We now return to Mike’s Question-Answerin’ Time, which is already in progress:
“So I know you got the idea from Miracleman, but can we blame you for memes like this?”
However, to be completely honest, my inspiration for those “freak out” posts comes more from the Zippy the Pinhead gag where Zippy will latch onto a particular phrase and repeat it. Some of my “freak outs” do that, where the same phrase is repeated, but just as often I’m quoting different parts of a lengthier quote. The zooming image, as I recall, seems more like something that naturally arose for visual variety to accompany my weird reemphasizing of whatever expression I, in my Zippy-like state, latched onto. I wasn’t specifically thinking of that page from the first Eclipse Comics Miracleman when I first did it, I don’t believe, but perhaps it was a subconscious influence.
I ended up combining the two eventually anyway.
John enjoins me with
“It may be too soon to ask, but do you prefer running your very own store, with all the perils that entails, or managing someone else’s?”
While managing someone else’s store does mean I can focus on ordering and selling the actual product, I have to say, even with the added responsibility of managing (or, rather, hyperventilating over) the taxes, I am enjoying being in my own shop. Especially now that the customer base and store sales are starting to grow to levels more than sufficient for survival, which takes a bit of a weight off my back. It’s a small store, with (for the time being) fewer product lines, with basically only me running the place…I am a lot more…relaxed, believe it or not, being on my own, even with every buck stopping with me.
Eric Houston has no problems asking me
“When a collection comes into the shop, what is one (fairly common) book you always buy and one you never buy?”
One comic that turned up a lot in collections at the other shop was that foil-embossed shiny cover version of 1993’s Robin #1 (the center one here). It’s not terribly expensive…it’s, what, four or five bucks, maybe, but they always sell, so I always bought ‘em when I saw ‘em.
That was actually an easy question to answer; the common books I never buy are a little harder to narrow down. There are lots of common books I never buy. 98% of Marvel Comics Presents. Any issue of Brigade ever. In fact, a lot of early Image Comics releases tend to get the ol’ “no thank you.” I think even now, being in a store that doesn’t quite have the backstock that I’d been used to over the last couple of decades, I’d probably still pass on them.
James jimmies me with a couple of Swampy questions:
“Excluding teams who were on the title together, who would be your creative dream team for Swamp Thing?”
Jim Woodring and Mike Mignola. …And don’t tell anyone, but I’d love to see what Rob Liefeld would do on the book.
“Also, how glad are you that Swamp Thing fans aren’t referred to using the same nickname generator as Star Trek fans? Unless of course you would like being known as a ‘Thingie.'”
I prefer “Tubers.”
rook017 checkmates me with:
“How important are back issues today for you, the dealer? Or is new stuff your bread and butter?”
Well, I’m still trying to get my footing with a new marketplace, but so far new comics and graphic novels are the primary movers. Back issues aren’t underrepresented, however, as there is always someone looking for older issues. I personally enjoy having lots of older comics around, but if they didn’t sell, I’d have to put my heart aside and use that back issue space for something more profitable. Fortunately I seem to have a market for them here, particularly with children, a lot of whom like having the opportunity to buy really, really old comics from 2005, in case you haven’t felt your bones creak today. Plus, back issues are a good alternative for people who like comics, but just don’t like anything new the publishers are putting out.
“2014 dollars vs. 1984 dollars… Do you make as good a living? I am not trying to get personal, but it seems like if a typical fan buys fewer different comics, does the higher price offset that for you, the dealer? Or how is making money now different than it was 30 years ago?”
Well, it’s hard to say. Prices on everything have increased, in every aspect of life, and as I’m older now, I have more expenses, so…yeah, it’s complicated. Do some people buy fewer comics because of higher prices? Sure. Some people still buy the same number of comics, too. Plus, the market is different now, at least when it came to the shops I worked in. We had more people coming in to buy comics…not just the hardcore fans, but casual readers who wanted to try out comics, the folks who wanted the indie books, the graphic novel fans, and so on. And stores seem to be a bit more diversified, too…maybe shops aren’t selling as many comics, but they sure as heck are selling piles of Pokemon or Magic the Gathering packs.
So…okay, I don’t have a good answer for you. I don’t think I’ve taken too much of a financial hit due to comic price inflation as you’d think, mostly through expanded customer bases and diversified product lines. And, personally, I think I’m doing better dinero-wise on my own than as a cog in someone else’s machine, though my planned meeting with my tax person this week may divest me of that particular delusion.
“And why have we not seen a Legion/Swamp Thing crossover? Do they seriously expect us to believe there are no swamps in the future or on other planets?”
If memory serves (and I thought I even talked about it on the site before, though I couldn’t find it) someone wrote in to the Legion of Super-Heroes letters page asking, since it was established in Alan Moore’s run that there was a chain of plant elementals that existed throughout history, where was the 30th century’s swamp critter? I think the letter got the “well, maybe that’ll happen in a future story!” which of course it didn’t. Anyway: Swamp Thing versus Pulsar Stargrave. I’d be okay with that.
More answer-time tomorrow, hopefully! Thanks for reading, pals.