Tag Archives: diamond

SDCC 2020: Comic Shops, Persevering Through Crisis

It’s established fact by now that comics were among the hardest hit businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot had to do Diamond Distributors deciding to shut down during the pandemic, halting product distribution across the board. This meant that comic shops had to get creative to stay alive, stepping way outside their comfort zones to fight against closing down for good.

The SDCC@Home panel “Comic Shops: Persevering Through Crisis” took a deep look at all of this, at how certain shops managed to keep their heads above water and how they plan to continue operations while still in a state of crisis.

The panel was moderated by Ed Catto in conversation with Joe Field (Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff, Concord, CA), Marc Hammond (Aw Yeah Comics, Harrison, NY), Jeff Beck (East Side Mags Montclair, NJ), and Dr. Christina Blanche (Aw Yeah Comics, Muncie, IN). These are all comics shop owners and administrators that have adapted to the reality of the pandemic to continue selling comics.

So as not to spoil the panel discussion (which I highly recommend watching in its entirety), I will offer a few highlights and explain why I believe it deserves a watch.

“Persevering Through Crisis” takes its title to heart by diving straight into strategies and initiatives that proved successful to the comics shops represented during the shutdown. One thing seemed to be a common occurrence across the panelists’ experiences: customers stepped up to help keep their favorite stores open in a big way. Many of the stories shared on the panel emphasized the role dedicated customers played in keeping shops afloat by buying gift cards and back-issues.

Sales on the back-issues front gave some of these stores the idea of setting up live shows to sell books that were previously warehoused or stuck in the shelves. In the absence of traditional comic conventions, this allowed shops to make a profit otherwise made in these events by selling older product.

Other shops stuck to curbside pick-up in order to safeguard some of the community-building they had already done by turning their spaces into a meeting ground for a whole group of people sharing common interests. This was crucial for East Side Mags and Flying Colors Comics and they went lengths to get the point across throughout the panel.

One of the topics discussed in the “Comic Shops: Persevering Through Crisis” panel

There’s also an interesting discussion on the effects the DC/Diamond split had on the road to reopening. It was a controversial subject and it had no choice in being otherwise, but the panel discussed it professionally and put forward some good points. This segment was enticing enough to justify its own panel and the guests really opened the doors for further debate. I was glad no one succumbed to cryptic responses and lazy arguments.

The possibility of a second shutdown was also broached and the mood was one of caution but readiness. These shop owners truly came off as survivors with valuable information other stores would be wise to consider.

This is required viewing for comic shop owners. There was a lot said about the nuts and bolts of survival during a crisis. But the panel also provides a kind of behind the scenes look at comics retail that shows just how hard the men and women involved work to get us our comics. You’ll appreciate brick and mortar stores even more after watching this panel.

Click here to view the complete panel.

Those Two Geeks Episode Seventy: DC and Diamond: To be or not to be

Alex and Joe try to talk about the impact of DC leaving Diamond. We also talk about the protests stemming from George Floyd’s murder. We both acknowledge we’re not the voices to listen to regarding this, and that we should be listening, not offering an opinion. I left it in the edited product because I don’t think anybody should not be thinking about these events, and encourage you to check out this resource. It’s a Google doc that was compiled by Autumn Gupta with Bryanna Wallace’s oversight for the purpose of providing a starting place for individuals trying to become better allies.

As always, Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jcb_smark if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter, or by email at ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Diamond Announces the Top Products for August 2017. Batman and Dark Nights Rule a Top Ten Composed of 5 Comic Titles

Diamond Comic Distributors has released August’s sales results and it was a mixed month for comic publishers as DC Comics has taken the top three spots for individuals comics led by Batman and their summer/fall event, Dark Nights!

The industry rebounded a little compared to the previous month seeing increases across the board. Comics, graphic novels, and toys all saw gains over the month with double digital gains for comics/graphic novels and toys seeing a massive increase in dollars. Compared to August 2016, August 2017 was down almost 26% in both dollars and units. August 2016 was driven by DC’s “Rebirth” when the top 11 comics all saw six figure printings. Graphic novels were down too and toys also saw a dip comparatively.

When it comes to year to date, comics, graphic novels, and toys are down across the board, but then again we’re comparing apples to oranges with the lack of the “Rebirth” launch driving the market.

Marvel Comics was August’s top publisher with a 35.01% dollar share (down 1.88 from the previous month) and a 39.52% unit share (down 0.01). DC Entertainment was second in August with a 28.18% dollar share (up 1.24) and a 31.09% unit share (down 0.06). In third was Image Comics with a 10.06% dollar share (down 1.41) and a 9.23% unit share (down 0.50). In fourth was IDW Publishing with a 4.81% dollar share (up 0.98) and a 3.69% unit share, (up 0.43) followed by Dark Horse Comics with a 3.16% dollar share (down 0.24) and a 2.18% unit share (down 0.37).

DC Entertainment had three titles among the top ten, taking the top three spots. Marvel Comics had seven titles in the top ten, led by Secret Empire which had three spots, “Generations” issues took two, and Star Wars took two. That means in the top ten there were just 5 different comic titles.

