Monday morning news that Marvel is discontinuing newsstand distribution of its comic book titles with retailers Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million gained traction in the comics community. According to an article by on the blog Good E-Reader by Michael Kozlowski and follow-up by Milton Greipp at ICv2, both retailers have confirmed that the House of Ideas have ended the ability for big-box bookstores to order single issues for sale. Both retailers have also confirmed they will continue to sell individual comics on their magazine racks from other major publishers like DC and Dark Horse, but their Marvel offerings will be limited to collections and graphic novels.
Now Marvel – who reports newsstand distribution to Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million discontinued no less than 3 months ago unnoticed – has broken their silence on the matter, issuing the following statement from Senior VP - Sales David Gabriel Monday afternoon.
“The overwhelming majority of print readers get their monthly comics from direct market locations (i.e. brick and mortar comic shops). There’s no denying that the direct market is a much stronger business model for monthly single issues than newsstand distribution. This has been the case for some time. New single issues haven’t been available in the overall newsstand market for nearly two years now and in bookstores for at least three months without notice. We’re currently working with Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million on a stronger, more mutually beneficial distribution model. And to be clear, this in no way affects sales of graphic novels in either chain which have continued, as many have pointed out, on an uphill trend in the past year!”