Have Been Unavoidably Detained By The World

Expect Me When You See Me

eldarwannabe eldarwannabe
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My inbox is an odd place
I've been reading the ICV2 email newsletter since high school. HIGH SCHOOL.

ICV2 is an industry website, mostly aimed at comic book realtors. Back when all I wanted in life was to intern at DC Comics (high school) someone recommended I sign up for their email list and I haven't looked back.

It's fascinating stuff. The background is really my most favorite part of media a lot of the time, and it gives me a different view from the fan-based stuff I'm reading otherwise. Plus, it gives me another place to keep track of the comic book industry despite that fact that I haven't been collecting on a monthly basis in over five years.

Anyway, they've been publishing these articles by this guy named Rob Salkowitz, and I'm finding myself nodding along to everything this guy says.

This week he put up an article about how brick-and-mortar stores can combat internet price wars for comic sales and he said the ~*magic words*~.

First and foremost, comics retailers are not just selling comics; they are selling the experience of comics culture--and that experience is one of the hottest commodities on the market.


I can't figure out why my LCSs don't seem to tap into that, or at least not frequently. They have occasional signing or promo events, but why don't they have a weekly comic round up meeting? Or a "Comic Collectors Anonymous" support group? Or "let's complain about what DC is doing this week!" meeting? SOMETHING. ANYTHING.

(A space focused on getting the women crowd could do a "tea and comics" weekly meeting, with focuses on fanfic. The batslash fans are EVERYWHERE.)

When I was wandering around in Toronto at the beginning of the summer, I stumbled across a comic shop with a CAFE inside. And I was like "THIS IS THE BEST THING IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD CAN I GIVE YOU MONEY?"

I don't know if they used that cafe space well, but the potential was breathtaking.


In conclusion, the OTW posted the best guide on "How to be a fan" I have ever seen. Check it out!

(This entry is also posted on Feel free to comment on either site. Although my dreamwidth background has space! Spaaaace!)

I can't speak for all stores, obvs, but I know with my shop, the problem is manpower. They have signings and a regular game night, but they don't have the staffing capacity to run lots of clubs and events while also manning the store. They say all the time that anyone who wants to hold a club meeting/event/whatever in the store absolutely can do so and they encourage it, but I guess (in my city at least), people are less likely to do stuff on their own? idk.

But also, a big part of the experience for me is going in and talking about comics to other people who like comics for sometimes an hour plus at a time. Like, I can have internet discussions with people about stuff I'm reading, but nothing really tops standing there in person and flailing with someone else as you say, "And then Darla calls some people and then comic versions of Fraction and Allred and Brevoort show up!"

See, that's EXACTLY the kind of experience I LOVE in comic book stores! But it's disorganized, you know? Like, sure, I might bump into someone who wants to squee about the same things, but I might not. And I only sometimes see people hanging out to talk.

But if they designated a time, even informally, for comic hanging out? Like, Thursday nights from 6-8 are "complain/squee about your Wednesday picks" time and they just encourage people to drop by and kvetch, that could be fun. (I'm just spitballing -- I think getting people two nights in a row is a long shot.)

I dunno. Running a comic shop is super-complicated and I know there's a slim margin of profit, but I feel like they could also become local Geek Hang Outs and seriously expand their consumer base by selling that experience the internet can't give.


Ah, see, I do all that squeeing with the store workers in between customers. It's a tiny shop and only has three employees (four if you count the owner who doesn't normally come in), so I know all their schedules and when to come in when I want to squee about certain things XD (Also, I used to walk by it every day, so if someone I wanted to talk to was inside, or people looked like they were having fun, I could just pop in.)

And that happened in FF #10! It's the one with the Spooky Kids on the cover! There's a lot of classic Fantastic Four homage in Fraction's run on FF, and I guess in #10 of the original Fantastic Four, there's a whole meta thing where Marvel decides to make a comic of the F4, so Stan Lee and Jack Kirby visit the Baxter Building, so in FF #10, Darla calls in some connections to try and revamp their image, and Marvel decides to revive that F4 comic and sends Fraction and Allred to meet the new team and BASICALLY IT'S AMAZING.

FF is my favorite currently running book. I'm GUTTED that Fraction had to hand over the writing reins, even if he handed them to another Allred and outlined the rest of the story. :( :( :(

Awww, I've never been able to build a relationship with store workers. Possibly because they're all relatively big, high-traffic shops, or maybe because I just don't go their very often, but there it is. That said, that sounds AWESOME, and obvsly the people in the shop are connecting with their customers.

THAT IS A HIGH REC INDEED. Well, now I'm going to check out some of the Fraction FF! It's one of the two Marvel properties I'm legit a fan of, so I probably should have been keeping a closer eye on it. >.>

I did hear Fraction was leaving, though! Is he starting a new project?

I like the way that guy thinks, particularly how he gets students to go to the store! He's got some good ideas too, I'd go to a cafe or a trivia night. Or a viewing and discussion night! Get a HUGE screen TV or something and open the store to have people come in to watch the new episode of Arrow (and sell drinks and snacks) and have a discussion afterwards. I think I need a Comic Collectors Anonymous support group.

Ha, that "How to be a fan" is hilarious.

IKR? There are a million possibilities when you have a space, because there are so many things nerds would be into gathering to do. (If I had a night to watch Arrow with a group of people, I probably would have stayed on top of the series. Why are there thousands of sports bars and only a handful of geek bars?)

I would attend a Comic Collectors Anonymous support group. Because you can't buy just one.

I'd know we had advanced as a society if we had geek bars and enough people to populate them. Comic book stores do play movies and stuff on their TVs, but man...geek gatherings, so awesome!

I get the feeling Comic Collectors Anonymous would only make people buy more comics.


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