The Walking Dead #170 was Image Comics’ top book for August at #11. P. Craig Russell and Bo Hampton’s Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Shadows #6 was Dark Horse Comics’ top book #105. Finally, IDW Publishing’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #73 was their top book at #158.

When it comes to graphic novels and trade paperbacks, Image Comics took the top spot with the third volume of Paper Girls. In total, Image had five titles in the top ten. DC Entertainment had three titles in the top ten. Marvel Comics had two titles among the top ten.

Hellboy: An Assortment of Horrors, a new prose anthology featuring stories of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy and published by Dark Horse Comics, was August’s best-selling book.  Also charting for Dark Horse in August, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Big Bads and Monsters Adult Coloring Book ranked #9.  IDW Publishing’s Cinegeek ranked #3. BOOM! Studios’ Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Adult Coloring Book ranked #5. Gemstone Publishing’s The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 47 ranked #8 in its second month of release.

Based on the best-selling game for the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo Switch, Good Smile’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Link Nendoroid DX was August’s best-selling toy product. DC Collectibles had two products in the top ten: the Batman Black & White Statue by Norm Breyfogle at #2 and the DC Cover Girls: Zatanna Statue at #5. Diamond Select Toys had three products among the top ten: the Marvel Select: Lady Deadpool Action Figure at #4, the Marvel Premium Collection: Thanos Statue at #6, and the Marvel Gallery: Luke Cage (Netflix) PVC Figure at #10.

Thor and the gods of Asgard join WizKids/NECA’s HeroClix miniatures game with the Marvel HeroClix: The Mighty Thor Booster Brick, August’s best-selling gaming product. From the premier publishers, IDW Games’ Machi Koro Card Game ranked #6.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHERDOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS35.01%39.52%
DC ENTERTAINMENT28.18%31.09%
IMAGE COMICS10.06%9.23%
IDW PUBLISHING4.81%3.69%
DARK HORSE COMICS3.16%2.18%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT2.50%3.58%
BOOM! STUDIOS2.19%1.88%
TITAN COMICS1.48%1.25%
VIZ MEDIA1.42%0.52%
ONI PRESS INC.1.28%0.82%
OTHER NON-TOP 109.91%6.23%

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 DOLLARSUNITS
AUGUST 2017 VS. JULY 2017
COMICS9.56%9.30%
GRAPHIC NOVELS18.34%20.46%
TOTAL COMICS/GN12.16%10.12%
TOYS52.54%32.90%
AUGUST 2017 VS. AUGUST 2016
COMICS-25.72%-25.91%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-6.89%-10.02%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-20.71%-24.84%
TOYS-33.47%-42.90%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2017 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2016
COMICS-9.94%-6.23%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-11.68%-12.77%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-10.47%-6.76%
TOYS-10.99%-16.38%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHERCOMICS SHIPPEDGRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPEDMAGAZINES SHIPPEDTOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS106401147
DC ENTERTAINMENT78291108
IMAGE COMICS6218080
IDW PUBLISHING5622078
DARK HORSE COMICS2016036
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT306036
BOOM ENTERTAINMENT2510035
TITAN COMICS2013134
VIZ MEDIA026026
ONI PRESS INC.87015
OTHER NON-TOP 1011918232333

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1DARK NIGHTS: METAL #1$4.99JUN170232-MDC
2BATMAN #28$2.99JUN170252-MDC
3BATMAN #29$2.99JUN170254-MDC
4SECRET EMPIRE #10$4.99JUN170877-MMAR
5GENERATIONS: ALL-NEW WOLVERINE/WOLVERINE #1$4.99JUN170857-MMAR
6SECRET EMPIRE #8$4.99JUN170865-MMAR
7SECRET EMPIRE #9$4.99JUN170871-MMAR
8GENERATIONS: THE MIGHTY THOR/UNWORTHY THOR #1$4.99JUN170842-MMAR
9STAR WARS #34$3.99JUN171015-MMAR
10STAR WARS #35$3.99JUN171018-MMAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1PAPER GIRLS VOLUME 3 TP$12.99JUN170777IMA
2BATMAN VOLUME 3: I AM BANE TP$16.99MAY170321DC
3GOD COUNTRY TP (MR)$16.99MAY170624-MIMA
4KILL OR BE KILLED VOLUME 2 TP (MR)$16.99MAY170693-MIMA
5WONDER WOMAN VOLUME 3: THE TRUTH TP$16.99MAY170328DC
6X-MEN GOLD VOLUME 1: BACK TO BASICS TP$15.99MAY170943MAR
7REBORN HC (MR)$24.99FEB170703-MIMA
8SUPERMAN VOLUME 3: MULTIPLICITY TP$16.99MAY170327DC
9OLD GUARD BOOK 1: OPENING FIRE TP (MR)$16.99JUN170687-MIMA
10X-MEN BLUE VOLUME 1: STRANGEST TP$15.99MAY170944MAR

