards, put the comic quietly back on the shelf. It was a little bit too much like Marvel's Ultimates and I hated Supes new suit. DC's been sucking ever since they did a Jim Lee reboot of Superman a few years ago along with Legion of Superheroes and it all went downhill from there. And also I am upset that I can't get J.S.A. or Booster Gold anymore.

    If they (DC) really wanted to do the DCU in a different way, they could have come up with two main lines of DC comics – Original DC Universe line and DCU-52 Universe. Something for everyone instead of just packing it all in and poof !, brand new universe...take it or else...!

    September 13, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • GHJ

      Exactly.They should have just did an alternate universe instead of destroying long term continuity......yet again.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  15. Derek

    DC's new "52" sounds like a big sales gimmick, but it will probably work because DC fans will have no other choice. I was never a big fan of DC Comics and only collected certain individual issues or mini-series. The characters & stories were never as interesting to me as Marvel Comics. So this 52 remake isn't going to affect me since I don't collect DC & still don't plan to. These days I'm not a big super-hero fan anyway. I prefer the smaller publishing titles anyway and prefer sci-fi, horror or fantasy stories to super-heroes.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:53 am |
  16. Bubba

    This isn't the dumbest idea I ever heard. The dumbest idea I ever heard was New Coke©. This is at least second place, though. Bleahh, as Charlie Brown used to say.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  17. James

    Business execs should not be determining creative direction ever. Executives look at profits and think to themselves, how do we make these figures bigger? And the answer since the 90s has always been some combination of gimmicks and price hikes. Here's an idea. If you really want more readers, MAKE BETTER STORIES. Prices per issue are also way too high. I don't think using a lower quality paper is such a horrific idea. There has to be a happy medium between the cheap old school newspaper-like stock and the expensive new school glossy paper they use today. Just save the good paper for the graphic novels?

    September 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  18. tinhorn

    Darkhorse will continue to be the "darkhorse." Better writing and gritty non-traditional artists will always attract me more than big name super hero titles. Plus they have the Starwars license. Marvel and DC can suck it.

    September 12, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  19. Granite Sentry

    Yeah. "New Coke."

    September 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • Rafaela

      tdfisk on August 30, 2011 @TheGoodalpha One of the greatest myths from enasronmentvliits is that our environment is fragile. Too many people think humans are far more powerful than nature. I've even seen scientists claim science knows more than nature & how nature is flawed. Nature has it's own rules & they can rarely be classified and put in logical order. You talk about natural equilibrium, but that is not an absolute, It is in constant motion with infinite variables. The earth can't be put into a nice neat box. Thomas

      November 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  20. Joe

    The problem with comic books lately has been that they have resorted to cheap publicity stunts to over the last few years. WIth Superman giving up his American citizenship, killing off Spider-Man ect. . . It seems to be less about the story, and more about shock value. Pretty tiring.

    September 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
  21. ccindc

    How about if they made the comics for kids? I have an 8 year old boy, and I guess his demographic is just not as important as dudes who live in their parents basements. I guess they have lots of money to spend of comics vs. let's say, rent.

    September 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • xairesephos

      Boom Comics has a great line of Disney titles. Archie puts out Sonic the Hedgehog. There are comics for kids too. I own my own house, make a lot of money, am happily married, and have a Ph.D. Not everyone who likes comic books lives in the basement or smells bad. When you generalize you FAIL. Seriously, those titles that I mentioned are the comics that I buy for my child.

      September 12, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • mutantlexi

      Marvel has their Marvel Adventures line, which is wonderfully all ages, and uses the familiar characters (X-Men, Spidey, Avengers, etc).

      DC has Johnny Lightning, which has a great bit of all ages stuff, one of my favorites was "Supergirl: Adventures in the 8th Grade". Also stuff like Jeff Smith's Shazam: Monster Society of Evil is a great read for adults and children.

      September 12, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • tinhorn

      Try Mouse Guard! It's like a children's book with a dark ages vibe but with field mice and other creatures instead of humans. There is some death involved, but i would buy it for my eight year old.

