Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sales Slip

The economy has hit everyone. There's plenty of evidence of it - #2 electronics retailer Circuit City had to close down, Linens and Things is history, local Milwaukee book seller Harry W Schwartz has closed up. Plenty of people are without jobs or with cuts in pay. But, there are some signs of improvement. New housing starts are up a bit, unemployment claims have leveled off in some areas, and banks that were thought to be on the edge of collapse announced positive earnings.

The comic book industry has also been hit by the slump in the economy, as you would expect. If people aren't spending money they're not buying comics. Numbers aren't down as much as I feared, so that's good. People ARE still buying comics, they just don't seem to be buying quite as many. And part of that might be that right now the publishers seem to be in a lull before they get to their big summer stories. In past economic down turns comic books often did well as people turned to inexpensive forms of entertainment to distract them from their real life predicaments. Today, with many comics having a $3.99 price tag, they don't feel like quite as good of a deal as they once were. Sure, that's still inexpensive when compared to going to a movie or buying a video game. But plenty of people have a hard time handing over close to $5 for a 32 page pamphlet. Here at Neptune we've seen a slight decrease in comic book sales, but we have seen an increase in sales of graphic novels and games. We have had people stop buying altogether and others cut back, but at least a couple new faces come into the store each week to see what today's comics are all about or revisit the heroes of their childhood.

Read the article here, and see what you think.

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