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1HELLBOY: AN ASSORTMENT OF HORRORS SC NOVEL$14.99APR170061DAR
2BATMAN & ROBIN ADVENTURES: HARLEY QUINN’S CRAZY CREEPER CAPER TP$5.95MAY172127CAP
3CINEGEEK HC$14.99FEB170487IDW
4DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: WELCOME TO SUPER HERO HIGH$4.99MAY172134RAN
5MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS ADULT COLORING BOOK TP$16.99JUN171326BOO
6DC SUPER PETS: KRYPTO ORIGIN OF SUPERMAN’S DOG$4.95MAY172138CAP
7DC SUPER PETS: STREAKY ORIGIN OF SUPERGIRL’S CAT$4.95MAY172139CAP
8OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOLME 47 SC$29.95APR171765-MGEM
9BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: BIG BADS & MONSTERS ADULT COLORING BOOK TP$14.99MAY170055DAR
10DC SUPER PETS: ACE ORIGIN OF BATMAN’S DOG$4.95MAY172136CAP

TOP 10 TOYS

RANKDESCRIPTIONITEM CODEVENDOR
1LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD: LINK NENDOROID DXDEC168626GOO
2BATMAN BLACK & WHITE STATUE BY NORM BREYFOGLEFEB170345DC
3DRAGONBALL SUPER DRAGON STARS ACTION FIGURESDEC168377BAN
4MARVEL SELECT: LADY DEADPOOL ACTION FIGUREDEC162578DST
5DC COVER GIRLS: ZATANNA STATUEFEB170343DC
6MARVEL PREMIUM COLLECTION: THANOS STATUEDEC162576DST
7ONE-12 COLLECTIVE: DC COMICS: ARSENAL ACTION FIGUREAUG168742MEZ
8MEGA MAN X FULL ARMOR NENDOROIDSEP168170GOO
9MARVEL NOW: CARNAGE ARTFX+ STATUEFEB172861KOT
10MARVEL GALLERY: LUKE CAGE NETFLIX PVC FIGUREJAN172647DST

TOP 10 GAMES

RANKDESCRIPTIONITEM CODEVENDOR
1MARVEL HEROCLIX: THE MIGHTY THOR BOOSTER BRICKAPR173304NEC
2MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: AMONKHET BOOSTER PACKSDEC168751WIZ
3MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: AETHER REVOLT BUNDLE PACKNOV162989WIZ
4MONOPOLY: STAR WARS 40TH-ANNIVERSARY EDITIONFEB178728HAS
5STARFINDER RPG CORE RULEBOOK HCJUN173371PAI
6MACHI KORO CARD GAMEMAY142831IDW
7CHOCOBO PLAYING CARDSNOV168553SQU
8MARVEL HEROCLIX: THE MIGHTY THOR STARTER SETAPR173305NEC
9MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: COMMANDER 2017JUN173402WIZ
10MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: AMONKHET BUNDLE PACKDEC168752WIZ

Diamond Comic Distributors Announces July 2017 Orders. Comics Down.

Diamond Comic Distributors has announced the top-selling comics and products in July 2017. Comics were down 13.55% in dollar share and 11.04% in unit share while graphic novels are down 6.41% in dollar share and 18.21% in unit share compared to June 2017. Compared to July 2016 comics are down 23.18% in dollar share and 26.60% unit share. Graphic novels are down 8.33% in dollar share and 10.96% in unit share compared to the same time last year.

But, July 2016 was the beginning of DC Comics’ Rebirth and in the middle of Marvel’s Civil War II. So, without major events to compare, things were of course going to be lowered.

Both Marvel and DC lost ground in dollars and units percentage for the month. Marvel Comics was July’s top publisher with a 36.89% dollar share (down 1.65) and a 39.53% unit share (down 3.29). DC Entertainment was second in July with a 26.94% dollar share (down 3.67) and a 31.15% unit share (down 0.61). In third was Image Comics with an 11.47% dollar share (up 2.61) and a 9.73% unit share (up 0.73). In fourth was IDW Publishing with a 3.83% dollar share (down 0.41) and a 3.26% unit share (up 0.08), followed by Dark Horse Comics with a 3.40% dollar share (down 0.06) and a 2.55% unit share (up 0.08).

DC Entertainment had three titles among the top ten with Dark Days: The Casting #1 being the top comic for the month. Marvel Comics had six titles in the top ten, led by Astonishing X-Men #1 at #2. Image Comics rounded out the top ten with The Walking Dead #169 at #9. Among the premier publishers, Dark Horse Comics’ Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Shadows #5 was their top book at #94, while IDW Publishing’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo One-Shot was the publisher’s top ranked book at #145.

Monstress Volume 2 from Image Comics, was July’s best-selling graphic novel. Image Comics had three titles total among the top ten. Oni Press’ Rick and Morty Volume 1 returned to the top ten at #2 for the month. Marvel Comics’ Star Wars Volume 5: Yoda’s Secret War ranked #3. DC Comics had two titles in the top ten: The Flash Volume 3: Rogues Reloaded ranked #5 and Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ranked #7. Dark Horse Comics had two titles in the top ten as well; The Legend of Korra Volume 1: Turf Wars Part 1 ranked #6 and Serenity Volume 5: No Power in the ‘Verse ranked #10. IDW Publishing’s Batman/TMNT Adventures ranked #8 for the month.

