Torn-Off Newsstand Covers

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 from Jim Shooter about the history of comic book returns:

“Things changed. The cost of shipping the returns back was a burden. Eventually, Independent Distributor Wholesalers (“ID’s”) were allowed to merely tear the covers off and return those as evidence of the number unsold. Of course, some ID’s would then sell some of the coverless books through various lower-tier or bargain outlets, or for paper pulp.”

— Jim Shooter, Comic Book Distribution

What is particularly interesting to me about this quote is that during different periods of time, entire comics might have been shipped back, representing the ones that did not sell through on the newsstands. But then at some point to save on the shipping cost, they were accepting torn-off covers as evidence of unsold copies. This discussion by Shooter definitely highlights the variability of what happened to newsstand comics if they didn’t sell. The fate of the returned copies is an element of newsstand survivorship/rarity.

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