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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Why arent you awesomed by me?"
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May 09 2007

Out of print and out of stock. A comic book store owner comments on the non-availability of Joss Whedon's Dark Horse back catalogue at a time "when the heat for the [Buffy] series is on NOW".

I did manage to find Tales of the Slayers and Tales of the Vampires at the comic shop on free comic book day. (I got the last Tales of the Slayers, there were 2 copies of the other one.)

Other than that, I really want to find Buffy: Origin. Is that out of print too? Will it be back?
'Origin' is part of the Buffy Omnibus that Dark Horse are releasing in July so I suspect it's unlikely to be re-released as a single volume. I'll be getting this I think, it's great value (and, unlike some omnibus editions, full colour).

Last time I checked my Local Comic Shop had TotS and TotV in stock, didn't realise they were hard to get (but not 'Fray' which is what I actually wanted after lending my copy and not getting it back). Kinda see his point though, 3 months after the launch of 'season 8' seems a bit late to be getting the other books back on the shelves.
AFFan: I got the "Origin" comics (there are 3 in the series ) in new condition on ebay for $9 for all three not long ago. They were far from the only ones available then. Also recently got both "Tales of the...". Both of these tpbs are in stock at at the moment.

[ edited by toast on 2007-05-09 11:43 ]
Joss wasn't involved in Origin but it was based on his original screenplay to the Buffy movie (before it got hacked to pieces), and he has declared the comic as canonical in the past.

As for the other comics listed, I am feeling smug because I bought them all when they were brand new. Also, I saw copies of TOTS for 4 in back-issue bins back in December.
I ordered Fray and TotS online back in January, and that worked out well. My month-long search for TotV in Toronto comic shops only ended recently. It wasn't in stock anywhere for a while. I don't think my neighbourhood comic store ever had any Buffy tpbs at any point this year.
Oh wow... It only took one post in the comments section for the Whedon bashing and the bashing of Whedon fans to begin... fun fun.
I've not looked for any of the titles mentioned in the blog for a while, as I've got them. I am gonna get the Buffy omni-bus though, but I knew it isn't available yet.
When I got the Tales volumes I had to wait a couple've weeks for the store to get them in. Didn't bother me. Was just happy to be getting them...
I'm glad I snagged a copy of Serenity: Those Left Behind when Buffy #1 came out. I think my local shop still had copies a few weeks ago... but maybe not now.
Like many here, I already had the books that Joss had written (like Fray) or helped to write (like Tales of the Slayer and Tales of the Vampire), but I had recently been trying to acquire Jane Espenson's Jonathan stand-alone and that was terribly hard to find. I ended up finding it online in a shop in the UK (I'm in California).

I hope that Dark Horse is planning on getting all of these reprinted for new fans because they are wonderful!
There could be (and probably are) huge discussions revolving around the larger issues surrounding his specific complaints. Glossing over them then, Chris Anderson's book The Long Tail provides a start towards consideration the value of older properties vs. current issues. And Scott McCloud has stimulated many discussions of online comics.

For myself, I think the good of the comics industry is an iTunes-like online store for digital downloads and/or printed works. I would be very inclined to purchase digital copies of many back issues. But this would almost certainly mean the death for the long-struggling neighborhood comics shops, apart from those rare exceptions dealing in rare prints.

I have avoided file sharing, so haven't read any of Fray, Tales..., etc. But again, were I able to legally procure these online, I would jump at the chance.
Well - I was kind of surprised at the fan bashing in that one post. Kind of dumb if you ask me. My local comic shop has been overwhelmed at the positive response to Season 8 and has a decent inventory of older out of print issues from previous Buffy related comics. He is also tickled that someone like me walks into his shop after literally two decades of not coming into a comic shop.

