Oyling the mind with questions.

§ September 29th, 2021 § Filed under question time § 35 Comments

It’s been almost exactly a year since I’ve thrown open the floor to questions from the audience, so I suppose it’s time to do it again! Plus, I had one of those days at the shop the have left me not wanting to think too much about funnybooks during my free time today, so I figured I’d just ask you folks for content ideas when I’m more in a mood to talk about comics.

If you (yes, you) have a question or general topic of discussion for me, preferably in reference to the comics industry, throw it into the comments here and I’ll get to it…in relatively short order, maybe.

The most important rule:


I’m old and weak and can only take so much strain, so no giant lists of questions, please!

Thanks, pals, and as always I look forward to whatever responses you have!

35 Responses to “Oyling the mind with questions.”

  • will richards says:

    Hi Mike, hope the peepers aren’t giving you too much gip. I just wondered if you’d had much interest in British Comics (other than 2000ad/Dredd) in the shops you’ve worked in? Thanks

  • Hey Mike! How would you assess the effect on comic sales and/or the general direction of the industry in the wake of 20 years now of spectacularly popular superhero movies? Would comics retailing look any different in a world where the Sony and Fox Marvel movies and the MCU had no more impact than David Hasselhoff’s SHIELD TV movie?

  • King of the Moon says:

    How often does Olive Oyl slip some spinach into a dish on date night?

  • Mike, what’s the best way for someone who is a wait-for-the-trade type to work with their retailer to get the books they want? Sometimes I see a first issue, and know I am not going to buy the monthlies, but really want to get the trade when it comes out. Is there a way to do a not-published-yet pull list or something?

  • JohnJ says:

    Mike, Do you have a wish-list of a few titles from the 50s-60s that you’d like to see reprinted but don’t think either of the Big Two will ever actually publish?

  • Daniel T says:

    How much extra time does having three main distributors cost you? If dealing with Diamond took (x) amount of time, how much does Diamond, Lunar and Penguin Random House take?

  • Paul Di Filippo says:

    Will you be having a giant store window display of Bill Griffith’s BUSHMILLER BIOGRAPHY?

  • Vic Sage says:

    One Question per person. Take that Greg Rucka!

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    You expressed admiration for the Fantastic Four #35, the 60th anniversary issue. I read it last night and found it to be probably the best superhero comic I’ve read this year. What do you think are the best comic anniversary issues ever? Is FF#35 one of them? How about Fantastic Four #236? Detective #500? What others would go on the list? Do any of the #1000s make the grade? (I personally found Action #1000 a fun issue, but probably not on my list of all time great anniversaries.)

  • Dave Carter says:

    Who is your favorite Legionnaire? (i.e. member of the Legion of Super-Heroes; not e.g. your favorite enlistee in the French Foreign Legion…) Explain your answer.

  • ExistentialMan says:

    Here’s a quick, classic one: Flight or Invisibility?

  • […] for your comic industry/medium/hobby related questions…put ’em in the comments for this post and I’ll get to them! Well, […]

  • William Burns says:

    Do you think Marvel will ever bring back those True Believers $1 reprints (or a similar cheap reprint format)? Those were fun.

  • Chris Gumprich says:

    I’m not up on the current comic zeitgeist anymore so this might seem a “duh” question. In your experience, do buyers still follow characters above all or has the momentum shifted to creators? Is it more “I will buy everything Ed Brubaker writes” or “I’m going to keep buying SWAMP THING even though I haven’t liked it in years”?

    (That only counts as one question despite the two question marks.)

  • Bob Stec says:

    Are you watching Squid Game on Netflix?

  • Thom H. says:

    What’s the one book no one’s reading that everyone should be reading? Any hidden gems in the current marketplace?

  • James G says:

    Since you’ve been writing about variants for a bit now, something I’ve always wanted to know is: how does the way variant covers are distributed and sold to retailers affect your business? How have the ‘minimum orders to get a certain cover’ requirements changed the work you have to do for the store? How has it changed the bottom line?

    So that may be three questions, but I think it’s one question with refinement. :-)

  • William Burns says:

    Do you think Marvel will ever bring back those True Believers $1 reprints (or a similar cheap reprint format)? Those were fun.

    I should add, though, that they’re probably not as much fun for the retailer as for the customer.

  • DavidG says:

    Do you think that Diamond can survive losing the big 2, especially as you seem to think their service is pretty bad as well?

  • Chris B says:

    Are you ever going to update your ‘The Chosen of God’ list? Most of those listed haven’t posted anything in years.

  • Rob S. says:

    Does your store have a convention presence? (In normal times, that is.) If so, what goes into prepping & transporting inventory for a con?

  • […] Alan…and if you want to submit a question, just drop it here in the comments and I will get to […]

  • Smicha1 says:

    Well this is a two-part question not two questions, hope that’s okay. And they are both fairly easy to answer I hope.
    What percent of your sales would you say comes from new-on-the-shelf comics? And not counting current comics or trades (back issues still count) what product brings in the most money? I don’t mean an individual product but more like “t-shirts” or “Funko toys”.

  • philfromgermany says:

    Hey Mike, how are you?

    Is that alt-right comic nonsense still going on?
    IIRC, there was a whole company that was meant to put out Chuck Dixon, Ethan van Sciver and a badly drawn book about a busty blonde bombshell “solving” only crimes commited illegal aliens.
    Or have they quit in disgust over their heroes wearing masks?

  • Carlos says:

    Hey Mike,

    I was curious how well Savage Dragon does at your shop/in the area? I have a sub & enjoy it, but don’t see it on shelves of other shops I visit (in TX). It seems that back issues are hard to find and getting pricy because people are now trying to complete the run. Thanks!

  • MisterJayEm says:

    What do you recommend to uncles(52) looking to buy comics for their precocious nieces(7) and nephews(4)?

    It’s hard to peruse those books without looking like a possible creepo, so I prefer to have a plan before I approach the kiddie section of the funny book store.

    Thanks in advance.

    All the best, etc!
    — MrJM

  • […] probably thought I forgot about your questions! Let’s jump back into a couple of […]

  • […] the site next week, when I will have a new variant cover-age post and get back to answering more of your questions. In the meantime, though, lookit this thing I found in my stack of old […]

  • […] to doin’ the Question Mash as I take on another of your […]

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    I snagged the last copy of the new Usagi Yojimbo comic this week at an LCS. It got me to wonder: does a retailer such as yourself like selling out completely of a title like that during the first week or would you prefer to order enough to have, say, 2 or 3 left over for more occasional customers to discover?

  • BRR says:

    Would you consider doing an update to your classic 2005 post on best mailing practices? I would be interested in a permalink at your store’s site, perhaps with a sponsored link to your preferred bag sealing scotch tape alternative. Unless this is a trade secret to be kept from competitors and comics distributors.


  • […] to the ol’ question mine for today’s post! But don’t forget to give me your predictions for 2022’s comic […]

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  • […] I had planned to attack more of your questions, but Thursday morning I went in for my COVID booster (and a flu shot to boot) and as I write this […]