Gemstone Publishing’s The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 47, the latest edition of the venerable comic book resource, was the best-selling book of July; the softcover edition ranked #1 for the month, the hardcover edition ranked #2, and the spiral-bound Big! Big! edition ranked #8. BOOM! Studios’ Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Tales ranked #3 for the month. Dark Horse Comics’ Lead Poisoning: The Pencil Art of Geof Darrow, an art book devoted to the work of the artist behind Hard Boiled and Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, ranked #4.

A fan-favorite video game character, Princess Zelda, was brought to life by Good Smile for their Legend of Zelda: Princess Zelda Figma, the best-selling toy product of July. DC Collectibles had three products among the top ten: the Superman: The Animated Series: Superman & Lois Lane Action Figure 2-Pack ranked #3, the DC Designer Series: Wonder Woman by Adam Hughes Statue ranked #4, and the Harley Quinn: Black, White, and Red Statue by Terry Dodson ranked #7. Diamond Select Toys also had three products in the top ten: the Marvel Gallery: Gwenpool PVC Figure ranked #6, the Marvel Gallery: Classic Iron Man PVC Figure ranked #9, and the Batman 1966: Shakespeare Head Bust Bank ranked #10.

WizKids/NECA celebrated the fifteenth-anniversary of the debut of the HeroClix miniatures game with the DC HeroClix: 15th-Anniversary Elseworlds Booster Brick, the best-selling game product of July. IDW Publishing had two products in the top ten: the perennial best-selling Machi Koro Card Game at #6 and the King of Creepies Game at #9.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHERDOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS36.89%39.53%
DC ENTERTAINMENT26.94%31.15%
IMAGE COMICS11.47%9.73%
IDW PUBLISHING3.83%3.26%
DARK HORSE COMICS3.40%2.55%
BOOM! STUDIOS2.32%2.33%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT2.16%2.04%
ONI PRESS INC.1.63%0.96%
VIZ MEDIA1.12%0.41%
TITAN COMICS0.95%0.94%
OTHER NON-TOP 109.29%7.11%

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 DOLLARSUNITS
JULY 2017 VS. JUNE 2017
COMICS-13.55%-11.04%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-6.41%-18.21%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-11.56%-11.61%
TOYS-10.76%11.81%
JULY 2017 VS. JULY 2016
COMICS-23.18%-26.60%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-8.33%-10.96%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-19.31%-25.64%
TOYS-18.79%-25.46%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2017 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2016
COMICS-7.01%-2.52%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-12.39%-13.18%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-8.69%-3.41%
TOYS-5.09%-9.26%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHERCOMICS SHIPPEDGRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPEDMAGAZINES SHIPPEDTOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS93400133
DC ENTERTAINMENT76320108
IMAGE COMICS5220173
IDW PUBLISHING4112053
DARK HORSE COMICS2022042
BOOM ENTERTAINMENT238031
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT243027
TITAN COMICS188127
VIZ MEDIA027027
ONI PRESS INC.85013
OTHER NON-TOP 1013113318282

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1DARK DAYS: THE CASTING #1$4.99MAY170193-MDC
2ASTONISHING X-MEN #1$4.99MAY170806-MMAR
3BATMAN #26$2.99MAY170211-MDC
4BATMAN #27$2.99MAY170213-MDC
5SECRET EMPIRE #6$4.99MAY170763-MMAR
6SECRET EMPIRE #7$3.99MAY170769-MMAR
7STAR WARS #33$3.99MAY170924-MMAR
8DEADPOOL KILLS MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN #1$3.99MAY170819-MMAR
9THE WALKING DEAD #169 (MR)$2.99MAY170730IMA
10SPIDER-MEN II #1$3.99MAY170813-MMAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1MONSTRESS VOLUME 2 TP (MR)$16.99APR170834-MIMA
2RICK AND MORTY VOLUME 1 TP$19.99JUL151482-MONI
3STAR WARS VOLUME 5: YODA’S SECRET WAR TP$17.99MAR171131MAR
4CURSE WORDS VOLUME 1 TP (MR)$9.99MAY170612-MIMA
5THE FLASH VOLUME 3: ROGUES RELOADED TP$16.99APR170413DC
6THE LEGEND OF KORRA VOL. 1: TURF WARS PT 1 TP$10.99FEB170063DAR
7BATMAN/TMNT TP$16.99APR170419DC
8BATMAN/TMNT ADVENTURES TP$19.99APR170539-MIDW
9BLACK SCIENCE VOLUME 6 TP (MR)$16.99MAY170662IMA
10SERENITY VOLUME 5: NO POWER IN THE ‘VERSE HC$19.99MAR170077DAR

