Question for You Folks Regarding Publishers Bagging Comics

Beginning in January, Marvel is going to be including the digital codes with all of their Ultimate comics.  Now, its not the digital code part that bothers me (well, it does, but that is a whole other subject).  What bothers me is that now every copy of every Ultimate book is going to be bagged.  Meaning that no one can flip through it on the rack.  Does this bother you?  Or do you see enough preview material online that you don’t need to flip through the book on the shelf.

My concern is that we are suddenly up to 5 Marvel titles that will be shipped bagged.  How long before all of them come bagged?  Having a good percentage of my books in ugly clear polybags isn’t all that inviting to me.

Most of the time, I let the current retailer drama go (teeth gnashing over digital or the relaunch and all), but I see this as potentially being a problem for me just on an aesthetic and saleability point.  I figured I’d ask you all first if it really matters or not.  Please let me know your take on it either way.

Posted in Opinion.


  1. also if they expand this to more comics i will be pissed i don’t want to have to open a bag for every book i read!

  2. I don’t mind them doing it to protect people from stealing the digital code. there is really no other way to keep people from doing it. (at least i can’t think of another way) what pisses me off is when they bag a book for no other reason than to make people buy it to read the ending. when 99.9% of the time the “shocking ending” will be reveled to the media days before the release of the book. There just bagging way to many books. i don’t know if it sells more if its bagged or not since there’s people that buy 2 one to open an one to keep. But if your going to bag it then bag it for a reason like adding something to the book like a limited card or or some kind of collectors item.

  3. Have you seen it affect sales in the past? One idea might be to do what bookstores often do–open one copy that customers can look at, and leave the rest polybagged. Unfortunately, that could end up being a big expense for you….

  4. I don’t care about no bags!

    I rarely buy products that I haven’t researched first, and that includes comics. As long as I am not being charged extra for a bag, I don’t care.


  5. Its going to be a clear bag (like Avenging Spider-Man), so you will be able to see the cover. The reason for bagging is so that you can’t get the code without purchasing the book (ie, walk in, scan the code and leave with the free digital without purchase AND then not letting the person that buys that copy get the code because it has already been redeemed).

    But, I do not really care for the idea and the thought of a wall covered in cheap bags is not appealing.

    • I am admittedly a Luddite. I have no interest in digital. Although I have to admit that the colors are more vibrant.

  6. I will not buy any comic that the publisher feels it needs to hide in what is essentially a garbage bag. I will buy Uncanny X-Force #18 in a bag because I’m familiar with it and am enjoying the story and especially the art. I will also purchase the Ultimates in the garbage bag for the same reason. I specifically did not buy Avenging Spiderman because it was bagged. I refuse to buy, sight unseen, any product that I am unfamiliar with.

    • I didn’t realize Uncanny X-Force #18 was going to bagged too. $10 they reveal the secret ending the Monday before the book ships, thus completely spoiling the need for the bag in the first place

  7. I hate it. I work in the publishing world and when you polybag anything it is such a pain. You can’t see what you are potentially buying. And I’m more likely to pass over anything I can’t see before hand, especially if the book costs $3.99. Why can’t they do a simple QR mobile code (and that directs you to the digital comic code.) Or better yet, print it on the credits page with the code.

    And how is this good business practice? It costs to put a pub in a polybag! Another dumb move by Marvel.

  8. For me it doesn’t really matter. When I come into the store I have a pretty good idea what I’m gonna be purchasing. A quick look thru in the store isn’t gonna change my mind. However, in my case I don’t buy comics for the art at all, I buy for the story so the only thing that could change my mind is if I actually sat in the store and read the book. I personally think that too much fuss is made about polybags, variant covers and other gimmicks.

    All that being said I can see your point (especially if it is a casual reader just looking for something new).

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