Apparently more comics stores than usual were open on New Year’s Day, and it had to do with the shipping of some Marvel comics!

WHAT HAPPENED

Marvel, New Year’s Day, Amazing Spider-Man, Howard the Duck, Nova, Spider-Man 2099, Spidey, Obi-Wan and Anakin, Rocket Raccoon and Groot,All New Inhumans, Amazing Spider-Man, Darth Vader, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, Totally Awesome Hulk, Ultimates, Previews,I became aware of all this when one of my local comics shops, which always sends out an email indicating what new books will be available the following day, put out an email on New Year’s Eve, two days after their regular message appeared in my mailbox on Tuesday night. Their store would be open on New Year’s Day, selling several previously unreleased Marvel books.

Here’s how this was all announced on the PreviewsWorld.com website: “Ring in the New Year with some new comics from Marvel! Titles like Obi-Wan and Anakin #1, Rocket Raccoon and Groot #1, and more will now be available early on Friday, January 1, 2016 at your local comic shop! Additionally, please be advised that some Marvel Comics titles with an on-sale date of January 13 will now be released on January 6. Marvel apologized to retailers for the inconvenience, with reassurances that they are working to avoid similar problems in the future.”

The buzz on several websites has been that a shipping error caused some comics to be shipped early and without notice, causing them to arrive in shops with the books expected to be for sale on Wednesday, December 30. When this was discovered, Marvel decided to let stores sell these books on Friday, January 1.

These comics included Amazing Spider-Man #6, Howard the Duck #3, Nova #3, Spider-Man 2099 #5, Spidey #2 and the aforementioned Obi-Wan and Anakin #1 and Rocket Raccoon and Groot #1.

But that wasn’t all that has taken place.

Several books scheduled to go on sale on Wednesday, January 13, can be released on Wednesday, January 6, a week early. These will include All New Inhumans #1, Amazing Spider-Man #1.2, Darth Vader #15, Spider-Gwen #4, Spider-Woman #1, Totally Awesome Hulk #1, and Ultimates #3.

I’m not entirely clear on what happened to make these shipping errors occur, but it’s quite a pleasant surprise to get books early instead of late! (I always like to point out the Dark Knight Returns experience in which #1 came out, followed by #2 about a month later, then #3 six months after that and #4 a full year down the road. Yikes!)

A NEW EVENT?

Marvel, New Year’s Day, Amazing Spider-Man, Howard the Duck, Nova, Spider-Man 2099, Spidey, Obi-Wan and Anakin, Rocket Raccoon and Groot,All New Inhumans, Amazing Spider-Man, Darth Vader, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, Totally Awesome Hulk, Ultimates, Previews,I have to wonder, though – Was this actually planned? Was Marvel setting up at least one day each year in which the only new books being sold are their comics?

After all, they print their own Marvel Previews instead of being included in what I refer to as “the phone book,” the regular Previews volume. Seems they’re hoping to keep as many fans as possible from seeing that other publishers print comics, too! (To be fair, some fans just don’t want to pour through such a big book when all they buy is from Marvel, so they like that.)

What if a year from now there’s another day like this one, when only Marvel comics are being released? Would even more stores open that New Year’s Day in order to keep the biggest-selling company in the industry happy (and possibly make more money as well)? We’ll see.

It could just be that I’m the suspicious sort, but I’m of a mind that Marvel wants to literally own the comics industry. I always hear rumblings that they would love it if that red Marvel logo was on ALL the comics local shops sold, not just many of them. I also have been told that they would like it if local shops were called “Marvel Comics” shops instead of whatever creative names their owners come up with.

No, I’m not paranoid at all!

NOW WHAT?

SG4coverI’m sure Marvel will adjust their schedule to make sure there isn’t a week in which none of their new product was hitting local shops, but it would be quite an odd experience if there was a New Comic Book Day in which the House of Ideas offered absolutely nothing for sale. Of course, that’s not likely to happen since Marvel could put out trades or reprint some in-demand issues in their inventory if nothing else.

I just hate that the industry has become as cutthroat as it already is, but I don’t see that fading away anytime soon. In fact, I think it’s likely to become even more competitive.

What if Marvel was to own stores in which only their products were being sold? Would other stores spring up to carry the rest of the books being made? I don’t think that’ll happen because, as much of the market share as Marvel commands, the other companies have fans with money to spend that help keeps stores afloat.

Still, this kind of thing gets my suspicious mind a-wondering!

DID YOUR STORE OPEN ON JANUARY 1?

On the other hand, being able to buy new comics on a holiday like New Year’s Day can make it a fun day for those of us who love comics.

I think they should rename New Year’s Day into “College Football Day” since that’s what largely occupies the television then. It would be accuracy in advertising! Having the stores open on that day would give those of us who aren’t into that particular sport something enjoyable to do!

But I have to think about store owners and how this would impact them. Granted, they’d likely make some extra money this way, but there are very few days in the calendar year in which local comics shops can close their doors. I know of a few stores that only close on Christmas and maybe Memorial Day, but every other day they’re open for business! Tough to have a family if you can’t afford to pay someone else to come in and interact with the customers sometimes!

This New Year’s Day thing may be a one-time event, but if this happens a year from now or the same thing happens again in the months ahead, I’m really going to be suspicious!

Did you go to your local comics shop on New Year’s Day? Or did they opt out of selling those books that day? Be sure share your experience below!

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The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. Each episode also includes reviews, news and previews. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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