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Rick Senger
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 1:03pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Matt, what was the window to return old comics?  Obviously Aug 1945 is like a year late, but could vendors return a 2- or 3-month old comic?
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 1:45pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The racism of some of these covers is unbearable.
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Steve Coates
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 2:06pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Hey Adam, If we exclude the war related title/covers, which do you identify as "racist"?
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 3:06pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

 Rick Senger wrote:
...Matt, what was the window to return old comics?...


Rick, as far as I know (I was a Direct Market retailer and didn't deal with newsstand distribution), newsstand retailers returned comics and magazines when the next issue came in. That could be one month, or it could be four months. Anyone with more knowledge of newsstand returns please feel free to correct my information.

Keep in mind, there was NO Direct Market in 1945, and there wouldn't be a DM until the mid-1970s' when Phil Seuling first proposed it to the comic book publishers. Newsstand magazines and comics have always been sold on a returnable basis. Direct Market comics, with little exception, are sold non-returnable. Since comics shops, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, sold back issues to collectors, this was not seen as a problem. Newsstand retailers, however, typically have no desire or the space to allocate to back issues and want to replace old with new stock regularly.

Also, publishers purposefully dated a comic months ahead to get the retailer to display the comic for as long a period as possible. The longer the books were displayed, the less chance they would be returned, and the publisher could make more money. Occasionally, newsstand retailer overlooked returning some comics, and so they were stuck with the copies.

Naturally, retailers didn't want to be stuck with unsold stock and wanted to return unsold titles as soon as it was allowed. To combat the publisher's tricks with dates, retailers began writing arrival dates in pen on comic book covers. When you get an old comic with a date written (month/day/year) on the cover, or a date stamp, that is why that is there. It was a common practice for years.




Edited by Matt Hawes on 30 November 2017 at 3:30pm
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 3:09pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

 Adam Schulman wrote:
...The racism of some of these covers is unbearable...


Like the movies, music, and radio programs of the period, comic books were also a reflection of the times in which they were created. They can represent the best of the era, and also the worst of those times. They now also serve as historical documents and reminders of how far we have come, and how far we still need to advance.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 3:23pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

 Steve Coates wrote:
...Hey Adam, If we exclude the war related title/covers, which do you identify as "racist"?...


This is not an attempt to answer for Adam, but I would point out that unquestionably racism was more rampant in entertainment (not just comics) during that era. I love the Golden-Age of comics for many reasons, as well as many things from that period, but unfortunately there is always an ugly side to any period of history.

If we do exclude war comics, there were still comics that caricatured blacks and made them buffoons, there were sexist comics, and many other things that would be considered politically incorrect in a modern context. Some of the examples are indeed represent on the a few covers displayed in that photo.

Most of what I see are indeed wartime related, with the Japanese soldiers being made to look monstrous. 1945 was the final days of World War II, and though it doesn't make it right, most Americans weren't feeling too kindly toward Japan, with whom we were engaged it a bitter conflict. The racism projected was as much out of demonizing our enemy during wartime as it was born out of any inherent prejudices about another culture. Today we have tried to learn from past mistakes and most of us try to not vilify a race of people because we are at conflict with their government.

Oh, and just in case anyone has forgotten, or did not know, the series "Gay Comics" had nothing to do with being homosexual. That was when "gay" was still used as a term to mean "happy." I only point this out because it was one of the comics posted on the previous page, and while I am sure pretty much everyone here realizes what the title meant, there might still be people who aren't aware of the historical context.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 6:00pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I remember when Marvel had a few comics in the early 80s that I believe were DSM (Kazar and Moon Knight, maybe one other?)... It's always seemed to me that the model would have worked better if there was both returnable and non-returnable product (priced accordingly) so that newsstands would still be able to display comics.  Perhaps a two-tiered price approach would have been complicated, but the day it became all DSM was an important early domino falling.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 8:00pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Rick, the other Marvel title was "Dazzler." :-)

The newsstands that actually still carry comics do get them still as returnable product. There is no real risk involved for them for that reason. They stopped carrying comics for a few important reasons. The retail they made on the sales of comics wasn't worth the space the product took when compared to selling other merchandise.

