Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A Snooty preview

Here's a quick glimpse at the second Lord Snooty mini-strip that I did. You can read the full strip in the latest Beano, on sale now! 

How's the availability of The Beano in your area? Stock has been drastically cut back in my town this week but I managed to buy the one copy that my local WH Smiths had. No sign of it in any other newsagent in the town centre on the day of publication.

Retail and wholesale are a bit of a mystery to me but from what a local newsagent told me, the wholesaler calls the shots, treating publications like any other 'brand'. Your corner shop might order six copies of a title, knowing he'll sell them, but the wholesaler sometimes supplies them with less, encouraging the shop to take another 'brand' (ie: comic) as a try out! Then a newsagent elsewhere gets the extra copies of the comic that the other newsagent wanted, just so the wholesaler can see 'how they perform' in that area. 

It's probable that the newsagent can get more copies if they insist, but that takes extra effort and they have a lot of stock to deal with as it is. Most would think it wasn't worth their time to complain.

It seems like absolute madness to treat comics like tins of baked beans, and is surely detrimental to any publisher. I would hope that anyone with a standing order would still be able to get their copy from their shops, but what about casual buyers, or people like me who prefer to buy them off the shelf? The Beano was selling well in my area, but this week there are going to be some disappointed children who won't be able to get a copy unless their parents travel around searching shops out of town. A week is a long time for a child, and if they start to miss copies it's not long before they lose the habit of buying it at all. 

Anyway, if you can grab a copy, The Beano is out now, priced just £2. 


James Spiring said...

Doesn't just affect comics. I had two weeks in a row recently when my local shop ran out of People newspapers before lunchtime (they usually still have a dozen copies at that point). I'm sure the wholesaler sent them extra Suns and Mirrors instead, because they had too many of those two to fit on the shelf! You're right, periodicals should not be treated like groceries. If Heinz Baked Beans are sold out, you can buy another brand and it's fine. But if a wholesaler sends extra copies of something like Peppa Pig instead of The Beano, then most of the same people won't buy it. Different demographics. And I could've named pretty much any other children's magazine title there as most rivals prefer to imitate Toxic instead of the Beano nowadays, or lack comic content entirely. Either way they're no substitute. Since the Dandy's demise, the Beano has been unique.

Lew Stringer said...

You're right. It seems a crazy situation. Presumably there's some logic behind it but it doesn't sound like they take into account how attached kids get to the characters.