Whitman Variants, Direct vs Newsstand
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13 minutes ago, Warlord said:

For these two months, no Whitman issues exist for any other Marvel titles because Western went all-in on these titles.   This is one of the clearer indicators that we can see that illustrates how these black diamond issues were made for Western, or weren't made AT ALL.

I don't have any problem with this idea, and have said it before. The problem, however, is that when they were made, they weren't made just for Western, and there's no indication whatsoever that they were. The cover markings exist to prevent distributors from returning the books to Marvel for credit, which they weren't allowed to do because they'd bought them as non-returnable for a better discount.

And what is that method of distribution called....?

The Direct market.

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25 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:
41 minutes ago, Warlord said:

For these two months, no Whitman issues exist for any other Marvel titles because Western went all-in on these titles.   This is one of the clearer indicators that we can see that illustrates how these black diamond issues were made for Western, or weren't made AT ALL.

I don't have any problem with this idea, and have said it before. The problem, however, is that when they were made, they weren't made just for Western, and there's no indication whatsoever that they were. The cover markings exist to prevent distributors from returning the books to Marvel for credit, which they weren't allowed to do because they'd bought them as non-returnable for a better discount.

And what is that method of distribution called....?

The Direct market.

hm

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2 hours ago, bababooey said:
3 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

no indication whatsoever that they were. The cover markings exist to prevent distributors from returning the books to Marvel for credit, which they weren't allowed to do because they'd bought them as non-returnable for a better discount.

And what is that method of distribution called....?

The Direct market.

hm

Please show me on the doll...er, I mean, on this book where it indicates it was made for Western:

s-l1600.jpg

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12 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:
15 hours ago, bababooey said:
16 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

no indication whatsoever that they were. The cover markings exist to prevent distributors from returning the books to Marvel for credit, which they weren't allowed to do because they'd bought them as non-returnable for a better discount.

And what is that method of distribution called....?

The Direct market.

hm

Please show me on the doll...er, I mean, on this book where it indicates it was made for Western

Exactly.

WhitmanOrNot.thumb.jpg.b04b3e63000d5cad6b7ff4541567d98a.jpg

 

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16 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

I don't have any problem with this idea, and have said it before. The problem, however, is that when they were made, they weren't made just for Western, and there's no indication whatsoever that they were. The cover markings exist to prevent distributors from returning the books to Marvel for credit, which they weren't allowed to do because they'd bought them as non-returnable for a better discount.

And what is that method of distribution called....?

The Direct market.

So what we seem to have had in that era was retailers and dealers that dealt with Seagate were getting a mix of Big Diamond on some issues and regular newstand copies on other books. If the purpose was to stop people from returning direct copies, that seems pretty inefficient.

While I certainly concede not every Big Diamond book was a Whitman, it certainly seems they were the predominant buyer of Big Diamond books. I have no problem referring to them as Whitmans, nor does Overstreet, Mycomicshop and apparently most collectors.

Evidently there was enough confusion about them that Overstreet had to explain they were not reprints. I know at least one store on Long Island who carried on a crusade against the diamond books.  I forget the shops name but the owner was Perry Albert and he also ran the largest( and only) monthly convention on Long Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Does anyone know the story behind 1980s Francis, Brother of the Universe?

Evidently there are copies with a UPC code and copies without the UPC box.  Mycomicshop shows a $1.00 cover copy but all of mine are .75 cents.

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15 hours ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Please show me on the doll...er, I mean, on this book where it indicates it was made for Western:

s-l1600.jpg

Where is the bag it was sold in?

https://blog.comichron.com/2010/04/jim-shooter-on-marvel-whitmans-direct.html

64376.jpg.02447d64b03afcbe13acfb588eca63

And while you keep trotting out the Tarzan 2 as an example of the squashed Diamond prior to 1979, that was explained to you years ago...read and ignore it again.

 

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3 hours ago, Lazyboy said:

Exactly.

 

Thanks for the example of the "mindless parroting" I wasn't clear what you meant when you mentioned it earlier but this helps.  (thumbsu

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43 minutes ago, bababooey said:

Thanks for the example of the "mindless parroting" I wasn't clear what you meant when you mentioned it earlier but this helps.  (thumbsu

I'm sorry, but what's your argument again?

Is it that Whitman didn't know how to put their name/logo on their products? Because that's obviously not true.