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOL. 47 SC$29.95APR171765-MGEM
2OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOL. 47 HC$35.00APR171766-MGEM
3JIM HENSON’S THE DARK CRYSTAL TALES HC$16.99MAR171409BOO
4LEAD POISONING: THE PENCIL ART OF GEOF DARROW HC$34.99MAR170037DAR
5BE A STAR WONDER WOMAN PICTURE BOOK$15.95MAY172129CAP
6BEDTIME FOR BATMAN BOARD BOOK$7.99MAY172130CAP
7SPIDER MAN: NIGHT OF VULTURE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK$4.99MAY172147RAN
8BIG! BIG! OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOL 47$47.50MAY171625GEM
9MIGHTY THOR: THUNDER STRIKE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK$4.99MAY172146RAN
10STAR WARS: JEDI ACADEMY VOL. 5: FORCE OVERSLEEPS HC$12.99MAY172182SCH

TOP 10 TOYS

RANKDESCRIPTIONITEM CODEVENDOR
1LEGEND OF ZELA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS: ZELDA FIGMAAUG168805GOO
2DRAGONBALL SUPER: DRAGON STARS ACTION FIGURESDEC168377BAN
3SUPERMAN ANIMATED: SUPERMAN & LOIS LANE FIGURE 2-PACKJAN170424DC
4DC DESIGNER SERIES: WONDER WOMAN BY ADAM HUGHES STATUEJAN170426DC
5MARVEL: SQUIRREL GIRL BISHOUJO STATUEDEC162884KOT
6MARVEL GALLERY: GWENPOOL PVC FIGUREDEC162562DST
7HARLEY QUINN: RED WHITE & BLACK STATUE BY TERRY DODSONJAN170429DC
8MARVEL UNIVERSE VARIANT PLAY ARTS KAI: WOLVERINE FIGUREDEC168151SQU
9MARVEL GALLERY: CLASSIC IRON MAN PVC FIGUREJAN172648DST
10BATMAN 1966: SHAKESPEARE HEAD BUST BANKJUN162388DST

TOP 10 GAMES

RANKDESCRIPTIONITEM CODEVENDOR
1DC HEROCLIX: 15TH-ANNIVERSARY ELSEWORLDS BOOSTER BRICKMAR173391NEC
2MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: AETHER REVOLT BOOSTER PACKSNOV162988WIZ
3RICK AND MORTY: ANATOMY PARK BOARD GAMEMAY173183CRY
4D&D: ICONS OF THE REALM MINIATURE BOOSTER BRICKMAR173387NEC
5MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: HOUR OF DEVESTATION BOOSTER PACKSAPR173295WIZ
6MACHI KORO CARD GAMEMAY142831IDW
7DRINKING FLUXX CARD GAMEAPR173273LOO
8DC HEROCLIX: 15TH-ANNIVERSARY ELSEWORLDS STARTER SETMAR173392NEC
9KING OF CREEPIES GAMEAPR170672IDW
10MARVEL HEROCLIX: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2OCT168616NEC

Around the Tubes

Another weekend and another comic adaptation is in theaters! Who’s seeing Atomic Blonde? If you’ve already seen it, what do you think? Sound off in the comments!

While you wait for the weekend to begin, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

CBLDF – Cartoonist Uses Webcomics to Combat Inequality in India – Great to see comics used like this.

ICv2 – Diamond Joins ComicBooks for Kids – Awesome to see something like this.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Herts Advertiser – The Mighty Thor: Asgard/Shi’ar War

Herts Advertiser – Monsters Unleashed

ICv2 – Peepland TPB

Herts Advertiser – Rocket Raccoon: Grounded

Talking Comics – Secret Empire #7

Diamond Signs Green Ronin to List of Publishers

Diamond Book Distributors has signed a deal with Green Ronin Publishing to be their exclusive distributor.

Seattle based Green Ronin Publishing is dedicated to the art of great games. Since the year 2000 Green Ronin has established a reputation for quality and innovation, publishing such roleplaying game hits as Dragon Age, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Mutants & Masterminds, and winning over 40 awards for excellence. For an unprecedented three years running, Green Ronin won the prestigious GenCon & EnWorld Award for Best Publisher.

Green Ronin Publishing has recently released their new Fantasy AGE Encounter: Ancient Shadows for player levels 5-8. Fantasy AGE is a tabletop RPG featuring a three core character class and level system with specializations and a magic system built around combat, exploration, and roleplaying stunts.

In addition, their latest installment for Pathfinder has been announced and is available for pre-order. Pathfinder: Freeport Bestiary is a 180-page, full color sourcebook that includes a wide variety of threats from class Freeport adversaries such as serpentmen and fire spectres while also introducing new enemies like corsair drakes and witch beasts. This installment is the perfect complement to Freeport: The City of Adventure and can be used with any Pathfinder Roleplaying Game campaign.

New York Toy Fair 2017: Diamond PREVIEWS Some Exclusive Toys for Comic Fans

New York Toy Fair 2017 is underway and we’re showing off some of the awesome toys you’ll be able to get over the next year. Our first stop is the Diamond booth who showed off a lot of items you can order through their PREVIEWS catalog from Funko, Mezco, One:12 Collective, and more including quite a few exclusives.

Check out some of the sites below and stay tuned for more coverage to come.

The Comics Are All Right: Diamond Continues to Upgrade

While it’s been many years since I worked in a comic book store, I remember going through my orders from Diamond Distribution frustrated by damaged products and/or mispacked items. We’d be shorted items, get items we didn’t order, it was rarely a perfect system and this was years before computer systems were a regular thing (yay compiling orders by hand!).