For most every newsstand outlet to carry comics, comics were not are are not a primary source of their income. They don't care if the same spot is filled with any other product, if that product nets more profit. Since they already receive comics on a returnable basis, they would certainly abandon comics if it were sold to them on non-returnable terms.

The Direct Market in and of itself is not a bad thing. In fact, it helped the comic book industry during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Having comics as non-returnable was good business for the publishers, and they still had those newsstand sales, too. The problem was, like much with the comic book industry, the craziness of the early 1990s. Everyone, publishers, retailers, comic book distributors, collectors, speculators, and fans got caught up into that mess.

The publishers apparently decided that since the Direct Market was non-returnable, they'd put nearly everything into that basket, so to speak. Maximize profits, but with little though about the future. They basically gave up on trying to broaden the newsstand presence, and since the newsstand didn't NEED comics, it didn't care.

Anyway, there are many facets to that situation, but that certainly played a huge part in the crash and the current state of affairs.


Back onto the main topic: If anyone finds anymore of the covers, please feel free to share. And, again, please feel free to share pictures of other comics newsstands and shops from years gone by.



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Karl Wiebe
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 8:12pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 8:12pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply



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Karl Wiebe
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 8:13pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply


625,000 copies!!!


Edited by Karl Wiebe on 30 November 2017 at 8:14pm
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 8:26pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply



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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 8:37pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply



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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 9:58pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Awesome work, guys!!

That "Crown Comics" #1 is surprising to see even in the pre-Comics Code era, as the lady certainly looks like she isn't wearing anything.

"The Spirit" #2 by Vital.... Sigh. I used to own that comics, even before I became a shop owner. I traded it to a friend for some of his comics, but he got the better end of that deal, honestly.

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Doug Centers
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Posted: 30 November 2017 at 10:43pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

That Ribtickler comic seems out of place. 
Almost looks like an underground comic from the late sixties or early seventies. 
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Neil Lindholm
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 1:47am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

It would make sense that it would look similar. The guys in the late sixties and early 70s had read these comics when they were kids in the 40's and 50's. 
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 12:07pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Most of what I see are indeed wartime related, with the Japanese soldiers being made to look monstrous. 1945 was the final days of World War II, and though it doesn't make it right, most Americans weren't feeling too kindly toward Japan, with whom we were engaged it a bitter conflict

***
Yes, that's what I was talking about. Nothing even vaguely similar happened to depictions of Germans, of course. The covers of superhero comics where the heroes are fighting Nazis don't do anything to make the Nazi soldiers look particularly grotesque. That was only saved for the "Japs."
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 1:50pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Adam, unquestionably there was racism involved. After all, people with German heritage living in America weren't shipped off to live in camps, either. Sadly, while we have progressed some degree, even today we still deal with racism and xenophobia. Most of the racists in our society just tries to hide it more nowadays, or disguise it as something else

Anyway, while definitely a worthy topic, I am hoping to keep this thread about the comic book displays at newsstands and shops. One interesting facet of that is when looking at those past displays we do get to see how times have changed, for good and bad.

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Tim Cousar
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 2:12pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

During my senior year of high school, I worked in a drug store with a spinner rack. The magazine and comics distributor would come into the store with a couple of tubs and set out some of the new issues and pull the old issues of the same titles and then continue until all the new stuff was set out. He would put a sticker of some kind on the top of the tub of old stuff and take it away with him.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 2:51pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I seem to recall hearing that for every copy sold, typically one was returned back in the day?  Sounds like a ton of copies of Action #1, Detective #27, etc. were just vaporized or recycled with returns and the wartime paper drives.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 2:52pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 2:54pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 2:56pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 2:58pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

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Rick Senger
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Posted: 01 December 2017 at 3:00pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

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