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Are comics sales slipping or stagnating as we enter 2017? Some signs point to yes, as  you can see from the November sales figures released earlier today. While the sales decline earlier in the year has been reversed to a net positive thanks to the Rebirth surge, as retailers Joe Field of Flying Colors tweeted earlier this week, there is a sense of worry out there. Field is the creators of Free Comic Book Day, a former ComicsPRO board member and a long time voice of reason within the industry:

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Field is far from the only retailer who has been expressing concerns of late. I went in to one of my locals the other day and the store manager put it very simply : “It’s bad!”

The GoFundMe campaign  being run by Seattle’s Zanadu Comics has also been seen as a troubling sign.

After 41 years of fighting in the trenches of comic book retail, Zanadu Comics is in danger of losing the battle against economic downturn, increased rent costs, and unfortunate city developments which includes a forced relocation due to building renovation late next year. These factors have dealt a deadly blow to the mighty Zanadu, but with YOUR help, we can continue to provide Seattle with the kind of comic book shop it deserves while still maintaining the level of service that our customers have come to know and love.

It’s hard to admit when help is needed, even harder sometimes to ask. So it is with a heavy heart that we reach out to YOU, our loyal customers and ask for your understanding and support in these dark times. Let’s keep this gateway to imagination open for you, your family and future generations of comic book readers!!

So what’s going on out there? Asking around a few factors came up.  First off, comics sales definitely dropped in an election year, as they have historically. While one might expect cheap escapist entertainment to do well in our current landscape of political doubts, Wall Street and corporate America  are also looking for the economy to boom once more under our new president. Ironically, comics do well in times of economic hardship and badly in a boom time. (1996, the last time comics failed, came during the first dot.com boom, and it was shocking how everyone else was bathing in champagne while comics were huddling over a trash fire eating canned beans.)

Everything is a lot different from it was 20 years ago, though, so no telling how the wider picture will affect comics, but trade tariffs would definitely affect foreign printing (most comics are printed in Canada or China)  and rises in the minimum wage have already affected some small comics shops.

civilwar3.jpgMoving on to The State of the Industry, while a lot of people have been pointing the finger at Marvel’s tepid numbers for Marvel Now! 2016-17, it is not the only culprit. But it is certainly one of them. As Field starkly stated above, “ could use a monster hit right now.” Marvel’s big tentpole events, including Civil War II and, previously, Secret Wars, have run way behind schedule, so much so that the tie-ins come out before the actual issues. Not exactly reader friendly. Enthusiasm for Monsters Unleashed is non-existent, and The Inhumans becoming a sales smash is a fantasy worthy of J.K. Rowling.

Over at DC, Rebirth is obviously settling in to “standard attrition” numbers butover all levels much higher than a year ago. DC has also been avoiding rolling out too many bells and whistles aside from boutique mini brands like Young Animal and Hanna Barbera that have, thus far, performed much better than expected. The problem here is not as obvious: with the $2.99 pricing for most books, retailers are making less per title. Even though they are selling more, profits are lower.

There’s also the question of what would make a hit in today’s market? Saga remains a blockbuster thanks to the peerless creative team of BKV and Fiona Staples, but Paper Girls, while a huge artistic and sales hit, didn’t have the same impact.

The talent exodus from the Big Two to indies and well funded start-ups is part of the issue. Marvel has a pretty reliable pipeline of hiring talented but relatively little known indie creators, putting them on books that have middling success, and then watching them graduate to their own franchises at Image. The emphasis on writers over artists is particularly at play here. Tom King hit it out of the park with The Vision (Which is a hit in treades) and Sheriff of Babylon (which sells less than 6000 copies a month), two books that fit his own worldview precisely, but could he give, say, Inhumans the boost it needs?  The days of no brainer decisions like  hiring Grant Morrison or Mark Millar to reinvigorate a character are over. Warren Ellis coming back to Wildstorm is the closest thing we’re seeing to that, and it will do well out of the gate for sure, but there’s only one Warren Ellis and that’s a very specific situation. Likewise, the jury is out on Bendis’s return to Jessica Jones.

