§ November 7th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

Things I shouldn’t have to say at work: “Please don’t practice your guitar playing in the middle of our store.”

I don’t have anything against guitar playing, mind you, but it’s kind of hard to concentrate on my Diamond reorders when someone is repeatedly playing a riff from “Smoke on The Water” – at least, I think it was “Smoke on The Water,” it was kind of hard to tell.

Anyway, another of my store projects yesterday was to once again rearrange some of the back issues. Now, with three tables on the floor that hold a total of 72 26-inch long boxes, two other smaller floor tables that hold about a dozen boxes of new-arrival back issues, two glass showcases, and 11 metal shelving units behind the showcases, each unit holding 30 16-inch short boxes, one would think that I’d have plenty of room for old funnybooks. That’s not the case, unfortunately. It’s like putting together a big jigsaw puzzle…”okay, if I take Ranma 1/2 and Spectre off the table, I’ll be able to take Firestorm out from behind the counter.” Plus, since everything is in alphabetical order, it’s not as if I can just shove a title in where there happens to be room…if I have space in the “T”s, and I want to put Jonah Hex on the table, I gotta shift everything around until that “T” space becomes a space in the “J”s.

One thing I did to create more space was to pull most of the manga titles off the tables. Nobody is buying back issues of manga comics that are currently available in trade paperback format. Even comics like Preacher and Sandman, which are primarily purchased as trades, still sell the occasional back issue. Manga fans, however, want books, not monthly comics, so away go the No Need for Tenchi, Ranma 1/2, New Vampire Miyu, and other series. My plan was initially just to put them in boxes and store them in the back room (within easy reach, just in case anyone did need to see them), rather than taking up space on our metal shelves. But, as it turns out, my rearranging left me with space for another short box of comics on those shelves, so some of the manga comics got a reprieve.

That said, not all manga monthly comics are dying on the vine. Blade of the Immortal still sells a handful of issues as it comes out, as does Super Manga Blast…but no one buys back issues of these, either. And Dorian noted to me the other day that No Need for Tenchi doesn’t seem to sell even in trade paperback format anymore. That used to be one of our top sellers, and I used to have to reorder copies of the books every week…I guess the local market is saturated, or people are just tired of Tenchi, or, maybe, there’s a whole new audience out there that just hasn’t discovered it yet!

Another thing that came to mind as I was working on the back issues…what happened to Robotech? It seems like this property has a big relaunch every few years, and then it vanishes completely.

One odd thing about Robotech…back when it was published by Comico, and even when Malibu was putting it out, it was one of those series that only seemed to sell as a back issue. Maybe a couple would sell on the shelf, but after the month was up, and the issues were put in the back issue bin, then they’d sell like gangbusters. There were a couple other comics like that, but Robotech seems to be the most prominent example of this particular phenomenon.

So, anyway, if I could talk all of you into buying at least one short box worth of comics apiece, that would free up a little space for me in the shop. I mean, someone out there needs a full run of Marc Spector Moon Knight, right?

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