Final San Diego Comic-Con Report


I am at my daughter, Aleta's, house in Los Angeles this morning, recuperating from the stresses of this year's San Diego Comic-Con. Not only am I physically weary today, but I am also emotionally numb. Having our San Diego booth fail to succeed this year, in spite of our having invested immense amounts of both time and working capital into making it our best convention booth, ever, was depressing to me beyond words. Especially in light of the fact that it was our own comics publishers who contributed the most to our lack of success. As harsh as this may seem, never in my life have I ever been so happy to see the skyline of San Diego recede from sight in my van's rear view mirror...

If you are wondering why we did not succeed in meeting our convention goals this year, I would urge you to read my last two newsletters. Before you read my two previous essays, however, I want you to know that I ultimately did heed the outpouring of requests that I received from fans and professionals at the show, and renewed our booth for next year. In all honesty, however, I have to admit that my decision to renew at SDCC for one more year was driven more by an emotional response to all the kind words of support that we received, rather than any kind of good business sense. Simply put, I do not have any faith or belief that the circumstances that devastated our sales at this year's convention will be in any way mitigated at next year's show. Our comics publishers will all express sympathy with the plight of participating retailers at conventions, but will then continue engaging in behaviors that solely benefit them. Such is life.

One clarification that I do wish to make is to a misconception that is making the rounds of the Internet. Contrary to what some folks are reporting, I am not at all opposed to comics publishers creating variant editions. I actually think that creating limited edition variant covers to more noteworthy comics is fun, and have encouraged publishers to create more. My real disagreement is with publishers choosing publish highly desirable limited editions of their best works, and then to become the exclusive source for those variants.

To expand on that thought a bit further, it is bad enough when publishers betray their entire network of retailers by offering our customers exclusive editions by mail, but when they bypass us entirely in the mutual marketplace of a convention dealer's room, they are making their attack upon us very, very personal. What recourse do I have, for example when Dark Horse chooses to print an entire line of exclusive editions that can only be purchased through their booth. Do I tell them that I am not going to carry their monthly titles in protest? As much as I might want to do exactly that, I simply cannot. My retail store customers and online subscribers expect to be able to pick up a full line of Dark Horse products in our store, and most could not care one whit about how Dark Horse is otherwise treating us. So I am stuck actively promoting comics during 52 weeks a year from a publisher who then lures our customers away from us whenever they find it convenient. Are there any questions about why this discourages me?

Before you think that I am singling Dark Horse out for what they've done at SDCC, please bear in mind that withholding exclusives from us at conventions is now true of Marvel, DC, Image, and all the other comics publishers. One and all they are now actively seeking to divert convention dollars from us, into their own pockets. Sometimes they use proxys to do their dirty work (such as DC allowing only one marketing company to handle their limited editions, or Marvel allowing a highly desirable variant to only be picked up if you stood in an endless line at the Marvel Studios booth ...) but the net result us the same. They are forcing our customers to spend many hours standing in lines, and then profiting off the sales of comics products that they refuse to allow us to purchase. In all honesty, the gross unfairness of this new system makes me wish to the core of my being that I could just abandon the new comics business entirely, and return to my childhood roots of selling only back issues. To paraphrase Shakespeare, "May there be a pox on all their houses..."

I will close today's bittersweet newsletter with a couple of very important news bits for you. First, while we narrowed our loss at the convention considerably thanks to brisk Sunday sales, we still ended up about $6,000 below break even. I am going to give you a chance to help us make up that loss by offering you a very short-lived 60% off SANDIEGO codeword sale. This 60% off sale will only run through this upcoming Saturday at noon. at that point, a 40% off sale will go into effect for the next few months. This is an unprecedented sale offered only because I need to make up our losses. Please do allow us extra shipping time, as we expect to be inundated with orders over the next three days.

The ground rule for this new 60% off sale are the same as always: no new comics, CGC's, or books are included. A few variants are also excluded. For the most part, however, all eight million of our back issue comics and magazines are part of the 60% off sale, including all of our Golden Age, Silver Age, and Bronze Age issues.

My last item for today is a secondary offering of the official 2014 San Diego Comic-Con variants that were distributed to all the comics retailers at the show by Diamond Distributing. Because our booth sales were so slow on Thursday and Friday at the convention, we had more copies left at the end of these very nice limited editions than we originally projected. Supplies are still very limited, but we should be able to fill all orders received over the next couple of days.

Happy Collecting!

Chuck Rozanski,
President - Mile High Comics, Inc.
July 29, 2014

2014 San Diego Comic-Con Variants

Extinction Parade: War #1 (MR) - SDCC 2014 Edition

Limited to 2,000 copies - $9.95

Adventure Time #30 - SDCC 2014 Edition

Limited to 3,000 copies - $9.95

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #47 - SDCC 2014 Edition

Limited to 5,000 copies - $9.95

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1 - SDCC 2014 Edition Cover A

Limited to 3,000 copies - $9.95

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1 - SDCC 2014 Edition Cover B

Limited to 3,000 copies - $9.95

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1 - SDCC 2014 Edition Cover C

Limited to 600 copies - $29.95

Black Science #7 - SDCC 2014 Edition

Limited to 3,000 copies - $9.95

Rocket Raccoon #1 Skottie Young B&W Variant - SDCC 2014 Edition

Limited to 5,000 copies - $9.95

Spider-Man 2099 #1 B&W Variant - SDCC 2014 Edition

Limited to 4,000 copies - $9.95

The Legendary Star-Lord #1 Skottie Young B&W Variant - SDCC 2014 Edition

Limited to 5,000 copies - $9.95

Uncanny X-Men #23 Minimates Variant - SDCC 2014 Edition

Limited to 5,000 copies - $9.95

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1 - SDCC 2014 Edition

Limited to 3,000 copies - $9.95

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1 - SDCC 2014 Edition

Limited to 3,000 copies - $9.95

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