Ordering Physical Comics Books Is About to Get Slightly Easier

Image: DC Comics. DC Essential Graphic Novels 2018 cover art by Danny Miki and David Finch.
Image: DC Comics. DC Essential Graphic Novels 2018 cover art by Danny Miki and David Finch.

One of the most intimidating aspects of getting into comics for the first time is... well, the actual process of buying comic books, especially if you’re looking to build a physical collection. But as difficult—if not outright arcane—as it can be, it’s about to get a little easier to manage.


This morning, Diamond, the biggest distributor in the comics industry, announced a new digital service called the Pullbox, designed to give comics readers a simple, consistent way to track the comics they have on order at their local comics store while on the go.

As long as your local store is synched to the service, you’ll be able to manage your pull list of series and add recurring orders for your favorite titles, add new series or special items from the current issue of Diamond’s Previews magazine, or make one-off purchases on the fly and track when the next issues in your collection are set to come out. From a retailer perspective, Diamond promises the ability to integrate Pullbox into any current digital order systems they currently run as well, making it an easy process on both ends. And of course, you’re still ordering from your local store, so if you go to a specific place to support it, you don’t have to worry about that money going elsewhere if you’re using the new service.

It’s not completely digital—you still have to go and physically collect your orders from your local store, after all, so if you’re looking to avoid the potentially intimidating act of heading into a comics store, Pullbox isn’t the solution. But it’s the biggest distributor of comics offering retailers and readers alike a single, unified system that makes maintaining a regular order of comics probably as easy as it can be.

It’s a small step, and it doesn’t really address the comics industry at large’s reliance on the preorder-driven structure, a system so confusing at times it’s not out of place for creative teams on new books to actually release their own how-to guides explaining how new fans can properly support a comic. But it’s progress toward modernizing and simplifying a process that can often be a barrier to entry in getting new readers into comics.

James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!



Physical Comics are for old people who still use facebook. Get a new kindle and iPad or fire tablet. Not only are they more efficient and offer less clutter, but the deals thru amazon or comixology are ridiculous. The idea of a rollout series spanning months is old as broadcasting TV. Use the Netflix model. When a series is launch, release the whole freaking volume. People don’t have the patience nor the money to buy $5 per book series. We want to binge a series for a standard monthly payment. The industry needs reform if they want to survive. If Marvel is losing sales for the most profitable brand in comics they need drastic bold decision making.