Comics Worth Reading and ICv2 report that Comics and Games Retailer , the magazine for…well, retailers published by F+W/Krause (which also publishes CBG) will cease publication with the February issue. Over the last 15 years, the magazine hosted columns by people like Joe Field, Brian Hibbs and Mimi Cruz, and informed generations of retailers of ways to improve their businesses. It was an important tool for a while, but with the internet and message boards and ComicsPRO, it’s time probably was up a while ago.

C&GR always had a lot of good info in it, but it was presented in a fairly arcane way. We remember asking John Jackson Miller to explain what all the little triangles on his sales charts meant once — it was like getting a personal lesson in physics from Einstein, and we understand it about as much. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the mag was the monthly comments from retailers about what was selling. When we worked at DC, Tony Bedard and The Beat would go through all the comments and pick out how many times Knights of the Dinner Table was mentioned — no one had ever heard of this comic, but according to retailers it sold all the time. Who knew? Someone should try to resurrect this feature for a wider audience — we’d find it much more informative than endless message board complaining by people who buy books they don’t like month after month.

UPDATE: We’re informed by someone in the know that some of the C&GR info — including the parts we like — will be integrated to various publications and websites. We’ll let you know when we do.

1 COMMENT

  1. KoDT is a very fun book for the role-playing inclined. Therefore it does well with the current and ex-military people, Kenzer people included.

  2. Yeah, Knights of the Dinner Table is one of those examples (like Comic Zone and my favorite fallback, the Super Diaper Baby graphic novel) of how the actual business of comics extends far beyond what direct market observers might assume… although in the case of Knights, it’s something that actually sells in DM shops.

  3. Wasn’t there some magazine at the height of the speculation boom which posted regional sales charts, with short commentary by area retailers afterwards? Am I thinking of this very magazine? Either way, yes, I’d love to see that kind of ground level retail commentary on the web.

  4. There’s a scene in SECRET WARS where Galactus summons Reed for a cosmic tete-a-tete, and Reed starts by saying, “It is an honor to be acknowledged by Galactus.”

    That’s how it feels to see your name mentioned in The Beat, folks.

    Tony B

  5. More than a third of the readers of the magazine were mainline game stores in the late 1990s, and Knights of the Dinner Table was often the only comic book they carried. That didn’t impact the sales charts derived from the stores — the numbers weren’t on the scale of what the comics shops were doing — but we did publish the retailers’ comments. So, yeah, just on comments it always got disproportionate buzz. (Its curious appeal is genuine, though — after 130+ issues, there’s a lot of very devoted readers out there. I know that years later, it’s one of the comics that I personally, read the day I get it.)

    It was also one of the comics significantly underreported in the Diamond numbers — there was a time when the game distributors’ numbers on the book were so much higher than the Diamond numbers that, had we been able to fuse them, it would have ranked as many as 100 places higher.

    –JJM