DC Comics will stick with what works and keep their new 52 comics relaunch returnable through April, it was announced at Thursday's Diamond Retailer Breakfast at New York Comic Con. The move is to keep retailers from simply cutting their orders as perceived interest drops off, DC v-p of sales and marketing Bob Wayne told PW . It's very common for comics retailers to only order books for regular customers, with the result that no books are on the shelves after the Wednesday release date. DC also announced a series of programs to give retailers 5% discounts on backstock via participating in various reader and retailer surveys.
Order eligibility levels will be based on what retailers ordered for the third issues of the books, which have already sold over 5 million comics in September.
At the same breakfast, Marvel announced that they will be making their retailer website free of charge, and the site has been revamped to include preveiws which will be available a full two weeks before the on-sale date.
Dark Horse announced two projects by writer Brian Wood, The Massive, an ongoing series which he said would appeal to his Vertugo readers; and Conan, with art by Becky Cloonan. The duo—who previously teamed up on the more naturalistic Demo—will adapt the classic Conan story "The Queen of the Black Coast." Dark Horse also announced a slew of new Star Wars projects, including a new Darth Vader mini-series.
Diamond spoke briefly about their business: comics sales are down about 4% for the year to date. However September saw huge gains with one of the biggest months in years across the board. Merchandise sales have also gone up.