I came to a realization this week. We may have hit the time where there are more people with iPads than there are people with access to comic shops. I did a little math, and based it off London Ontario (where I live). We have 350,000 people in London. Adding in the places within 30 minutes outside of London with no comic shop in their home town, we get to about 425,000 people.
London has 4 full time comic shops. 425000/4 = 106,250 potential customers per shop. Multiply that by about 3000 Diamond Accounts, which means that approximately 318 million people have access to a comic shop. Considering though that the best selling comic of 2012 sold 318,000 copies (for Walking Dead #100), we can probably assume that 5% of the general population is an agressive number…but for fun, let’s make that 10%, which means 31.8 million potential comic fans have access to a comic shop.
To date, Apple has sold 100 million iPads. I have to assume that there’s a pretty big corollary between comic fans and technology fans (anecdotal evidence being the only thing I can go by, every tech event I go to is populated with tons of people in comic tees). Add another 30 million Android tablets, and we may be at the point where there are more people with tablets than people with access to comic shops.
Comics will never go away as physical artifacts, so in my opinion, comic shops are safe…but we might see a really cool secondary market where people get into comics through tablets, just like news stands used to be the gateway for collectors when I was a kid.
Here’s my faves of the week: