The 2nd Print Newsstand Phenom...or "This Shouldn't Exist!!"
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75 posts

Fantastic Article Thank you for your input and emotion on this topic

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2 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:
2 hours ago, RCheli said:

By the 80s, newsstands did not go by dates on the cover; they went by the color stripe at the top of the book.

That wasn't true for every newsstand. It depended on what the regional distributor did. It's why you don't see paint strips on every comic prior to the Direct market: not all of them went by the color code system, and some of them did, indeed, still go by cover dates. You'll find far more books without color coding from the 50s/60s/70s than you will with.

Yeah, as in NONE. RCheli is referring to the printed color stripe, not random local distributor ink.

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On 4/8/2019 at 4:17 AM, Cpt Kirk said:

Awesome posting.   Thanks!

Indeed!

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Posted (edited)
On 4/8/2019 at 1:22 PM, valiantman said:

That's essentially a retailer-exclusive prototype masquerading as having legit distribution. I'm not sure that history is going to look kindly on all these retailer-exclusives, since they're basically "cratered" on the map around the location of the shop/convention. 

Splat. 

I disagree. Characterizing it as "retailer-exclusive" completely muddies the water. Show me one mention of the retailer, the location, the shop or the convention in the book.

Edited by divad

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On 4/8/2019 at 12:53 PM, RockMyAmadeus said:

Finally...though not quite in the same timeframe, Paul Levitz, former president of DC Comics, has stated that Supergirl #1 (1996) third print was made specifically at the request of a single comic retailer, and printed to the tune of 1,000 copies...which, in 1996, would have been unheard of for a DC title, outside of that special request.

A completely legitimate third print regardless, just not in your earlier timeframe.

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2 hours ago, RCheli said:

You are wrong.

You are wrong. Now do we both feel better..? Can we save this type of confrontational language for somewhere else?

I worked for an actual distributor in the San Francisco Bay area in 1991-1992. And?

2 hours ago, RCheli said:

(though removing an old issue from the stands was usually prompted by when the next issue of the series came out).

Obviously that was not true for all newsstands, which often carried 2-3 months worth of issues...of whatever periodical...while they still had them to sell. 

2 hours ago, RCheli said:

 In the 70s, many local distributors were marking the top with spray or markers or something so the newsagents could more easily manage their comics. But by the 80s -- AND CERTAINLY BY THE EARLY 90s -- the comic companies were printing the colored bar on the top of the comics. Newsagents did not have the time to look at each comic to see the cover date. They looked at the top of the comic and just pulled every one of those colors off.

Yes, the color coding bar printed at the top of comics....which began in 1979, by the way...was a useful tool for those newsstands which used the system. The point, however, is that not every distributor used this system. Your claim that "newsagents did not have the time to look at each comic to see the cover date" is both an assumption, and not quite correct. They didn't need to look at every comic...if they had 7 copies of Superman #50 left over, they didn't need to look at all 7 copies to determine the cover date.

2 hours ago, RCheli said:

Image was not the only publisher that didn't have a date on the cover. No comic from Western/Gold Key/Dell/Whitman -- which had many more titles than Image -- had them. And while their comic output was much smaller by the 80s, they had the colored bar on the top to let the newsstands know when to remove them.

 

Western/Gold Key/Dell/Whitman suspended comic publication nearly a decade before Image existed. Let me say it again: 

2 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Let me belabor the point: the purpose of cover dates...from the 30s to the 10s...was to tell vendors when to remove books for sale and return them for credit. That some newsstand distributors used the "stripe" method doesn't negate that. It is why, in the 90s and 00s, you see the move of the cover date to the UPC box for newsstand Marvels and DCs, and the removal of it from the cover entirely for Direct editions.

That Dell/Gold Key (Whitman was their DIRECT MARKET imprint, and was NOT distributed to the newsstand in the first place) never had cover dates on them doesn't change that. As I said above, in the 90s/00s, Marvel (and I'm pretty sure DC) moved the cover date to the UPC box for newsstand issues...and removed it altogether on Direct issues.

If no one was using cover dates anymore...there would have been no need for this to be done.

