Michael Tierney of Collector's Edition in North Little Rock, Arkansas and The Comic Book Store in Little Rock, Arkansas has issued a statement regarding Marvel's upcoming "Lenticular Homage Covers."

A number of years back, Marvel ran an editorial in their monthly Previews catalog that addressed the failure of so many Direct Market retailers at the time.  Their message was that these failures were the result of greed on the part of retailers, and how it was each retailer’s own fault for ordering more product than they could sell.

On the facing page was the standard (paraphrased) announcements of “These issues are going to be big!  Buy lots and lots and lots.”

So the combined message was that only a fool would listen to what Marvel is pitching.

At the time I laughed the editorial.

Marvel had lost any faith I had in their solicitations way back with one that read “This issue of the Spectacular Spider-Man features a major turning point in the relationship between Peter Parker and Mary Jane.  Months from now, customers will want to go back to see where it all began.”

I fell for it and bought extra, none of which sold.  What was this major turning point?  Mary Jane started smoking cigarettes.  Now, if Mary Jane had started smoking Mary Jane (an old term for cannabis), that might have been a different matter, but cigarettes were a complete whiff.  No one cared.  No one noticed.

Flash forward to the most recent Marvel solicitations and their certifiably insane thresholds to qualify for the upcoming lenticular variants which many retailers have announced that they will be boycotting.

Turned in my orders for both stores ten days before the deadline, and was possibly the first boycotter without even realizing it.

When I saw the notices that required purchase levels of 200 and 300 percent over normal, for books with nothing special about them other than boasting a long-overdue return to their original numbering, just to be eligible to order even more books that would then be subject to allocation... and I quit reading.  Opened up the ComicSuite order window on every one of these unseen covers and never got to the lenticular part on one of them -- not that it mattered.

Ordering double or triple of what will sell, just to order even more, in one of the slower sales months of the year, makes absolutely no sense.  My customers would start a boycott of their own when they saw the prices that would have to be charged just to break even -- prices which could go even higher if allocations were imposed.

There is just no win for retailers on this one.  Look greedy to your customers, or be called greedy by the publisher when you can’t pay the bill for a whole month’s worth, or more, of unsalable Marvel inventory that would end up dumped in the cheap bins for pennies on the dollar.

No one wants to be the subject of another Marvel editorial about how foolish businesses were for having listened to their sales pitches.

So, without realizing it, my stores joined the boycott of Marvel’s lenticular covers before there even was a boycott.

The opinions expressed in this Talk Back are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.