It’s been years since I’ve been a regular at a comic shop. To be honest, I tried to remove myself completely from the industry because of my frustrations of how business was handled. But like every serious relationship there are ups and downs, and right now I’m on an up swing. Even though I may bitch about comics and editors and fans and printing and other artist all the time, the bottom line is that deep in my heart I love them all. The images on those pages remind me of happier simpler times. Not only that, they tend to be gorgeous, energetic and awe inspiring. I’m afraid of loosing the places that smell like 30 year old paper. The places so cluttered with issues upon issues of comics, only the owner knows every bit of inventory that’s in there.
Recently a comic shop had to relocate due to a rent increase at its previous location this was bad for them but good for me. Magnum comics in Riverdale, NY is now a few blocks away from me. I feel responsible as a creator and a professional to make sure these guys stay afloat. I think more creators should do the same for their local comic shops.
How can we help?
Jimmy Palmiotti posted a great and simple idea on facebook today. “Dont you think comic stores should start selling original comic art….you cant download that off the internet….” DUH!!!!! Yes they should. And creators should contribute to this cause. If we make our local comic shops our hubs and outlets for connecting with fans and making our work physically accessible we can bring in more traffic to the shops. More traffic = potential sales. Sales = retailers paying their rent so they can order more books. It works out, it’s a win win that doesn’t cost anything but a little of your time to connect. On the consumer/retailer end, it’s much cooler to know or meet the people you buying artwork or comics from.
Lets face it the internet has slaughtered a number of cultures in the name of a “global community”. It’s not working for some. It’s time to take some action and preserve the roots of the comic community. Once Hollywood is done with us we better have a survival plan. I suggest we invest in the people that have been supported us from the beginning.
Professionals – Check out Jimmy Palmiotti’s facebook post today (2.16.11) and see what you can do with your local comic shops.
Fans and comic aficionados – please make the time and hit up your local shops. DO NOT DOWNLOAD PIRATED COMICS. If you love them keep them going. Buy the real thing.
Hopefully your shops will carry original art which you can view with the option to buy with a weekly rotation of new art. If they don’t talk to the about the idea of doing it. I’ll never forget the impact seeing an original Dave McKean Arkahm Asylum page or an original Arthur Adams X-men page had on me. I still regret loosing a Steve Rude painted color cover sketch for Nexus. Original Art is gorgeous and it looks better framed and on a wall in your home.
Thanks for reading my rant.
I’ll leave you with geniuses at work. John Buscema and Bill Sienkiewicz drawing for the camera. As a personal note, Bill is a genius and watching him do the Elektra pieces (at 4min 20sec) is like listening to a great song. Damn, that boy is good!