Author Topic: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP  (Read 33515 times)

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Offline Bender

A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« on: April 05, 2013, 06:03:34 PM »
This has happened in the past.  The stock of a single volume would dry up and be a bit challenging to find, and we would see sky rocketing prices that I could not imagine anyone paying.  Months ago, a few volumes started to dry up and become difficult to find.  I was curious to see if the problem had been solved and checked out Amazon.  What I found was that the problem has not been taken care of and has increased.  I know Amazon is not the only place to buy Berserk, and that some other places may currently have what it doesn't, but I would assume it to be generally peoples first stop and that it shows a trend.

Low Stock
Volume 1 - 14 left
Volume 2 - 6 Left
Volume 15 - 14 Left
Volume 17 - 3 Left
Volume 21 - 14 Left
Volume 23 - 19 Left
Volume 24 - 7 Left
Volume 25 - 12 Left
Volume 26 - 11 Left
Volume 27 - 10 Left
Volume 29 - 1 Left


Out Of Stock, Temporarily, Possibly On Re-Order
Volume 4 - Delayed? Months
Volume 5
Volume 29 - Delayed? Weeks
Volume 33


Out Of Stock
Volume 7
Volume 8
Volume 9
Volume 10
Volume 11
Volume 12
Volume 13
Volume 14
Volume 16
Volume 18
Volume 28
Volume 30
Volume 31
Volume 32
Volume 34

As a fan I am glad to see people buying Berserk.  Maybe the movies, as disappointing as they are, have exposed people to the manga causing sales to increase.  At the same time I am annoyed because Berserk obviously could be doing better if there was Berserk to be sold.  Does anyone know who is responsible for printing Berserk and keeping stock up?  Is it Dark Horse, or DMP, or are they both massive failures?  Like I said Amazon is not the only place to buy Berserk, but I checked other sellers(Barnes & Nobles, RightStuff, Etc.) and they share the same problem.

I figure most people here already have all the Dark Horse volumes, or collect another variation, and might not be aware of this.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 12:02:59 AM by Bender »

Offline Aazealh

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2013, 06:07:56 PM »
First of all allow me to commend you for doing this little research and making this thread, Bender. Great job. Second, I'm pretty sure Dark Horse is responsible. And it is indeed puzzling, worrying and annoying all at once. Hopefully there's a good reason (like a new, improved edition) or, more realistically, they'll reprint them all at once soon.

Offline Bender

Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 06:28:55 PM »
First of all allow me to commend you for doing this little research and making this thread, Bender. Great job. Second, I'm pretty sure Dark Horse is responsible. And it is indeed puzzling, worrying and annoying all at once. Hopefully there's a good reason (like a new, improved edition) or, more realistically, they'll reprint them all at once soon.

Thanks.  It is definitely something to be concerned about.  Even more so because Dark Horse and DMP appear not to be.

Offline Walter

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 06:38:46 PM »
Thanks for all of this, Bender. It really has become a major issue for new readers of the series, and that's a real shame.

I'll reach out and see if I can get a comment from Dark Horse on the issue.
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Offline ApostleBob

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2013, 08:08:47 PM »
Thanks for all of this, Bender. It really has become a major issue for new readers of the series, and that's a real shame.

I'll reach out and see if I can get a comment from Dark Horse on the issue.

Hopefully they're just re-issuing the volumes in better quality, though that's probably a pipe dream.  Any idea how the sales of the Dark Horse volumes were in general?  Was it doing well in the US in comparison to other mangas?


Offline Bender

Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2013, 08:23:31 PM »
Thanks for all of this, Bender. It really has become a major issue for new readers of the series, and that's a real shame.

I'll reach out and see if I can get a comment from Dark Horse on the issue.

Exactly.  Their job is already hard enough when it comes to selling manga.  By allowing this to happen they are basically just sending people to scanlations and pirated scans of their own books.  I would be interested in hearing what they have to say. Is there even an excuse for this from a business perspective?  I don't understand how this happens to what Dark Horse says is, "one of our best-selling titles".