By contrast, there’s almost a glut of spectacular artists out there, but, ironically, we’re in such a visually sumptuous world that just looking at pretty pictures doesn’t have the impact that, say the first hit of Neal Adams Batman in 1972 did in a more impoverished world. DC has completely played down artists except for one or two, who mostly deliver an amped up version of the house style. It’s harder to break through.

dk3.jpgWould the Inhumans push work if it was written by Neil Gaiman and drawn by  Mike Mignola? I’m sure. But no one much talks about Gaiman’s Eternals series any more. Raina Telgemeier already co-wrote the X-men and the books aren’t even in print.  It has to be the right people on the right property and there is no magic formula. If you’d said The Vision would be one of the best superhero comics of the decade would anyone have believed you before?

At Image, sales have leveled out. While top names getting to put out their dream projects will continues to sell, it’s settled down from steak money to beer money for new titles by established but not superstar talents.

But the bottom line is that we have a glut of good comics from dozens of companies. Fiona Staples drew Archie. Marvel pulled out its two biggest past successes, Secret Wars and Civil War. DC has brought back Watchmen, Sandman and Dark Knight. There are no surefire hits left in the arsenal.

Despite the retailer problems, this will probably be the second biggest year ever for comics. Many stores are having top five years. Sales volume is way higher than it was and the industry has grown appreciably. The problem is that margins are still razor thin and all of these cuts and nicks to the bottom line hurt.

Finally, as the cuts and nicks happen, it goes up and down the supply chain. While the Hastings backruptcy was predictable, and Diamond did what t could to insulate itself, it wasn’t negligible. I’m told that Diamond has been cracking down on some delinquent accounts and that is doubtless part of why Field foresees store closings in 2017. While a handful of store closing, 5 or 6, would be sad, more than that could be bad for everyone.

This is an ongoing situation that is going to unfold over the next few months. And it’s not a doomsday scenario. There will be consolidation and the strong will survive. We have a strong industry. The annual ComicsPRO meeting takes place this February and I’ll be looking closely to reports coming out of it.

 

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22 COMMENTS

  1. The next time you post a comic cover (Civil War II #3), be sure to remove the name of the illegal site you downloaded it from off of the corner of said cover. And you wonder why comic sales are tanking… oh the irony!

  2. “Now is NOT the time to ‘wait for the trade!'”

    Maybe now is the time for the industry to finally stop delaying going straight-to-trade, since so many series are already writing for the trade.

  3. “Now is NOT the time to ‘wait for the trade!’”

    with respect, that kind of shaming of your customers over their purchasing/reading preferences is why you silently lose them. I don’t like reading a story over 6 months in single issues. I prefer trades. So what? Got sick and tired of my LCS telling me i was spending my money the wrong way, so i just never went back.

  4. Zanadu is a canary in the coal mine. Seattle has 3% unemployment, a $15 minimum wage and one of the hottest economies in the country. Zanadu is a well-stocked, well-run store blocks from the sprawling complex of new skyscrapers and condos that Amazon is building to house its 70K+ workforce of young tech nerds. If they are sucking wind, who, exactly, is doing well? I just talked to another retailer around here and it’s a pretty grim story up and down the line, with the exception of one store in the suburbs that has a sweet lease deal on enough space to do big tabletop gaming business on weekends. A new “Geek Boutique” store just opened focused on merch and cosplay stuff, with as few comics as they can get away with selling. I do not like the chill I am feeling in the air for 2017 on the publishing side.

  5. Maybe the industry needs to change and pull it’s head out of its collective arses. All comic titles don’t have to tell 6 to 10 to 20 issue mega stories that take forever to complete. More people might buy more comics if they received more bang for their buck. People are waiting on trades because the stories are so long and drawn out that it’s hard to read one issue and feel like you received anything of any value from the experience.