Maybe it's that Marvel would never allow Whitman to put their name on a Marvel product? Wait, that's obviously not true either? hm

If it doesn't have the Whitman name on it, it's not a Whitman. :sumo:

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bababooey said:

Where is the bag it was sold in?

https://blog.comichron.com/2010/04/jim-shooter-on-marvel-whitmans-direct.html

64376.jpg.02447d64b03afcbe13acfb588eca63

And while you keep trotting out the Tarzan 2 as an example of the squashed Diamond prior to 1979, that was explained to you years ago...read and ignore it again.

 

I find with those 30c diamond price box issues, the ratio is usually 1:30 or higher for regular/newsstand, and the direct editions which were sold through multipacks.

Sometimes you don't see them at all.

I imagine with Star Wars having a higher print run, you might see these pop-up from time to time on eBay, but you see the newsstand and reprints, not these. If they showed-up as commonly as regular/newsstand I could see a greater confusion, but they have a low population even when they've been liberated from their sealed multipacks

starwars-multi.jpg.45239ec35007926a07ecc8b116c057a0.jpg

spide-man-multi.jpg.fa0aee7a328d667c49950a0ef2cc3635.jpg

Edited by comicwiz

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Maybe it would help to better define some terms.

What are the defining characteristics of the "direct" market of the early 1970s, ie, what made an issue of a comic a "direct" book?  For early 70s, I'm specifically referring to the period prior to 1977.

Also, why do we use the word "direct" to refer to this method of distribution?

And did they use that word, "direct", in the early 1970s for this method of distribution or is it a later invention introduced when?

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Here's some pics I pulled from another thread when looking up past discussions....I bought one of every one of these and haven't seen copies of these in bags for years.   :x

 

817248-Untitled-2.jpg.ebd74ebc6401a579b94a690bcd31568b.jpg

816596-Untitled-3.jpg.bd15b3955ae8e169faff87ee11fed778.jpg

816042-Untitled-4.jpg.1a665a82c5ad327742fa6792d5c226c0.jpg

816037-Untitled-3.jpg.a47fe9bc32d5f5734696b12260bd61dd.jpg

814711-Untitled-6.jpg.ce9a30cd634373b497ee0f78f28ed40a.jpg

816020-Untitled-2.jpg.5ce2e746e8e9425bebe8673f9f1fd9e7.jpg

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Posted (edited)
On 2/26/2020 at 5:40 PM, Warlord said:

 

683439355_marvel3packMultiMagsamazingspiderman188thor279captainameria229-f.thumb.jpg.57e2d1452e39b6f371da14b50526985c.jpg657918942_marvel3packwhitmanamazingspiderman186187188-b.thumb.jpg.b69cfae4fe30cbc3a6b29c0276fe278a.jpg

I think the existence of the multi-mags packs containing ordinary UPC versions of the same issues being sold as Whitmans is an important piece of the puzzle and, to me, its very telling.   It goes to the question of what version was being sent into the direct market.  I think it's uncontested that these types of pre-packs were being sold to retailers at a discount and weren't returnable.  Therefore the contents of every pre-pack bought at a discount would have the potential to become part of a fraudulent return as a newsstand comic for full price.  The existence of Whitman packs with a particular comic bearing the black diamond and also non-Whitman packs with the newsstand version of the same comic gives me the impression that only Western was getting the Whitman versions.  If Marvel was printing these special versions to be sold as non-returnable comics at a discount, why sell pre-packs containing newsstand versions at a discount and send them to mass market retailers around the country?  If the direct market channel was also getting the same version as Whitmans, why would we see newsstand versions in every single instance of the Marvel Multi-Mags pre-packs?  It's not conclusive, but neither is the supposition that as long as Marvel was printing some black diamond variants that they'd go ahead and send some of them into the direct channel.  

This is another reason that it strikes me as more likely than not that Western was regularly the sole recipient of the black diamond variants.

 

Edited by Warlord

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3 hours ago, Lazyboy said:

I'm sorry, but what's your argument again?

Is it that Whitman didn't know how to put their name/logo on their products? Because that's obviously not true.

Maybe it's that Marvel would never allow Whitman to put their name on a Marvel product? Wait, that's obviously not true either? hm

If it doesn't have the Whitman name on it, it's not a Whitman. :sumo:

Argument?  I'm not trying to rename an era when books were being published or correcting people using a term that has been used and accepted for decades....I'm nostalgic for the era because it was my gateway to the hobby, nothing more than that, I don't care if we agree on "direct market whitmans" since all parties agree that Whitman was the largest early direct customer...why anyone would want to call them "direct adjective adjective" when there is clearly a difference from this era to the nationwide direct market era where EVERYTHING is readily available in the direct version. (shrug)

However, when you and @RockMyAmadeus call them "Direct Market Experimental Program" issues in the future, I'll make it my personal goal to follow those discussions on here and they'll look like this.

