[Groop]Question for ME

Ruben Arellano rarellano@shaw.ca
Sun, 16 Dec 2001 16:12:25 -0800

Some comic book retailers are really trying hard to 'stimulate' the 
comic book business.  For example, Chuck at Mile High Comics is doing a 
lot of high-volume buying of back issues (like tens of thousands of 
dollars worth) at various conventions and from other retailers (both in 
the US and overseas), and offers them at big discounts on his on-line 
store.  He is always upbeat about the business, reports on positive and 
promising trends at conventions, and tries to get people excited in the 
volumes of books that buys and sells.  If any of you subscribe to his 
e-mail list, you'll know what I'm talking about.  I think he is really 
making an effort to keep the whole biz on it's feet, and not only turn a 
profit for himself.  

I was in a comic book shop recently, and the scene I witnessed made it 
no wonder that sales are falling fast.  The guy behind the counter 
scored about 0 (or less) on the customer service level, and he had let 
his primary business fall to just running a network of computers for 
kids to play games on.  Almost all the bulletins / news he had up was 
not about comic books.  I watched him try to wing good deals with a 10 
year old kid on a box of "common" collectible trading cards.  Man, if I 
were him, I would be giving the cards away to the kids to get them hyped 
about trading and buying.  It was just not a very comic-book stimulating 
environment.  From what I've seen, the shops that still do well have 
salespeople who promote comics and make things exciting from the moment 
you enter the store.  The shops that are struggling or have closed down, 
were run by petty, kid ripping-off, lazy bums who were just going 
through the motions.  Of course, that attitude is not good for any type 
of business, but the comic book industry needs all the help it can get.  

Anyhow, this is probably my longest rant of the season, so I'll drop 
things off here,


Mark Evanier wrote:

>On Sun, 16 Dec 2001 23:13:46 +0100, "Joe" <oddman@hyperisland.se>
>>By now, most of us Groopers have resigned to the fact that we will
>>never seen Groo as a monthly series again. Is there any chance
>>that we may see another ME/Sergio comic as a regular series?
>>Would you do it if asked or do you prefer to do different projects
>>While the 4-6 issue specials are great, we only really just get to know
>>and like the characters by the last issue or so and by then we want
>>more! Would be nice to look forward to a new issue every month.
>>(I do realise that hammering out fresh stuff on the same characters
>>month after month can become hard...)
>ME: Actually, I find it to be a fun challenge to "hammer out" fresh
>stuff on the same characters month after month.  One of the things
>that makes me proud of GROO is that we wring so many variations on it.
>The reason we aren't doing the book monthly is...well, it has a lot to
>do with the business and with Sergio having other projects that he
>wants to do.  If he suddenly decided he wanted to do GROO (or any
>book) monthly, I'd be all for it.  
>Unfortunately, as you probably know, the comic book business is in
>terrible shape...worse, I believe, than most reports indicate.  At the
>moment, the way the market is structured, the mini-series format works
>better than the ongoing monthly format.  Stores order more of a
>mini-series than they do of a monthly book (all other things being
>equal) and they're more inclined to order a paperback that collects an
>entire mini-series than they are of one that just reprints four issues
>of an ongoing monthly.  I wish it weren't this way but I can't change
>NOW ONLINE: www.POVonline.com
>A website about comic books, cartoons, TV,
>movies, Groo the Wanderer, Broadway, Las
>Vegas, Hollywood, Stan Freberg and other stuff.
>Groop maillist  -  Groop@groo.com