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41 minutes ago, divad said:

Yeah, as in NONE. RCheli is referring to the printed color stripe, not random local distributor ink.

The printed color stripe did not exist until the very late 70s. 1979 for Marvel. Almost certainly the same timeframe for DC. 

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36 minutes ago, divad said:
On 4/8/2019 at 12:53 PM, RockMyAmadeus said:

Finally...though not quite in the same timeframe, Paul Levitz, former president of DC Comics, has stated that Supergirl #1 (1996) third print was made specifically at the request of a single comic retailer, and printed to the tune of 1,000 copies...which, in 1996, would have been unheard of for a DC title, outside of that special request.

A completely legitimate third print regardless, just not in your earlier timeframe.

Absolutely. I don't think anyone said otherwise. 

But this thread is about newsstand reprints, and Supergirl #1 third print wasn't one of those.

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11 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

You are wrong. Now do we both feel better..? Can we save this type of confrontational language for somewhere else?

It's difficult not to be confrontational when you are discussing things with someone who is presented with facts and yet refuses to budge an inch.

Quote

I worked for an actual distributor in the San Francisco Bay area in 1991-1992. And?

And the color-coding on top of comics is how newsstands knew when to pull/return their comics.

Quote

 

Obviously that was not true for all newsstands, which often carried 2-3 months worth of issues...of whatever periodical...while they still had them to sell. 

 

You know of newsstands that carried 2-3 months worth of issues on purpose? If so, they would be very much the exception rather than the rule, and I'm not really interested in talking about a dozen newsstands across the country that had the room/gumption to carry multiple issues of the same title. Newsstands did not have the room -- nor the cashflow at hand -- to have that much old stock on their racks. And publishers would be very pissed that they're getting returns on comics that should have been pulled 2 months earlier. If Superman #50 is out and DC is getting return numbers from issue #46, they're going to call up that distributor and complain.

Quote

Yes, the color coding bar printed at the top of comics....which began in 1979, by the way...was a useful tool for those newsstands which used the system. The point, however, is that not every distributor used this system. Your claim that "newsagents did not have the time to look at each comic to see the cover date" is both an assumption, and not quite correct. They didn't need to look at every comic...if they had 7 copies of Superman #50 left over, they didn't need to look at all 7 copies to determine the cover date.

When pulling old comics, you didn't look at the cover. You looked at the top of the comic. It was a green week, so you just pulled all the greens. This helped because people didn't always put that issue of Superman #50 back with the other issues. And think about it -- most comics were displayed fanned out, and you didn't see the whole cover. In many cases -- especially with DCs -- the issue#/date were on the right side, not the left. That's a PITA if you have to look for dates on each individual issue when there is no uniform spot. That's why you just looked for the color on top. 

Quote

 

Western/Gold Key/Dell/Whitman suspended comic publication nearly a decade before Image existed. Let me say it again: 

That Dell/Gold Key (Whitman was their DIRECT MARKET imprint, and was NOT distributed to the newsstand in the first place) never had cover dates on them doesn't change that. As I said above, in the 90s/00s, Marvel (and I'm pretty sure DC) moved the cover date to the UPC box for newsstand issues...and removed it altogether on Direct issues.

 

I did not say that Western sold comics when Image did. But Western was publishing comics on the newsstand after 1979 when the various publishers adopted the color coding for weekly distribution. That helped because Western-published issues didn't have dates on the cover. 

Here's an issue of WDC&S with a black distributor mark on the top: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Walt-Disneys-Comics-Stories-473-Vol-40-5-Gold-Key-Comic-Book-1980/372392608451

Quote

If no one was using cover dates anymore...there would have been no need for this to be done.

By the time comics were putting the issue numbers/dates in the UPC box (like that X-Men #100 you posted earlier), sales were so pathetic, Marvel and DC were not particularly concerned about a) newsstand sales and b) second prints. Not much was worthy of that. This discussion was mostly about the comics published during the mad rush of the early 90s, where for that short period of time there were plenty of books that called for a second/third print.