    And yet, the comics industry for some reason thinks this is what people want (just like a lot of directors of action movies think that people want shaky cams during fight scenes). I would argue that comic sales were at their strongest when there were some longer stories but many shorter ones as well and many of them had subplots that carried on from issue to issue. And that didn’t constantly relaunch every time a new creator came on board or just because.

    The notion that longer stories and a seasonal method attribute to better sales is absolutely untrue. I wish the comic industry would come to understand this and this might just help to improve sales and this might help some of the comic shops.

  6. I’ve been explaining this for 20 years, so why stop now.

    The issue with trades is simple. They are a secondary format. Their initial production and publicity costs are paid for by the monthly comic. Take away the monthly comic and trades would be much more expensive, if they would even exist at all.

    As for the industry, I’d be lying if I said I expected in 2000 that the Direct Market would even still exist in 2016. Running a comic shop has always been a business with a low profit margin, done more out of love than to get rich. It’s kind of amazing the DM has lasted this long, given all the stupid creative and business decisions made by the Big 2 over the years. The industry never truly recovered from the late 90s implosion and has just been waiting for something else to happen.

    Mike

  7. Maybe if every book wasn’t a piece of sjw shit. What happened to diversity of views.
    We living in a new mcarthy age only this time it’s the left that is hounding out anyone who doesn’t share their views.

  8. I check out Previews every month, and check out the comic stands too. It used to be that I would see lots of new comics on the shelves, in addition to the pull list stuff that was brought in for me. No more, the shelves are pretty bare, local comic stores are not bringing in comics hoping they will sell. Where I live, comic shops are catalog centers that bring in comics if you order them, period.

    As I read the sales figures summaries, I understand why retailers are not taking risks; readers are fickle, sales of a title continually dimish; and it seems that the majority of new Marvel and DC titles are derivative (new comic, new team, but not really new ideas). We’ll see what 2017 holds, but I’ll have no more money for comics then than I did in 2016…

  9. The comics medium is just fine. It is the delivery method that is outdated. The day of the monthly super-hero comic is coming to an end. I have been reading comics since the sixties and I have been operating a retail comic store since 1989. The future is the graphic novel.

    Today’s new readers for the most part are not remotely interested in floppies or super-heroes. Neither am I. I am no longer twelve years old and I figured out long ago that comics are not investments. They want graphic novels. To read, It is just that simple. At my store floppies have been declining double digits for the past 15 months while graphic novels and manga have been increasing high double digits for the past 24 months. My sales overall are up this year for print.

    The traditional dirty comic store located in an out of the way strip center with Lady Death posters on the wall, handmade mismatched fixtures, dust covered back issue bins, worthless back issues thumbtacked to the wall with ridiculous price stickers on them and Star wars toys from the seventies is not long for this world.

    Bright, clean, well lit and organized stores with professional fixtures in high profile locations stocked with a diverse line of graphic novels, manga and relevant collectibles staffed with knowledgeable, professional and well groomed staff who do not drop the f bomb in every other sentence are the future.

    Nobody wants to admit it, but monthly single comics packed with crappy advertising just suck. Get your head out of the sand people. The question now is how are the publishers going to phase floppies out and bring the comic industry into the future.

  10. I have been buying comics for five decades. I started reading them when I was three years old. I still buy floppies. Of course, I just call them comic books. It’s always about the story. That is what makes a comic great. And the perfect story is a combination of the writing and the art. They work together to amaze us within those brief pages. And having to wait for the next issue is part of the fun. I don;t need it all in one huge tome to lug around. Marvel has some wonderful books and some terrible books as does DC, but that has always been true. In the realm of independents if you told me I would get fantastic Godzilla books, A book that teams up Predators, Aliens and Judge Dredd, I would have called you a fool. Heck, if you told me I would have a marvelous Jem and the Holograms book that I have never missed an issue of I would have said, NO WAY! I can’t believe that a book called Jonesy is one of my favorite things to read every month.
    Comic books are always comic books. Good, bad, indifferent, they have always been comic books. They don’t need reinventing they need to be shown to youngsters who will see the magic and carry it with them for decades to come.

