The “local comic book shop” has just got another big boost from indie superstar line, Image Comics. As many people who watch the industry know, it is expensive and risky to stock new “floppy” books. You have to often put the money up front, which you can take a huge loss on if you over order. It can really be just a few subscription or “box” customers to drop their books without paying to throw the entire operation under. Image hopes to change this in an effort to give the local retailers some stability.
What they are doing is essentially giving them a longer period of time to pay the Image section of their Diamond Distribution bill. This would allow them to essentially sell some books before paying, which could add some cushion for the retailers who are picking up the increasing number of Image books. The sheer number of Image titles is becoming daunting for retailers, especially since they end up being bigger sellers in collections like trade paperbacks. The single issues are often just where the publishers break even, except in the case of very popular superhero books.
If the retailers want this billing function, then they will have to order three quarters of the chosen books at the set amount. This is really a push by Image to help remake the comic shop in a more indie image, which is exactly what most new adult comic readers are looking for. Let’s hope this leads to even more diversity in this growing comic renaissance.