Thursday, May 03, 2007
As you know, we've got another big event this weekend. Yep - it's been a very busy couple of weeks. My regular blogging has suffered due to the fact that we've barely cleaned up one event and now have to set up for another. But I love projects, and in-store events are fun, so it's all good.
FREE COMIC BOOK DAY STUFF:
USA Today had a bit about the Free Comic Book Day "Unseen Peanuts" book (photo). Great job by Fantagraphics to get some media attention for this excellent book. I hope it helps sell more of the Peanuts collections - we have them all in stock. While our local media continues to stubbornly not cover FCBD, at least USA Today did - with a link to the FCBD home page - so that people can find a store like mine that will have the book. We've already received a couple of calls!
Congress also had a resolution on the floor lauding Free Comic Book Day. It was submitted by a congressman from Maryland - the district where Diamond is headquartered. The resolution praises Free Comic Book Day as, "an enjoyable and creative approach to promoting literacy and celebrating a unique American art form."
Check your local cable listings for: Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked. Sunday at 9:00PM on The History Channel. "Wish-fulfillment figures become role models for generations of children." (120 mins).
Retailer Ranting #1
Once again, I hate Hasbro. First, they have been treating every distributor we deal with for toys like old trash - shipping them next to none of the Star Wars toys we ordered. The ONE we did get has been out all over Wal-Mart nation for weeks already. Then, we ordered the Transformers movie toys via Diamond. There wasn't a picture and no description of what would be in the set - only that these were the top-secret first wave of Transformers movie toys. We have a few Transformers fans that shop here, so we thought we'd pick up a case of the toys. Guess what - the case had a total of two different figures in it. A WHOLE CASE of figures and only two different figures. We'll never get these sold! I swear, this is the last time I order any toys made by Hasbro! I don't care how much Craig begs to order Star Wars toys - I'm putting my foot down because we always end up getting screwed.
20th Century Fox is pushing Fantastic Four 2. We just got a big movie poster from them along with a stack of slightly smaller ones that we are supposed to hand out for Free Comic Book Day. We love to hand out free stuff that we didn't have to pay for! Thanks Fox - no matter what anyone says about the movie, you're OK in my book.
The Buffy comic book continues to sell like hotcakes! It is our second best selling non-superhero comic book right now, with Dark Tower: Gunslinger Born being #1. It is probably in our top-10 best sellers overall as well. I'd have to sit down and look at a spread sheet to be sure, but I think it's right up there. If not in the top 10, I'm positive it would be in the top 20. I love the fact that publishers are doing great comics for the non-superhero fans. Both Buffy and Dark Tower continue to bring new people into my comic book store.
Trends in the Direct Market:
One would not believe how many people have mentioned wanting to open a comic book store. Some here in person, some on-line. I probably get an email a week from someone who has read my sequart.com columns about opening a store and wanted my help or opinion on something. I think this means that people are finally getting tired of the old school stores and/or think comics are cool enough to have more stores. To be honest, there are not enough comic book stores. That's part of the reason why more comics aren't sold or read in the U.S. - availability. Back when I was a kid they were in spinner racks at gas stations and convenience stores - and we read them. Mom would buy one just to shut us up. Now they are sold mainly in stores like mine - comic book stores - so mom has to go out of her way to get them. I think the fact that more and more people are wanting to open their own shop is one of the signs that the industry is changing - and it could spell the end of many a dingy comic shop. The presence of so many comic book movies is another sign of that. You can read my Sequential Tart column for my hypothesis on this.
Retailer Ranting #2
I'm not sure if it's a compliment or just a lack of originality, but some other area comic shops are stealing our ideas. One is doing a food drive with FCBD, another is using our "something for everyone" slogan that we've been putting in our ads for over a year into their current ad campaign. At first I was pretty irritated, but now I've decided just to mind my own business and expect that people will try to duplicate our success here by taking some of our ideas over to their stores.