Some of my earliest memories involving Marvel Comics are those times when I’d go to the bookstore with my mother and venture into the magazine section to read Spider-Man comic books. I also vaguely remember visiting my parents at work and seeing the different Avengers staring back at me on the newsstands around the city. Unfortunately, it looks like those days are over and future generations may not have that opportunity.
According to a report from GoodEReader, Marvel Entertainment has pulled single issues of their comic books from major book chains Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. The decision appears to have been made by Marvel and the stores are “basically unable to order single-issue comics [from Marvel] at all”. However, the House of Ideas hasn’t disappeared completely from these establishments because collected editions and graphic novels are still available.
The circumstances surrounding this decision are very curious considering how popular Marvel is becoming outside of the literary world. One would think that the company would be looking to sell their products in as many places as they possibly could in order to reach a wider audience. Now, their competitors DC Comics and Dark Horse are the ones that will dominate the magazine aisles at these chains.
Of course, most people seeking out comic books aren’t really going to these stores anyway, so I don’t anticipate any sales fluctuations. Not only are the single issues at your local comic book shop in better condition, but there’s a wider variety as well. If I recall correctly, I’d see Captain America, Iron Man, and Spider-Man on those newsstands, but it was unlikely that more obscure titles like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Captain Marvel’, or ‘Young Avengers’ would be in stock.
So far, Marvel has declined to comment on the situation, but chances are that they’ve decided to do something about the high rate of comic returns to the publisher every month from bookstores like these.
Do you think that Marvel is making a mistake by taking single issues out of bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million? Share your stance in the comments below.