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.
I'm Duncan McGeary, owner and/or operator for the last 33 years of Pegasus Books in Downtown Bend, Oregon. These days I'm writing books as well as selling them.
I'm the comic book guy. But even more so, I'm a book book guy. Books of all kinds. Big books and little books, children's and adult, fiction and non-fiction, hardback and paperback and trade paperback and graphic novels. Books with more words than pictures and books with more pictures than words. They are all part of the book world to me, and I love being surrounded by them every day.
I also have a second blog: Pegasus Books, where I list the product coming in over the next week.