  11. Marvel has made everything in its power so that readers would be disgusted of ever buying a floppy from them :most expensive price tag ever, low production value – no covers, ads, double shipping, never ending interference from crossovers and events, constant renumbering and too many covers -resulting in making any issue less recognizable than another-. Their only good moves of late have been the True believers $1 (but that’s mostly a door to trades) and the Timely Comics 3issues collections.

    Meanwhile, other companies are making real effortsand supporting the format as best as they can: DC with still a lot of $3 books, Archie with $4 with very good production value and packed with stories, Image with nice prices, extra pages, Graphic India with $3 price tag with even more stories than $4 majors floppies…

    Having multiple hits is probably better than having one very big hit so I would say the situation seems to me pretty ok so far at Marvel: Ms Marvel, Deadpool, the Star Wars titles, Thor, Black Panther, Doctor Sytrange, Amazing Spider-Man, squirrel Girl….all of them are selling very well right now..

  12. A self-inflicted wound. The comics industry, the comics press, and the comic stores all had a hand in this and the trajectory is easy to follow. The world of comics is incestuous and this is an example of the chickens coming home to roost. If you support bad behavior for years and years, what can you expect?

  13. My LCS had some problems when Coversion and Secret War were coming out. Too dense and/or so tied into continuity stories that a lot of customers took “time off” to wait for those stories to end. Some didn’t come back. Image and other independent publishers do well at the store but when Marvel and DC are selling well, the store obviously does better. Rebirth has helped but Marvel is continuing to struggle. After almost a lifetime of being a Marvel fan (30 + years), I buy zero Marvel comics. Price mixed with characters I don’t recognize have prevented me from buying anything from Marvel since May. I was buying almost nothing from DC until Rebirth (I wasn’t even going to buy much outside of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) but I’m currently buying 15 titles from DC. Some of those books are twice a month but I enjoy them. Thanks to the (mostly) $2.99 price tag, I can buy a $3.99 IDW, Boom Studios, Valiant or Dynamite comic. If I’m buying the same number of Marvel books, I can’t justify that luxury.

  14. Bob says
    12/09/2016 AT 3:50 PM

    “The next time you post a comic cover (Civil War II #3), be sure to remove the name of the illegal site you downloaded it from off of the corner of said cover. And you wonder why comic sales are tanking… oh the irony!”

    I honestly don’t know what she’ saying. She says something about stagnation or falling sales but then she starts talking about how great everything is. She ends her essay by saying that “Despite the retailer problems, this will probably be the second biggest year ever for comics. Many stores are having top five years.” The only thing that has gotten better is the sales of a few trade paperbacks. Circulation numbers for even top-selling comics are below what they were in 1996…1997…and probably even 2007.
    but what may have gotten better are profit margins. Marvel and DC have been able to maintain their profit and in some cases raise their profit margins by raising prices. The comics industry has survived by getting fewer readers to spend more money, and by attempting to replace its shrinking hardcore fanboy audience in the Direct Market with social “Progressives” outside the Direct Market and an indeterminate number of YA readers librarians are helping them reach through the captive audience of libraries.

    “The problem is that margins are still razor thin”
    Yet, the top creators are compensated much better than they were in the past.

    They command such high wages that they have priced themselves out of the non-growing niche market of comics.

    This is the only reason I can think of for why Grant Morrison and Warren Ellis have had very few comic projects in recent years and why Mark Millar only does creator-owned work funded with the money he gets from movies.

