Comic/Graphic Novel/etc life cycle, as it pertains to ordering -
covering the stuff that happens before we get the stuff
Title Announcement- The publisher, writer, etc mention that the title will be coming out. This can happen MONTHS (or longer) away from Street Date. The item has not yet been printed. The item will NOT yet be solicited, meaning it will not show up in any distribution catalogs. Customers may contact us about ordering the item at this time. We are, unfortunately, unable to, until it has been solicited.
Initial Order- The title has been solicited. For ‘common’ items, such as a regular monthly title or GN, such as Immortal Hulk or Batman, this date is unimportant, beyond it having been given a SKU* by the distributor. For special items, like large compendiums, and other expensive or otherwise limited run items, the Initial Order date is used to determine the size of the print run. Sometimes to the extent of, the item is ONLY available to be ordered by this date (and still may not be assured by the distributor)
FOC- FOC, Final Order Cutoff, is the last date that we can place an order for an item before the titles begin getting packed up for shipping, to arrive by published Street Date. FOC is typically 3 weeks ahead. If a customer orders past this date, there is a high possibility that they will not be getting their item on the Street Date. They will be expecting to, however, as they would for a dvd or other normal item. They will need to be made aware of this possibility. This is not because we are mean. It is because we can’t order 10 copies of each of the 3,000 or so new items that come out EACH MONTH. We typically can get them their item, if it is a ‘common’ item. The exception being DC floppies from Lunar. Lunar is very bad about having back issues available for order by us.
Street Date- This is the date the item should be on our shelves. Due to COVID, this may not be accurate, and Diamond RARELY, if ever, updates the new Street Date on their listing. Typically, these items arrive in-shop anywhere from the Wednesday before, to the Monday before. Sometimes, as late as 2 days AFTER Street Date. Typically, by the Thursday before, I will know what will be in the shipment, in case a customer wants to know if it will be coming. This applies to NEW items only. Not Special Orders.
*(Diamond SKUs start with 3-letter month abbreviation. The next 2 numbers are typically the year. Lunar DC titles are 4 digits, DC (or SC for Scout, etc) followed by 3 more digits. Penguin uses the ISBN)