Letters to Holly

Thursday, January 15

Most Is Well

Seems the worst is over. I ate lightly yesterday, including soup for supper. My system is beat up. My torso feels like I've been punched repeatedly, and I couldn't distinguish aches from gas pains. I feel like a wrung out washrag. I slept an entire night bookended by cups of mint tea. And now I'm famished.

Yesterday saw a run on Amazing Spider-Man 583, featuring Obama on the cover and inside. Marvel Comics recently instituted a no-overprint policy, meaning they make as many issues as the retailers order. If a comic gets hot, retailers can no longer order more copies quickly; they have to wait for enough similar orders to warrant cranking up the printers. But Marvel isn't telling the stores when a particular issue might create increased demand. Store owners had no idea this comic might draw crowds.

Most comic stores have pill-lists for customers. We each tell them what comics we want, and stores give us a discount. They lower their inventory and order slightly more than enough to fill those pull lists. What's on teh shelves, then, is all they have, and there may be ten copies of any issue after pull requests are filled. Marvel issued a press release on this comic Monday, and the people responded by seeking an already limited product. Here's a store in Greensboro:

The Election Day coverage lead to a run on newsstands. Newspapers sold out. Copies went for hundreds of dollars on eBay. This comic might do the same. Obama has become a proven sells gimmick for anything. Here are the most recent three comics with him on it:

This didn't happen with any other president in my lifetime. It hasn't happened with ANYONE in my lifetime.

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