Convergence – A Comic Book Retailer Speaks Out

1797414_295328477298812_1847786938_nComic book retailer Mike Swenson of Juke Joint Comics in from Bismarck, North Dakota write to Bleeding Cool yesterday,

As of this morning, our DC sales are down nearly 40% this month compared to last year. And with Convergence #3 hitting the shelves today, I am still scrambling to sell 0, 1 and 2. along with the other tie ins.
Of the 25 copies we had of each, I still have 12 #0s, 6 #1s, and 10 #2s waiting to find new homes.   As for other titles, it's looking just as grim.
We generally sell out 30-40 copies of Batman on release day. Of the 25 Convergence Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1s, I still have 15 remaining.
For Harley Quinn, we usually sell about 30 copies. Of the 30 Convergence Harley Quinn #1s, we still have 22 on the shelves.
Suicide Squad has also usually been an instant sell out for us. However, we've yet to sell 5 copies of the tie in and still have 16 on the rack.
Of our 60 pull box subscribers, just 5 (!) asked for anything related to the event. The general response has been  "I'll wait until it's over" or "just let me know when Batman #40 gets here"
Needless to say, sales are down this month and other than dropping all the books to 50 cents, I'll probably be giving them away on Free Comic Book Day and just take the loss and reclaim my shelf space. As I'm sure you've heard from other retailers, we definitely can't afford 2 months of not selling DC books. Batman, Harley, and Suicide Squad are generally in our top 5 titles every month and so far Convergence has done nothing but keep readers away. I guess the worst part of it is that customers aren't grabbing other books instead. They're simply just waiting for it to be over so they can resume their regular habits.
It is what it is, I guess. Just a small bump in the road of being a retailer. However, April is stressful enough as it is between taxes and crappy weather, so hopefully it turns around soon.
That's all for now… I'll check back in a few weeks once Secret Wars invades our store. And will be keeping my fingers crossed as tightly as possible.

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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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