“Oh, the fluids I’ve seen.”

§ April 22nd, 2013 § Filed under free comic book day, pal plugging, retailing § 12 Comments

So there were a couple of questions/comments/whatevers for my last post regarding Free Comic Book Day, and I thought I’d address them here, since I was apparently too lazy to actually respond in the comments section:

  • Snark Shark sez that my new strategy of de-emphasizing pre-bagged distribution of the FCBD books would “save [me] all that needless bagging!” Honestly, I wouldn’t say it was “needless,” as such…there is a measure of convenience to the customer, yes, but there is also the unfortunate fact that…well, how should I put this? You know how cable companies resist the idea of à la carte subscriptions, picking and choosing what channels you’d want and pay for? To steal the explanation from Wikipedia, “when channels are bundled into large subscription tiers, less popular niche channels are more likely to survive because their cost is borne by both viewers and non-viewers, alike.” In other words, if given the opportunity to pick and choose, subscribers would probably overwhelmingly support the Wrestling Bikini Girls Channel, or the Paranormal Horseshit Passed Off As Something Worthwhile Channel, while less popular channels like the Something Actually Educational Channel would wither away and die.

    So what I’m saying is that by slapping together bags of the freebie books, I’m distributing certain comics to people who, possibly, may not have picked the book up on their own. And half the battle to get folks to even look at certain comics is won just by getting them to take the darned thing home with them. Thus, it’s not completely needless…but it is a lot of work, and it does get rid of a lot of comics maybe a little too quickly. I’m interested to see how our new emphasis on “build yer own FCBD bag” distribution will go.

  • Casey notes “Mike, it seems you get quite a kick out of this FCBD business,” and, yeah, I do. It’s a lot of work, a lot of money up front, and a lot of frustration hearing about other retailers totally fouling it up…but the actual day of the event is a blast, always very busy and it’s a lot of fun chatting about comics with excited people all day. Plus, I get to write obsessively long blog posts about the behind-the-scenes planning, and you folks know I always enjoy writing obsessively long blog posts!
  • The amazingly-named ScienceGiant asks “if you did have to make a purchase what would be your age appropriate recommendation for an 8 year old? (Daughter, if relevant).”

    Well, that can be tough, because you never know what kids will want. I think it was on the Twitter where I noted that a while back I had a couple of young girls, probably 8 to 10, come into the shop and buy a bunch of Hulk comics…this was before the Avengers movie, if you wondering. So, you never know.

    If your local shop has ‘em, Amelia Rules is a good one to try, or that perennial favorite Bone. Also, Ptor mentions a comment or two later that Owly is a good’un, too. If she’s looking for superhero-y stuff (or if that’s all that’s available locally), point her at the (unfortunately now cancelled) Superman Family Adventures, or back issues of Teen Titans Go. The rereleased Smurfs books are a lot of fun, too. Be sure to tell her those are better than the movie.

    This actually came up on Sunday, when I had a dad looking for comics for his 7-year-old daughter, who wanted Wonder Woman. There aren’t any current Wonder Woman comics that any parent would be comfortable giving his or her child, so I had to dig back into the back issue bins to find some issues of Adventures in the DC Universe, and some 1980s pre-Crisis Wonder Woman. I would have pulled out some of the Justice League comics based on the animated series, too, had it come to that.

    Or you can have her just look at the new comic rack and see what catches her eye. Kids being kids, she’ll probably gravitate to the absolute last thing you’d want her reading, but some trial and error will narrow things down to something she’d like.

  • Snark Shark returns with “what would be appropriate for an obnoxious 40 year old?” and boy, the jokes just log-jammed in my head, there. Everything from “a swift kick in the pants” to “[WRITER'S NAME REDACTED] has a new comic out this Wednesday!” to “just spin around a few times in the middle of the shop with your eyes closed and your arm pointing out, and see what you’re pointing at when you stop.”
  • The previously mentioned Ptor explained “I’m just a customer helping out a fellow while I shop and look for a nice place to pee on your floor (which seems to be a thing).” And yes it was, once, long ago, when a child probably old enough to know better decided to answer the call of nature right on the floor in front of the new comics…this was a couple of shops ago, so there is no Memorial Urine Stain in the current storefront at which anyone may pay homage.

    But anyway, the topic came up on Twitter the other night, as it does, and pal Carla up there at Metro Entertainment topped my story with her tale of woe of an encounter with a young lad in the process of twining the turkey and meeting the press. Frankly, I’ll take pee any day, he said expecting that sentence in no way to be taken out of context.

• • •

In other news…Bully, the Bull That Is Simultaneously Stuffed and Little, did another one of his fantastic Ten of a Kind posts, focusing on those classic Go-Go Checks covers…and I helped a wee bit! Go for the covers, stay for the always-swell commentary!

12 Responses to ““Oh, the fluids I’ve seen.””

  • FightBastard Five says:

    When I worked in a comics shop we had ordered (what we worried might be) too many copies of Batman 608 (I think – was that the first Jim Lee issue). It became clear in the weeks leading up to its release that ordering 200 copies (our normal Batman order was about 60 – 75) was not too much. We were feeling pretty smug and pleased with ourselves.

