If I read it right, I think it's saying that...
1) Bookstores have ordered enormous numbers of SANDMAN:ENDLESS NIGHTS
2) Due to the incredibly efficient comics distribution system, ENDLESS NIGHTS will be in the comic shops on Wednesday the 17th of September, and will probably take several more weeks to get to the bookstore distributor warehouses and from there into the bookstores. So the comic shops will have a window of time advantage when they're the only people with the book.
3) Comic stores had better order enough copies ahead of time, because if they sell out, by the time they get their reorders in the books will already be on sale at, say, Barnes and Noble. And the comic store customers may well have decided not to wait, and gone and bought them there, or at Borders or the local independent...
4) And there are a lot of imponderables. Will the Sandman readers who've come in in the last six years, most of whom have probably bought their graphic novels in Bookshops, and may not even know that there are comic shops, know that if they go to a comic shop on the 17th of Sept, they'll get ENDLESS NIGHTS before they could get it in a bookshop? (Well, they will if they read this journal entry, but otherwise would they?) Will the comic shops benefit from the USA Today and Entertainment Weekly articles, along with the flurry of media that seems to be looming?
I'm fascinated by how it plays out. Part of wanting comics to be mainstream is wanting graphic novels to sell in bookstores, the other part of it is wanting to drive people into comic stores. (The non-creepy kind.)
From a customer point of view, it probably just means that, if you want it early, you need to get it from your comic store ( if you don't know how to find one, you could start looking here.) And you should ask them to put one aside for you.
Today was spent doing interviews, for the Neverwhere DVD. Each interview was exactly 20 minutes long, with no time between them, all on the same phone line, so mostly just as the conversation got interesting I'd have to say "You have to stop now". Tomorrow it's more or less the same, but with Wolves in the Walls interviews, and a USA Today photo shoot.
And the FAQ line remains down, so here's an e-mail from Scott McCloud's wife Ivy instead...
With Sept. 19th right around the corner, I wanted make sure you were aware of
this most auspicious of occasions:
We at Game Night have been anxiously awaiting this, our favorite of holidays,
ever since we sort of missed it last year. (Someone from Game Night sent me
the above URL in fact.) This year it falls on a Friday (which, of course, is
Game Night) so we are all getting ready...
Didn't want yer t'miss out matey!
While Jonathan carroll sends a link to the dead letter office at http://www.thedeadletter.com/explore.html
And the latest New Scientist points in horrified amusement to the Creation Science Fair at http://objective.jesussave.us/creationsciencefair.html. All of which is, well, sad and hilarious... and reads like an Onion parody. It took a lot of clicking around (more, in retrospect, than it should have) to come to the conclusion that the whole site was parodic (although their links at the bottom of the page are for real, which was what had puzzled me). (And then a look back at the New Scientist's last paragraph shows that they'd sussed it too but weren't saying so explicitly -- which leaves me puzzled why they'd talk about it as if it was sad-but-funny-but-true, and in a way that anyone who doesn't actually go to the site would assume that this was an actual report of a real thing.)
Meanwhile, over at the Guardian, a less funny but fascinating article on scientists and religion.
And the interviews start early tomorrow, so goodnight.