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Do you think comic shop owners dont know their product anymore


Saint5 stimpy
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I was at my local shop a couple of months back where they were doing a signing with Steve Dillon, Simon Bisley and others. and this shop has a lot of walk in trade like people who dont read comics per say ie 9 year olds, and this guy was giving them preacher to get signed before anyone sez anything Im not for censorship but a bit of sense think about it. "look mom what that man doing to that other man" mum screams next min shop closed down, so I go up to the man and said look dont sell them that I will find you stuff you can sell to them he has a ton of 2000ads and doctor who in his back issues. why did he want to sell preacher cause more money for him. later on I was collecting my weeky books there was all star batman and he then starts moaning about how many issue 1 he sold and next day people wanting there money back due to it being not good for kids. I said where is the idea of selling a Frank Miller batman comic good to kids even more so because the first 5 pages is vv in her underwear dont you look at what you are selling. he looked at me like I was mad.

anybody else got any stupid shop owners storys

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im sure newtype and panch got stories.

i dont know how the feel is over there, but here, i think the biggest problem comics (and animation as well) have is the archaic notion that if its a comic book, its gotta be for kids. its ignorant, but tis still the pervading mentality in a lotta places, so people ignore the warning lables (Vertigo: for adult readers, etc) and when they see a tit, they scream its porn or something. ugh.

 

funny tho, idve thoguht people would return All Star Batman for different reasons altogether.

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Well, I typically know exactly what I want when I walk into the comic shop as well as where it is, so I don't linger long. Its cramped and the guys with the Yu-Gi-Oh cards skeeve me out...so I don't know much about who's recommending what, though I have to say the chicks behind the counters seem really knowledgable when they chat with me. I would assume that they'll sell a kid whatever he brings to the register but would be a little leery or recommending Preacher to a nine-year-old if mommy dearest would bother asking about it.

 

That being said, i have to agree with Nick. Comics do not equal kid safe. Just like people assume all animation is for children. Clearly it isn't. I mean...A Scanner Darkly and Fritz the Cat are not suitable for your toddler.

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I agree. And thus my point...I don't think the girls at Lonestar would do something like that if someone asks, hey what's good? Its not about the money there. I actually think that lots of folks who are hard core retailers will prolly recommend age appropriate things because they take their job seriously.

 

I reckon this fellow you're talking about is just a moron and the exception to the rule.

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Oh, I'm sure most comic store owners know the product they're selling-- they need to know what's on order from Diamond every week!

 

Obviously, ordering hinges on a lot of different things, like what sells, location (neighborhood vs. college town, etc.), whether the store also carries toys/collectibles/video/music/clothing, etc. I think any good comic guy would also be a good pop culture guy, just through their own natural interest and curiosity. I'm sure being up on trends and knowing what's hot could help an owner predict what will sell better.

 

I don't know about you guys, but I don't see too many kids reading comics these days-- not compared to when I was a kid, and that was nothing compared to the Silver Age or Bronze Age.

 

Sure, comic characters have gotten a TON of exposure, and the kids are interested in the characters, but that's different. I think a kid would be more likely to ask their mom to buy a video game or toy rather than a comic... DC and Marvel have done their damndest to get kids to pick up books (Free Comic Book Day, comics written for children, etc.), but it's been a struggle.

 

It's been hard enough for them to gain new readership, but trying to seduce readers more interested in their Nintendo DS or Wii that barely read as it is? It's just about impossible.

 

 

The comic companies and shops are going to go where the money is, and it's getting more and more apparent that it isn't with young kids. I don't fault them for that at all, but if they're going to survive, they need to adapt. Marvel has gone from a straight-up comics company to an entertainment company, licensing out pretty much every character (short of Slapstick and Ego the Living Planet) for movies, TV shows, clothing, toys, video games, etc... they're gonna make a guaranteed 1 billion dollars from Hasbro over the next five years alone! Shops are now direct-to-consumer niche retailers, specializing in all kinds of products for a specific audience. Often, the same customer who's interested in comics is also into that cool-ass Hellboy statue or picking up a copy of Akira on DVD.

 

The days of a shop where all the kids hang out and the companies that produced comics exclusively for them are long-gone.

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You're absolutely right. Marvel needs to sell the rights to Slapstick asap!

 

Been sayin' that for 15 fuckin' years. :pinch:

 

 

Actually, the concept could work for a kids show, especially if handled by somebody awesome, like The Tick's Ben Edlund. Throw in cameos by Marvel icons like Spidey and the Fantastic Four (totally aghast) and heaping amounts of subversive humor and a Slapstick show could be fucking rad.

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Agree 100% with WLN there (about it not being an industry for kids anymore...I'm not devoting any amount of time to think about that Slapstick thing right now). Maybe in another generation or two American culture will grow to realize that comics are not kid-centric anymore (have they ever really been?) I hear a lot of Europe, and certainly Japan are more open-minded about it. I remember reading a figure that said about 50% of all books published in Japan are manga. But here in America? Most "adults" would get embarrassed to pick one up. All the movies are helping. No one comes out of a screening of Blade or Punisher thinking it was meant to be a kids movie. A little immature, sure, but not for kids. I just wish they'd play up the comic book connection with more high-minded films like History of Violence or Road to Perdition. Maybe then people would see how diverse the medium actually is.