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Just now, RCheli said:
32 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

You are wrong. Now do we both feel better..? Can we save this type of confrontational language for somewhere else?

It's difficult not to be confrontational when you are discussing things with someone who is presented with facts and yet refuses to budge an inch.

Again with the confrontational language. If you can't tone it down, there's no point in having a discussion.

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Just now, RockMyAmadeus said:

Again with the confrontational language. If you can't tone it down, there's no point in having a discussion.

You're funny.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, RCheli said:
6 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Again with the confrontational language. If you can't tone it down, there's no point in having a discussion.

You're funny.

I'm more than happy to discuss this with you, and anyone, but if you're going to be confrontational, and run around the board telling everyone they're wrong and you're right...while at the same time getting details incorrect, getting aggravated about trivial side matters, injecting opinion into the discussion and calling it fact, and violating board rules, there's no point in discussing with you. 

My goal is not for you to be wrong and me to be right. My goal is for BOTH of us to be correct. 

Do you share that goal...? (shrug)

Edited by RockMyAmadeus

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Just now, RockMyAmadeus said:

I'm more than happy to discuss this with you, and anyone, but if you're going to be confrontational, and run around the board telling everyone they're wrong and you're right...while at the same time getting details incorrect, getting aggravated about trivial side matters, injecting opinion into the discussion and calling it fact, and violating board rules, there's no point in discussing with you. 

My goal is not for you to be wrong and me to be right. My goal is for BOTH of us to be correct. 

Do you share that goal...? (shrug)

If you feel that this statement -- "You are wrong" and "It's difficult not to be confrontational when you are discussing things with someone who is presented with facts and yet refuses to budge an inch." -- are too much, I'm okay with not continuing this. I think I've laid out my argument for how Marvel and DC could easily have published multiple printings on the newsstand, and I've given you information on how newsstands worked. Take it all however you wish.

 

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, RCheli said:

If you feel that this statement -- "You are wrong" and "It's difficult not to be confrontational when you are discussing things with someone who is presented with facts and yet refuses to budge an inch." -- are too much, I'm okay with not continuing this. I think I've laid out my argument for how Marvel and DC could easily have published multiple printings on the newsstand, and I've given you information on how newsstands worked. Take it all however you wish.

So, you do NOT share that goal, then...? (shrug)

Your understanding of how the newsstand worked is flawed. It is not entirely wrong, but it's not entirely accurate, either. Of course Marvel and DC could easily have published, on their own initiative, multiple printings on the newsstand, and, in at least the one instance, Superman #75, DC probably did...but that's not the point of this thread. The fact is, the books shouldn't exist, not because they were impossible to envision or produce, but because they weren't something that the publishers did nor was that how the newsstands worked, and are almost certainly the result (aside from Superman #75, and maybe not even that) of a special request from an external source. They are excellent examples of exceptions that make the rule.

Edited by RockMyAmadeus

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Great write-up. My regret is I was out of comics at the time you guys started discovering this stuff. In this(and that) day and age must be pretty exciting to do modern day treasure hunting!

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6 hours ago, RCheli said:

If you feel that this statement -- "You are wrong" and "It's difficult not to be confrontational when you are discussing things with someone who is presented with facts and yet refuses to budge an inch." -- are too much, I'm okay with not continuing this. I think I've laid out my argument for how Marvel and DC could easily have published multiple printings on the newsstand, and I've given you information on how newsstands worked. Take it all however you wish.

 

It IS a great post by RMA. But he's too young to have any worthwhile anecdotes . . . I'm with you RC. (and RMA, except when he's "confrontational.") lol

 

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7 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

The printed color stripe did not exist until the very late 70s. 1979 for Marvel. Almost certainly the same timeframe for DC. 

As sure as any marker for the end of the BA . . . :whistle: First time I noticed it was on the Miller DD's. We could pin that down exactly.

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22 minutes ago, divad said:

It IS a great post by RMA. But he's too young to have any worthwhile anecdotes . . . I'm with you RC. (and RMA, except when he's "confrontational.") lol

 

:eyeroll:

Let's keep the personal bull manure out of it. 

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THAT was a compliment. (:

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