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  1. #1
    Baby Thanos Member catbellysqueezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    Default Marvel Comics - Multiple printings before release?

    (Maybe this forum isn't the correct place to ask this, but I am still fairly new to comics so any information is appreciated.)

    So, Donny Cates tweeted a few days ago that the upcoming Absolute Carnage #1 is on its 3rd printing before even being released, and I have seen others say the same about other first issues.

    Now I have also seen Cates tweet about cut-off dates for comic book stores to order issues, so how is it possible that they needed to do 3 printings if there is a set deadline for ordering the books? Wouldn't they know ahead of time how many have been ordered so they can do them all as one printing?

    Also, I have ordered A LOT of 1st issues from my comic book store since starting reading comics last year. I have always received a first printing, and I would probably be annoyed if I ordered ahead of release and ended up receiving a third printing.

    Am I misunderstanding something here? Thanks for any help!
    Baby Thanos

  2. #2
    Mighty Member LordMikel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014


    Comics are ordered three months in advance and they have a deadline.

    Stores order 1 million copies. Marvel prints 1.2 million, anticipating some reorders. 3 months ago.

    A lot more people start clamoring, wanting a copy. Stores order an additional 1 million copies. Marvel does a second print of 800,000 copies. 2 months ago.

    Suddenly more people are wanting it, it seems to be the next big thing. Stores put in a third order. Marvel orders a third printing. Before the book has even been released.

    As a note, all of those numbers are made up, I don't really know what the order was.

    But you might say, the actual printing hasn't happened yet. Why not simply combine the orders and print them altogether as a First printing. I'm sure there is legality there, which is above my pay grade to fully understand. But you could argue, the printing press is also on a schedule. We are printing 1 million Carnage comics and after that we are printing some FF comics. If we print more Carnage, then FF will be delayed, which will delay the next book, and so on.

    But I hope that answers your question of how a third printing can happen before the book is actually released.
    I think restorative nostalgia is the number one issue with comic book fans.
    A fine distinction between two types of Nostalgia:

    Reflective Nostalgia allows us to savor our memories but accepts that they are in the past
    Restorative Nostalgia pushes back against the here and now, keeping us stuck trying to relive our glory days.

  3. #3
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014


    While the collectibility of a first printing isn't as great as it was in past years, the bragging rights of "multiple" printings" is still something. Additionally, later printings often have differentr variant covers which can excite collectors in another way.

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