True Story: I haven’t been to Gamestop in almost a year now, because I got sick of them trying to push pre-orders on me everytime I went in to pick up a title. Gamestop may be cheap, but it is full of dickhead practices. I will gladly pay a bit more to get my games from a online reseller like Gamefunk where they don’t treat me like a piece of shit.
Now that mindset has spread to how my Comic Book buying habits. I am tired of “Oh, you’re buying this week’s Wonder Woman? You should get these dozen other books that came out this week if you’re a true fan.” and “Hey, is that a non-superhero graphic novel you’re picking up? Should I go ahead and add a copy of Blankets to your total? Because we have that.” I know what I want to buy, pal. Let me buy it.
I did a test last week of a site called Heavy Ink. They offered 99 cent flat shipping on orders, which intrigued me. The shipping time was said to be slower due to the fact that they use the USPS Bound Printed Matter option (which I thought was meant to be for, like, publications for the blind and non-profit stuff, but whatever). I grabbed a copy of Grant Morrison’s Kill Your Boyfriend, Scott Pilgrim Vol 1, and, uh, Grant Morrison’s Superman Beyond 3D #2. Total price was $18.94, including shipping, which is just ridiculous. I got the books in four days, wrapped up in brown newsprint, which I can use for charcoal sketches. Result: Heavy Ink Wins.
The real reason that I was so interested in Heavy Ink is that they offer a subscription service. You can choose a book, add it to your subscriptions, and then choose how often they ship the bundle out. For example, I subscribed to Wednesday Comics, Greg Rucka’s run on Detective Comics, and Ambush Bug Year None (via back issues), setting them to ship once a month. So on August 1st I should get a few stray issues of current DC books and the entire run of Ambush Bug shipped out to me for 20% off cover price and 99 cents shipping. If this works out, I will be very happy.
Don’t get me wrong: I like local comic book stores. I’ll still pop in to South Philly Comics for my trade paper backs because the staff is super nice and they never push anything on me. But I am so ready to be done with my weekly outings to Wade’s Comic Madness and Steve’s Comic Relief, where I feel like I’m being preyed upon every time I step through the door. Not to mention the showing up later on new release day and getting a “Sorry, we sold out of this week’s Wednesday Comics.” Screw that. I’ll take bulk shipments straight to my door.