DC Comics has been ramping up for the two-year anniversary of its New 52 relaunch this September with plans for an evil-centric "Villains Month," though a new release from the publisher has added some wrinkles to the promotion's flashiest aspect.
Yesterday in a statement forwarded to comic shops owners via Diamond Comic Distributors, DC announced that due to the lengthy process it takes to print their announced lenticular 3D covers, the print runs for those issues were set far before the Final Order Cutoff dates stores follow to get their stock. Despite what they call an aggressive order for 3D covers at the printer, DC said that Final Orders from stores have surpassed their expectations, and as such, the 3D covers will be allocated to shops along with a number of standard 2D covers to fill out each store's total orders.
The 2D covers will be priced one dollar less than the 3D (that's $2.99 versus $3.99 with the former price also applying to digital versions), and for now, it remains somewhat unclear how many 3D covers each store will receive. DC promised that books will ship with around 50% 3D covers of the total order at a minimum and may ship 100% 3D covers in some cases. How these determinations will be made has yet to be seen.
It should be noted that an allocation of covers is not an entirely new idea for Villains Month. In June, CBR Columnist and Comix Experience shop owner Brian Hibbs wrote about the promotion, saying, "this was preannounced with a fixed print run which would make allocations seem at least possible." However, the method of allocation and the existence of a standard 2D cover to bridge the gaps in orders seems to be new information.
CBR News has reached out to DC for comment on this issue, but as for now, we have not received any new information. Stay tuned for more on this story as it becomes available, and read the entire DC retailer release below.
Due to unprecedented demand for the September 3-D motion covers, DC Entertainment announces that orders on the 52 Villains Month issues will be allocated. These issues are now sold out at the publisher level.
Now, each 3-D motion cover issue will have a Standard Edition with a 2-D cover, priced at $2.99 US. The Standard Editions are scheduled to arrive in stores on the same day as the 3-D editions, starting with titles on FOC starting August 6 and closing on August 12, which will arrive in stores on September 4.
In addition, the entire run of 3-D motion covers will return in December in the Villains Month 3-D Motion Complete Set. This item is on FOC on August 12; see below for details.
"Because of the time needed to create the 3-D motion covers, we were forced to set September print runs much further in advance than we normally would," said Dan DiDio, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher. "As we got close to the FOC dates, even though we were very aggressive with our sales forecasts for the 3-D editions, it was clear that orders for these issues were going to be greater than the quantities we had printed. Once we saw from the first 3-D edition FOCs that we were oversold on initial orders, we decided to institute a system across the entire 3-D line that was in accord with previous retailers' ordering patterns to minimize the impact of fringe speculators."
"It's very exciting to see how much interest there is in these 3-D covers, which are latest in a long line of innovations from DCE, like the fold-out poster in Superman Unchained #1 or the die-cut covers from the Death of the Family issues," said Jim Lee, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher. "Our goal every September has been to create great, new ways to draw attention to our entire DC universe line and the reaction to Villains Month capped by the launch of our first universe event 'Forever Evil' has been just incredible."
The allocations will range from approximately 50% to nearly 100% on different titles. The allocations are based on an average of your orders of each Villains Month titles' base title over the past few months.
Like the 3-D motion cover versions, the Standard Editions will be first printings of each title.
To give retailers as much time as possible to focus on ordering the Standard Editions and the 3-D Motion Complete Sets, retailers will no longer need to place FOC orders for the 3-D editions for the remaining weeks in August-therefore, the 3-D motion cover issues scheduled to arrive in stores on September 11, September 18 and September 25 will not be listed on FOC.
Retailers will receive an email from Diamond detailing their allocations on each 3-D motion cover edition before the Standard Editions' FOC date, and should check their allocation on each 3-D issue carefully.
Retailers should watch their FOC lists in the coming weeks for the Standard Editions of all 52 Villains Month issues.
Please note that the digital versions of these issues do not have 3-D Motion Covers. Like the Standard Editions, the digital editions are priced at $2.99 US and will be available for download the same day the 3-D and 2-D print editions ship to stores.
Retailers who wish to decrease their orders on any of the 3-D motion cover issues should contact their Diamond Customer Service Representative or DC Sales Representative.
DC's red-hot 3-D motion covers are set to return in December in the new Villains Month 3-D Motion Complete Set! This set will include second printings of all 52 Villains Month titles with the 3-D motion covers plus the Forever Evil #1 3-D Motion Cover Variant Edition. (Standard Edition cover shown.)
The Villains Month 3-D Motion Complete Set (JUN138292) will be on FOC on August 12, and is scheduled to arrive in stores on December 11 with a price of $199.99 US.
Please note that because of the longer than normal production time needed to print 3-D motion covers, this is the soonest they can arrive in stores. The issues included in this set will be printed to order; they will not be allocated. Covers in this set, including Forever Evil #1, will be labeled "second printing."
And don't forget to order the DC Comics-The New 52 Villains Omnibus HC (AUG130289), which has its own 3-D motion dust jacket and is scheduled to arrive in stores on December 11.