As I have lamented many times on this blog, it is very hard to get 2000 AD graphic novels in the USA. This will be made much better soon thanks to new US editions of many 2000 AD books (I'm keeping a running list of the announced books for your shopping convenience). Of course, not all books from the enormous 2000 AD library will be made available in the US, at least not at first. What about the others? Well, one reader of this blog was kind enough to point me in the direction of The Book Depository, a UK company that offers FREE SHIPPING on all books to just about anywhere on Earth. Their prices are also comparable to Amazon.com prices for many titles, making acquiring 2000 AD books no less affordable than any other graphic novels! I recently received my first order from Book Depository and wanted to let you all know how it went, and my feelings on getting 2000 AD from them.
For my first order, I got myself copies of Invasion! and The Best of Tharg's Future Shocks. I picked these two in particular because out of all the 2000 AD books I really wanted, I considered these two to be the least likely to have new US editions anytime soon. For instance, they have already announced that the Complete Judge Dredd will be included in the new US editions, so I refrained from getting any Dredd books.
First off, pricing. These two books are your standard size graphic novels, reproduced in the original B&W on glossy paper. They're each about $16 (US$, of course), including the free shipping, so I think you can agree that's a good price. The website says that shipping to the North America typically takes 7-10 working days, which probably would have been the case had this not happened:
Yup, the Icelandic Volcano Of Death erupted. The above picture was taken on 17 April 2010, and I had placed my order on 14 April. Yup. Since the books come via air mail from the UK I was screwed. I can't feel to bad though, I mean I was just waiting for books. Many people were waiting to get home. So I had to wait.
But, my books came. Huzzah! But then, one of them was defective...
Yup, my copy of Invasion! had a printing error. It was missing about 10 pages from the front, and there was a binding problem in the back of the book. I want to say two things about this. 1) Until you opened the book, you couldn't tell anything was wrong with it. Thus, I can't imagine anyone would have knowingly sent me a defective book. 2) I had a similar thing happen with Amazon a few years ago, so at this point Book Depository had as good customer service as Amazon, which I think is a pretty high standard.
I sent a (polite) email to Book Depository explaining the problem and requesting they replace my book. They promptly replied, apologized, and sent a new one my way, free of charge. Because of the shipping complexities they told me they didn't want the original one back. I think I'm going to use it in a craft project I've been meaning to start.
How long did it take to get the replacement book? I got it in the mail eight days after I sent my request for replacement. Clearly they rushed it out the door that day, so I think their 7-10 working day shipping quote is quite accurate.
So my overall review is very positive! I will definitely order from Book Depository again. If there are US editions of the books coming out I will get those though, since I definitely want to help show Rebellion (2000 AD's parent company) that there is a market over here. Oh, I also learned that Icelandic volcanoes are formidable foes.
One comment about prices though. If you are looking to get a book on Book Depository I suggest doing the following: bookmark the page for the book, then check the price on it every day for two weeks or so. I have noticed a decent daily price fluctuation on the site, worse than Amazon has. If you don't care about $2-$4 dollars then you can skip this step, but I'm pretty cheap and patient. Once you have an idea what the lowest price is, order it the next time it hits that price. Just a tip.
Also, Book Depository has this kind of creepy, very British, thing on their website. It's this thing that lets you "watch people shop" in real-time. What it actually does is show you recently submitted orders and where they are going to on a map of the world. Kind of neat, kind of creepy. Here is my order. Click to see the world map.
As you can see, it doesn't report any personal info, so it's not really a privacy thing. I don't know, it's just weird.
So if you are in need of zarjaz thrills, The Book Depository is an excellent dealer!