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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Buying Artcomix -- I'm not really buying the premise or most of the responses in the Comics Reporter roundtable on artcomix "not selling as well as they used to."

One of the key retailer issues seems to be books like Love and Rockets (and presumably Eightball and Acme Novelty Library previously) going to an annual format. Some retailers despair that the move means fewer visits to their comic book stores.

I'd suggest that if your business model is dependent on the same customers coming in like clockwork every week, every month or every quarter, it's fatally flawed in the first place -- unless, of course, you are a dynamic and robust enough store to draw in customers regularly without the lure of one single title. I am now down to picking up my comics about once a month, because there's just not enough volume in my pull list to make the drive worthwhile on a weekly basis at the moment. But I try to visit a mainstream bookstore like Borders or Albany's Bookhouse at least once a week, because their stock is diverse and deep enough to reward more frequent visits without having any particular purchase at the top of my mind. Also unlike most superhero convenience shops, mainstream bookstores are a welcoming environment where browsing and hanging out are not only tolerated, but encouraged. This is because the stores have learned that the more time you spend among the stacks, the more likely you are to browse, and therefore to buy.

Just a couple more lessons the average superhero-centric Diamond-crippled, erm, serviced, comic book stores could take away from the successful mainstream bookstores that are their real competition in the growing overall marketplace for comics.

This is, of course, old news for readers of the ADD Blog.



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