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The Wednesday Club Goes Behind the Scenes of Your Comic Book Store
The Wednesday ClubThe Wednesday Club

The Wednesday Club Goes Behind the Scenes of Your Comic Book Store

The Wednesday Club is Geek & Sundry’s weekly talk show chatting about all things comics. This week, host Amy Dallen walked her co-hosts Matt Key and Taliesin Jaffe through the weird and wonderful world that is comics retail.

Amy is an expert at how modern day local comic book shops (LCS) work, thanks to her almost 10 years of experience at the Burbank store House of Secrets. Here’s how the LCS magic happens.

It All Begins With Previews

“[Previews] is published by and comes out from Diamond Comics,” began Amy. “Diamond Comics is a distributor… At present, and for the better part of 20 years, Diamond has had essentially a monopoly. Which is to say, if you’re ordering Marvel Comics, if you are ordering DC Comics, you are getting them through Diamond Comics.”

Diamond Comics puts together a monthly catalog called Previews. In it, you’ll find the books coming out for that month with their solicit information, such as the creative team and a synopsis.

Amy Dallen

“In the pages of this book will be the month’s comics, graphic novels, toys, T-shirts, and other merchandise,” Amy said. “It’s what we use mostly to figure out what we will stock in the store.”

The book has so many products that it even includes a grand total for ordering one of everything featured that month—about $87,000 (the price of a Tesla X) for everything in the October catalog, for instance.

Taliesin enjoys just flipping through the catalog even without the intent of placing a pre-order. “It’s actually a pleasing read,” he said.

Placing the Order

The order form accompanies the giant catalog and features a list of books for the month from all publishers. Orders must usually be placed by the middle of the month, and comics usually arrive two months later. For example, “In October, you’re ordering December comics,” explained Amy, with a longer amount of time for other items like statues and graphic novels.

As for what to order, “We depend on customers,” she said. “We depend on you guys to tell us what you’re excited about, because one person saying, ‘That book looks good,’ is infinitely more valuable than even us just flipping through and seeing that little thing and thinking, I hope this is cool.'”

That one person’s enthusiasm will likely lead to the store ordering ten extra copies to keep on the shelf, Amy revealed.

Pre-Order For Yourself

“A chunk of customers will actually buy or browse one of these catalogs, fill out [an] order form, and specifically pre-order the books and items that they’re interested in,” said Amy. If there’s a specific toy or book that you want to get your hands on, but you’re not sure if your LCS is going to carry it, you can order it through the store while that pre-order period is open.

Previews Order Form

“Talk to your shop,” said Amy. “They’re the ones who will be able to help and make sure you get the thing you want, and not a bunch of other stuff.”

Hang out on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel every Wednesday night to catch the next amazing episode of The Wednesday Club.

Featured Image: Geek & Sundry

Other Images: Geek & Sundry and Diamond Comics

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