    There has also been some success by various comics companies to get people who have a measurable degree of success, who are not “little known”, to write comics but I can’t imagine someone like R.L. Stine is being paid more money than Warren Ellis even though he should be able to.
    ” Marvel has a pretty reliable pipeline of hiring talented but relatively little known indie creators, putting them on books that have middling success, and then watching them graduate to their own franchises at Image.” Those Indie creators are also most likely dirt-cheap. They graduate to their own franchises just before their pay rate gets too high,

    I think a much more direct measurement of the financial health of the comics industry is a year-to year chart showing what percentage of creators, both Indy and superhero, make their bread and butter from comics.

    More market research is needed. Right now, no one can say how many new readers there are and how much do they spend.

    But then again, printing comic books is barely profitable and publishers may not be able or willing to invest in any kind of survey or study…

  15. “Igloo says
    12/09/2016 AT 6:22 PM

    “Maybe if every book wasn’t sjw soapbox…What happened to diversity of views.’

    A diversity of views was never something encouraged at incorporated comics companies in the past (and at any corporation in general today).
    .
    In the past, many creators leaned liberal but weren’t belligerent about it.
    Someone with non-liberal views could survive in comics if they weren’t belligerent.
    .Ever since 2008, ever since the gay rights movement defeated the Christian Right: You HAD to be a liberal to be in comics….as a fan or a reader. Even before I knew what “social justice” was….years ago… I saw a sample of the new sentiment that was forming within the comics community. The sample was an online campaign that demand that DC ban a writer for saying that he doesn’t approve of gay marriage or the gay lifestyle…I don’t know who was leading it but I didn’t think the writer deserved a ban for not approving of what is ultimately an alternative lifestyle. I suppose if he had been Muslim, or African American no one would bat an eyelash…but that’s just speculation. There are very few African Americans or Muslims in comics with conservative views in comics.

    I didn’t know that it would become the norm. where radical feminists, and cultural marxists, and concerned helicopter parents would call a considerable amount of the shots.

    Another huge glaring sign of things to come ,was the bizarre claims, over the last ten years,, that Frank Miller hates women because he likes drawing prostitutes….in every Frank Miller related discussion–someone always dropped in to call him a misogynist. Someone could make the case that he hates Muslims but c’mon…women? Really?

  16. This is just all over the place. Somewhere in here there’s decent analysis, but it’s drowning in trendy distractions and hobbyhorses.

    The article is frontloaded with so many Twitter quotes and Twitpix that I thought that’s all the “article” was going to be, a bunch of Twitter quotes and Twitpix. We get it; you’re obsessed with social media. But if readers just wanted to see a handful of individual blowhard pundits bickering back and forth in 144 characters or less, they’d go to Twitter.

    Next the article presents us with, not more Twitter, but another trendy internet site, Kickstarter. Two whole paragraphs of quote. This seems to be included mostly because the comic shop in question is trendy. It might be an interesting case study, but there’s too much of it too early in the article, because we’ve scrolled down so far already and we have no idea where you’re going with any of this. It’s like a student was supposed to write an essay, so she collected a lot of quotes, but then didn’t know how to integrate the quotes into the essay, so she just pasted all the quotes together at the beginning. Really jarring.

    After all of the copypasta we finally get to what we came for in the first place: original analysis….

    …and yet this analysis is weighed down by distractification about The Election.

    “First off, comics sales definitely dropped in an election year, as they have historically.”

    First off, NOPE, that’s not true! Like, where did this nonsensical idea even come from? Go to http://www.comichron.com and look at the yearly sales statistics. Let’s focus on the election years:

    2000: Sales were down! Yes, but they were also down in 1998, 1999, and 2001, so this stat is meaningless!

    2004: Um… sales were actually UP in this year! So this disproves the theory.

    2008: Sales were down a bit in terms of copies sold, but UP a bit in terms of raw dollars. Inconclusive.

    2012: And sales were UP again this year!

    So the first statement of the analysis is totally wrong. It isn’t some historical trend that comic sales decrease during election years. Why would that even be the case?