 

It just pisses me off to no end when I can't get someone I know to watch or read something because it's animated or it's a comic book. Hell, I think that even a book or movie that is directed at children can still be great (Pixar films, for instance). To me, anyone who says something can't be good because it's targeted to a lower age group looks like they're still 14 years old and trying to prove how "grown up" they are.

 

I'll tell you one thing that isn't helping - the fans. I love going to comic conventions because I love the art and getting to shake the hands of creators and seeing what's on the horizon for the industry. But the fans embarrass even me, and I'm a self-proclaimed geek. It's no wonder the rest of America thinks comic books are an immature medium, look at most of the people who are out there supporting it. Well intentioned, sure, but not helping. If the industry is ever going to grow up and go on, we need to get comic books out of basements and convention halls and into more libraries and college courses.

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It just pisses me off to no end when I can't get someone I know to watch or read something because it's animated or it's a comic book. Hell, I think that even a book or movie that is directed at children can still be great (Pixar films, for instance). To me, anyone who says something can't be good because it's targeted to a lower age group looks like they're still 14 years old and trying to prove how "grown up" they are.

 

I'll tell you one thing that isn't helping - the fans. I love going to comic conventions because I love the art and getting to shake the hands of creators and seeing what's on the horizon for the industry. But the fans embarrass even me, and I'm a self-proclaimed geek. It's no wonder the rest of America thinks comic books are an immature medium, look at most of the people who are out there supporting it. Well intentioned, sure, but not helping. If the industry is ever going to grow up and go on, we need to get comic books out of basements and convention halls and into more libraries and college courses.

 

In regards to the first paragraph, I have to agree. If you look at...say cartoons from the mid-eighties and cartoons today whether they be the short thirty minute things or the slew of recent movies, there's definitely a difference. Today's animation is either directed at all ages groups or at adults. And frankly, many of the films geared mainly for children are spot on. Shrek was a good film, I thought.

 

As for the last paragraph...again, I have to agree. I love graphic novels. I used to read comics as a kid because they were cheap and there was nothing else to do with my time except oogle Lady Death and play Blood Sport on Saturday. Now I do it because I'm actually interested and many comics deal with difficult issues. The other folks at the shops bother me. They make me look normal, which is really fucking hard to do, as I'm the biggest geek I know. The clerks are usually pretty easy to deal with but its gotten to the point where I won't go into a comic shop by myself because it makes me feel uncomfortable.

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I go to signings now I wont go to cons anymore the fans piss me off all this lets get the sketch and put it on ebay shit and and basicly forgeting why comics were so good not just T&A how many guns does this guy have lets destroy spiderman whole history shit like that scares me to death about the next twenty years of the industy

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More later, but for now: agree with WLN that games > comics for kids, every writer this side of bendis says its inevitable.

SB spoke a lot of truth there, about cultural look as well as shifting of markets. prolly something true about the fans and the desire to keep the medium as a bastard child of pop culture, like an AV club, harms way more than it helps.

Stimpy's comments on d-bags just ebaying sketches has become a big deterrent for many artists at cons from what ive talked to - why bother if youre just trying to profit instead of appreciate? ive heard Robertson, Immomen and others actually look for people on ebay re-selling and take it to them, and i applaud them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This whole thread reminds me when I was at the local Sam Goodie music and movies store and found something like "Midnight Sleazy Train" or some similar Hentai next to the Dragon Ball Z kiddy stuff. It's just anime, that must mean it's safe for small children, right? That was the clerks' response when I pointed it out, they had no clue. Ironic, I guess... I could only do my civil duty and buy it right then and there... I did it for the children!

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This whole thread reminds me when I was at the local Sam Goodie music and movies store and found something like "Midnight Sleazy Train" or some similar Hentai next to the Dragon Ball Z kiddy stuff. It's just anime, that must mean it's safe for small children, right? That was the clerks' response when I pointed it out, they had no clue. Ironic, I guess... I could only do my civil duty and buy it right then and there... I did it for the children!

I'm sure you did.

 

Half Price Books had the same problem.

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  • 2 months later...
im sure newtype and panch got stories.

i dont know how the feel is over there, but here, i think the biggest problem comics (and animation as well) have is the archaic notion that if its a comic book, its gotta be for kids. its ignorant, but tis still the pervading mentality in a lotta places, so people ignore the warning lables (Vertigo: for adult readers, etc) and when they see a tit, they scream its porn or something. ugh.

 

funny tho, idve thoguht people would return All Star Batman for different reasons altogether.

 

Not all of them are bad of course, take for example the place I worked in for a while. Any comic for adults or with questionable material were put on the top two selves of the sales wall. I being a decently sized guy still had to stand on tippy toes to barely reach. On top of that we would also card anyone that was trying to purchase those comics, and at times had to turn sales away.

 

Its a very hard argument, and I see both sides. The place I worked at was very corporate, but I imagine at more owner operated stores its less than perfect.

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