Diamond Retailer Summits & Seminars:
Exclusive DRS Variants
Diamond has run various seminars and summits since its first one in Baltimore in 1983, connecting up retailers with themselves (as distributers), with publishers and with other suppliers. The seminars typically consist of sales and marketing workshops, focus groups with suppliers/publishers and publisher presentations. More interesting to the collector is the exclusive comics either given out at the summits or mailed to attending retailers after the summits; these promo comics can be quite rare and some of the more popular ones can demand a premium.
Hopefully this page will eventually cover as many exclusive comics as possible available from the various Diamond Retailer Summits, previous Diamond Comic Distributors & Alliance Game Distributors summits and earlier Diamond Comics Distributors Inc.'s Annual Retailers Seminars.
The list below contains the summits from 2001, after Diamond acquired "the selected assets and liabilities of Alliance Games Distribution" in 2000 and started a "new industry tradition with their annual Retailer Summits":
- 2001: Ft. Wayne, Sep 8-9; Baltimore Sep 22-23; Las Vegas, Oct 8-9.
- 2003: Ft. Wayne, Sep 6-7 & Las Vegas, Nov 3-4.
- 2004: Baltimore, Sep 12-14.
- 2005: Baltimore, Sep 18-20; Ft. Wayne, Oct 21-23.
- 2006: Baltimore, Sep 10-12; Ft. Wayne, Oct 14-15.
- 2007: Baltimore, Sep 9-11; Ft. Wayne, Oct 13-14.
- 2008: Las Vegas Sep 7-9; Ft. Wayne, Oct 10-12.
- 2009: Baltimore, Oct 11-13.
- 2010: Chicago, Apr 14-15 (before C2E2).
- 2011: Chicago, Mar 17-18 (before C2E2).
- 2012: Chicago, Apr 11-13 (before C2E2).
- 2013: Chicago, Apr 24-26 (before C2E2).
- 2014: Las Vegas, May 17-19.
- 2015: Baltimore, Sep 23-25.
Note: Once any comics are added for an individual summit a link will be added above and detail added below.
The 2003 summit was run by Diamond Comic Distributors and Alliance Game Distributors hence was not exclusive to comics with companies like Bandai, Hasbro and Nintendo in attendance (as well as comic publishers such as DC, IDW and Dark Horse).
Below are comics known to have been given out at the summit:
- Dark Days (IDW) #1 Retailer Edition (not known if exclusive to summit)
- Drawing on your Nightmares (Dark Horse) #1 DRS (orange cover variant)
- Superman / Batman (DC) #1 DRS Edition
Diamond also advertised that the Sphinx Group would supply selected comics to the DRS and Slave Labor Graphics would also be supplying free comics in Las Vegas only; if any are verified as DRS exclusives they will be added to the list above.
The Diamond Comic Distributors and Alliance Game Distributors 2004 summit saw over 79 Sponsors and Exhibitors at the Baltimore Convention Center, with some exclusive comics available to attendees:
- Aftermath Preview (Devil's Due) 2004 Retailer Summit Foil Stamp Exclusive ("limited to 500 copies")
- Ant (Arcana Studios) #1 DRS Promo (red foil logo)
- Identity Crisis (DC) #1 Diamond Retailer Summit Promotional
- Metal Gear Solid (IDW) #1 DRS foil-stamped edition ("This book, based on the super-hot Konami video game, will be strictly limited to 1000 copies.")
- Superman (DC) #204 Diamond Retailer Summit Promotional
The Diamond hosted Retailer Summit of 2012 acted as a "Zero day" for the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2). Retailers attending the DRS were treated to a number of comic giveaways (below), including the very popular Saga #1 DRS edition:
- Avengers vs X-Men (Marvel) #2 DRS sketch variant (limited to 3,000 copies)
- Battle Beasts Ashcan (IDW) #0 (not known if exclusive to summit)
- HULK (Marvel) #50 DRS sketch variant (limited to 3,000 copies)
- Popeye (IDW) #1 DRS variant (one per attendee, given out at lunch)
- Saga (Image Comics) #1 DRS Edition
- Star Wars: Blood Ties - Boba Fett is Dead (Dark Horse) DRS (1,500 copies)
The following DC comics were given out at the dinner (one per attendee) but had also been given out previously at the ComicsPro annual meeting earlier that year (hence are not DRS exclusives):
- DC: Action Comics (New 52) #1 DRS & ComicsPro Edition ("Not for sale")
- DC: Detective Comics (New 52) #1 DRS & ComicsPro Edition ("Not for sale")
It has been reported that the Batman (New 52) #11 Retailer Incentive was also given out at this summit but, if it was, it probably isn't an exclusive as it was apparently given out at the San Diego Comic Con as well. Diamond also noted that other randomly selected Avenging Spider-Man variant comics would be shipped to stores, as part of a Diamond "Thank You" pack, but none seem to be DRS exclusives.
Similar to previous years, the 2013 retailer summit preceded C2E2, with an evening registration and reception at the Sheraton Hotel followed by two full days of events at the Chicago McCormick Place Convention Center. As usual a number of freebies were available to the retailers (below), including the popular and pricey East of West #1 summit variant:
- Darth Vader & The Ninth Assassin (Dark Horse) # 1 DRS Edition
- East Of West (Image) #1 DRS Edition
- Justice League Of America (DC) # 1 DRS Edition ("Not for sale")
- Peter Panzerfaust (Image) #10 DRS Edition
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW) # 21 DRS Edition
- Thanos Rising (Marvel) #1 DRS Edition (limited to 4,000 copies)
- Uber (Avatar) #1 Retailer Bonus Edition (limited to 850 copies)
In addition to the above comics, Valiant's Archer & Armstrong #1 (Neal Adams Variant cover) was apparently available at Diamond's booth but this does not seem to be an exclusive to the DRS.
The diamond summit moved to Las Vegas in 2014 and there were a whole host of give-aways and exclusive comics. Below are what is thought to be the comics exclusive to the summit, either given out at the time or sent after the summit in a "Thank You Pack":
- After Life With Archie (Archie Comics) TPB (DRS Exclusive)
- Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel) #1 DRS Exclusive
- Chaos (Dynamite) #1 Sketch Edition; probable exclusive
- Futures End (DC New 52) "Not for sale"; probable exclusive
- Invincible (Image) #111 DRS Exclusive
- Life After, The (Oni Press) #1 variant; probable exclusive)
- MPH (Image) #1 DRS Exclusive
- Original Sin (Marvel) #1 DRS Exclusive
- Saga (Image) #19 DRS Exclusive
- Star Wars: Darth Maul Son Of Dathomir (Dark Horse) DRS Exclusive
- V-Wars (IDW) #1 Variant; probable exclusive
- Walking Dead, The (Image) #127 DRS Exclusive
- Warlord of Oz (Zenescope) DRS Exclusive
In addition to the above comics, there were a number of others thought to be given out (e.g.Unity #1 3D, Zombie Tramp Limited Edition #1, Zombie Tramp FCBD, ASM #1 75th Anniversary Edition, Titan Comics preview etc) but none of these are known to be exclusive to the summit.