This is Joshua Wehner's archaic Blog

Stock comics by genre, not by publisher

An interesting rant by Jim Crocker at ICv2, a comics- and games-retailers news site:

...We've found one that has actually produced some results for us: racking by genre, and not publisher. The marketing wonks at Marvel and DC probably love the idea that there are stores that consider their brands of such singular importance that, unlike just about every other retail store out there, we design our entire stores around them as an organizing principle.

But go into a 'real' bookstore sometime, and ask them for the Simon & Schuster section. In your local video store, are all the Paramount movies together?

...If we're going to try and chip away at the idea that Marvel and DC somehow have the right to use our stores as proxies in their decades-long grudge match, we need to start with making sure they're set up as our stores. I believe that begins with laying out stores by criteria that make sense to people who don't know (or care!) who publishes the characters or creators they're interested in

Permalink • Posted in: comics, pop-cultureComments (1)


Parmeter May 8, 2006

While changing the sort-by should help to break certain mental bariers around comics, I am uncertain that it produces the effects cited in the opinion piece or called for in the rest of the comic-book shop industry.

In going back to the originating Myth of the Marketshare I am struck by a simple disconnect that Steve, the shop owner has. He correctly points out that it is advantagous to both Marvel and DC to publish as many books as possible to soak up as much money as possible. He also notes the boom/bust cycle that such behavior produces (one might also note that this same behavior peremates the many stock markets and has been heavily studied in economic circles). However, these days, it is not just the publisher who is in on the trick. The writers and artists are there as well.

They too, get a cut of the sales pie (at least those who have a good name recognition) and thusly it is to their benefit to see more titles ship as well as a delay to increase the amount of hype surrounding a given title. Neither one of these actually seems to help the shops where the goods are sold.