Comics at Barnes & Noble: What’s on the Rack
It’s true: Barnes & Noble is now stocking comic books and putting them in high traffic areas. I went to the mall today and the first rack of magazines as you walk in the mall-side entrance is comics. If you look at the right angle, you can see them through the window.
Rich Johnston was reporting a store with the top two sections being comics, but this one was the middle section and the bottom section. The middle row was fairly picked through and the bottom row seemed mostly intact. Whether this is because people don’t like to lean over for the bottom row or whether people were preferring the (mostly Marvel) comics in the middle row, I can’t tell you. It would be interesting to see what would happen if the DC-centric section went to the top.
As to what was there, the vast majority of titles were DC and Marvel. There were some Dark Horse Star Wars titles and Bongo Simpsons titles, but you see those at Borders, so I wouldn’t call that a surprise. You had two titles from Blue Water: Britney Spears and the Royal Wedding (sorry, Rich). There were a handful of magazines, too, but the only thing there that was completely out of left field was the third issue of Brimstone and the Borderhounds.
Yeah, I completely blanked on that one, too. $5 cover price and a bit out of place in the back row of the mostly Marvel section. Come to find out there’s a website for the comic and the Brimstone in question is some sort of indie wrestler from Long Island.
It seems like this particular Barnes & Noble was stocking 12 copies of each book. Of course, that would also mean Brimstone had sold 10 copies, as there were only 2 of that. At least the larger stacks of comics were 11 or 12 copies, so that seems to be a useful rule of thumb for DC and Marvel titles.
The Marvel titles were all marked “Newsstand” and priced $3.99, with the exception of Incredible Hulks. That one went for a massive $4.99. That means some $2.99 titles jacked up $1 for newsstand and some $3.99 titles staying steady. I have no immediate explanation for the Incredible Hulks price.
On the whole, this was a fairly mainstream selection and, other than Brimstone, the only title whose appearance was a mild surprise to me was DC’s excellent Xombi.
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