At the recent 2016 Diamond Retailer Summit, held just before this year’s Baltimore Comic Con, Diamond Vice President of Operations John Wurzer outlined a number of projects that are currently underway in Diamond’s Distribution Centers to improve quality overall.

While this series of articles’ purpose is to really analyze and provide suggestions for improvement in the comic industry as a whole, I have also made it a point to highlight when things ARE being done to improve the current situation. You have to mix in the good with the bad.

Last week Diamond sent out a press update for folks to see where things are in their improvement project which you can check out below along with photos.

For everyone who was unable to attend the Summit, here’s a glimpse into the massive project that’s happening right now at Diamond’s central inventory and shipping distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

“In 2009, we opened the Olive Branch Distribution Center, the largest facility we or anyone else had built for the distribution of comics and pop culture merchandise,” said Wurzer. “Using historical data and our own experience to make projections, a team of engineers predicted that the new warehouse would meet the industry’s needs through 2020.”

Our Olive Branch facility is 600,000 square feet in area, 35 feet high, with its own server room equipped with generator back up power, and room for 150 people per shift to work on more than two miles of racking and conveyors that move product around the building. Design and construction of the building was a massive project, surpassed only by the huge job of moving in and getting it up and running.

The industry, however, went through massive shifts that no one had anticipated at that time. With the explosion of interest in comics and related products, sales to retailers all over the world grew tremendously. While these shifts were good news for the industry, the change to the status quo presented some serious challenges to the Distribution Center and Operations staffs at Diamond. Part of the shift in the industry was the growth of collected editions and the proliferation of variant covers for comics, each of which occupies its own physical space at the Distribution Center. In short, the warehouse exceeded both its projected 2020 storage and order processing capacity by 2014, and immediate action had to be taken.

Storage of millions of periodical comics, trade paperbacks, and the vast array of related products presents an interesting and unique challenge. For Diamond’s Distribution Center teams to effectively pick products, each is given a physical address, referred to as a “pick face”, “bin”, or “storage location” where it is stored and pulled from when ordered by a customer. When there are not enough pick faces for all the products, a night crew must pull products from other locations to move them into bins that are accessible to an order picker. This frequent moving of product can lead to inefficiencies, and can add to the time required to find product and fill orders.

The first thing that our Operations and Finance teams had to do was locate an additional warehouse that could handle some of the overflow of product. However, this was not a satisfactory, long-term solution. In the end, we were able to lease two new facilities in Olive Branch, one for processing of weekly new product shipments and the other for storage of products that are not available for same-day Direct Ship reorders. Those additional facilities provided us with a little breathing room, allowing Wurzer, Executive Director of Operations Shawn Hamrick, Executive Director of Business Intelligence Steve Tipton and a team of outside consultants to begin planning the next phase of our Distribution Center’s evolution.

Over the course of last year, we brought in experts to work with our own internal teams to devise what would become a complete reimagining of the Distribution Center’s layout and operations.

“Millions of data records reflecting ordering patterns, inventory velocity, and growth trends were dissected, organized and analyzed during the process of developing what ultimately became the solution we decided to implement,” said Tipton. “New software and procedures will be paired with new materials handling equipment to provide much more storage space, along with the capability to manage many more orders.”

There are three main objectives for this project: increase storage capacity, increase throughput capacity, and increase order accuracy while reducing damages.

Increasing Storage Capacity

While we can’t increase the physical size of the warehouse, we can use the space in different, more efficient ways. A second floor, called a mezzanine, was added to a portion of the warehouse to expand the pick modules available. These modules, where product is stored for picking, and the expansion and addition of a fourth module, will give us over 21,000 new locations where products can be stored and then picked for orders. We are also in the process of adding space for 16,000 additional pallet positions to store back stock to accommodate the industry’s continued growth.

Increasing Throughput Capacity

Throughput is a measure of how many orders per hour can be picked and packed by the Distribution Center. Increasing this capacity takes a combination of new materials-handling equipment, such as conveyor belts and automatic sorters, and changes to our processing procedures.

To that end, we are adding over a mile of conveyor, which will move product and orders through the warehouse, either to other parts of the building or to waiting trucks when shipments are ready to go to customers. We are also adding machines that automatically weigh boxes, measure their dimensions, and apply shipping labels, which gives us much better information about the packages and reduces the potential for human error. A ceiling-mounted monorail circulates an unending stream of empty boxes, which allows the people on the warehouse floor to focus on picking and packing orders, and a similar system automatically moves empty product boxes to an area where they can be processed out of the warehouse. As boxes are filled and sealed, they will move down an automated line that will sort them via barcode readers that scan the boxes. This will then move the boxes to the appropriate pallets or trucks for delivery to customers, reducing opportunities for boxes to end up in the wrong place.

Increasing Accuracy

While it’s important to increase our ability to process orders quickly, it’s just as important that we do so accurately. The changes we’ve made in this area are the most dramatic and have taken the most time to research; a great deal of analysis has gone into determining what constitutes best practices, given the many different types of products that Diamond distributes to its customers every day.