      September 12, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  22. Think

    DC might sell better if they lose all those GOOFY looking characters they have. The Green Lantern movie proved that. That's why you see so many Batman movies and games, he's the only cool looking character they have. But as far as new readers how about NEW CHARACTERS for a new generation please!!

    September 12, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • xairesephos

      Agreed. New characters are needed. We're not seeing the dynamism of previous generations of creators. I suspect that this has a lot to do with corporate dynamics and the movie industry, but who am I to know? It seems the most interesting new characters are appearing in independent books like Powers (when it appears), Astro City, and the sadly concluded Planetary.

      September 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  23. Brandon

    This is such a ridiculously transparent advertisement. God, CNN, you guys are really something, you know that?

    September 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • GeekGirl

      How is this an advertisement Brandon? It's about comics and who better to talk to than a shop owner?

      September 12, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  24. Gus the Great

    It is sad that D.C has to make this pathetic bid to Marvel's Ultimates. I guess they know they are outclassed.

    September 12, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • xairesephos

      Marvel has some great characters but the stories stink. Too many cross-overs, mini-series, and really, how many X titles does the industry need? Apparently buckets of them.

      September 12, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  25. Jo

    DC is gambling on the mythical new reader. I am sure there are some out there, but its the core of older fans and teenagers who have money that are the real customers. By issue 3 most of those "new" fans will be gone. Its a bad idea and coupling that with releasing the digitals same day is throwing the comic stores under the bus. People who buy digital are fooling themselves, a good virus is going to wipe out their collection and both the big two are not going to replace them forever.

    September 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Travis

      That's pretty much my thought. It's really hard to believe that DC is going to pick up enough new customers with the New 52 to make up for the ones they're going to lose. Maybe not for issue #1, but let's see how many of them stick around to issue #10.

      For years now #1s have been known to produce nothing but a short term boost followed by ever decreasing sales. Doing that to your entire line is madness.

      September 12, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
      • xairesephos

        I have jumped in on four titles so far, which is a step up on the none at all that I read before. It's all a bit bewildering, and I hope that the stories keep me along for the ride. I agree that DC has taken a mighty gamble, and I wouldn't be surprised if the numeration is restored in a year or two, much as Marvel did with its titles after their various reboot fiascos. I am upset to see certain characters sidelined, but there you go.

        September 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • CelticHunter7

      Good point. Plus, with the advent of digital comics, what is going to be the value to comic book collectors who spend big money for the imperfections inherent in vintage issues. What, ya going to put a photoshopped dent, cut, tear, rip, burn, coffee or soda stain on them? Maybe collectors in the future will demand the desktop, laptop, tablet, or cell phone that the issue resided on to make believe it has some vintage value. At least with that concept, they would have something tangible to hold in their hands. Hahahahaha.

      September 12, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • Necro

      Shad up!

      September 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
      • Khaled

        You really make it seem so easy with your pnrteetasion but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

        April 9, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  26. Shannon Wheeler

    I love that my Too Much Coffee Man book is in the beginning of the shot.
    Great story!
    Shannon Wheeler
    http://www.tmcm.com

    September 12, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  27. hirolla74

    Number ones do sell the best but it's the low-print ones afterwards that are the priciest!

    September 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  28. Alex Winter

    This X-men relaunch sounds crappy. And I'm still really angry about Spider-Man Brand New Day. Gave up comics after that one.
    Agree with MrSnow, Invisibles and Sandman were the best.

    September 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Die Die

      The Sandman for the win!! Vertigo rules.

      September 12, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • Jules

      Changing Spiderman's race, that was such a lowball, Marvel. Why not just create a new character for African Americans, or is that too much for a company? As part African Amercian, I'm thoroughly disgusted at this cheap shot of placating!

      I am rather enjoying watching both Marvel and DC getting their due, after destroying the entire industry back in the mid '90s, when they all bailed on Capital City Distributors, and all joined the band wagon with Diamond. The backlash, was the shutdown of nearly half of the small comic book stores, who didn't have the funding to switch distributors. Look it up. Many great artists and writers had to scramble for work, along with having work being sent over seas with NAFTA.

