- Posted by Johanna on April 30, 2010 at 10:30 am
- Category: Graphic Novel News
However, perhaps because of their printing process and/or locations, their solicitations are frequently extended for these books. For example, Beanworld Book 3 was solicited in July of last year. Items in that catalog normally come out starting in September; this book was published in December, an extra three-month delay. The ship date information is listed when the books are offered, so customers should be aware of it, but it is a change from how many companies operate. (And I’ve known people to get burned if they aren’t paying attention; they see books in the September or October listings that they expect to arrive before Christmas, but in reality, they’ll come in the next year.)
Why I’m talking about this now, though, is due to two Dark Horse books I was eagerly anticipating that have been delayed beyond even this usual extended period. First is the Blacksad hardcover, bringing the Ibooks material back into print with some new content. It was offered in November 2009 with a then-listed due date of March 2010. That didn’t happen.
By checking the Dark Horse website and Amazon, I’ve found that it’s now due end of June/early July. (The dates don’t match, but since they’re within two weeks of each other, that’s not of much concern.) I appreciate that Dark Horse is keeping the website updated with new information; that’s a big help. But is there a better way to notify eager customers (who often have to commit to preorders in comic stores) of schedule changes? They have a newsletter, but it’s all ads and sell copy, not product updates.
Of more concern to me is this: What happened to Sinfest Volume 2? Originally solicited in July 2009, the book was marked on the website as available in April 2010 (of which today is the last day). However, now I can’t even find a page for the title on their site; they only list book one. Amazon shows the book with a publication date of April 15, but says “Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we’ll deliver when available.” That’s not a good sign, since there’s no evidence they were ever in stock.
I read through six months of Previews Product Changes and Cancellations and Shipping Updates to see if any information showed up there, but it didn’t. (Since those pages apparently aren’t Google-able. And OMG, how does Marvel get away with the sheer volume of changes they make every week from what was offered and purchased?! Then I found the best example of how the system is broken: notes that say “oh, this book isn’t really 160 pages, but only 40, but we’re not changing the price.” That’s a recipe for disappointed customers who feel ripped off.)
Am I doomed not to have a nice continuing reprint of my favorite webcomic? Or should I just be patient and hope it shows up at some undefined future point? The problem with this approach to their stock is that I’m now thinking of Dark Horse as a roulette wheel. If my number comes up (which may take a while), great, I get the book I want. But I may never know when I’m on a losing streak and a book just disappears. Am I missing some way to easily get updated schedule changes on Dark Horse products?