Marvel has ended sales of print single-issue periodical comics through trade bookstore channels. This will not affect the sales of book format graphic novels through those retailers. Several earlier accounts reported that Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble were dropping single-issue comics.
According to B&N spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating, the removal of single issue comics from B&N and other book stores is Marvel's decision: "This is a Marvel decision to pull single issue comics from retailers. Not a B&N decision," adding that, "this doesn't apply to graphic novels."
Marvel senior v-p of book sales David Gabriel told PW that any reports of Marvel graphic novels being pulled from BAM stores are inaccurate and he emphasized that “the BAM buyer is also a bit surprised by this.”
Indeed, Jeff Skipper, v-p marketing at BAM, told PW that "Book-A-Million will continue to sell all formats of Marvel graphic novels. At this time we have ceased selling Marvel single-issue comics, but continue to sell single-issue comics from other major publishers."
Gabriel confirmed that Marvel's single-issue comics program to bookstores has been ended. He said that Marvel ended newsstand sales of print comics “about two years ago,” and the single-issue program at BAM and B&N “ended almost three months ago to no fanfare or notice from the comics industry.” Gabriel said “the business in the direct market [the comics shop market] is a much stronger model and try as we might, we have not been able to make the comics newsstand model work for years, I don’t think anyone has.”
Both the Good eReader and ComicBook.com reported that BAM had dropped Marvel single-issue comics. Good eReader also reported that it was Marvel’s decision to stop selling copies of single-issue periodical comics at bookstore chains.
Marvel continues to sell its periodical comics via comic book shops, aka the Direct Market. Sales of periodicals at bookstore chains are likely very small, so it's not surprising that bookstore chains might leave the format for comic book shops, which offer a greater variety and depth of single-issue comic book content.