And it won’t cost you a thing … as Menachem points out in this week’s MEANWHILE … column …
By MENACHEM LUCHINS, owner, Escape Pod Comics, Huntington, L.I.
As I sat down to write this, I thought about all the possible topics I could discuss. I thought about the first week of Marvel variants we just went through, or maybe the amazing signing we had with Leila Del Duca and Joe Keatinge on NCBD last week.
I could discuss the announcements that came out at NYCC last weekend or maybe discuss some of the panels and the conversations they sparked. Or we could just talk about that Hulkbuster cosplay, amirite?
But I don’t want to be SO topical every week. Then, I thought, maybe I should talk about the best book I read from the huge stack I got: Jennifer Hayden’s The Story of My Tits, which is not just a wonderful tale about facing breast cancer but is also a flawlessly constructed autobiographical comic that covers sexuality, familial relationships, and the transition to, and challenges of, adulthood.
Maybe I should do a HOT PICKS style thing, just this once, I think: This was a BIG week for some amazing books. We’ve got the Death Vigil trade from Stjepan Sejic and Image and Jeremy Bastion’s new Cursed Pirate Girl special from IDW AND the collection of Richard Corben’s creepy Lovecraftian tale Rat God from Dark Horse — not to mention all the great single issues.
But, then again, when I’m ready to really do HOT PICKS again, I’ll just contribute to the regular weekly column here on 13th Dimension, right?.
So I started thinking, what is this column about? This is supposed to be a place for a retailer perspective — where you get to hear about industry news or just general comic palather, but from the business side of things, not just the fan one. This is a place where I’m supposed to discuss not whether or not Mary Jane Watson belongs with Tony Stark or Peter Parker but the implications of that marketing move for the whole industry.
What is the retailer side of things, though? What is the bottom line when it comes to being the guy behind the counter? Maybe it’s about how well you can talk up new books, or whether you can say something about an existing one really well? Maybe it’s your signings and events or how you stock your store?
The answer, of course, is that it is all these things. Being a retailer or even “just” working in a comic shop means balancing all of this, usually while being in the shop and helping customers. It’s an arduous task during the best of weeks, and with the Big Two pushing out tons of events and number ones right now, it’s especially tough. As someone who spent a recent Tuesday prepping a shop for NCBD put it:
Easily the biggest #NCBD in recent memory;have a thought for all the men & women who busted their tails into the night. A smile costs nada
— conrad the man (@conmantherad) October 7, 2015
I guess that when it comes down to it that would be the most important thing I could say here, to reiterate that. When you go pick up your books on NCBD or whenever, show them you appreciate what they do for you and for the industry.
Like the man said, a smile costs nothing.