FCBD Dropout

Is this the first publisher whose title won’t be available on Free Comic Book Day, or just the first to announce it?

I really want to know what “undisclosed legal reasons” prevented the release on schedule.

Zenescope Entertainment, publisher of the highly popular series Grimm Fairy Tales and the critically acclaimed Se7en, regrets to inform fans and retailers that Dyno Force #0 will not be shipping on Free Comic Book Day. Due to undisclosed legal reasons, Zenescope is working with Diamond to relist the issue along with #1 at a discounted rate of .50 a book.

“We’re very disappointed that we will be unable to ship the FCBD issue of Dyno Force to retailers in time for the event,” explains Zenescope co-founder Joe Brusha. “We are still very excited about this series and we still plan to stick with a low cover price over the first few issues. This will give retailers a great product they can turn their customers on to without taking the risk they normally have to with an independent book.”

Zenescope expects to have the Dyno Force situation solved within the next few months and thanks everyone for their patience. In the meantime, Zenescope invites you to stop by your local shop to check out some of their titles and to enjoy FCBD. For more info on the company, please visit www.zenescope.com.

By the way, based on retailer comments I’ve seen, it’s more effective to put a $3 price on your comic and then sell it to retailers at 25 cents than it is to put a 50 cents price on your comic and sell it to retailers at 25 cents. If the cover price is too low, people think it’s reflective of the quality of the work (or they think it’s a pinup-stocked sampler).

If you give retailers a lot more leeway on pricing, then they can give readers a promotional discount or special deal and look like good guys to their customers. Or they can sell it for full price and take much more profit.

7 Responses to “FCBD Dropout”

  1. Nat Gertler Says:

    While I can’t speak to this year’s books, dropping out of FCBD is not unprecedented. Crossgen did it with American Power, and that was a gold-level book, which meant it was a required purchase for retailers who wished to be seen as participating in FCBD and it had been promoted on the FCBD posters.

  2. markus Says:

    If you give retailers a lot more leeway on pricing, then they can give readers a promotional discount or special deal and look like good guys to their customers. Or they can sell it for full price and take much more profit.
    Sure, why would the company be interested in looking like the good guy here? Makes much more sense to offer the retailer the opportunity to make a killing by converting said publisher-goodwill into cash. Unsurprisingly retailer would want that. Equally unsurprisingly, publishers should ignore them.
    Retailers who _are_ the good guys wouldn’t overcharge anyway, so there’s little point in a wrong price. Retailers who charge $3 for a 25c promotional book are scum and it’s a good idea for everyone to make their life as hard as possible.

  3. Johanna Says:

    It’s not retailers charging $3 for a 25c book; it’s publishers selling a $3 book for 25c instead of $1.50 to retailers.

  4. Nat Gertler Says:

    The publisher that offers a steep discount on a volume is looking like a good guy — to their customers. Remember, in the direct market, the comic book store is the publisher’s customer.
    The publisher that puts out a 50 cent cover price comic at standard discount is asking the retailer to do the same amount of work stocking and selling the book as books they make six times as much profit on. In fact, it’s worse than that, since the retailer is paying the same amount for shipping the book from Diamond (assuming it’s a full-length book.)
    The publisher that wants the retailer to carry their book should give them the incentive necessary to do so. If they cannot create great confidence in the retailer selling the book (and in the case of a 50 cent issue, in the ability of that book to drive sales of later issues), then the publisher needs to increase the payback to make it worth the gamble.

  5. markus Says:

    I got that, apparently the same isn’t true for you and my comment. Please ask.

    @Nat Gertler
    Re-read the originl post, we’re talking about FCBD. Which is a promotional event where both retailer and publisher operate at a loss or next to no gain in the hope of generating future or concurrent sales. (See, from you posting I knew you’ appreciate having the obvious pointed out to you.)
    So, once more (I’m sure you appreciate that as well): (1) the retailer is the customer, but a customer who would simply eat my freebies (sell for $3) to enrich himself with no kickback/goodwill for me is a parasite. (2) Yes, retailers make less profit on FCBD books. How long did it take you to figure that out?
    (3) Free. Comic. Book. Day.
    And sorry, no publisher can consistently produce 25c issues (well, the ones that could own the DM to the extent that retailers are better described as their underlings not as their customers.) And no, Diamond discounts are lower for those publishes depending on the goodwill of the retailers and given their higher production costs from lower print runs, your scheme, while reasonable (if unrelated to the original post and my comment) just doesn’t work. Rather what takes care of those books is retailers interested in diversifying their audience. A non monetary gain, but still a gain (keeping with the explanation of the obvious theme here).

  6. Nat Gertler Says:


    Please reread the original message. The statement of Johanna’s that you quote is not in regard to FCBD; it is in regard to their plan to relist the book (as a non-FCBD book) at the “discounted” rate of 50 cents. This is not a suggestion of retailers charging money for a Free Comic Book Day book (which is against the FCBD rules).

  7. Alan Coil Says:

    markus, I just don’t understand what you are discussing.




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