So rather than retailers (and I think that poster is a retailer, retail shop worker, or someone who identifies with them) b!tching about fans coming back to their stores not understanding the quirks of the business, they should be celebrating. The point of the post is a good one that Dark Horse has dropped the ball on being able to sell those trade paperback reprints now - but since the comics are coming out monthly, the reprints will be available as interest (hopefully) continues to ramp up and fans get antsy about having new material to see and read. On the other hand, if the demand hadn't been so high for the Season 8 comics, then having tons of reprints would have been a dumb business decision - and Dark Horse is a business.
I find it interesting how in some of the posts, they mention Whedonites (first time I've heard that one) expecting that they can pick up Joss-related merchandise at any time. Maybe it's just my location, but finding the DVD's can be a real pain. In many stores around here, you're lucky if they have two seasons available. The only store with a decent selection of DVD's is Best Buy, but unfortunately, even the slim-sets are too expensive for me.
I got Fray from Amazon about a year ago. It is absolutely fantastic, I hope some day Joss does a second Fray series. Anyway, just checked and Amazon still sells it.

Online shopping really makes hard-to-find things simple. It's probably worst for videogames - stores only offer the newest and the best-selling games. Forget trying to find something older, even certified classics, except if you're very lucky in a used shop.
Oh AnotherFireflyfan, I found a nice clean copy of the Monty Python & the Quest for the Holy Grail CD-ROM game that is only compatible with Windows95 and Windows98 (talk about older!) on eBay. You really do have search long and hard for many out-of print/out-of stock treasures, but occasionally you'll get lucky. Actually, traditionally, that has been part of the fun for collectors.
I just want to praise my local Big Planet Comics for being always well-stocked and staffed by first class geeks who make excellent suggestions and are highly knowledgable about Whedon-adjacent publications (like which X-Men TPBs to read to get the backstories for Astonishing) and have never sold me anything for more than cover price. They have earned my respect and patronage. Plus: The store is clean and neat and opens a few minutes early on Whedon Wednesdays.
"I hope that Dark Horse is planning on getting all of these reprinted for new fans because they are wonderful!"

Embers, one of the stated reasons for the Omnibus format is to include issues such as those, that might not have had a logical place in any of the normal collections.

Also, the Omnibuses simplify the back catalogue, making it easier for Dark Horse to keep things in stock--so they are taking steps to fix the problems.

(This information is from the Star Wars editors, but presumably it holds for all the Dark Horse Omnibuses.)
I ordered Tales of the Slayers over a month ago from Amazon UK but presumably due to these availability issues it isn't going to be delivered until July. :(
I've been relatively lucky in pre-ordering most things as soon as they are released.
It costs more and UPS and US Post adore me, but it's worth it as it's kinda hard to get things in Australia at a decent price anyway.
(Copies of S8 1 are going for CRAZY amounts of moolah on our ebay. Like, $50 a copy!)

I can certainly sympathize with the comic store blogger, as it must get a little frustrating to have paying customers who walk out empty handed and disappointed.

But from a business point of view, he should be capitalizing on their interest by taking pre-orders and stocking up on the figures/books/dvds that ARE available, instead of being an Eeyore and whining about the things that arn't.

Just my opinion...
Has anyone else who wasn't a life-long comic fan run into problems at a local shop? This was something I was extremely concerned about when I first heard about the comics, knowing there can be an elitism about some "comic book guys" (as there is with most sub-cultures, to be fair).

The first store my co-worker and I went to was super rude to us. Apparently, when two young women with larger-than-A-cup chests walk into a comics book store, the owners and patrons assume that A) they want to be ogled, B) they must only be interested in Buffy and therefore C) are not worth actually helping. We were already intimidated walking in, and they definitely didn't help. Luckily, the shop we tried the next month (Comic Outpost in San Francisco, just for the plug) were incredibly nice, chatted with us like we were just regular dorks that fit right in, and offered to set aside copies of the next issue for us. We'll never go back to the first store again, even though it's much closer to work. So, be nice to us newbies, and maybe we'll even buy non-Buffy stuff sometime. (:
I asked my local comic book shop (which I had never been in before, but they were very nice) to order Fray, Tales of the Slayers, and Tales of the Vampires back when I picked up Buffy Season 8 #1 in March. "Oh, I'll have it next Friday," says the nice man.
I dropped in on Friday, and nothing. I let it go until I went into pick up #2, and the poor guy was incensed that Diamond (his distributor) had none of those titles for sale.
Finally, I couldn't wait any longer and up and ordered them from Amazon. Got them all plus free shipping less than a week later. Last week I went in (guiltily) to pick up #3 and still no sign of the TPB's....I don't understand how Amazon can apparently have a good-size stock of these and the little guys can't get their hands on them. It's a shame, this could really be helping their business right now.

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