Comic Book Terms – Direct Market
What is Direct Market? When comics were first launched, they could be purchased in many places, most particularly at the newsstand, alongside newspapers and magazines. In the 1980s, with comics sales on the wane, attempts were made to buy comics direct from the publisher, rather than through a traditional magazine distributor. This was the beginning of the comic book direct market. In addition, rather than returning unsold copies after a certain date, with a higher initial discount, buyers could keep unsold copies as back issue stock. This led to the formation of comic shops, with wide-ranging stock of older issues, as well as the creation of a number of tailored comic book distributors. Comics sold in comic shops were labeled “direct market” by the upc code.