Newsstand Business Collapse

Slide from Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates; discussion below.

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This slide is part of my post entitled
Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates where I have collected quotes and graphics related to the discussion of relative newsstand rarity over the years, compared to direct edition copies. In this slide, I am discussing a quote by Chuck Rozanski about how Marvel Comics chose to open up their distribution system to new entrants in 1979:

“Marvel’s choosing to open up their distribution system to new entrants in 1979, and providing working capital at the same time, turned out to be the turning point in the history of the company. In fact, if you consider that the expansion in market share by the Direct Market was paralleled by the simultaneous collapse of the newsstand business, it becomes clear that Marvel Comics would not have survived the 1980’s without the robust growth in comics specialty shops.”

— Chuck Rozanski, Modifications to the Distribution System

What is particularly interesting to me about this quote, is that the idea that Marvel not only opened up their distribution system to new entrants in 1979 — the year when sales of discernable “direct edition” copies of comic books began — but provided working capital at the same time. Described here as a “turning point” it also explains part of the business reason that we saw such tremendous growth in sales of direct edition copies of comic books in the 1980’s. With the newsstand business collapse taking place at that time, Rozanski suggests Marvel might not have even survived the 1980’s had they not tapped into that direct edition sales channel to the specialty comics shops.

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