It’s intended to be an easy way for potential customers to track what’s coming in to their local comic shop and to send them orders for more items. But you don’t have to have a shop connection to use it. I set it up to track a few release items through Diamond — and already, I found that a manga series I like has an upcoming volume for order that I didn’t know about. That’s neat.
You can save items, series, or create wish lists. There’s a dashboard that will show you what’s coming out each week. Which leads me to the biggest problem so far — Diamond apparently has more than one data source for the same items. For example, I try to subscribe to Doctor Who magazine through my local shop. (I say try because I more often find issues at Barnes & Noble than I do at my shop, because Diamond has a terrible time keeping up with the import publication.)
Anyway, right now, the next issue, #564, is showing as this on the Previews site:
Note that the date is listed as due out June 9. But when I go to my dashboard, I see this:
Although that Doctor Who magazine issue is on my saved list, “You do not have any saved items releasing this week.”
I’ve been following Diamond’s, let’s say, unique practices for decades. This doesn’t bother me, because I know that they aren’t always good with updating information for the more obscure items, those that aren’t superhero comics from corporate publishers. Plus, I have an excellent local store that keeps me up to date, as well as the ability to find missing issues on eBay. But for a new customer, this kind of discrepancy is confusing and off-putting. Since Pullbox is billing itself as a way to “manage monthly titles”, it should do a better job of keeping all visible data up-to-date for customers.
Otherwise, the interface is nice, and I look forward to continued experimentation with it. It could be useful, if the underlying information is valid. With the series tracker, it will probably cut down on the time I have to spend going through the print Previews catalog, which will be a good thing.