DC Comics collections have been disappearing from shelves at Barnes & Noble stores over the past few weeks, but not for the reasons DC would like. In response to the publisher's exclusive digital partnership with Amazon and the recently announced Kindle Fire, B&N pulled all copies of the titles involved in the deal from their shelves until the Amazon.com window of exclusivity expires, though they do remain available for order through the bookseller's retail website. Of course, part of what this means for Barnes & Noble is that many best-selling graphic novels, such as "Watchmen," "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" and "Top 10" are not currently available for its brick and mortar stores to sell, leaving a sizable gap in their inventory.
Comic Book Resources has learned exclusively that, rather than wait for DC's exclusive deal to expire before re-filling the open space on its stores' shelves, Barnes & Noble has struck a deal with 2000 AD publisher Rebellion, massively increasing the available stock of a number of 2000 AD releases in B&N storefronts.
The move heavily involves 2000 AD's extensive library of Alan Moore-written comics. Having published some of Moore's earliest material for decades, the British company has struggled to find a firm foothold in the giant US publishing business. DC's loss is 2000 AD's gain, however, as orders of titles like "The Complete Alan Moore Future Shocks" and "Tharg's Terror Tales" have been increased by B&N in significant quantities in an effort to fill the hole left in the chain's stock by the DC Comics purge.
2000 AD/Rebellion PR Coordinator Michael Molcher spoke with CBR exclusively, stating that the Barnes & Noble move has been so large, "the US edition of Alan Moore's 'Future Shocks' has gone to reprint before it has even been published."
Should the 2000 AD trades prove to be solid sellers for the bookseller, the publisher stands to make strong gains in US marketshare and shelving visibility, even when B&N begins to stock the currently-missing DC titles once again.
CBR News reached out to Barnes & Noble multiple times for comment on their stocking strategies, however the chain only provided the following comment, credited to Jaime Carey, their Chief Merchant: "Barnes & Noble works with thousands of publishers to bring customers the world's largest selection of physical and digital reading content. However, regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format. In a few isolated instances, exclusive publisher deals have prohibited Barnes & Noble from selling certain eBooks, preventing millions of our digital customers from access to those titles. To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms, and not have the eBook available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customers to make available any book, anywhere, anytime."
Stick with CBR News to find out more about this ongoing story as it develops.