'Charlie Hebdo' Post-Attack Issue Sells Out, eBay Bids Top $1,100

Associated Press

As newsstands run out of the issue within minutes, the satire magazine increases its print run to a record 5 million copies.

What is being billed as “the survivors' issue” of Charlie Hebdo will increase its record print run from 3 million to 5 million, distributor MLP said on Wednesday. Amid huge demand, copies of the issue also appeared on eBay in markets outside of France, with one auction on the U.K. version of the site reaching a price of more than $1,100.

Across France there were lines as newsstands opened at 6 a.m. to get one of the historic issues, which depicts the Prophet Muhammad in cartoon form against a green background under the words "All Is Forgiven" and holding one of the now-ubiquitous “Je Suis Charlie” (“I Am Charlie”) signs on its cover.

It had previously announced a 3 million print run.

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By 10 a.m., the issue was sold out across France, and the paper announced that an additional 2 million copies would be printed and delivered throughout the week, with an additional 1 million to be delivered to newsstands later in the day on Wednesday and an additional 500,000 each Thursday and Friday.

The issue was designed to be on sale for eight weeks — though it’s expected not to last that long. The historic demand for the tiny satirical weekly follows the terrorist attack on its offices that killed 10 staff members and two police officers one week ago. The record 5 million print run is a huge jump from its typical weekly circulation of 60,000.

Some newsstands in the French capital were reporting being sold out by 6:15 a.m. with people having lined up at 5 a.m. to buy multiple copies. Vendors were trying to restrict buyers to two or three issues each, but many kiosks were still sold out within minutes.

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The increased print run is also said to be intended to stop speculators from hawking them on Internet sites, such as eBay, for exorbitant sums, especially in markets outside of France where distribution is limited. One copy for sale on the U.K. version of the auction and sales site was listed as having reached a bid price of $1,153 (£760) after 43 bids as of 9 a.m. London time. In Italy, one issue up for sale was listed for $270 (229 euros) as of Wednesday morning.

The paper is being printed in Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Turkish and English for the first time. In another first, it will also be on sale in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.

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