If you are not following #comicmarket on Tuesdays you are missing some deep insight from comic store owners. Comic Market takes place on twitter, and while there is always some activity on the channel, Tuesdays is the day where a lot of comic book stores spend time talking about what they are doing, what is happening in the market, and the things they are thinking of doing. This is part of a new series here at Comics Forge that will look at the twitter feed, and see who is talking about what is happening in the industry. This week, A Comic Shop, a comic book store in Florida has some interesting things to say on the twitter feed about what they are planning on doing next.
Based on their twitter text, they are thinking of reinventing themselves, along with the comic book industry. Most everyone should know that the comic book industry is in trouble, and reading ICV2’s statistics for this year alone should make anyone wanting to open up a comic book store stop for a moment and think about it. But can we reinvent comic book stores along with the entire industry? A Comic Shop already incorporates a lot of interesting things that few other comic book store do, they have a semi “reality show”, they do video previews, they along with many other comic book stores have signings and big mega comic book stars come to their shop and do signings. They do have their own free standing online store, but it does not look like they are tied into Amazon or Ebay to sell comics. At least we could not find them.
When you land on their main page though, look at the picture of the store. Since they are thinking of reinventing everything, what would you tell them to do? What would make this more likely for you to enter? Beyond the potty mouths in the videos that they do, are they the kind of store you would go into and spend money at? They are asking, and it might be worthwhile to check them out and offer them some of your advice. It is not like we can bring down “Mary Queen of Shops” to take a look and help them out, so they are asking for your opinion.
The other interesting thing is that they are looking for a general rebirth industry wide of comic books and their fans. Comics are a unique industry in many ways, we have a rabid fan base similar to the fan bases of Star Trek or Star Wars, these people know everything, and will often note when things are not the way they thought they should be. They are extraordinarily fussy about everything, and are often extremely opinionated about everything that has gone wrong with the industry.
This is the most interesting thing, has the fan base turned off the casual reader? It would be no sense walking up to me and telling me about the X-Men, Star Wars, or even some of the independents we sell. A Comic Shop in their video shows some of these same tendencies about being fussy about everything, or just being way to tightly wound around the culture, with secret handshakes and terminology. Can we fix that so that the general comics community and subculture can work with new folks without shoving opinions or facts down new readers throats?
What would you do to reinvent the comics industry? It would be well worth knowing your opinion of this, and share those with A Comic Shop down in Florida, what advice would you offer them?
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