The latest comically inept DC screw-up comes courtesy of Bleeding Cool, where Rich Johnston reports that DC Comics, for the past three weeks, has been running ads for DCBS and InStockTrades on the back page of their comics. The mail order services offer discounts up to 50% on comics and trades, which is a problem for local comic shops, who are unable to match those prices. According to Johnston, the ads contradict recent "assurances" made by departing DC SVP of Sales Bob Wayne, and DC has reached out to retailers to apologize:
I understand that DC representatives have contacted retailers to apologise for this decision and that it was made when senior figures were out of the office and a symptom of the recent retailer roadshows and the move from East Coast to West.
As we all know, when we see comics "sales" numbers, those are the not the number of copies purchased by fans, but the number purchased by comic book stores, who then own the copies and need to either sell them to fans or take a loss, since returns are not generally accepted in the direct market. In that environment, publishers and stores have a symbiotic relationship where both need the other to survive. This is why publishers attend special events to schmooze retailers, such as DC's own series of traveling "retailer roadshows." So to screw over your own partners seems unwise.
Controversial retailer Dennis Barger Jr. certainly seems to think so, commenting on Facebook:
Are you kidding me??? Jude Terror reset the clock!!! I'm telling, those clowns at DC can say it's an honest mistake all day long, a hundred times a year, but everything they subconsciously screw up spells the end of comic shops. If you screwed up this many times raising your kids child services would have taken them long ago!!!
Yeah, DC said one thing, did another, and then had to call and apologize (though any damage to local businesses is likely already done). And rather than being an intentional move, it happened by mistake when everyone in charge was "out of the office?" Really? That's the excuse? That's about as stupid as it gets.
It has been 0 days.