Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Funny Book Mish Mash


Dorian wrapped up his week of non-comic book talk on Friday in a particularly eye-catching way.

There are very few super-hero comics I want to read these days, and it looks like the one I’m most interested in reading will never be published again.

Newsarama has been doing a long-term series of articles that follows a brand new comic shop from its opening day. It’s been an interesting look at what goes into operating a small business. I find it almost intriguing that only one of the owners is a comics nerd. The other one is a friend who got drug into the business.

The latest installment is up, and it contains this telling little tidbit:

"There was a girl who came in who looked like she was about high school age. I asked her, "Can I help you find anything?" And she said, "I don't know. I was just curious. I've never read a comic before." I said, "What kind of things are you into?" She just says, "Um. I'm into romance." That's a tough one to swallow when it comes to comics. I don't really carry manga. So I was trying to think of a romance title. I had just finished reading a few Noble Causes trades a couple weeks before that. It's like a superhero soap opera. So I turned her on to the first trade of Noble Causes. A couple weeks later she was loving it. Digging it. She wanted Volume 2. It's a great title."

On the one hand, they’ve stated a couple of times that they want to be able to serve the casual reader/browser that wanders into the store. On the other, when one does come in (a female, yet), they’re almost at a loss for a recommendation! Happily, the one they can make seems to have clicked with her, but the whole incident makes it look like the store is lacking in a depth and variety of selection (and the owners are definitely lacking in their knowledge of what's out there), which is kind of sad. You can’t get new readers/customers without the material that will appeal to them. I wonder why so many LCS owners don't seem to get that concept.

The guys at Alter Ego may think they're operating a store that's friendly to the non-comics reader and casual browser, but they're not.

I wish APE would post their programming schedule. I already know that I’m going to be doing a lot of browsing and shopping, but I’d like to know what else they’ve got planned.

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