Bleeding Cool published a letter DC Comics sent out to retailers today calling Villains' Month "one of the most exceptional and successful months DC Entertainment has ever seen," and thanking retailers for helping DC make what we imagine was a bazillion dollars off of the artificially inflated demand for useless gimmick covers. The letter does mention a few "bumps in the road," referring to the repeated shortages of the covers, late communication with retailers about the shortages, and massive amounts of negative publicity and ill will generated by the whole fiasco, but DC claims to have already learned from them and be looking for the next way to "excite and invigorate the market" (read: do the exact same thing again in six months).
It's clear that DC has learned no lesson from this, and the depressing September sales numbers will undoubtedly prove that, in a way, they were right all along, as DC will probably sweep the month in unit and market share. At least, that's what preliminary reactions from big retailers are saying (it seems that smaller retailers, with less buying power and flexibility in their orders, were more likely to be screwed by the shortages than big retailers, who can afford to keep a lot of copies on shelves and avoid shorting their pullbox customers). From CBR:
"Villains Month has performed much better for Midtown than an average month for DC, and that's saying a lot," said Gerry Gladston, co-owner of Midtown Comics, a New York City-based chain with a significant mail order business.
On the opposite coast, Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in Concord, California and president of retailer organization ComicsPRO, said he expects September to be up "almost 30 percent" from an average DC month in 2013 -- though he cites an appearance from DC co-publisher and "Superman Unchained" artist Jim Lee at his store on Sept. 14 as a factor.
Check out the full article on CBR for a lot more takes from other retailers.
In the end, DC will have sold a lot more books than they would normally have, and in the short-sighted, immediate profit-driven corporate environment of Big Comics, that's really all that matters to them.
But hey, at least we got a few laughs, and a bunch of people on ebay made $80 off the Joker's Daughter issue. We even considered asking people to send us copies of that so we could sell them on ebay, take the money, and use it to pay for Has DC Done Something Stupid Today's webserver so that DC would effectively be funding that site with their own stupidity. However, we ultimately felt that we couldn't, in good conscience, participate in this whole affair.
Here's the letter that was sent out, reprinted from Bleeding Cool.
THANK YOU FROM THE CO-PUBLISHERS
We’d like to take a moment to thank you for all your support for DC’s Villains Month. From the time we started to talk about this initiative with you, we knew it would be an extraordinary and challenging venture. We also knew that there would be several concerns over ordering and allocations, and we fully appreciate your working with us through every stage of this process. And while we had bumps along the way, we hope, in the end, the outcome was positive for all involved. We listened to you and have learned from the experience as we continue to look at ways to excite and invigorate the market.
Villains Month has been one of the most exceptional and successful months DC Entertainment has ever seen, and we owe so much of that success to our long and continuing partnership!
Again, thank you!
Your villainous Co-Publishers,