Update on WALT DISNEY'S COMICS #666
Last week I wrote a post about the release of WALT DISNEY'S COMICS #666, and as an afterthought, I griped about the fact that Gemstone Comics, who is the publisher of Disney Comics and also happens to be owned by our main comic distributor Diamond Comics, had placed ads promoting their subscription service. I commented "Holy mackeral, I'm apparently in direct competition with my distributor! What a world."
Well, on Friday, I received the following email:
I'd like to try and see where you're coming from with the whole subscription thing, because we don't want to screw retailers. I guess the main reason that I don't understand why you're upset is that Gemstone's subscriptions are offered at cover price, while...Well, after some thought (and a little research), I replied with this:
• Marvel's subscriptions start at $1.99/issue,
• DC's subscriptions are $2.00/issue ($1.66/issue for their Johnny DC titles), and
• Archie's subscriptions are offered at $1.35/issue.
I mean, I could totally understand your frustration if Gemstone undercut the SRP, but that's not the case -- and we refuse to do it precisely because we don't want to compete with y'all! The only reason we're offering subs is because we have fans who either don't have local shops or the shops that are near them won't carry the books.
I just don't see how our subscriptions are competing with you... but if I'm missing something here, please let me know!
Art Director, Disney Comic Books
Hey Travis!After which, I got this back:
Thanks for writing, and I must say I feel pretty stupid. You're absolutely right. Diamond isn't undercutting me at all... I ASSUMED that Gemstone was offering the subscription comics at a reduced rate, but now I see that that's not the case. I stand corrected. I was just sort of caught off guard by a big full-page ad that initially sounded like Gemstone was fishing for subscribers, thus cutting the stores out of the loop.
I guess I would have only been happy with something like "If worse comes to worst and you absolutely, positively can't get to a comic book shop, we will send you copies through the mail with an additional healthy shipping fee, and with the chance that they will be lost or damaged. In extreme circumstances, Gemstone will provide this service." Or something.
P.S.: I hope you do charge subscribers lots and lots for shipping! Heh heh heh.
PS: I really don't know about the shipping (that's handled at Gemstone's West Plains, MO branch), but I would assume we're including it in the subscription price. So... maybe the case could be made that we're undercutting you if the price of gas is included...but...um...hey, look over there at that silverbulletcomics.com! They're charging 30 cents off the cover price!
I just thought you all might be interested to know that my anger was mostly unfounded, and I really appreciated the contact from Travis. See, they DO care.