Freshly returned from Montreal Comiccon 2011 my head is still full of crowds, books and art. My focus here is the collected edition market at the show: hardcovers, trade paperbacks, graphic novels.
First off this was a comic centric show and had a fair number of comic dealers with a healthy mix of locals and out of towners. The show was dominated by comics new and old with most dealers having a table or so of space dedicated to trades. A few dealers did the trades up right and offered a wide and varied selection. I was very happy to see a local dealer with four bookcases full of new and old volumes: they had two softcover Fireside editions (Captain America, Doctor Strange) and a lot of early trades, all for 40% off. Unfortunately I had those so no purchases for me there. Another traveling dealer had a glass showcase filled with Marvel Limited hardcovers with crazy pricing: they were matching eBay prices but not those for completed sales. I didn’t see anything sell from the showcase.
Discounts varied from U.S. cover to 50% off tables. Labyrinth had a massive layout, the same as Fan Expo, with trades 40% off U.S. cover. I picked up a few Humanoids oversized hardcovers from the 2002 U.S. attempt. Comic Book Addiction had a 50% off table where I picked up Fantagraphics’ Popeye Volume 1. Unfortunately most dealers had the same group of hardcovers and trades with little to no discount offered: I don’t see how they expect to sell these at U.S. cover when others in the room are offering decent discounts.
One non-discounted table had a short stack of the dealer incentive red leather Lone Wolf & Cub volume 1 hardcover from Dark Horse for $15. One had the limited numbered insert so that ended up being my find of the show.
The Walter Simonson Thor Artist’s Edition was everywhere around the show: it looks like retailers realized how popular or sought after these IDW volumes are and made sure to stock up. Last year I only saw one Dave Steven’s Rocketeer Artist’s Edition all year at the shows. This is certainly nice for those attending from a location where their local comic shop didn’t order any.
Those of us who attend comic conventions in the hopes of locating an older or obscure hardcover usually leave empty-handed. Traveling dealers are selling hot and popular product including a lot of clearance items. It was great to see one local dealer with an abundant amount for sale but this is only viable to someone local.