In which Mike takes his time getting to what passes for some kind of point.

§ September 18th, 2007 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on In which Mike takes his time getting to what passes for some kind of point.

So Monday evening I gave my girlfriend a ride to the Los Angeles Airport, as she’s on her way to Mexico for an extended visit with some of her family down there. I’m not really much of a traveler, so I don’t tend to spend a lot of time at the airport, and the last few times I’ve been at LAX, it was just to pick up/drop off one of her relatives so we didn’t hang out there for too long.

This time, however, we had time to kill before her flight departed, so we did a little wandering through the airport, looking at the shops and eating at a restaurant. Actually, there were very few shops…they just seemed to repeat themselves several times. We stopped in one of the something like two dozen Hudson Newsstands ‘n’ bookstores just to look around, and I noticed a couple things:

1. The new Agent Pendergast novel is out, so somehow I’ll have to scrape together the moolah to pick it up.

2. There was a small shelf of graphic novels by the register, which is what all this preamble was leading up to.

This is what the airport bookstore was selling:

Several Civil War collections, including the volumes for Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, and the mini-series proper. There was also a thick stack of the Thunderbolts volume which looked very un-looked through.

A few copies of Teen Titans volume 4.

One copy of the 300 hardcover.

And a copy or two of this graphic novel adaptation of Beowulf by Gareth Hinds.

And that was pretty much it. Oh, there were some Mad Libs books on the same shelves, too.

Given the kind of captive audience these newsstands have (people desperate for something to read on the plane flight, or just plain waiting for a plane), it’s a shame DC didn’t have, say, copies of Watchmen up there, too, particularly with the movie allegedly coming out. Yeah, sure, there’s the potential problem of folks being offended by Dr. Manhattan’s naked blue penis…but, c’mon, they were selling 300. If folks can handle that, they could handle Watchmen.

I also wondered briefly if Marvel was being ill-served by having a bunch of their Civil War books on display together. Seeing what looks like a bunch of books in the same series, with no particular indication of what order in which to read them, might cut down the impulse buys a bit. Then again, the people most likely to buy them 1) already know what they are, or 2) are getting them to give to the kids to keep them quiet. But maybe Marvel could just have had the Civil War book up there, which is more or less self-contained, along with maybe a handful of other graphic novels representing the rest of their line that don’t tie into a mega-crossover. Assuming they have any say in the matter, of course.

The Showcase and Essential books would have been natural for airport bookstores, too, I think. They’re fat with comics, and they’re cheap. Those’ll keep you busy as you sit in the plane for the next six hours, waiting for take-off.

A manga book or two might have been nice as well. Didn’t see a single one. But then again, we only looked in one of the apparently dozens of these stores. Maybe there was a better selection elsewhere in the airport.

A follow-up to a Twitter post I sent a couple Saturdays ago: yes, the first issue of Captain America: The Chosen, written by Rambo creator David Morrell, has sold quite well. However, according to all the feedback I’ve received from our customers, nobody liked it.

‘Course, in the world of comics, “not liking it” doesn’t always mean “not reading it,” so I’m curious as to how issue #2 is going to do. If it completely tanks, our orders on #3 will get knocked down to a more reasonable number. But I suspect it’ll continue to do okay…some residual post-“death” Captain America awareness among our customers, coupled with the writer stunt-casting (a gimmick that’s becoming less of a sales-driving novelty as time goes on) will still move some copies off the shelves.

I’m ashamed I didn’t know about this earlier…Scott Saavedra, whose Comic Book Heaven ‘zine was one of the major inspirations for this very site of mine, has returned, at least for now, to the weblogging.

So, go, read…see the guy who showed the rest of us how the funny comic book commentary should be done.

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