Comic Store in Your Future: Looking Back at the Past Year

Comic Store in Your Future: Looking Back at the Past Year

Posted by January 13, 2018 Comment

Rod Lamberti of Rodman Comics, writes weekly for Bleeding Cool. Find previous columns here.

For New Year’s, I made it to Las Vegas to celebrate. I talked with the owner of Alternate Reality Comics while in Vegas — a really cool comic store. No gaming, purely comics. We agreed on a lot of things about the comic market. Not everything, of course. It was a good talk about what we would like to see and what we hope not to see in the future.

In 2018, here’s what I hope to see less of:

Websites that do not pay the publishers whose material they publish online. People using websites to read published material for free that is in no way authorized by the publisher need to finally come to an end.

How come there haven’t been laws passed to end this? Because, at times, it takes a lot to get something to change. For instance, why do we Americans vote on Tuesdays? Farmers needed time to get into town to vote, along with Wednesdays being market days. Buggies and markets were a big part of the reason, which was back in the 19th century. Saturdays would most likely see a far greater turnout. Voting places are much easier to get to now, along with states allowing voting by mail.

Laws often times are behind the times. It should be easy to pass a good law that would quickly shut down sites that rip off companies. A lot of companies would be all for that.

However one might justify piracy sites, the fact remains that in order for a publisher to keep producing new material, they need to be able to cover their expenses — such as paying their employees that produce their product. Piracy sites hurt that ability.

Fewer rude people. Rude people suck.

Less, “Oh, there is a movie coming up — we need a crossover to match up with it.” Creativity drives interest in comics — not playing it safe and copying a comic movie just because it is going to be on the big screen.

Fewer people on Free Comic Book Day that just come in for the freebies and never come back.

Fewer store closings. 2017 here in central Iowa we have seen three close. SHIELD Comics, Black Medicine, and Pop Culture. Fewer stores means less entry points for people getting into comics. When a store closes, a portion of comic readers that were customers leave comic collecting all together. Other stores are competition. But as long as stores do not serve the same area, they are getting people into comics that otherwise would not be into comics. In central Iowa, there were fewer comic stores at the end of 2017 than at the end of 2016.

Less “anything goes.” So many titles were published that had no future. It showed me that anything goes, even if it makes no sense. As a store owner in Ankeny, Iowa, when I read the Previews book and can predict with 100% accuracy which titles will be cancelled within a year, what are the publishers with more staff, more money, and more years in the industry thinking?

Less of Marvel getting in their own way. The lenticular covers were such a crash and burn for them. Something that should have at least looked cool when they first started them in 2017. Then to say the lenticular covers were available to order again months after they had come out just made the whole situation worse. Why were there second printings to issues that were still on hand? Just to make it look like the lenticular covers were in demand? Days after Marvel made the latest announcement, Marvel changed their minds and reversed their latest decision. Weird.

Less talk about a Valiant movie hitting the big screen and one that makes it to the big screen.

‘Nuff said.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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(Last Updated January 13, 2018 10:38 am )

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