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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Matt Springer weighs in with a thoughtful followup on the death of the Direct Market in response to Chris Butcher's think-piece from earlier in the week. Among other observations, Dr. Springs calls Time of Death on the DM as it stands staggers today.

I highlight Matt's piece not because he calls out my frequent references to the current, dying network of superhero convenience stores, but because he makes some good observations about the current state and likely future of comics retailing.
"The experiences outlined by Butcher in his piece are undoubtedly the same experiences many savvy comics retailers are already having. These are the folks interested in supporting a variety of artistic viewpoints and serving readers with the type of customer service that nurtures their habits and embraces their enthusiasm..."
This is the type of comics retailing I have experienced in just a handful of shops, most notably Butcher's own The Beguiling in Toronto and Modern Myths in Northampton, Massachusetts. I often call shops like these the future of comics retailing, because if comics has a future that doesn't look like a dimly-lit crack house for spandex addicts, then it looks like these sorts of stores: bright, open, welcoming, and stocking an astonishing array of every type of comics in the hopes of securing as large a percentage of the community's comics-buying dollars as possible, from as many types of readers as possible within that community. Boys, girls, men, women, gays, straights, and anything and everything in-between and outside those definitions. And they get those comics into their stores by working with not just Diamond, but with any and every good distribution source they can find, resulting in a diverse stock in the store and frequently much-desired titles available weeks ahead of Diamond's sluggish handling of non-spandex titles. It's more work, yes, but ultimately for more money, as well as a wider, stronger customer base and a better reputation in the community. It's the superhero convenience store owner's worst nightmare, and it's the industry's last hope. Embrace it, or go away already.

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Blogger seth hurley said...

I was just in Modern Myths this past weekend & everything you say is spot on. Such a great shop.

09 September, 2009 22:02  

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