Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Madness of DC's Villains Month Allocations

Sheer and Utter Stupidity
If you've been following the comic-press much you've probably heard about Villains Month (I did my own post about it right here). It is this supposed big deal where a variety of DC's comics are being "taken over" by villains for a month, and as my earlier linked post discusses this has both good, bad, and ugly elements to it. In my post I said the worst thing of all was how each of these Villains Month comics are $3.99 due to having special "3-D" covers. Well, the news has gotten crazier and worse, believe it or not.

Apparently DC did not predict how many orders of some comics they would get for Villains Month, so they don't have enough 3-D covers. This means they are going to engage in allocation. For those of you who like me said, "What is allocation?" let me explain.
The Black Manta cover without the 3-D effect,
which is what some who wanted 3-D may be stuck with.
If you ordered 24 copies of the Villains Month comic with Black Manta, and you get all 24 copies, you've got 100% of your order and weren't allocated. Should you get 12 of the comic, you just got 50% of the comic allocated to your store. Now, DC doesn't want stores to go without getting the comic completely, so the store that only get 50% of that Black Manta comic does get the other half of their ordered issues...only the comic is not 3-D. That's right, stores will be getting regular-cover versions too of all those DC Villains Month comics, and these will be only $2.99. This makes those 3-D covers now some kind of "collectible" item that is rare, and it is all one big--excuse my language but it applies here--clusterfuck.

This is either a case of incredible incompetence at best, or if someone is really cynical, a twisted way for DC to drive up demand for some of their comics by suddenly making them more scarce. Retailer and writer Brian Hibbs has written about how much this has upset him, and many other retailers seem none too pleased either.

I myself am at least happy that I can tell my shop to purposely not pull the 3-D covers for me if they find themselves allocated regular covers, as I would much rather get my comic for $2.99 than pay an extra dollar for the gimmick of cover that looks like it moves when you wiggle the comic around. Still, there are customers of shops out there who will probably utterly freak-out when their comic about Lex Luthor doesn't have a visual effect because their store didn't get every 3-D copy it wanted.

Clearly, this is a huge mess, and DC should feel horrible for what it has caused to happen in its desire to have these special covers for the event.  I feel really bad for stores that have to put up with this and at least am happy I won't be one of the people harassing my store to make sure I get one of the now-rare 3-D covers. This is just absurd, there is no other way to put it, its absurd. Good luck to all the customers and retailers when these things start getting shipped, you're going to need it.

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