    The analysis gets further distracted when it goes into speculations about how tariffs in the future could impact sales. Why is this even being brought up? We’re supposed to be talking about the year in review and figuring out what is even happening. Instead we’re talking about speculative tariffs, of all things, that might happen in the future.

    Why are tariffs even mentioned?

    Because Donald Trump lives rent-free in your heads, and the media has scaremongered you into thinking that big bad tariffs are coming and they’re going to doom civilization or something.

    Whether tariffs even happen or not — I should say, if tariffs that affect comic production happen or not — clearly we should first get a grasp on whatever trends are ALREADY happening. Otherwise it would not even make sense to blame a soft comics market in 2017 on tariffs, if the market is already soft in 2016. But apparently we can’t get an actual analysis of what is really going on now because analysts are too distracted by Twitter and by scaremongering Trump.

    When the speculators market crashed in the ’90s, it would have been absurd to pin the blame on Bill Clinton, but in late 2016 it apparently already makes sense to blame any downturn that’s been happening all year long on someone who wasn’t even supposed to be elected president and isn’t even sworn in yet.

    The point is, to be honest with you, yeah I actually have worries about the economy going forward too, but this obsession with The Election has totally distracted you from actually doing any sort of reasonable analysis here.

    And that’s what this article should have been. Actual analysis. Not pix-filled Twitter and Kickstarter copypasta, anecdotes about the trendiest comic shop in a trendy city, or various subverted signalings about how scary The Election was.

    To be blunt, I would like to know how the year-to-year numbers would look if you just factored Marvel OUT. That’s all I wanted to know. For six months or more it has been standard practice for all of us (myself included) to play by this rule of thumb that Marvel is really in a precarious position right now with their newer titles… and yet DC with Rebirth is doing pretty well. So please give us the year-to-year numbers without Marvel in them. Wouldn’t that tell us if it’s the industry as a whole slumping, or just Marvel?

    I would think that kind of analysis would be basic for an article of this sort.

    Instead the best we get is the same kind of vague anecdotal evidence found in comments sections. Including this one.

    “The comics medium is just fine. It is the delivery method that is outdated. The day of the monthly super-hero comic is coming to an end. I have been reading comics since the sixties and I have been operating a retail comic store since 1989. The future is the graphic novel.”

    Uh, are you LIVING in 1989 too? Because I’ve heard comments like yours ever since about 1986. “Comic books? There’s actually something called THE GRAPHIC NOVEL, and it’s the future, you insufferable philistines!” But the last several years have proven that printed monthly comics DO have an audience that can grow and attract big numbers. We didn’t see much evidence of that through the 2000s, but in 2011 DC proved it, then Marvel proved it in 2012 and 2013, and then this year DC proved it again. Saga and Walking Dead sell floppies every month, so indies can do it too. Good “old-fashioned” print comics can do major numbers, attract new readers, and have circulations that GO UP. This is not like some impossible thing.

    This whole “the monthly single issue is dead” b.s. has been going around for decades now. We’re no closer to the end of that format than we were in 1998 or 2005 or any other year. In fact, we’re further away.

    People had a point when they could at least point to the utopian idea of “digital comics” as being this panacea. Magically, every comic was going to be 99 cents new every month digitally, and no one would read those “dead trees” anymore. That’s what all the hiptards said for about ten years.

    Now look: No one even mentions digital comics in this whole entire article or in any of the above comments. It’s all irrelevant! And yet the same pundits were talking about them so assuredly as being THA FUTCHA! Guess these people will have to revert to their previous “The End Is Near” routine, whining about Diamond and cursing Marvel for charging whatever their audience is evidently fine with spending per comic.

    “Today’s new readers for the most part are not remotely interested in floppies or super-heroes”

    And here’s the predictable shot at “capes and tights”. It isn’t enough to pretend that monthly printed comics are, like, sooo passe, maaannn… we also have to turn our noses up at the most successful genre in the medium and say that no one really even likes superheroes anymore… even though superheroes are and have been the biggest thing in popular culture for nearly a decade now.

