Thursday, June 14, 2007

Alan David Doane on the future of Comic Shops
An all too familiar set of ideas......

Over at Alan David Doane's blog ADD posts a couple of entries in the "where comics are going" & "how comic shops should change" discussion.

All very worthy and all very obvious.
And something I last covered here & here back in March.

But maybe the US isn't as far forward as we are over here in dear old Blighty. Surely comic shops like Nostalgia & Comics, Page 45, GOSH, OK Comics and many more have already made the decision to change?
Surely those shops have embraced the simple ideas of:

They will be clean. They will be well-lit. They will be well-organized.
They will open on time. They will have prices clearly marked and up to date on all merchandise.
They will operate their business in accordance with local, state and federal laws, including labour and employment laws.
They will not favour one genre or sub-genre over another.
They will recognize that all comics are comics, no matter what country they originate from, or what format they are published in.
They will actively welcome all people interested in buying some kind of comics to shop at their store.
They will recognize the transition from periodical pamphlet comics to more appealing and enduring graphic novels, and accommodate the readership's clear preference for comics with a spine and a complete story.

(From ADD post Pointing To The Future)

So maybe we're just lucky over here?
Speaking about Nostalgia & Comics I can tell you we embraced every single one of those simple ideas a long, long time ago. We love Graphic Novels, we love all sorts of Graphic Novels and we certainly enjoy selling Graphic Novels to as many people as possible. Of course, saying we love Graphic Novels doesn't mean that we don't like comics. We love comics as well. All sorts of comics. It's just we realised years ago now that Graphic Novels had a huge potential in increasing our customer base and making us and our customers, old and new, much happier.

Tom's already posted his views on it and makes the very valid point that a store's basic business strategy shouldn't necessarily prevent it from applying basic simple business ideas like actually being an inviting place to shop.
But from a purely observational viewpoint over here it seems the two tend to go hand in hand; once a store decides to change it's basic product mix and highlight a wider range of material through Graphic Novels it also begins to adopt those basic principles of making the store look a damn sight more attractive to the general public.

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