Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Boothian floppy dogs and cats

I saw this morning that there is a new George Booth cartoon collection out. I knew who he was the minute I saw a sample of his art: It's further proof that I was more heavily influenced by the fact my parents subscribed to The New Yorker magazine than I ever realized.

But the real point of this post, (and probably one I should keep to myself), is that it made me realize how little scouting I'm currently doing for good titles.

I'm not even looking at the end of the year, "Best Of...", lists because there is no point. I'm ordering what I need to order and no more.

Kinda sad, really. One of the fun things about owning a store is being able to order stuff on a semi whimsical basis.

George Booth? I love his stuff. But unless I'm buying it for myself, there probably isn't much point in ordering it.

My budget will allow some of that kind of idiosyncratic ordering after Christmas is over. But the question should be not whether I can, but whether I should order such stuff. I know it adds to the uniqueness of my store, and frankly it's a better use of 'advertising' money than actual advertising, at least for those who actually wander in the door. But still....

Frankly, the independent graphic novel experiment has pretty much been a flop. (Just as my fantasy art obsession has resulted in a great selection and no sales.) I tried really hard to carry all the good material being put out, but most of it simply doesn't sell. I'm too proud to give it up completely, but I do need to rethink it.

There are a couple of hundred titles that sell, and probably a couple of dozen titles that sell consistently. Most of it is mainstream Marvel and DC, with a bit of Image, Dark Horse, and maybe some IDW. Vertigo is about the most outside the mainstream that sells. Everything else?

I don't think I have a single current regular who buys that stuff. (Except very, very infrequently.) I'm totally dependent on out-of-towners for selling most Oni, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, etc. Doesn't seem to matter how good it is, most people just aren't willing to go there. What sells is what has always sold, Preacher, Sandman, Watchmen, Punisher, Green Lantern, Batman, Superman, Sin City, Hellboy, etc. I'm carrying all of those titles, I believe. All the easy sales.

Thing is, if I'm going to carry new novels, the exact same thing is true, only double, triple, infinity the number of possible titles. I've got a long way to go before I've reached the saturation point on classic and cult books, so that's where I need to turn my attention next.

Oh, I'll keep up the quality and diversity of my selection, which is far beyond most comics shops already, but I just won't constantly add new titles.

With the occasional whimsical choice. Like....I'm really going to seek out that George Booth title.

1 comment:

BilboBend said...


Every time I read these admonitions from Bendbb I get a big dose of déjà vu and finally realized where it comes from— the Superman comics of my youth

Here are the characters;
The Bend Economy Bulletin Board is the Daily Planet, a fine publication
Bendbb is Perry White, a good editor who gets pretty agitated about lawbreaking, innuendo, and profanity
The BEBB posters are either Jimmy Olson or Lois Lane depending on their gender-- they’re wet behind the ears need constant reminders from Perry of the editorial rules.

Here’s how it plays out;
Jimmy --- Hey what do you think about Bernie Madoff taking down those people for as much as 50 billion dollars
Perry --- Great Caesar's ghost! Jimmy we won’t stand for that kind of innuendo here at the Dailey Planet.
Jimmy ---Well Chief, he openly admitted to investigators that he embezzled the funds.
Perry---Don’t call me Chief, and if you have evidence that someone illegally loaned themselves millions of client dollars, give that information to the authorities—Here at the Planet we never suggest that someone may have broken the law
Jimmy—Never Chief?
Perry--- That’s right never, and don’t call me Chief. There may be an innocent explanation for Bernie Madoff’s "liquidity problem" so let's wait and see what develops rather than posting innuendos.
Jimmy—Can I report the SOB is under house arrest?
Perry --- No Jimmy, that’s too risky- if he sued us we could lose everything, but forget about that, the hot issue here is you broke the profanity rule—one more time and you get deleted.
Jimmy---but Chief, it’s a matter of public record the SOB wiped out a bunch of charitable foundations-
Perry- I need to remind folks that the public record information posted in this topic doesn't prove any wrongdoing, but forget about that, this is your second profanity violation and I’m afraid you’re fired. Great Caesar's ghost! I’ll have to have Lois cover this story-- she better not call me Chief!