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  1. #1
    It's Too Quiet Red Oak Kid's Avatar
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    Question What Does This Mean?

    What is the signifigance of comics that have a bar code with a black line across it?

    http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=33600&zoom=4
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  2. #2
    Member Netley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Oak Kid View Post
    What is the signifigance of comics that have a bar code with a black line across it?

    http://www.comics.org/coverview.lasso?id=33600&zoom=4
    I've never seen that on a comic before, but I used to work in a record store, and the free promo CD's that we'd get all had a line either drawn on or cut through the bar code. If it's done to comics for the same reason, then it's so the item can't be sold (due to being a promotional copy only).

    I don't know if that makes sense for super old school Ghost Rider issues though haha.

  3. #3
    NOT Bucky O'Hare! The Confessor's Avatar
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    I've seen it before, although I have no idea what significance it has. Interestingly though, the few examples I have of it happening in my own collection (on Marvel Star Wars covers) all date from around the same time period as that Ghost Rider Issue.

    Is it something that only Marvel did?
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  4. #4
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    I always assumed it had something to do with the copies with the liner across the bar code being the direct editions. My reasoning:

    1. The line across the bar code was replaced with Spidey's head on direct editions some time later.

    2. It was reasonable to assume that comics shops back then did not have bar-code readers.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MDG's Avatar
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    I figured that they were for the direct market--a simpler change than the spidey head in the box.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member InfoBroker's Avatar
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    Besides indicating direct sales as Tguy and MDG have mentioned, that bar across the bar-code prevented it from being scanned by merchants back to the distributor as credit.

    It was a temporary fix by Marvel until a few months later when they printed Marvel Icons like Spidey in the bar-code space.

    The early Direct Sales Only titles had no bar-code space at all. Eventually the bar code was re-instated for Direct Sales comics as more and more comic shops added equipment to aid their inventory process. The word "direct" is imprinted in the space as well

    I have never checked, and as there as so few "newsstand" distribution chains left, but I would be curious to find out if the bar-code number is different for direct versus newsstand editions. Anybody have the means to find copies to compare?

    -jb the scanned and swiped ib -
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  7. #7
    It's Too Quiet Red Oak Kid's Avatar
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    Thanks. I've got a few of these and the slash mark was printed over the code; in other words, it wasn't added by hand later.

    I found a few examples on the GCD of comics that had this AND the diamond in the upper left corner. I picked this example because it seems to be a newstand issue, but also has the slash.

    The explaination that it was a temporary fix seems most likely.

    Did DC do this? Great question.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member InfoBroker's Avatar
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    I should add that the Direct Sales (IE lower price but no return) comics had been around a couple of years before Marvel instituted the bar line across the barcode. Marvel did it at the request of the distributors, because there were encountering situations were comic dealers were returning more comics than they ordered for many titles.

    I have no recollection of DC comics using the bar line across the bar code ROK, but that doesn't mean they didn't. I do know (via my assortment of New Teen Titans and Legion comics from a handful of months after that Ghost Rider comic was on the stands, they had already swapped out the bar code for self promo blurbs like "MORE NEW PAGES from the new DC" and "DC WHERE THE ACTION IS" (to my knowledge no, they did not ask for permission from the Dave Clark Five to use the later phrase).

    I have a faint glimmer of a memory that DC had these promo blurbs in place a few months before Marvel inserted their icons. Not only was it a nice advertising space, it didn't detract from the cover the way the silly bar did.


    As I recall, Phil Sueling began his direct comics discounts circa late 1976 early 1977. I know for sure he secured a deal with Marvel from the git go, did DC sign on from the beginning as well, or did they tag along later? I don't remember particulars of that at the moment.

    -jb the "no deposit, no return" ib -
    Last edited by InfoBroker; 03-18-2008 at 08:53 PM.
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  9. #9
    Veteran Member DDM's Avatar
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    I have got several back issues with the slash across the bar code; I always wondered if someone with a marker just slashed through it before selling it. Thanks for the explanation!

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