I looked on their forums, and there are a few threads complaining about this, but I didn't see an official responce

Offline Walter

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2013, 08:35:02 PM »
Exactly.  Their job is already hard enough when it comes to selling manga.  By allowing this to happen they are basically just sending people to scanlations and pirated scans of their own books.  I would be interested in hearing what they have to say. Is there even an excuse for this from a business perspective?  I don't understand how this happens to what Dark Horse says is, "one of our best-selling titles".
I'd hazard a guess that it could be because all publishers—comics, books, newspapers or otherwise—are facing tough times right now. Perhaps they are thinking: We'll print NEW editions for the fans that are already here, and the new ones can starve.

Which is short-sighted, to say the least.

I've already sent a pretty well worded comment to them through official means which includes the data you've posted here, but I'm going to go a little further. I know a guy who owns a pretty big comics store in my town. I'll see if he can get a distributor on the phone with a reason for the shortage, and if there's any end in sight for it. Though it's unlikely to get any official answer.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Bender

Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2013, 09:10:04 PM »
I'd hazard a guess that it could be because all publishers—comics, books, newspapers or otherwise—are facing tough times right now. Perhaps they are thinking: We'll print NEW editions for the fans that are already here, and the new ones can starve.

Which is short-sighted, to say the least.

I can understand cutting costs because things are tough and I know Berserk is not their only series, but how does a comic seller make money if it has no comics to sell. :???:  I hope Dark Horse is doing well.  I would hate for Berserk to get stuck in limbo for English readers.

I've already sent a pretty well worded comment to them through official means which includes the data you've posted here, but I'm going to go a little further. I know a guy who owns a pretty big comics store in my town. I'll see if he can get a distributor on the phone with a reason for the shortage, and if there's any end in sight for it. Though it's unlikely to get any official answer.

I hope you get some kind of answer.  It would be nice to have something to tell people who post here and in other places what to expect. 

Offline ApostleBob

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2013, 09:56:29 PM »
Maybe it is a print issue.  Perhaps they'll release them all in an eReader format and discontinue the printed volumes.

Offline Bender

Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 12:26:52 PM »
Maybe it is a print issue.  Perhaps they'll release them all in an eReader format and discontinue the printed volumes.

That would be a massive change that would make me, and I am sure others, mad after collecting their books for years.  I don't see that as the reason.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 12:37:45 PM by Bender »

Offline Walter

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2013, 04:05:26 PM »
Maybe it is a print issue.  Perhaps they'll release them all in an eReader format and discontinue the printed volumes.
Is there a precedent for that...? Are other existing comic franchises making the jump to online readers? I know that Marvel has been pushing it, but it's been a sort of extra service on top of their print side.
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Offline ApostleBob

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2013, 06:55:26 PM »
Is there a precedent for that...? Are other existing comic franchises making the jump to online readers? I know that Marvel has been pushing it, but it's been a sort of extra service on top of their print side.

I really don't know, but as an imported series it may be possible.  I really think it depends on how the english DH sales have been doing in comparison to their other titles but i don't have the metrics on that.  I hope that it's this over them discontinuing them in general.  Best case scenario is either a re-release or just printing a new batch of them.  The strange thing is that they're still printing the more recent volumes in english so far...

Offline IncantatioN

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2013, 07:05:48 PM »
Very interesting statistic and discussion, thanks for the info Bender.

How does this online statistic from Amazon translate to what is available at a local bookstore? Say I was able to find the out of stock volumes at a Forbidden Planet or Kinokuniya or Midtown Comics here in the city, it would mean that they obviously don't stock themselves on Amazon? If that's the case, these numbers could go either way. I'm not familiar with how Amazon works on their stocks.
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Offline Aazealh

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2013, 08:58:13 PM »
I really don't know, but as an imported series it may be possible.  I really think it depends on how the english DH sales have been doing in comparison to their other titles but i don't have the metrics on that.

As far as I know they've always presented Berserk as being one of their best-selling manga series. Anyways, I highly doubt they'd discontinue physical printing in favor of an e-book format.

How does this online statistic from Amazon translate to what is available at a local bookstore? Say I was able to find the out of stock volumes at a Forbidden Planet or Kinokuniya or Midtown Comics here in the city, it would mean that they obviously don't stock themselves on Amazon?

