Unsold Comics Were Returns

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:

“The reason unsold books were called returns is that, in ancient days, all unsold copies were returned to the publisher intact! Publishers were free to redistribute their publications to secondary or international markets, offer them through a back issue service, or sell them for pulp.”

— Jim Shooter, Comic Book Distribution

What is particularly interesting to me about this quote is that during different periods of time, the fate of returned copies could be different. If unsold copies were returned intact and sold into a secondary market, that is a far different survivorship scenario than if unsold copies were pulped.

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