Tuesday, February 14, 2012

National numbers just confuse me

As many of you know I have been doing this for several years.  My time as General Manager of the Lair and then my years here were educational.  Mainly they showed me how regional comic sales are.  Many times over the years it is reported that Nationally comic books sales are down.  Though last year with the new 52 sales were up on issues but down on Graphic Novels.  Yet that has never been the case were I have worked.  Sales year after year were up anywhere from 3 to 10 percent growth each year.  I have often wondered where these downward trends manifest.  I have been to several retailer gatherings over the years and they, for the most part, are almost always up.  So then where are the shops that are suffering these down turns. The greater Austin Area has always been weird in general.  So maybe that is what is going on.  Perhaps the other retailers I talk to are also in strange bubbles like Austin.  I just do not know.

On another note:

DC's survey they did with Neilson after the New 52 launched was released.  It showed the age of comic book readers being mostly 20 to 40.  Which is what I have been saying for years.  These are the new readers people need to reach, not 10 year olds.  I know that we all got into comics at that age.  I know our parents did and perhaps their parents.  But I think for years new readers have been coming from a  much older age than "conventional wisdom" would tell us.  Turns out the publishers knew who was buying there comics and retailers, fans, and others yelling for more kids comics did not.  I am not saying the industry would not grow if more kids read.  It would.  However the target demographic that we should be going for is 16 plus. How about woman.  That is a largely ignored demographic in our industry.  Because "conventional wisdom" says woman don't like superhero books.  Bull!  I have a good number of female customers.  They range in tastes just like my male customers.  And just like my male customers mostly they buy stuff from DC or Marvel.  Again maybe we are just in a weird bubble.

While I am shooting sacred cows of our industry let me take sight at another.  You DO NOT have to keep adult material shrink wrapped or out of arms reach of little ones.  Most of them are not going to want to look at something that does not have big bright colors.  Why do you think Bone went color.  And even if they do I have two things to say to that.  First it is not going to hurt the child.  It will not rot their brains or kill their senses of propriety.    Second, and I can not stress this one enough, it is not my job to police what your children see.  That is your job. 

Hmm I think I have offended enough of my colleagues in the industry along with parents I am sure.  Good thing not many people read this.