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Were This Week's Marvel Comics Printed On Toilet Paper?

As I mentioned in my Saga preview yesterday, the fact that Image Comics has a $2.99 comic printed on decent quality paper and cover, while Marvel have $3.99 and $4.99 comics with fewer pages, printed on what appears to be tissue paper, including the cover, seemed pretty rich this week. Readers and comic book stores were quick to notice on social media:

Were This Week's Marvel Comics Printed On Toilet Paper?

Brandi Williams: Marvel, what's with the absolute trash quality of paper used on this week's comics? The covers feel like they're printed on newsprint and yet you charge the same price? #disappointed

Got Comics Inc: This weeks comics from #marvelcomics & #penguinrandomhouse is not up to quality. Damaged and missing issues from PRH and Marvel printed their comics on thinner paper. #damagedcomics #thinpaper

Joe: "#NCBD! Hey @Marvel did someone steal your paper stock this week? Maestro feels like it was printed on tissue paper"

Scoot McElroy: Happy #NCBD! Is it just me or does the paper of today's @Marvel comics seem REALLY flimsy and cheap?!"

Pittsburgh Comics: Marvel Comics cover stock this week is embarrassing. Basically tissue paper like you stuff in the top of a gift bag. I'm afraid to handle them.

Dan Gurfinkel: Geez, @Marvel's cover stock is awful this week. I know paper costs are always rising, but the books shouldn't feel flimsier than the free Comic Shop News mag.

The Liquid Awesome: Marvel, I don't know who came up with the idea to use tissue paper for the covers of your new books, but that asshole needs to be fired ASAP. This is some straight bullshit.

Dok 2.0: The paper stock on this week's @marvel comics is absolutely embarrassing.

Cole: Marvel already uses mediocre paper to print their comics, but today's batch is the worst I've dealt with. For a company worth billions you think they could afford a better product.

Rian Miller:  ME: I swear Marvel's cover stock is getting thinner. This feels like tissue paper. CARLY: Anything to cut costs, I guess. This from the company who put cardstock on every book in the 90's. ME: And then they went bankrupt. CARLY: *Because* they put cardstock on every book.

Erik C. Jones: I don't how they did it but Marvel's paper quality somehow got worse this week.

Key Issues Nick:  Every books cover is wavy right when you buy it. I couldn't imagine reading one of their books multiple times, it would turn to confetti

Rian Miller: This is even worse than normal. Savage Spider-Man and Shang-Chi this week are printed on TERRIBLE quality paper.

Key Issues Nick: Charmin had to branch out to make ends meet during the pandemic

Online comic book store MyComicShop shared some details as to what had gone down;

Some of the Marvel issues we received for this week have been printed on a notably lower quality paper stock–a thin, flimsy paper of the same stock as the interior pages. Because of the lower quality paper, many of these issues are a little more dinged up than what we usually expect when receiving brand new issues from our publishers. As a result, our stock for these issues will contain a higher ratio of VF or FN copies than usual, with fewer NM available.

Some of the affected titles from this week's releases include:
Iron Man #18
Maestro World M #2
Savage Spider-Man #2
Shang Chi #10

Marvel tells us to expect similar cover stock for these issues due out next week:

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #36
Silk #3

We and many other retailers have already made our feelings about this loud and clear to Marvel and its distributors. What we've heard from Marvel is that these issues will not be reprinted, but that they are shifting back to a better cover stock for new issues going forward. Hopefully there aren't too many more of these issues in the pipeline.

You know, the cardstock programme seems to have worked a treat for DC Comics…

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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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