For a few months now, the comics media has been reporting on the epic clusterfuck that has been DC's Villains Month 3D covers debacle, dubbed the 3Dnado, in which DC was unable to fulfill the orders for their massive gimmick extravaganza, forcing retailers to have to decide which customers would get the books they ordered and which would be screwed. Naturally, this didn't go over too well with most retailers, and even less so when they canceled and resolicited the second printing of the full set and when they announced even further shortages for next week's books.
Some have tried trading with other retailers to get the books their customers preordered. Some have used lotteries to decide. Some had to ask customers which books they wanted, and which they REALLY wanted, so they could distribute as fairly as possible. Others have reportedly just taken the 3D covers, put them immediately up on the wall for inflated prices, and let capitalism sort it out.
There have been quite a few pieces written about the various reasons why the 3Dnado is harmful to retailers. Retail mogul Brian Hibbs has written one about the gimmick itself, and one about the shortages (and others too - that dude writes a lot). Wonderworld Comics have been critical of DC's handling of the affair (the picture in that article says it all). Bleeding Cool collected a ton of responses from retailers, most of them negative. Some retailers on our own forums have not been pleased either.
So, if you're DC, how do you react to this? Do you put out some kind of apology? Offer to make it up to retailers and readers some other way? Show that you've learned a lesson from this and will try to make sure nobody gets let down next time? Maybe just lay low and wait for it to blow over?
Nope. You push obliviously forward and publish a blog post claiming retailers LOVE the 3D covers and include three examples of retailers that think it's been great for business:
And it’s not just our fans who have spoken up, our local comic shop retailers have as well. Here’s just a bit of what they’ve had to say about Villains Month…
“Thanks to Villains Month it will be our best September sales month ever, even surpassing that of the launch of The New 52.”
Laughing Ogre Comics
Lansdowne, VA, Fairfax, VA, and Columbus, OH
“As predicted, DC's Villains Month has been a huge hit. Many plan to showcase some of the comic covers in frames on their walls at work and at home. In addition, we're finally getting origin stories for some of our favorite characters. Hopefully, these terrific covers will attract new readers ready to join in the love affair many of us have long enjoyed with these characters and their wonderful stories.”
Night Flight Comics
Salt Lake City, UT
“The 3D covers for Villains Month has increased excitement for comics again. We have had a line outside before we open on Wednesdays, which we have not seen since the #1's of The New 52. Despite the allocations, our sales have increased over last year September considerably.”
Buy Me Toys
Villains may be bad guys, but it’s clear they equal a good time. Thanks for joining in the fun and making Villains Month a resounding success.
That's right, folks. A resounding success. And that's why DC will learn nothing from this debacle, and why we're going to see more of this crap, both from them and probably from Marvel too. Because when the sales numbers hit for September, make no mistake, DC will be on top of the charts.
In other words, dear readers: you've brought this on yourselves.