    On the morning of its release, with 130 copies on the shelves (we had reserved copies for all our pull-lists), there was obvious excitement among the shoppers. We sold 10 or so copies in the first ten minutes we were open! In the eleventh minute we were open, a bearded Vikingish sort of man vomited all over the remaining 120 copies of this hot (hot!) comic book. The vomit went over the top of the stack, almost perfectly spreading its vinegary, orange putrescence across every single copy. I tried – I did – fingering my way through each copy to see if there were any that could be saved. My vomity fingering was fruitless.

    Diamond was, of course, sold out. There was a second printing shortly after this, but curiously, our store’s enthusiasm for the Jeph Loeb / Jim Lee Batman never really recovered from our inability to sell punters copies on Day 1. Not a great shame for the readers spared that terrible, unfocused mess. But a real shame for the store owners.

    I just had to bin over 100 copies of the summer’s hottest comicbook.

    (weep!)

  • MrJM says:

    “There aren’t any current Wonder Woman comics that any parent would be comfortable giving his or her child”

    I can’t decide if this state of affairs makes me Very Mad or Very Sad…

    Either way: Dammit, DC.

    — MrJM

  • Ski says:

    Appropriate comics for 7-8 year old girls…

    ARCHIE! ARCHIE! ARCHIE! and
    BETTY & VERONICA! B&V! B&V!

    Thank you for you attention.

  • ScienceGiant says:

    Thanks for the advice, peoples. I’ll see what I can do, as obviously one of “the absolute last thing you’d want her reading” would be Vampirella…

  • Mikester says:

    FightBastard Five – This is terrible. I’ve a shop-vomit story or two, but nothing like that.

    Ski – Kids do like Sonic and Mega Man, but new Archies, B&Vs and such are mostly bought by adults, at least at our store. Kids do buy traditional Archie comics from us, but mostly older issues from the ’80s and earlier. Not sure why that is.

    ScienceGiant – Oddly enough, there was a young girl in the shop the other day trying to convince her mother to buy her Vampirella. Mom shut that down pretty quickly.

  • Casey says:

    I still can’t believe Warner doesn’t want to tap the “Superhero/Princess” market.

  • DocTame says:

    DC go-go check trivia: Neal Adams’ first DC cover evidently took place during the go-go check era, with the cover to Bob Hope #106 (August-September 1967).

  • Snark Shark says:

    “So what I’m saying is that by slapping together bags of the freebie books, I’m distributing certain comics to people who, possibly, may not have picked the book up on their own”

    BUT that’s no guarantee of them READING it! pick-and-choose means they can grab what they want, leaving what they DON’T want for someone else who DOES want it!

    “and it does get rid of a lot of comics maybe a little too quickly”

    also that!

    “because you never know what kids will want”

    This is 2013. THEY WANT VIDEO GAMES.

    ““just spin around a few times in the middle of the shop with your eyes closed and your arm pointing out, and see what you’re pointing at when you stop.”

    Nowadays that might actually WORK. You wouldn’t have wanted to do that in the 90’s, though. “ARG! MORE LEIFELD!”

  • Boosterrific says:

    A decade ago on a busy Wednesday afternoon, a man and his toddler came into the comic shop in which I was working. After dad paid me for his purchase and as the pair were on their way out of the store, his child suddenly dropped its diaper and took a deuce on the carpeted floor. Dad simply watched his child do this, making no attempt to stop his kid or mitigate the damage.

    The shop was very, very busy at the time, and everyone in the store stopped what they were doing and stared in silence, children of the corn style, at the dad. Dad patiently waited for his child to finish. No apology, no nothing. Once the kid was done, both father and child walked calmly and silently out of the store, as though crapping the floor had been their plan all the time.

    It was all pretty surreal, mainly, I think, because I kept telling myself “this cannot be happening.” Some experiences just stay with you forever.

    (I got to be the lucky employ to clean it up, as I was the only employee working that day whose stomach was strong enough to do so without vomiting. Sigh.)

  • Adam says:

    Mike, any thought on Sluggo: Origins currently occurring in the modern Gilchrist Nancy strip right now?

  • Mikester says:

    Adam – Whoops, totally forgot about that. I need to catch up!

  • Jer says:

    There aren’t any current Wonder Woman comics that any parent would be comfortable giving his or her child,

    No kidding. I just went through this with my son who thinks that Wonder Woman is cool from the Batman Brave and Bold cartoon and wanted to get some Wonder Woman comics.

    I suddenly realized that to get actual Wonder Woman comics that I’d be comfortable with him reading, I’d have to dig into issues from around about 1984. Even the collections of older stuff aren’t really all that good because the Silver Age stuff … oh my god the sexism is so thick through most of those books I’m afraid to think of what he might pick up from them.

    I blame the lack of a kids cartoon mostly for this – it’s the only thing that has kept kid-friendly Superman and Batman books on the shelves at all. DC has apparently completely given up on kids outside of tie-ins to their cartoon properties. (And I still can’t believe that DC doesn’t understand that they have a freaking SUPERHERO PRINCESS to market to little girls.)