Newsstand Vs Direct Editions

@jcLu The newsstands were $1.00 more.

@ToddW I mostly got them from Books-a-million and Barnes and Noble. I hate the fact that they stopped doing them like a month or so before Teen Titans #12, I really would have liked to have a newsstand of that issue.


Here is one example for the Rebirth. The barcode for the newsstand has a blank where the other say direct sales.

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Can you imagine!?

I have a Batman 24 (engagement issue) newsstand signed by Tom King (raw). I picked it up from Anthony, no less!

Yeah and they still kept putting direct edition on the books for years. Wonder why they let it go so long before updating the books?

When I lived a tiny upstate New York town the only place to buy comics was a newsstand-type location with a ton of magazines as well as soda, beer, and cigarettes/cigars. The guy they had who ordered stuff actually had great taste and got some solid Marvel, DC, Image, and indie books on the shelves and it was all in the manner of newsstand and not direct market. It was like that up through the early 2010’s until it retooled as magazines got less popular and now is more like a big vaping and cigarette place with some newspapers (I stopped by this recent Summer when in town visiting my folks). That is the only example I have.

Its not easy finding Newstands in high grade . I try to find newstand and direct for any of the older books that im hunting. I also keep an eye out for "DC Universe logos"jewelers ads, “tattoo inside” comics and the marvel 30 and 35cent variants. Its been like 3 years since ive found a 35 cent variant fingering through the bins. Its an awesome feeling to find any of these variants in the wild. I also pick up double covers which ive only found 2 of in 25 years(super htf because most of the time i dont take books out of the bags to look at them).

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It’s a hell of a lot easier to actually spot the 30 cent variants for sure. Although they’re ugly simply because of the box they put the price in imo.

Ive been quite lucky lately. I have stumbled across a few collections that have arrived at some of my LCS’ recently, that were loaded with higher grade CPVs, UKPs and newsstands (and apparently, now, Whitmans too).

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@ToddW…hey, ive moved our direct vs newsstand talk to this thread. I respect that we have different opinions on the earlier newsstands. Im currently in the middle of nowhere, so I cant check the cgc census, but a quick look at sold 9.6 SSH1s has 14 out of the last 20 sales were for direct editions. Thats 70% of the recent sold 9.6s, on Ebay, are directs. This lends credence to my statement that newsstands from any era are harder to find than their direct counterparts. Im very curious as to what the census says. :beers:

I think it might help to expand it to all grades. Like is there a trend that shows the gap between number of graded newsstands vs. number of graded directs closes as the grade goes down…we should pick a popularly graded book or two for each year.

1980 can be she-hulk.

That doesn’t prove anything. It could easily be the directs are more sought after thus accounting for more being sold. As well CGC doesn’t distinguish between direct and newsstand unless their also price variants so checking the census won’t really help. Any other year I’d agree 100% with you but with directs just making up 6 percent of print runs should offset the handling and return-ability of the newsstands.

I understand it doesn’t prove anything. Nothing said by you or I in this convo has proven anything. I was just using the data at hand to try to make an educated guess. I think the sales of directs on eBay does lend credence to my theory. That was using hard data. You guessing the motivation behind the direct sales is less evidence than the hard data i used. Having said that, I completely understand where you are coming from. You are also not taking into consideration that even if the distribution was 95-5, the newsstands were returnable. If we assume half the newsstands were returned, then that ratio of 95-5 would be considerably smaller. More in line with 80-20. If, half the newsstands were returned. Even at 25% returned, the ratio between directs and newsstands decreases.

I know big retailers who charge double for early direct editions for a reason. In their decades of experience they’ve determined that people will pay that because if the rarity. I also believe if half the newsstand books were destroyed the newsstands were still a majority of the the books.

I started collecting comics very early. I was maybe 4 years old and have been collecting for 40 years next year. All of my books were newsstands. We didn’t have a local comic until the early 90’s and in my experience the directs were very hard to find whereas every single gas station, convenience store, grocery store, several actual newsstands, book stores, even the adult shop had comics. It’s where I and all my friends got their comics and we all took very good care of them. I think you’re underestimating that a lot of newsstands were well taken care of by their owners.

It would be nice to know the actual numbers to see which is rarer but I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I know from the years of 79-82 I prefer directs because I believe their rarer in high grade.

More data needed.

I’ll see if I can do some forensics in those early years of directs to support JClues theories…or debunk them!

Will look to see what keys were issued by year and start putting graded data together…

In my free time.

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By graded do you mean CGC, PGX and CBCS? I know CBCS distinguishes between direct and newsstand and I imagine they have a census but to my knowledge the others don’t distinguish so it wouldn’t be in their census. CGC does distinguish if it’s a price variant though. Which would help with more recent newsstand numbers. But we were debating 1979 specifically. Unless you’re talking about tediously going through what’s available online? I’m just going by the math myself.

Doesn’t matter. You can tell by the bar codes, or lack thereof.

Actually, not sure I’d add PGX as their grades are suspect to begin with.

Heres what I have so far for She Hulk #1

So Per the chart provided we assume direct editions make up approximate 10-20% of the total books. So in theory if direct editions were that small a distribution, They shouldn’t dominate the grading maker…

Here is the data (combined for sale and sold recent listings). Grade, Direct/newsstand, percent direct:

9.8 70/15, 85%
9.6-9.0, 116/169, 69%
8.5-6.5. 9/17, 34%

Clearly for these trends high grade newsstands are much scarcer than directs.

Will find another example maybe tomorrow night.

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Honestly just looking at sold listings is only part of the equation. We need to factor in unsold books as well. We’re not debating what’s selling but what’s available. Also assuming directs make up 10-20% is completely unnecessary and incorrect. 6% of the books were direct editions not 10-20%. Even if factoring in half being sent back directs still were vastly outnumbered. I don’t understand why your numbers are different than what the chart says. I also don’t know why your disputing the actual math that proves it as well. So instead of 94% being Newsstands let’s say half were returned. That would still leave about 8 times as many newsstands available compared to direct.

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