Local bookstores obviously don't get their stock from Amazon, no... But if Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and the other big shops are all out of stock, you can bet it's a general problem. So some local shops could have some stock left, but wouldn't be able to renew it once it was gone.

Offline ApostleBob

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2013, 09:25:51 PM »
Just found this on the official site.

http://www.darkhorse.com/Search/Browse/berserk/PpwNwkt8

Apparently you can still buy all of them at regular cost.  I'm wondering why amazon has a shortage?

Offline IncantatioN

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2013, 09:31:10 PM »
Local bookstores obviously don't get their stock from Amazon, no... But if Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and the other big shops are all out of stock, you can bet it's a general problem. So some local shops could have some stock left, but wouldn't be able to renew it once it was gone.

That is a dire scenario for the franchise where new fans are involved : / and don't have access to the generous Gobolatula.

Last year I recall trying to pick up older Evangelion volumes for a pal on Amazon and for some expensive ones, it would ask me to choose which vendor to pick it up from and a multiple list was presented, listing the condition those volumes were in. Ironically, months later, I found the same volume at a local store for a reasonable price but it was available. I guess what I'm trying to say is I wish local stores in general signed up on Amazon or any popular site so people can have that option of buying a volume (ideal world scenario hehe).
At the end of time, a moment will come when just one man remains. Then the moment will pass. Man will be gone. There will be nothing to show that we were ever here... but stardust.

Offline Bender

Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2013, 09:39:23 PM »
Just found this on the official site.

http://www.darkhorse.com/Search/Browse/berserk/PpwNwkt8

Apparently you can still buy all of them at regular cost.  I'm wondering why amazon has a shortage?

You can't buy Berserk directly from Dark Horse.  They link you to a web store that is like a partner or official store. Things From Another World.  For instance if you click on Volume 36, there is a link on the right saying, "Buy print edition now! Berserk Volume 36 TPB is currently in stock at Things From Another World!".  If you click on lets say Volume 34, it tells you that it is not available.

That link pretty much sums up my post fairly well.  If you notice, underneath each volume there is either a "Buy Now" link or nothing.  The ones with nothing are the ones out of stock.

Offline Walter

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2013, 02:20:20 AM »
I wrote a detailed message to Dark Horse via their contact page, posted a new thread on their forum, contacted Animenewsnetwork (sad, but true!) with all of the details, and am looking up other channels I can start spreading the word about this.
:femto: :slan: :ubik:

Offline Bender

Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2013, 04:41:58 AM »
contacted Animenewsnetwork (sad, but true!)

Alert the media! Nice. :ganishka:




Offline Bender

Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2013, 02:42:45 AM »
Your thread on the Dark Horse forums got a response.  It seems the situation is pretty grim and that they don't have any intentions of printing more copies. Very disappointing.  :sad:

While we at Dark Horse appreciate the concern over volumes being out of print, we have to look at both sales history and sales velocity in making our decisions about what to reprint. Though the numbers that BigRock posted are not entirely accurate, they are indicative of the low numbers of available stock for some volumes. But it's not just a matter of Dark Horse reprinting books. It only makes sense for us to reprint books for which we anticipate enough demand to make reprinting a worthwhile endeavor.

I took a look at our in-house sales history which tracks stock on hand (both in our warehouse and in Diamond Books Distributors' warehouse), number of copies sold per month, and unsold copies returned by the bookstore market. Even last year, when there was stock on hand for ALL of the volumes of Berserk, the sales velocity (copies sold per month) for many of the middle volumes was anywhere from single digits to low double digits (in the low teens). That means the consumer demand for many of those middle volumes is between 80 and 170 copies per year. Even going back to press for just 1000 copies (the bare minimum print quantity, for which you pay a higher than average printing price) would leave us with a six- to twelve-year supply. And, sadly, If at the end of those six to twelve years, we have managed to sell all one thousand of those copies, between storage, inventory taxes, and licensing fees, Dark Horse will end up in the red. Not really a recipe for staying in business.