The first change will be to our pick method. Currently, a box (or group of boxes) moves through the warehouse and the order picking team uses automated headsets to pick products from their assigned area and place them in the box as it moves through. Under the new system, the pickers will pick all product for a group of orders at once, scanning the barcode on the product to ensure they have the correct items, which will then go into specially-designed totes and move to an order sortation area. In this area, the barcode is scanned again, and a large wall with an area for each order will indicate which orders need that item. Once all items for an order have been pulled and verified, an order packing specialist will choose the appropriate size box, and pack the box in such a way as to minimize damage to the products. As they do so, the items are scanned a final time, and any items that are missing or are identified as damaged are flagged and pulled for the shipment before it is sealed and sent out for delivery.

“We believe that this is the best possible solution, allowing our pickers and packers to be both fast and efficient,” said Hamrick. “With a person making decisions about the size of the box and the way the product is put into it, the amount of product damaged in the packing and delivery process should decrease. We are also researching different types and sizes of boxes and packing paper, while keeping in mind the delicate balance of damages vs. increased freight costs.”

Where We Are Right Now on the Expansion

At this point in the process, the mezzanine has been built and is in use, and many of the new materials-handling equipment is on-site. The existing pick modules have started to be expanded, and the new module has been built and partially integrated into our operations. We are currently testing the software integration that must be completed before we can move on to other phases of building and testing, so that the transition can proceed smoothly. One of the greatest challenges is that the warehouse has remained fully operational during design, construction and various implementation phases, and must continue to do so.

One of the greatest challenges is that the warehouse has remained fully operational during design, construction and various implementation phases, and must continue to do so.This project represents a massive investment by Diamond, but one we feel is necessary to meet the current and future needs of a market that

This project represents a massive investment by Diamond, but one we feel is necessary to meet the current and future needs of a market that continues to grow and evolve.

Members of the Operations and Business Intelligence teams of Diamond have spent significant amounts of time away from home, supervising the construction at Olive Branch and coordinating teams of programmers inside Diamond and with our outside vendors. Millions of dollars and thousands of employee hours have been spent working on the expansion, and there is still a lot of work to be done. We’ll be providing more updates as we progress through different phases of the project which are expected to progress into early 2017, and are looking forward to showing you more!

We’ll be providing more updates as we progress through different phases of the project which are expected to progress into early 2017, and are looking forward to showing you more!

Diamond Releases the Top 100 Comics for April 2016

Diamond has released the list of the top 100 comics ordered in April 2016. Marvel had the top comic for the month with Black Panther #1. All together, the publisher held seven of the top ten spots.

DC Comics filled the rest of the top ten with three comics total. Dark Knight III: The Master Race #4 came in at #3 for the month.

Image Comics‘ best comic was The Walking Dead #153 at #13. IDW Publishing‘s Micronauts #1 was their best at #75. Finally, Dark Horse ComicsAliens: Defiance #1 was their best comic at #132.

Check out the full list below.

