DC Reveals Strong Reprint Strategy Despite DiDio’s Disapproval

by Derek McNeil
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Reporter: Derek McNeil

At the SDCC Meet the DC Publishers panel on Thursday, DC co-publisher Dan DiDio expressed his dislike for Facsimile edition reprints of classic DC comics. “People are more interested in buying the stories from 30 or 40 years ago than the contemporary stories, and that’s a failure on us.”

But this isn’t stopping DC’s plans for a robust reprint strategy, which was unveiled the next day at DC’s Retailer Lunch at the San Diego Comic-Con. More details were revealed about previously announced reprint initiatives, but the central focus was on DC’s line of 100-Page Giant specials.

Over the past year, DC and Walmart have partnered to produce and market a line of 100-Page Specials exclusively available at Wal-Mart. This initiative was intended to draw in new readers for DC, but existing fans also want the books. Retailers have been frustrated that Wal-Mart is now cutting into their market, causing them to express frustration at the exclusivity to Walmart.

Also, international DC readers have been equally frustrated that Walmart does not sell the books outside their US stores. They are not even sold in Canadian Walmarts despite the books actually being printed in Canada.

DC Reprint Strategy

DC announced earlier in the year that the stories were no longer going to be exclusive to Walmart and were coming to the direct market, but in vague terms that made it unclear whether the Giants themselves were going to be made available via the direct market or whether the original content was going to be reprinted. When DC announced this material would be reprinted in the miniseries Superman: Up In The Sky, Batman Universe, and Wonder Woman: Come Back to Me, it appeared to confirm the latter.

However, at the Retailer Lunch, DC has announced that they are rebooting their 100-Page Giant Line in September with new #1s. Retailers will be able to order the Giants with new covers while the mass market retailers such as Walmart will get the same books, but with “reprint covers.”

The Giants will carry a cover price of $4.99 US and contain a minimum of 24 pages of original content plus classic reprints. The existing titles will be returning, but with several new additions to the line-up: DC Villains, Ghosts, Scooby-Doo, Teen Titans GO!, Aquaman, and more.

DC Reprint Strategy

DC also discussed other aspects of their reprint strategy, such as the next batch of Facsimile editions coming over the next few months: mostly focusing on classic Batman issues. Also covered was DC’s upcoming revival of the Dollar Comics branding, which offers bargain-priced reprints of single issues to promote specific trade paperback or hardcover reprint volumes.

Also featured was the very pricy, but gorgeous Crisis On Infinite Earths box set containing 14 hardcover volumes. At $500 US, this may be beyond the means of many fans, but looks to be worth every dollar to those who can afford it.

Be sure to check out all our other SDCC 2019 coverage.

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