On June 21 2016 there was so much traffic on Aspen Comics’ AspenStore.Com website that the website eventually crashed and went off line for a brief amount of time. Countless amounts of people were visiting their online store all at once. They had to put out a notice to fans after some delay;
“Due to an unprecedented amount of site-traffic, our aspenstore.com is experiencing some technical difficulties. We are very sorry for any inconvenience, and will have an update for you here as soon as we resolve this issue. Thank you for your patience, Aspen fans!”
So what happened and what was the demand about? It all started a few weeks ago with this:
The book above is an Aspen Comics exclusive variant cover for DC Comics’ recent Rebirth relaunch to volume three of Batman. The book is unprecedented in more ways than one. The first would be the collaboration between DC Comics and Aspen Comics to be able to produce the book under both publishers. The other way is that this is an unreleased piece of art by the late, legendary artist Michael Turner. There has not been a newly published cover by him in a long time. Third, the book itself completely sold out within 24 hours.
Michael Turner had a massive fan base when he was alive. His work was revered and loved by legions of fans and he himself won the hearts of the masses and was known for his kindness and approachability. Fans have stayed true and loyal after all this time and, because of this, the anticipation for the Aspen/DC books was extremely high and remains so. So high, in fact, that the color and black and white versions of Batman # 1 completely sold out of their 3000 and 1,500 print runs, respectively, in 24 hours. The few remaining copies appeared and sold at the Denver Comic Con Aspen booth. Aspen notified fans via Facebook; “A limited amount were set aside for Denver Comic Con and a very limited amount for SDCC. AspenStore is currently sold out and not expected to have this edition back in stock.”
Riding on this success and high demand, Aspen Comics again released another piece of unused Michael Turner artwork but this time it was Spiderman and Black Cat for Marvel Comics. The announcement was released via social media; “A new Marvel ASPEN COMICS exclusive cover has arrived! Amazing Spider-Man #15 sees this gorgeous Michael Turner & Peter Steigerwald variant cover (and a special B&W Artist Edition in the set!)” Because of the demand and the selling out of Batman, many fans were ready and awaiting the Spider-man Michael Turner book on Tuesday. Spider was sold in waves, the first wave sold out rather quickly but this was after hours of the website being down. So many people were on the website at the announced release time that their server could not handle the traffic. The shopping cart would not work, the book did not appear for sale for quite some time and many people sat on the site for an hour or two waiting for it to launch. At one point, the website went completely down as Aspen’s IT department struggle and raced to get it all back online. Subsequent waves later that afternoon sold out as well, with Aspen limiting order quantities to one as their stock dwindled down. This book will now only be available directly from Aspen Comics at the San Diego Comic Con.
Despite the technical issues, the company reached out to fans personally and respectfully. They acknowledge the problems, explained them, kept fans updated and abreast of developments. Rest assured, Aspen Comics has taken steps to prepare for future demand on their planned upcoming releases. They said later on Tuesday “Unfortunately, this has been the most site traffic the store has ever experienced, so we had no reason to expect this unforeseen problem. Rest assured we’ve taken steps to allow more traffic and hope to avoid these setbacks in the future. We’re a small family-owned business and do our best to do right by our fans! :)”
The next Aspen Comics and DC Comics planned release is Justice League # 1 pre-orders, set for June 26th. See below for further details.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: REBIRTH #1
Written by BRYAN HITCH
Art by BRYAN HITCH
Cover by TONY S. DANIEL
Variant cover by JOE MADUREIRA
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
Spinning out of the events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, a new day dawns for Earth’s greatest heroes as they welcome three new members to the team, including…Superman? Who is this strange visitor from a dead world—and can he be trusted? Batman and Wonder Woman aren’t so sure.
On sale JULY 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
About Aspen Comics:
Comics that are real page Turners! Michael Turner founded Aspen in 2003, and since then, they’ve built up quite the assortment of comics — ranging from Fathom to Soulfire toLola XOXO. Get started reading Aspen with this bundle’s selection of titles, or build your collection if you’re already a fan!