RMA:  No, these are DMEP copies because...paragraph paragraph paragraph :blahblah:

Lazyboy: yeah, what he said was right and you all are stupid :sumo:

Random boardie: what? :p

bababooey: :gossip: they're talking about Whitmans

Everyone: oh okay thanks :whatev:

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1 hour ago, Warlord said:

Maybe it would help to better define some terms.

What are the defining characteristics of the "direct" market of the early 1970s,

The Direct market was a new distribution system in which the publishers actually sold books instead of just sending them out and hoping to get paid (no, that's not meant to be completely precise and serious).

1 hour ago, Warlord said:

ie, what made an issue of a comic a "direct" book?  For early 70s, I'm specifically referring to the period prior to 1977.

Nothing. Distinct editions for the different distribution channels were not created at the beginning.

The Direct market, like most things, started out small. As it grew, things changed.

1 hour ago, Warlord said:

Also, why do we use the word "direct" to refer to this method of distribution?

Because that's what it's called. (shrug)

1 hour ago, Warlord said:

And did they use that word, "direct", in the early 1970s for this method of distribution or is it a later invention introduced when?

It has been in use since at least the beginning of the 1980s. I'm not sure of the exact origin.

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I seem to remember Star Reach being advertised as being available direct from the publisher.  As it was a strange hybrid, with popular Jim Starlin doing a story about dropping acid and facing Death and a Howard Chaykin story about sexbots, no one knew what to call it. It wasn't an Underground, and probably should have been 18 and older.  At this point, most  of the few comic book shops that existed  got their comics from newsstand vendors and you had to buy these directly from Star Reach. Mike Friedrich published Star Reach and then was hired by Marvel to head their new direct sales department. I have no idea if he has written about those days or been interviewed but he would be a great source.

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Posted (edited)

Has anyone seen Marvel pence editions from 1979 with a crossed out UPC, similar to those seen in multipacks in the US? I had a friend on Facebook contact me asking about them and I'd never seen them before.

Edited by comicwiz

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5 hours ago, comicwiz said:

Has anyone seen Marvel pence editions from 1979 with a crossed out UPC, similar to those seen in multipacks in the US? I had a friend on Facebook contact me asking about them and I'd never seen them before.

For Marvel, pence copies (UK Price Variants) exist from May 1960 through to December 1981 inclusive. From January 1982 all copies are dual priced.

Bar codes first appear on Marvel comics from June 1976. All pence copies cover dated June 1976 have regular 'newsstand' barcode UPCs like so:

198.jpg.3a6b0f0a8cd7c485078c91db7efe2e30.jpg

This continues up to May 1979.

From June 1979, pence copies have the 'slashed' barcode UPC:

234.thumb.jpg.1f83b97130f028fdaa4706c11936cbbd.jpg

This continues for nine months to February 1980.

From March 1980, the ‘Direct Edition’ Spidey head UPC commences:

243.thumb.jpg.46fd1a89a0f84dc9a8137cbf54613313.jpg

To the best of my knowledge, all pence copies / titles follow this pattern. There are no known examples of pence copies having different UPC areas for the same issue.

 

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1 hour ago, Get Marwood & I said:

From June 1979, pence copies have the 'slashed' barcode UPC:

234.thumb.jpg.1f83b97130f028fdaa4706c11936cbbd.jpg

This continues for nine months to February 1980.

Do you (or anyone) know why they used this crossed-out UPC for that period of time?

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22 minutes ago, comicwiz said:

Do you (or anyone) know why they used this crossed-out UPC for that period of time?

The time period follows that of the US priced slashed barcode UPCs. They would have had two US cents priced starting point choices from which to create the pence covers from June 1979 - the newsstand and the diamond 'early directs'. They chose the latter for reasons unknown to me. It may have been deliberate, it may have been the flip of a coin or an unconcious decision. Price Variants are usually 'newsstand' books, i.e. they follow the US newsstand barcode UPC format. Canadian and Australian price variants are all barcode UPCs. I'm not sure why pence copies have the direct style slashed barcode and then picture UPCs which are associated with directs. I did a piece about this in my Marvel pence thread a while back. Maybe someone reading here will have some insight. 

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