Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Subscription Conniption

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F.O.A.M.er extraordinaire Joe Mello sent the Shrine this curious bit of info about subscribing to the current smash-hit Aquaman series:

"I had gotten a discounted subscription to Aquaman, through the mail. Have gotten two issues, I think. All was good. Today I got this letter:

DC Comics
P.O. Box 8542
Big Sandy TX 75755

Dear AQUAMAN Subscriber,

This is to notify you that the series AQUAMAN will cease to be offered as a subscription title after issue #10. Issue #10 will be delivered to you as scheduled in July. To keep reading Aquaman beyond the end of your subscription, please visit your local comic shop or shop online at ReadDCComics.com.

We also want to let you know that you have some remaining issues on your subscription that can be put toward another DC Comics publication. Your remaining issues will be automatically transferred to our exciting JUSTICE LEAGUE series starting with issue #11. We thank you for your loyalty as a DC Comics subscriber and have upgraded your subscription to the 40-page $3.99 JUSTICE LEAGUE title at no extra cost to you for the remainder of your original subscription. If you choose to renew your subscription it will be at the standard rate. Find out more about the JUSTICE LEAGUE series and all the other exciting new titles from DC Comics at DCCOMICS.COM!

*** If you wish to transfer your remaining, un-mailed subscription to another DC Comics title, or if you would rather receive a refund based on the cost of your original title, please call us at 1-800-887-6789 to let us know the title you would rather received.

Thank you for subscribing to DC Comics and for your immediate response.

Jeff Boison
VP of Operations
DC Comics

So... I was under the impression Aquaman was selling well and was already solicited for #12 and supposedly beyond. Do you have any clue what is going on?"


I have to say, this is news to me. Aquaman is one of DC's best-selling, and best-reviewed books, so it would be completely bewildering to me if the series was cancelled. Odds are the answer is much more mundane, probably having something to do with the whole Old School idea of direct mail subscriptions going the way of the dodo, but I profess to not knowing that for sure. Anyone from DC reading this want to clue the rest of us Aqua-Fans in?

15 comments:

Caffeinated Joe said...

Thanks for posting, Rob. Still baffles me, since they are substituting a higher-cost comic for the rest of the subscription. Seems to me that, in order to stop sending Aquaman, they are will to lose a little money. Just... odd.

Laurie S. Sutton said...

Hmm. I subscribe to Aquaman and I haven't gotten that letter. Yet. Very confusing.

Anonymous said...

I received the exact same letter yesterday and was so disappointed I hopped online to see if others had received it as well. They also closed out my Hawkman subscription. Super annoyed because Aquaman is by far my favorite comic right now.

Andy said...

I would vote its simply to cut down on cost of shipping to individual houses. They did say visit you comic shop or Digital subscription.

Sucks for people who dont have a shop near them, took me almost 2 years to find a good one.

Russell said...

This IS weird. I remember distinctly getting the real thing when AQUAMAN was cancelled back in 1978. :-(
"We regret to inform you...."

Kryschenn said...

All told, it looks like DC only offers about 25 titles for subscription anyway. A lot of their popular books besides Aquaman are not on the list, either.

I work in the print industry, and while I don't know for certain about this title, I can say in general that direct mail can get to be a logistical nightmare with all sorts of rules and regulations and fines. It's not the price of the comic so much as the cost of the postage. Also consider that by not offering a subscription, DC doesn't have to offer the discounted subscription price. Like I said, I don't know for sure, but until I hear otherwise, I won't worry just yet. Canceling home delivery and going to "newsstand only" is not the same thing as canceling the book altogether.

Jonathan Schalembier said...

Alright, I'm a HUGE fan of Aquaman. But I live nowhere near a comic book shop. Mail-in subscriptions were the only way I got any Aquaman at all. Reading this, I feel like I fell over and died. I still haven't received this letter of "we regret to inform you" but this ruins my day, and is perhaps the lowest point of my whole year thus far. Okay, I am being dramatic but I don't know what I'm going to do! Anger. Frustration. Rage. Why do they have to do this to me!?! Deprive me, of my utmost favorite thing!

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat as Jonathan in that there's not a good or close local comic book shop. The likelihood of me making over an hour trip each month to pick up the titles I missed from cancelled mailings (and paying more for them because of the removal of the subscription discount) is pretty slim at best. And that's disappointing as I've been loving this title. I made sure to email DC's customer service to let them know how annoying/disappointing this is. Maybe if others do to we can get somewhere.

Joe Huber said...

I'm sorry to hear that this is happening to those of you whose only option is a subscription. This, however, is one of the reasons why I read all of my DC comics digitally. It's not the same as holding the actual book in your hands, but it's a heck of a lot more convenient. If I manage to hold off for a month I can get the previous month's issues for 1.99 as soon as the new issue is released, which is a decent discount. What's nice is that I then have the option to read the issues on my phone, my iPad, or my laptop (or any computer-issues are stored in the cloud). What's even better is that every issue you purchases comes with all of the cover versions at no extra charge.
Like many others I wasn't even aware that subscriptions were still an option. I had considered looking into it but when DC announced the "Day and Date Digital" program I went with that instead.

Anonymous said...

To those who are dependent upon mail subscriptions, try www.mailordercomics.com to set up an independent subscription account.

Laurie S. Sutton said...

Well, I got the dreaded letter today, after all. I called the 800 phone number and was told to CALL THEM BACK after I received issue #10 and at THAT time request either a refund for the remaining issues or to continue the remainder of my sub with another title. If I do nothing, the remainder of my sub will be automatically transferred to Justice League. For some reason the rep was not able to take my information now and apply it later.

Thanks to Anon above, I'll be looking into mailordercomics.com. My LCS choices are crummy.

Caffeinated Joe said...

Here's a link to info on more titles involved:

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/05/16/dc-stops-subscriptions-for-aquaman-jl-dark-and-jli-end-with-issue-10/

Anonymous said...

Well, I have new news on this story. I took the time to email DC and this is the response I received:

"Dear *****,

We received your inquiry regarding the future of Aquaman. The letter that went out to subscribers on Aquaman was erroneous. Aquaman is not among the titles being cancelled and we will not only be keeping Aquaman available to subscribers – but will also be giving subscribers an extra issue onto their subscription to apologize for any confusion. This issue will be added in the next few weeks.


Thank you,
Customer service

1-800-887-6789
Customer_Service@DC-Comics.us

PO Box 8542
Big Sandy, TX 75755"

That gives me hope that they'll continue mailing it out so I'm definitely crossing my fingers. I also had Hawkman's subscription cancelled and then two days later received a letter asking "do you want to renew your Hawkman subscription?" So yeah, there's some funky stuff going on at DC. I'll call them to find out more and post an update.

Anonymous said...

Just confirmed with the customer service on the phone that the Aquaman cancellation letter was a mistake and that subscription will still be mailing. Whew! I lost Savage Hawkman but that's no big deal. Losing Aquaman was killing me!

Russell said...

DC seems to be very, very mixed up. ;-(