Retailers attending the recently concluded Diamond Retailer Summit in Baltimore have told ICv2 that they are extremely pleased with the changes in ordering policies announced by DC Comics at the Summit. DC spokesman Bob Wayne told retailersa the Summit that DC was in the process of adopting an ordering policy similar to Marvel's under which retailers can adjust their orders for periodical comics 20 days before publication, which in most instances gives retailers a chance to gauge a week's worth of sales before ordering the next issue in a comic book series. Wayne acknowledged that DC was borrowing a page from Marvel's playbook and publicly thanked Marvel and Diamond for developing and implementing the system.
DC will debut its version of the new ordering system, appropriately enough, on 52, the weekly comic that will chronicle the transition of the DC Universe from the end of Infinite Crisis to the post-Crisis One Year Later. Although Wayne did not announce specific creative teams or the actual cover price of the weekly 52 comic, his announcement of the new Terms of Sale policy for the weekly book was met with sustained applause from the audience of retailers. Even more heartening to retailers was Wayne's announcement that DC will extend the new policy allowing retailers to make last minute FOC (Final Order Cutoff) date increases or decreases on their orders on all DC books by the end of the first quarter of 2006, though he also said that the initial alterations in order quantities for 52 will be limited to increases only.
Retailers who talked to ICv2 were pleased that DC was adopting this policy, which many felt was crucial for 52 since under the old system they might have been ordering up to eight issues before they could get a feel for how the book was actually selling. Daniel MacAbee of The Tangled Web in Spartanburg, South Carolina told ICv2 that the FOC system that Marvel announced in 2003 was, '...the single best change in the way comics are ordered in the past decade. It requires more dedicated effort on the front end (of the ordering process), but it's so helpful in dealing with new series and creator changes and all the other stuff we have to deal with -- it just helps us run our businesses on a more rational basis.'