      At least readers aren't sheep, and want quality over quantity. You can't pull the wool over their eyes for too long, before they demand great books again!

      September 13, 2011 at 1:14 am |
  29. mag

    Geek Fight!

    September 12, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  30. seneca

    Wow, the writer went -all- the way out of the CNN headquartersin Atlanta to interview an Atlanta comic book shop owner, what next? Doing a piece on flooded sewers in Texas by interviewing an Atlanta homeless guy who lives in a drain?

    September 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • adam

      So the writer should leave the state or phone someone from another part of the country to make the article valid? I think a comic shop in one of the largest cities in the world would make for an evenhanded overview of the comic culture.

      September 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
      • Jo

        The big city stores are not the ones that are going to get nailed. Its the comic book shops in smaller towns and cities. Stores like this in Midtown in NYC will still be in business after 52 flops and it will after issue 3. Those small stores who are just getting by won't. That is the real story.

        September 12, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  31. Stormer

    You wanna sell more comics? Don't bother re imagining the universe. Drop the price to make them affordable. I collected comics from age 6. I stopped when they hit a buck a book. They lowered the page count and went all arty. Not worth reading any more.

    September 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Lanzajr26

      So Stormer, you stopped collecting when you were 7? Books haven't been a buck in probably twenty years, so it's a little hard to take your comment seriously if you haven't read a comic from this century.

      September 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
      • David

        Well I am 40 years old And I did stop buying comics back 20 years ago when they started getting expensive and a dollar a comic. What's so hard to believe about the guy's story?

        September 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Jameiris

      Hello to everyone at AABC! When/if you have inofrmation to share on coldcasts, kindly let me know. I've been a customer for ever so long remember me? It's best to contact me at (602) 274-2450.

      April 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  32. MrSnow

    blah, wake me up when Sandman or Invisibles comes back.

    September 12, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Jo

      Did you read Sandman? He is dead and Daniel took over. There are still Sandman books out there, but its all aftermath. Death was in Action Comics this summer. So, wake up or move on.

      September 12, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  33. Ann

    "Fall" should be capitalized. I should not be the one to tell you this.

    September 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • James West

      Seasons are *NOT* capitalized. If you are referring to the fact that's it is part of the name of the title and should be capitalized, fine, but not the fact that it is a season.

      September 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
  34. Pete

    DC CEO: "Whoa, comic books with '#1' printed on them sell way better! From now on, every issue of Superman gets printed as issue #1."

    September 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  35. robert e.

    I'd really like to see DC succeed with their "new 52" titles. However, long as they only market and promote books featuring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern, while leaving the rest to die on the vine with zero promotion/marketing, any success they have will be limited.

    As for Marvel: Have you ever seen the industry leader in any industry act as petty as Marvel does? Their Blackest Night stunt was bad enough, but what they're doing about the new DC is beyond childish. Plus, we all know that Marvel would NEVER cancel a title just to relaunch it the following month, now don't we? Say hello, Punisher, Daredevil, Incredible Hulk, Avengers titles, Uncanny X-Men, ect.

    September 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • KajinPL

      That is a pretty low blow from Marvel. I didn't even knopw they did that. I never been much of a DC reader, but wow.

      September 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Patrick Lewis

      There is the other side of the coin, the one that was presented here, about Marvel's incentive program. For people who over ordered DC's event comic, they said "Hey! You know that stack of X that's just sitting on your shelf? You can give it to us and then have something that will actually move!" Is it cheesy, sure, but it's an incentive that gives the stores some compensation for a bad bet.

      September 12, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  36. Demiricous

    Not a comic book fan but I have to say DC comics needs a reboot 90% of there heros suck.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  37. ProfXavier

    Zack is my comic book guy! He plays a mean Lex Luthor on Halloween.

    September 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  38. KajinPL

    Even though I'm primarily a Marvel reader this does give me a lot of insight. Kinda confirms some things for me while reading this.

    September 12, 2011 at 12:56 pm |