    In order to be trendy and fashionably pessimistic, they turn their backs on the genre and the “delivery system” that is the reason they even have their job and hobby. Says more about the pundits than it does about the industry.

  17. Dan Ahn, I found this response to my piece to be all over the place.

    Seriously, I don’t know WHAT is going on! Some retailers i’ve spoken with are of the “It’s bad!” school but others are bold and confidant. So what is it? It’s BOTH. There is no single approach, no single recipe for success.

    These are issues people are concerned with, ad the truth lies somewhere deep inside. I don’t actually run numbers or keep charts and those who have the real numbers keep them locked up pretty tight.

    But I’ll keep digging.

  18. I’ve been buying and reading comics for several decades now and what I find is that I’ve been priced out of the market. Marvel’s price point, combined with their revamps of their characters into something unrecognizable and the constant events has got me buying not a single one of their books. I just can’t see paying $3.99 for a few pages that I’m not the least bit interested in. I suspect I’m just not the age demographic they’re trying to attract. But it also seems like they’re not doing a real good job of attracting their target audience either.

    DC has been putting out some good books, though they seem to be tremendously decompressed, Their move to publishing titles twice a month means I’m spending more and getting more pages, but less bang for those pages. Early on in the “rebirth” I decided to pick these stories up in trades because I want to read a sizeable chunk in a comfortable format. That remains my plan.

    The only thing I’m picking up in single issues right now is SAGA and that is solely because of the spectacular work being done by the creators. I simply cannot wait to find out what happens next. If the big two had that kind of quality in story, art, intriguing characters, and package, I’d once again be haunting my LCS every Wednesday.

  19. it’s super lame. my favorite local comic shop closed this summer (Big Brain Comics of Minneapolis). I was a regular. they had the best selection or everything. I’m the type of reader that buys alot of fantagraphics releases and stuff like that along with a couple of 2 regular monthlies. half of what I buy the other LCSs just don’t even carry. I never really liked going to the other comic shops in the 1st place. the RPG and action figure type shops are not my scene. so now I spend a lot out of the graphics novels section of the local regular book store and also place special orders from them. and once a month I go pick up island, stray bullets and saga from a shop I don’t love going to.

  20. 51% of new readers are female, and 90% of comic shops are still basement low brow chumps…WHAAH, where are all the readers going???? The hell away from most comic shops, cuz they still low budget looking cheap-o creep tool centers…

    If I was a shop, I would check out how to access the Indians and Chinese on the other side of the planet to spend money on your shop… The Internet does not really exist, it is all about bottle necks, and Amazon and Google monopolies, and zero competition, and hedge funds, and out-sourcing, so good luck, but if you can send some free comics to India and tell them to shop at your store online… Setup comic book shop tours for them to check out, but none would want to go to most of the creepy chump change comic book shops.

    Talking about comic books is like talking about how we think people could use the Internet for more than porn, gambling, date mining, brand identity, and hidden fees… Can you IMAGINE: instead of super hero ‘comic books’ in tiny pamphlets made for children, there could be SEQUENTIAL in magazine, large book, and other forms of PRINT. Diamond Distributors, and this Global Conglomerate of Corporations replacing the USA is pathetic… Americans dont work, they just keep having creepy easy low brow ‘comic shops’…

  21. I seem to remember the industry collapsing pretty soon after playstation debuted?comics could hold teir own against the weird concept 16 bit games, but I’m pretty sure anyone who was or would read comics just switched to games. Buy ten comics or a videogame extravaganza that hundreds of people worked together to near perfection. This entire time gamestop has been seeling used games at a reasonable price too which is like a coup de grace on comic shops target audience. Maybe noone wants to hear this but they were selling ps2 games for a dollar or two for years, then after they decided to not carry ps2 they had a megasale sort of ps2 blowout which even at just a time sort of thing, it takes a certain amount of time for someone to play a few hundred ps2 games purchased for like a hundred dollars

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