Newsstand: Spotty, Unreliable

Slide from Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates; discussion below.

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newsstand-spotty-unreliable

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 one of my favorite quotes by Jim Shooter about the newsstand channel:

“The newsstand cast a wide net. It funneled wannabe collectors into the comics shops. In a way, the spotty, unreliable, inconsistent nature of newsstand distribution was a good thing, because someone who just had to have every issue was more or less forced to seek out a comics shop.”

— Jim Shooter

What is particularly interesting to me about this quote, is how well it describes the forces that would drive comic book buyers into the shops, transforming a more casual buyer hooked on reading a given comic book title, into a regular comic shop customer and perhaps even a collector from there. There is an example with the cycling of the UPC codes on Amazing Spider-Man where one of the last newsstand outlets in Georgia missed every third Amazing Spider-Man issue. A reader finding themselves with this kind of “hole” in the story would pretty much be forced to seek out a comics shop to buy the missed issue, just like Shooter described in that quote. And from there, might very well have become a regular customer of the comic shop… thereby taking home direct edition copies from that point forward.

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