TOP 100 COMIC BOOKS
Based on Total Unit Sales of Products Invoiced in April 2016

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1BLACK PANTHER #1$4.99FEB160740-MMAR
2STAR WARS POE DAMERON #1$4.99FEB160747-MMAR
3DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #4$5.99JAN160219-MDC
4STAR WARS SPECIAL C-3PO #1$4.99OCT150933MAR
5BATMAN #51$3.99FEB160185-MDC
6GWENPOOL #1$4.99FEB160762-MMAR
7STAR WARS #18$3.99FEB160935-MMAR
8DARTH VADER #19$3.99FEB160938MAR
9HARLEY QUINN & SUICIDE SQUAD APRIL FOOLS SPEC #1$4.99FEB160121-MDC
10AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10$3.99FEB160792-MMAR
11JUSTICE LEAGUE #49$3.99JAN160248-MDC
12AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11$3.99FEB160794MAR
13WALKING DEAD #153 (MR)$2.99FEB160612IMA
14BATMAN TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #5$3.99FEB160211-MDC
15SPIDER-MAN DEADPOOL #4$3.99FEB160791MAR
16DEADPOOL #10$3.99FEB160914-MMAR
17MOON KNIGHT #1$4.99FEB160770-MMAR
18SPIDER-GWEN #7 SWO$3.99FEB160778-MMAR
19JUSTICE LEAGUE DARKSEID WAR SPECIAL #1$3.99DEC150216DC
20SPIDER-MAN #3$3.99FEB160797-MMAR
21OLD MAN LOGAN #4$3.99FEB160903-MMAR
22MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #2$3.99FEB161246-MBOO
23OLD MAN LOGAN #5$3.99FEB160905-MMAR
24DEADPOOL #9$3.99FEB160912-MMAR
25UNCANNY X-MEN #6 AW$4.99FEB160897-MMAR
26EMPRESS #1$3.99FEB160939-MMAR
27HARLEY QUINN #27$3.99FEB160197-MDC
28HARLEY QUINN AND HER GANG OF HARLEYS #1$3.99FEB160119-MDC
29MIGHTY THOR #6$3.99FEB160830-MMAR
30ALL NEW ALL DIFFERENT AVENGERS #8$3.99FEB160811-MMAR
31EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #9 AW$3.99FEB160901-MMAR
32OBI-WAN AND ANAKIN #4$3.99FEB160934MAR
33SPIDER-WOMEN ALPHA #1$4.99FEB160774MAR
34DOCTOR STRANGE #7$3.99FEB160869-MMAR
35AVENGERS STANDOFF ASSAULT ON PLEASANT HILL OMEGA #1$4.99FEB160815MAR
36SAGA #36 (MR)$2.99FEB160602IMA
37DAREDEVIL #6$3.99FEB160893-MMAR
38DEADPOOL MERCS FOR MONEY #3$3.99FEB160917-MMAR
39INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #8$3.99FEB160732MAR
40UNCANNY AVENGERS #8$3.99FEB160809-MMAR
41DETECTIVE COMICS #51$3.99FEB160187-MDC
42SILK #7 SWO$3.99FEB160783-MMAR
43HARLEYS LITTLE BLACK BOOK #3$4.99FEB160195-MDC
44INTERNATIONAL IRON MAN #2$3.99FEB160733-MMAR
45GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #7$3.99FEB160856-MMAR
46ALL NEW X-MEN #8$3.99FEB160911MAR
47SPIDER-WOMAN #6 SWO$3.99FEB160787-MMAR
48DOCTOR STRANGE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC #1$5.99FEB160871MAR
49ALL NEW WOLVERINE #7$3.99FEB160910MAR
50SUPERMAN #51$3.99FEB160172-MDC
51FLASH #50$4.99JAN160240-MDC
52BATGIRL #50$4.99JAN160235-MDC
53BATMAN SUPERMAN #31$3.99FEB160174-MDC
54BLACK WIDOW #2$3.99FEB160842-MMAR
55X-MEN 92 #2$3.99FEB160908-MMAR
56MOCKINGBIRD #2$3.99FEB160886-MMAR
57GREEN LANTERN #51$3.99FEB160205-MDC
58CAPTAIN AMERICA ROAD TO WAR #1$4.99FEB160729MAR
59ACTION COMICS #51$3.99FEB160176-MDC
60TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #5$3.99FEB160837-MMAR
61CAPTAIN AMERICA SAM WILSON #8$3.99FEB160805-MMAR
62NEW AVENGERS #9$3.99FEB160807MAR
63NEW AVENGERS #10$3.99FEB160808MAR
64MS MARVEL #6$3.99FEB160863-MMAR
65WONDER WOMAN #51$3.99FEB160170-MDC
66SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN #28$3.99FEB160178-MDC
67A-FORCE #4$3.99FEB160824MAR
68GRAYSON #19$3.99FEB160191-MDC
69UNCANNY INHUMANS #7$3.99FEB160866MAR
70KARNAK #3$3.99OCT150844-MMAR
71POWER MAN AND IRON FIST #3$3.99FEB160891-MMAR
72ROBIN SON OF BATMAN #11$3.99FEB160201-MDC
73INFINITY ENTITY #4$3.99JAN160732-MMAR
74ULTIMATES #6$3.99FEB160832-MMAR
75MICRONAUTS #1$4.99FEB160291-MIDW
76SUPERMAN AMERICAN ALIEN #6$3.99FEB160183-MDC
77CAPTAIN MARVEL #4$3.99FEB160834-MMAR
78DEATHSTROKE #17$2.99FEB160145-MDC
79SPIDEY #4$3.99JAN160852MAR
80SUPERMAN THE COMING OF THE SUPERMEN #3$3.99FEB160182DC
81CARNAGE #7$3.99FEB160803MAR
82ROCKET RACCOON AND GROOT #4$3.99FEB160852-MMAR
83ASTONISHING ANT-MAN #7$3.99FEB160825-MMAR
84SPIDER-MAN 2099 #9$3.99FEB160796MAR
85NEW SUICIDE SQUAD #19$2.99FEB160162DC
86BATGIRL #51$2.99FEB160189DC
87SILVER SURFER #3$3.99JAN160820-MMAR
88SPIDEY #5$3.99FEB160804MAR
89SQUADRON SUPREME #6$3.99FEB160818-MMAR
90POISON IVY CYCLE OF LIFE AND DEATH #4$2.99FEB160194DC
91HAUNTED MANSION #2$3.99FEB160923-MMAR
92TOKYO GHOST #6 (MR)$3.99FEB160549-MIMA
93AMAZING SPIDER-MAN AND SILK SPIDERFLY EFFECT #2$4.99FEB160802MAR
94TEEN TITANS #19$2.99FEB160164-MDC
95AQUAMAN #51$3.99FEB160138-MDC
96MONSTRESS #5 (MR)$3.99FEB160591IMA
97OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #18 (MR)$2.99FEB160594IMA
98ALL NEW HAWKEYE #6$3.99FEB160829MAR
99GREEN ARROW #51$2.99FEB160151-MDC
100SUPERMAN LOIS AND CLARK #7$3.99FEB160180-MDC
« Older Entries