A pal snapped this recent photo at a local Borders.

Perhaps there is a reason they are in trouble.


  1. Nothing new, I can remember a time when anything comic related was automatically in the humor section at any bookstore you went to, (superhero, horror, romance, war, if it was a comic book it belonged in humor).

    Back in the 80’s I picked up a copy of Maus in the humor section, shelved right next to a Garfield collection.

  2. Not a surprise.

    One of the causes of Borders’ current troubles is the hiring of non-book-industry employees at the corporate level. This display most likely originated from the corporate office, and somebody probably equated “comic books” with “humor”. (In the 1990s, this book would either have been shelved in Humor, or in Science Fiction.)

    Although, the graphic novel buyer should have noticed this.

    Since Diamond is no longer shipping product to Borders, I suspect these copies came from Ingram.

    Which raises an interesting question: Barnes & Noble tried to acquire Ingram in 1998, but independent booksellers petitioned the FTC to oppose the deal. What if Ingram acquires Borders?

  3. The big institutions, once they’ve made a classification mistake, are loathe to correct it.

    For 2 short months I worked at Sucks-A-Million, and at one point I got verbally reprimanded when I moved Art Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers from Humor to the Graphic Novel section.

    My local library continues to stock the earliest graphic novels it carried in the Art nonfiction section, despite having long-since added a graphic novel section.

  4. Really? What’s with the Borders pile-on? They *help* comics, remember? This isn’t some crazy conspiracy theory, this is a) look at what sells and b) put it everywhere you can so people can buy it. It’s called the “Bridges of Madison County” move — back in the day, you put that little yellow menace EVERYWHERE and sure enough people would buy it.

    They are trying people! Go help them out!


  5. This reminds me of my local Walmart and how they have the first three Walking Dead trades in the young adult/tween section.

  6. That Ba-Ba-Booey book is also mis-shelved. It should be in the crime section since those horse teeth are a crime against nature.

  7. I used to work at whitcoulls in New Zealand, they have the same attitude towards comics, only the works that sell get the real attention. Borders is in my opinion the same big commecial store, where the workers are slaves and the managers are *****. Better to go to your local comic shop and support them there. Franchises like borders and all the others don’t give a damn about other works. Just what sells and pays the bills.

  8. (Brian, Shadow of No Towers should be in Current Events. Matthews, that display is probably a mixture of zombie comics and manga. Or they want to encourage manga readers to try Walking Dead, which actually makes sense, given the relationships and strangeness in the comic.)

    At BN, we shelved at least one copy where the computer told us to shelve it (because that’s where customers and employees would search when looking it up on the computer).

    The rest, if quantity, was displayed where people would see it. BN also has “store lists”, where the computer is told what display has a title where.

    I process the various title and author corrections sent in from the stores. Subjects (handled by someone else, almost full-time) are sometimes assigned by the subject buyer, not by what the publisher or Library of Congress recommends. It’s all about selling the book. That said, Maus is now found in Biography. Humor contains comic strip collections (although a few like Flash Gordon get shelved in Graphic Novels).

    BN has the following Graphic novel categories:
    graphic novels
    superheroes (very small section)
    media tie-ins
    reference (books about graphic novels)
    comics literature

    (Plus smaller sections in YA and Kids.)

    What the publishing industry uses:

    This does not include comic strips or childrens books, which is noted in the above list.

    And, yes, we should rejoice that graphic novels are found in places like Borders and WalMart.

    Growing up, I bought my copy of Maus at a Little Professor Book Center. I bought my comics at Waldenbooks and B. Dalton, where I discovered Bloom County, Raw, Elfquest, and Matt Groening BEFORE he became famous (in 1984!)

    As for the local comics shops… as seen elsewhere discussing the recent Eric Powell video… they “don’t give a damn about other works. Just what sells and pays the bills.” With the non-returnable nature of the Direct Market, they are even more conservative than bookstores.

    Hell, most comics shops don’t even stock comic strip collections found in the local newspaper! If they do have a comic strip section, it’s mostly archival editions.

  9. I think it would suck if they closed the Borders store thats a few miles from where I work. Its about the only thing to do during a lunch break aside from browse Best Buy or sit on a chair in the mall, 400 feet above the ground.

    That aside Barnes and Noble has been in trouble for awhile now but the stores in this local area are still open and operating daily. So who knows? They get bought by a bigger company and then rebranded or kept open. Such is the cycle..

  10. My local Borders has them stocked in the graphic novels section and the horror section as well. Never assume that what you see in one store is either a reflection of Borders HQ or the same in all stores.

    Mind you that I did get a press release pushing a Zombie book that was supposed to humorous! So far none of my reviewers has expressed any interest in it!