Marvel Comics Pushes Their FOC Date Back From 23 Days To 30 Days

Bleeding Cool recently postedthat the comic book industry is suffering from printing delays brought on by the pandemic, with shortages of paper, printing time, and distribution, all at the same time that demand for printed product has been rising. We also pointed out some specific issues that Marvel Comics has been having in this regard and how there would be changes. And one of those changes has just landed, Marvel Comics will be increasing their FOC date from 23 days to 30 days. FOC stands for Final Order Cut-Off and it is the system, negotiated by lawsuit from retailer Brian Hibbs, that enables comic book stores to change their order numbers, up or down, closer to publication date. In the direct market comic books are generally not returnable, and market circumstances can change in the three months between their initial orders and the comics turning up at the comic book store.

Marvel Comics Pushes Their FOC Date Back From 23 Days To 30 Days
Marvel logo

It is undeniable that increasing that date from 30 days to 23 days will make it harder for retailers to have accurate numbers reflecting the demands of the marketplace. But it will also allow Marvel another week between the fixing of the print run and when it arrives in store, and right now, that's a week that will mean a lot for Marvel Comics, especially as they switch to a new exclusive distributor, Penguin Random House. Here's the letter sent out by Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, David Gabriel.

Dear Retailers:
We are very excited to report that Penguin Random House's first week of shipping comics for the 10/6 release is well on track. Furthermore, we are working closely with PRH to minimize the impact of the logistical and printer capacity issues facing the industry. To ensure you continue to receive reliable shipments, Marvel plans to increase the lead time between FOC dates and On Sale dates for most Marvel comics from 23 days to 30 days, adding an extra week to production to help mitigate any printing delays that may occur. These new earlier FOC dates will begin to apply for November titles going on sale 11/3, 11/10, and 11/17. Marvel will continue evaluating these production dates and share regular updates as needed.

Expect other publishers to consider following suit. It may be an interesting Thank FOC It's Friday column this week.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About 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.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.