[ Message Board · Trouble with Comics · Reviews · Essays · Interviews · Audio Interviews · Facebook · writeblog · A Criminal Blog · Kochalkaholic · FAQ · E-Mail ]

Saturday, June 16, 2007

What Do I Know? -- Over the past week, I've written about my experiences over the past thirty years of shopping for comics in the direct market, where the market is at now, and where I think it needs to go in the future.

Other than having been a broadcast journalist for two-thirds of that thirty years, and exercising my powers of observation and reportage, I can't claim any expertise. What I've talked about, I've seen first-hand, from shops that fail to open on time most of the time, to shops that deliberately alienate anyone who isn't an aging male superhero fan, all the better to not have to deal with the difficult tastes of women, children, or even other men who somehow prefer to read more than just power fantasies about men in tight pants battling in close quarters over and over again for decades on end.

But, as the title says, what do I know?

You know who might have some insight into the current state of the market? Maybe a guy who actually publishes them for a living, and has for the past few years.

Brett Warnock of Top Shelf Productions:

The dismal failure of 90% of the comics shop owner/managers to provide comics to a wider audience is mind-boggling to me. I won't say retailing is easy, by any means, but neither is it a rocket science.

So many times i've visited stores in new cities, with nary an art-comic on their shelves, where the dork behind the counter says, "Well, they don't sell." Duh, dude!! If you don't have them, people can't buy them! I'm not talking about somewhere in the middle of Kansas, i'm talking about super liberal college campuses (like where i went to school in Eugene, OR), where alternative comics would thrive.

One time, i checked back on a store who had purchased some comics from me at our standard wholesale discount, to see if they needed a restock. Sure enough, the comics had sold, but when i asked if he'd like more, he mumbled, "Thank god those are gone," as if he'd finally rid his store of a flea-infested stray dog. He MADE MONEY on my comics, but acted as if i were putting him in a bind. What the fu*k!@?

And what about those who say comic shops should just continue to sell what sells? They'll always be around, right?
It's somewhat hard to believe, but having polled other indy publishers, we've come to the conclusion that "maybe" 250 comics shops in North America represent 90% of our direct market sales. There's possibly 3,500 comics shops (or some weak iteration thereof, in the form of a baseball card store here or a hobby & games store there), and it's difficult not to wonder, and dream "what if?" even half of these shops truly knew the scope of PROFITS to be made in the emerging market for non-spandex comics? What would happen? Are you high?

Much more at the Top Shelf blog. I appreciate Brett taking the time to comment, because Top Shelf has published some of the best graphic novels of the past decade -- books accessible and entertaining to readers far, far outside the average superhero convenience shop.

But hopefully you already know that.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home





Banks are regarded the best option for making a safe investments as well as having world wide accepted creditcard. People are not only facilitated by loans but also provided debt management consolidation by the leading banks. Students can also get loans as well as apply for student loan consolidation. At the same time high flying insurance companies also contribute to the any one’s life through offering different plans of life, health and dental insurance. Along insurance of life one can also enhance its home security through installing latest home security systems.

This page is powered by ADD.