Newsstand Support = Betrayal

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 Jim Shooter describing internal opposition at Marvel to special efforts to support the newsstand distribution channel:

“Kalish vehemently opposed a newsstand exclusive. She vehemently objected to any support of any kind for the newsstand. She claimed that the Direct Distributors and shop owners would see any such things as betrayal, rise up in anger and retaliate against Marvel. Why not just hand the Direct Market over to DC?”

“The Direct Market was easy money, quick money, sure money to the brass—not that any of them had ever set foot in a comics shop or even opened a comic book. To them it was about moving the units and collecting the cash. Might as well have been widgets we were selling. But, they knew the Direct Market was shooting fish in a barrel. Why jeopardize that?”

— Jim Shooter, Comic Book Distribution Part Three

What is particularly interesting to me about this quote, is how it reveals internal opposition at Marvel to the idea of special support for the ailing newsstand distribution channel. The idea that a “newsstand exclusive” would cause comic shop owners to feel betrayal is such an interesting notion — and highlights how throughout modern comic book history, the shops and the newsstands were in competition… A comic book buyer picking up the next issue of Amazing Spider-Man on the newsstand didn’t need to buy it from the local comic shop (and vice versa). This sets up an interesting dynamic where newsstand comics were almost an “enemy” of comic shops.

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