(NOTE: This is an update to today’s earlier column here)
Barnes and Noble pulls 100 DC graphic novels including Watchmen, Sandman off retail store shelves?
by Orion Tippens
Yes, you read that right. Corporate headmasters, Barnes and Noble retail stores will receive instructions to pull and stop sales on all 100 of the DC graphic novels that were made digital exclusives for the upcoming Kindle Fire. As reported in Publisher’s Weekly, B&N spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating confirmed:
“We pulled those 100 DC Comics graphic novels that we were not offered in digital format. Our policy is that unless we receive all formats of a title to make available to our customers, we will not sell those physical titles in our stores.”
Here is the original list of books offered for the Kindle Fire. That’s right: no Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, no V for Vendetta, or Fables on the shelves of our national retail bookstore chains. Censorship on a terrible, grand scale?
This is over-retaliation for DC Comics and ComiXology’s collab with Amazon in exclusively releasing the same 100 on its Kindle Fire. Never mind that many of these titles have single issue availability via ComiXology at regular prices. Perhaps it’s the appeal of the price and package as graphic novels and fear for the efforts of their own Nook as a hub for digital comics?
It’s hard to say if stores will follow through – I called a couple local B&N stores, and it seems they have heard nothing about this. Whether B&N is serious, or they are just having a knee-jerk reaction, remains to be seen. It’s best they step up the damage control ASAP.
But every second of this threat will hurt the industry, DC Comics, and Barnes and Noble.
Orion Tippens loves comics, writing, and travel, and hosts his own blog at captainipad.blogspot.com.
(Mike here: this reminds me of the comics exclusivity wars of the ’90s. I can understand companies wanting to create partnerships and exclusive arrangements to get special promotion and treatment, but in the long run, exclusivity limits consumer access and keeps prices higher than they should be. Bad enough that it’s now legal for suppliers to set prices (as with new videogames), but these kinds of deals only succeed in the short term. Hope everyone involved can come to a reasonable resolution soon – otherwise, non-Kindle owners just got more incentive to download pirate scans of 100 more graphic novels…)
- Barnes & Noble Pulls 100 DC Graphic Novels (mychemicalfawn.wordpress.com)
- B&N pulls 100 DC Comics’ graphic novels from shelves because of DC’s Amazon Kindle Fire Deal (teleread.com)
- Barnes & Noble to pull DC graphic novels in digital spat (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Barnes & Noble Yanks DC Comics From Stores (escapistmagazine.com)
- Barnes & Noble vs. DC Comics of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal (zdnet.com)
- B&N Retaliates After Kindle Gets 4-Month Exclusive On DC Graphic Novels (paidcontent.org)
- Barnes & Noble protests Kindle deal by yanking books (news.cnet.com)
- Is Barnes & Noble really pulling DC comics from their shelves? (geeksaresexy.net)