Alterna Comics Takes Their Books Back To Newsstands!


Alterna Comics already made some waves in 2017 with their retro innovation of putting out cheaper-priced books on old school newsprint, evoking memories of childhood for fans and drawing new readers to their line. Now, the publisher has announced another canny move inspired by the good old days.

Lilith Dark #1
Story and Art by
Charles C. Dowd
Altering Comics

The company has signed a deal with newsstand distributor PDG to distribute Alterna titles to specialty stores, convenience stores, independent shops, as well as Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and other smaller bookstore chains. To readers who recall with fondness the days of picking up their comics not in comic shops but in drugstores or 7-Elevens in their neighbourhood, the move is tinged with nostalgia.

But while the move may evoke the past, Alterna isn’t ignoring the realities of the modern comics industry. The publisher says in their press release announcing the deal that most of the newsstands in question are 10 miles or more away from comic book shops. Alterna is going out of their way to accommodate local comic shops, still the most important retailers in the industry. The newsstands in question will only receive between 2 and 5 copies of each title, as well.

Another sign of Alterna keeping comic shops in mind is that the issues will be released to newsstands 2-3 months after they are released in comic shops. Initially this seems like a head-scratching concession to direct retailers, but it makes more sense given who Alterna hopes to target with this deal.

As the publisher says in the press release, “We strongly feel that comics need to be sold in more places in order to not only reach a new audience and provide a living for comic creators, but to also inspire a new generation of comic creators that may not have comic shops in their area and may not even be aware that new comic books are still being made and that there are a variety of titles and publishers to choose from.”

And to prove their point they offer some data: “We’ve seen a 20% to 25% increase on issue #2 orders compared to issue #1 orders.  This is in stark contrast to the direct comics market, where there is generally a 40% to 60% decline in orders from issue #1 to issue #2.”

If the point here is to capture new readers who aren’t following the industry and release dates and who might feel intimidated stepping into a comic shop, then Alterna’s plan might actually succeed in drawing new readers to their titles. While avid fans might not see the point in the move, what with the delayed release and limited number of copies, the move might be perfect for kids and adults wandering around their local Barnes & Noble. Time will tell.

 

Amazing Age #1
Written by Matthew D. Smith
Art by Jeremy Massie
Alterna Comics

 

 


ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:

Alterna Comics titles are coming to newsstands across the world!

 

We’ve signed a deal with PDG, a newsstand specialty market distributor, to distribute our titles to specialty stores, convenience stores, independent shops, and also to Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and other smaller bookstore chains.

There are 2 key factors to this deal:

1) Issues will be released to newsstand 2 to 3 months after they’re released in comic shops. Even then, newsstands will only receive between 2 to 5 copies per issue, so if you want your copy guaranteed, make sure to pre-order at your LCS!

2) Most of the newsstands are located 10+ miles from a comic shop. We want to grow an audience not force customers to choose between getting our titles at a bookstore or at their favorite comic shop.  If you already get your comics at a comic shop, by all means, please continue to do so!

We strongly feel that comics need to be sold in more places in order to not only reach a new audience and provide a living for comic creators, but to also inspire a new generation of comic creators that may not have comic shops in their area and may not even be aware that new comic books are still being made and that there are a variety of titles and publishers to choose from.

Most aspiring creators don’t believe that their stories can earn them a living and that they must instead work on pre-existing characters at a bigger company.  This is largely because creator-owned comics are not being distributed en masse and Alterna is proud to be the only creator-owned publisher currently on newsstands.

The initial success of our newsstand test market of stores has also shown something interesting — we’ve seen a 20% to 25% increase on issue #2 orders compared to issue #1 orders.  This is in stark contrast to the direct comics market, where there is generally a 40% to 60% decline in orders from issue #1 to issue #2.  Hopefully we’ll continue to see growth in these areas as we move forward.

As always, thank you for reading and for supporting Alterna!

Jeremy Radick

Knight Radick, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man....who does not exist. But he is a comic Book geek, cinephile, robophobe, punctuation enthusiast, social activist, haberdasher, insect taxidermist, crime-fighter, former actor, semi-professional Teddy Roosevelt impersonator and Dad.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook