Under the looming shadow of the recession, independent retailers are daily clawing for the means to survive before submitting to the seemingly inevitable – closing their doors. No business is immune, but lucky for one, the comic book retailer, a major company is about to lend a helping hand – again.
Marvel is set to relaunch its “Comics for Comics” initiative, offering issues of Fear Itself #6 featuring the rare McGuinness variant cover in return for 50 stripped covers of unsold DC’s Flashpoint titles, as announced in an official press release posted on Comic Book Resources this afternoon.
In this increasingly harsh economic climate, the initiative is aimed at unburdening retailers of stagnant back stock and providing an in demand collector’s item in return. Senior Vice President of Publishing, David Gabriel, explains Marvel’s decision stating, “In these tough economic times, feel it’s our duty to help [sic]… After the overwhelmingly positive response to our Comics for Comics programs, through which we received tens of thousands of covers, we’re excited to provide retailers with the chance to help their stores through selling an ultra-rate variant.”
While this is simply a short-term solution, it has proven successful in the past, and as added relief Marvel will also authorize qualifying retailers to take part in an exclusive sale which would ideally increase the volume of titles sold.
At the end of the day, this is simple, smart business. In one move, Marvel is simultaneously playing the altruist and regulating the competition. These are troubled times – there are no economic superheroes. And while the big guy is indeed trying to pick up the little guy, he’s going to need a little something in return. Even the Marvel Universe is rooted in the real world.