Rick Shea of Famous Faces and Funnies in Melbourne, Florida sends us these comments reacting to the new pricing from Marvel and Diamond (see 'Marvel, Diamond Discuss Terms Change'):

I don't think these new plateaus accurately reflect what a great percentage of our business Marvel accounts for.  We're an incredibly independent and small publisher friendly store, but Marvel counts for a bigger percentage of our orders than is anticipated in these numbers.  We fall into the 55% off category and we may lose a few points down to 52.5% on almost all non-Marvel product (except DC) because Marvel accounts for a greater percentage than the $3,500 represented here.


Although it may not seem like a big deal right now, I know it's going to be harmful to the smaller stores who have slowly been encouraging growth due to carrying a more diverse product line.  Now that their Marvel discount will probably remain the same and they have more flexibility when it comes to Marvel ordering, where do you think most stores will cut their orders from?  Probably independent and small publishers to put more of that money in Marvel's pocket.  If anything, this will probably do the industry more harm than good.


On top of that, several smaller publishers offer the same or possibly a better discount if we order direct from them.  If our Diamond discount on these items is going to shrink, why wouldn't we just order it from the publisher themselves?  If Diamond cuts down your discounts on these indy titles, we're less likely to buy them from Diamond, making it harder for Diamond to stock these items.  Cue an even bigger percentage of Marvel's market share as indy titles and creators will most likely get burnt.


I think the strength of the comics industry and the growth we've seen over the last few years is due to the incredible variety of product available.  We've probably made more money off the Johnny the Homicidal Maniac comics and TPB's than off of the ENTIRE X-Men family of titles in the last few years.  Slave Labor is a smaller publisher that goes out of their way to work with us and make sure they have whatever we're looking for in stock and in print at all times.  Diamond cutting retailer's discounts on their products won't make it easy to persuade retailers to order more of their product, unfortunately.


I don't think we'll use that Marvel order increase date as frequently as they think.  The handful of times I expect to use it will mostly be to increase my orders since I am going to initially order very conservatively on any new books knowing I can actually increase my orders up to a point.  Hopefully that means less money will be spent on hyped product such as the Call of Duty, The Truth, or Rawhide Kid, which get a lot of media hype, but still sit on our shelves when they actually ship.  I don't think this change should actually warrant a decrease in discount on almost all other product lines.  It's just going to make it harder to stock other books and force another industry glut like in the early nineties and no one wants that.  Please reconsider these new discount plateaus.