Well, you say, why not raise the price of the books to cover the costs? Great. Except history has shown that raising prices on those volumes to the extent necessary to cover the costs would further erode sales -- and increase inventory taxes. So, that's a non-starter.

I'm just trying to layout the realities of the publishing business for you. Believe me, we'd love to be able to make everything available forever, but that's not realistic or possible.

I'm just the messenger here, but if somebody can figure out a way for us to provide Berserk readers with copies and allow us to stay in business at the same time, I'd love to hear it.

Offline ApostleBob

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2013, 03:56:33 AM »
They may as well just send people to get scans with atrocious translations.  While their own translations weren't always 1:1, they were typically pretty reliable.  Glad I got mine when I could. 

Let this be a lesson to all the fans who rely on scanlations instead of supporting the actual work.  Not only does it hurt Miura, it makes it impossible to gauge the popularity of the series in the foreign langage market. 

They didn't even mention the possibility of making Berserk available in an e-reader format, something that I'd imagine would have much lower overhead.  I hope at the very least that they'll do this.

I hope this isn't a precursor to DH abandoning new volumes altogether.  I'd be pissed if they stop releasing new volumes as Miura draws the series to a close.  Which of course, could realistically take another decade  :slan:


Offline Tama

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2013, 06:04:51 AM »
Your thread on the Dark Horse forums got a response.  It seems the situation is pretty grim and that they don't have any intentions of printing more copies. Very disappointing.  :sad:


Interesting insight. Thats a real shame though. :(

Offline EeXerO

Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2013, 07:04:58 AM »
That sucks! :( I really hope they won't stop doing Berserk altogether.

Offline dasfdeas

Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2013, 07:06:18 AM »
They may as well just send people to get scans with atrocious translations.  While their own translations weren't always 1:1, they were typically pretty reliable.  Glad I got mine when I could. 

Let this be a lesson to all the fans who rely on scanlations instead of supporting the actual work.  Not only does it hurt Miura, it makes it impossible to gauge the popularity of the series in the foreign langage market. 

They didn't even mention the possibility of making Berserk available in an e-reader format, something that I'd imagine would have much lower overhead.  I hope at the very least that they'll do this.

I hope this isn't a precursor to DH abandoning new volumes altogether.  I'd be pissed if they stop releasing new volumes as Miura draws the series to a close.  Which of course, could realistically take another decade  :slan:



I have to say, I do agree with you to some extent, but I really doubt that scanlations had a major impact one way or another.  I think it has far more to do with changing tastes in enterainment; there were easily traded .rar/.zip scanlations on Usenet in the 90's, back when Viz was at the top of the pile.  The difference is that in the 90's, there were still a lot  of brick and mortar comic book stores and newsstands/bookstores.  People who were in their teens and 20's also were still accustomed to buying comic books and graphic novels fairly regularly. 

I hate to take the rose colored glasses off, but the fact is that printed comic books are dying as well, I don't think it's a Berserk or manga specific issue at all.  One of my biggest criticisms of Dark Horse as compared to Marvel, DC and Image (who all make their content available in a digital format at a fairly reasonable price) is that they once were the forerunners of cutting edge content, but they have allowed themselves to be swept aside by the transition to digital media.  I don't know if they have enough flagship series at this point to carry the service they currently offer, which is based on selling individual issues from $1.99 up.  Hopefully they can get it together, but this affects more than just Berserk.

Offline Aazealh

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Re: A lack of Berserk - Dark Horse & DMP
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2013, 08:39:16 AM »
Your thread on the Dark Horse forums got a response.  It seems the situation is pretty grim and that they don't have any intentions of printing more copies. Very disappointing.  :sad:

Pretty sad indeed, although I cannot fault their reasoning. Still, I find it rather surprising that a country as populated as the USA would see so little sales.

Let this be a lesson to all the fans who rely on scanlations instead of supporting the actual work.

Those people most likely don't care, and they aren't real fans.

They didn't even mention the possibility of making Berserk available in an e-reader format, something that I'd imagine would have much lower overhead.  I hope at the very least that they'll do this.

Indeed, not to mention that it's the format of the future. But it would require a new contract between them and Hakusensha, so it might be easier said than done.