I still get my comics from All New Comics, but because I get quite a bit less than I used to they come at the end of the month.
There was quite a bit of press about Grant Morrison’s Action Comics #1 (buy it now at All New Comics), and after reading some of the reviews online, I decided that I wanted to check out some of the other new books.
So on a whim I went to a local comic shop on my lunch break. The store is by far London’s largest. The bearded proprietor asked me what I was looking for. “The new DC books” said I. “Sorry man, I can’t sell them to you until I have pulled them all for my regular customers. Come back at 4pm.” said he.
So let me get this straight. At lunch you see a customer come into your store. He’s not a regular who normally buys from you, but he’s wearing a dress shirt, dress pants, and dress shoes. Without stereotyping, he’s likely got some money. He’s offering to pay you money for comics. Specifically he’s offering to pay you money for the new comics which everyone has over-ordered SPECIFICALLY TO ADDRESS THIS AMAZING NEW MARKET WHICH WE ALL ASSUME WILL BE COMING INTO OUR STORES (online at All New Comics we have LITERALLY ordered twice our normal subscription numbers to sell to people who visit our site…normally if we sell 20 copies of a comic, we’ll sell 2 online, but we’re gambling that a bunch of new faces will be checking stuff out, and so far that’s paid off).
I went back to my office, turned on my iPad, and downloaded Action #1, Batgirl #1, and Swamp Thing #1. Later tonight I think I’m going to buy a few more new comics from the DC Comics App (even though it irritates me that I’m paying full price to basically rent a comic book).
Now let’s be honest, I COULD have pressed the issue. I could have told him that I own an online shop and really just wanted to check some issues out, I COULD have told him I used to work in that very store years ago (and there’s a good chance he was a customer of mine at some point), I could have name dropped any one of a half dozen people who would have been able to help me out. But that’s not the point. The point is that this store failed the most basic principle of this new launch. Sell to people you don’t normally sell to. These guys should have been TRIPPING over themselves to help me out.
I’ve bought a few things in the shop from time to time. I bring my kids in, and buy them stuff, I buy supplies like boxes, which indicates I have comics from SOME source, and am likely a good “mark” to try to convince to buy from them, and they can’t even make the effort for me.
I wish I could say this is an isolated incident, but this same treatment has happened to me at pretty much every single comic shop I’ve ever visited. I’ve been irritated, overlooked, or otherwise ignored time and time again.
People have all sorts of excuses for what is killing comic shops, I’ll tell you right now that the problem with most comic shops is right behind the counter.