The Comics Reporter has a list of “If I Were The Emperor of Comics: Two Dozen Things I’d Decree To Make Comics Better,” none of which we’d disagree with outright, few of which any responsible comics observer could disagree with, although some of the business suggestions would get a fight. As we head into the Cormac McCarthy model of a world economy, making cave drawings to amuse ourselves may be the only thing we have, so all this may be moot; however, we’d add another one:
#26: Make POS systems of some kind universal in comics shops.
I vividly remember walking into LA’s Meltdown Comics for the first time in many years or so and being amazed at its size and vibrancy, as owner Gaston Dominguez-Letelier ran us through the wide variety of items that sold well in his store. I asked about what he thought of using a point-of-sales system to track sales and he just smiled. “I’ve had POS for 10 years,” he said. Accurate sales information, via computerized inventory tracking, as Brian Hibbs has been telling us, is not only a way to save money but to gauge what readers like buying, not based on prior prejudices of the seller but actual sales numbers. Many retailers have told us that after installing POS systems, they made unexpected discoveries about what kinds of items had the highest turnover in the store. Hint: They were not published by Marvel and DC. Diamond’s POS has been slowly rolling out as it is tweaked, but there are already good systems available, such as MOBY, which Hibbs uses. While some people rail against the direct sales market as an outmoded superhero delivery system, as many people in the book industry would attest, having a dedicated nationwide base of thousands of specialty stores is something most publishers would kill for.
We’ll have more, maybe, after today’s deadline crunch, but in the meantime, read Tom’s piece and ponder.