Some Comic Stores Boycott Archie Over Kickstarter, As Archie Signs Deal With Target/Wal-Mart

3e6661dcf5cb28053f8580178f9e5ece_originalEarlier this morning, we ran a piece about the just-launched Archie Comics kickstarter funding offer to expand their upcoming relaunch of Archie Comics titles, including creators such as Chip Zdarsky and Adam Hughes.

We also ran a letter by Archie CEO, Jon Goldwater, to explain why they were doing this.

It didn't go down well with everyone…

Jesse James of Jesse James Comics of Arizona was rather expressive about the concerns he could see,

I'm sorry did he forget that there are Retailers that would have bought these so you didn't have to do a ‪‎Kickstarter‬……

This article is a outrage and an insult to the retailers around the world. This unfortunately is an act of laziness and not willing to work with your partners that support you daily on the front lines in a store.

The fact that youbrought up Marvel or DC in your conversation is a lack of knowledge of the strength of Independent companies who are working hard with their partners to be successful.

I as a retailer would like to personally thank you opening my eyes to what your company's overall view of the retailer and the worth we hold to your business.

As of this moment we have cut all orders for future Archie books and will only order for box holders going forward. We have pulled all your product from display. Though we are only one store…it's now one less store you have to pretend you had any interest of supporting.

Basically, even though Archie offered retailer packs in the Kickstarter deal, they had turned from being purely a publishing partner, to being a competitor – selling directly to potential comic store customers and cutting out the retailer. Dennis Barger of Wonderworld Comics also weighed in,

Hey ‪#‎archiecomics‬ take two giant steps back and actually f yourself in your own ass. I was reluctantly going to support this reboot until I found out you are now marketing toward the customers that I was hoping on selling your grasping at straws attempt to stay relevant comic to. After 4 issues of Archie vs predator, Archie vs sharknado and now this… My love for Fiona Staples can't make me support you any longer.

It's official I have reduced the order of all copies of Archie 666 to zero, 0, donut, nada, nothing, nil, bye bye

These comic stores will probably be even less enamoured by Jon Goldwater's latest update. The Kickstarter is all down to cashflow issues regarding getting Archie comics back into Target and Wal-Mart stores. Goldwater wrote,

We've gotten a lot of questions about why we're asking for this money and what it means for these books, so to be completely transparent:

A few months back, Archie got a huge opportunity—we got the chance to set up some rack space at Target and Wal-Mart. The opportunity was unexpected but important. It also meant a diversion of resources that we did not anticipate. It's the good kind of surprise. But it didn't come without a price.

That being said, we knew ARCHIE #1 was going to be a huge success. How could it not be? Mark Waid + Fiona Staples + Archie!

So we wanted to maximize the opportunity and present our fans with more #NewRiverdale content, from some of the best creators out there. Minus this Kickstarter, would these books come out? Yes, eventually. But we don't want to wait—and we don't think our fans want to wait. Hence, this call for help in building a #NewRiverdale.

Thanks for listening, as always!

Somehow I don't think that's going to make certain comic stores any happier.

While Kickstarter has been a way for many small publishers and creators to find an audience and funding, retailers may see Archie as above this. Sales may not be high in comic book stores, but if retailers believe that Archie are directly cannabilising that audience, then orders may drop even lower.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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