Comic Store In Your Future: Chaos and Substack

In three months this year, we have set sales records. March had people getting money from the government, so people spent money with ease that month. June beat March. July then beat June. Crazy! Free Comic Book Day in August was weird. This year is currently different yet similar to 2020. It still is chaos!

Comic Store In Your Future: the Greed Factor
Where are the new comics? The crowd goes wild!    Photo by Rod Lamberti
Supply chains are suffering from long delays. Products from overseas are facing long wait times. The upcoming holidays may be a major challenge to get that loved one what they want. If the big chain stores are unable to supply collectibles such as cards and action figures, local comic stores could see even more business during the holidays.
Change is still happening. Getting closer to Penguin's first Marvel shipment and seeing how that goes. For most of my store's existence, we had no choice in using only Diamond for comics. Now we have to use Lunar and Diamond along with seeing how things go with Penguin in the future.
The store's online website had already set a record earlier this year and is still a good sales generator. Sold a Magic the Gathering card for over $200. Why is that a big deal? It only had six Magic cards listed on it. Why do we not have more listed? Because Magic prices change so quickly. Odds are the reason that card sold is it jumped up to over $250.   We have statues, comics, graded comics, artwork, and more listed on our website. For years when we first started the website, it seemed most everyone just used Amazon for online purchasing then complained they got what they ordered far later than promised. We might get a hit here and there in the past on our website though they were few and far between. Now I am running to the post office to ship out things all the time. After covid and during this year our website became very active. Which, of course, is great.
Staffing has been an issue for most businesses currently. After work the other night, I stopped by for fast food and was stunned to see they already closed at 8:30. Lack of staffing is causing chaos for businesses. Some big chain stores are upping their attempts to get new employees by offering to help pay for new employee's tuition. Nice, not something we will be able to do. What to do?  I will become O.M.A.C. A-One Man Army Corps! If only.
Marvel and DC have me wondering where the new talent is? In 2020 Covid affected the comic market more than we knew. Nick Spencer (writer of Amazing Spider-man)  started working with Chris Best, founder of Substack, during covid. What is Substack? Founded in 2017, it is an online platform that allows writers to send digital material to subscribers. Substack recently announced they intend to get into the comic business. Substack is said to be throwing big bucks to get comic creators interested in working for them. Nick Spencer is leaving Amazing Spider-man. James Tynion IV is leaving his writing duties behind on Batman for Substack.  X Men's Jonathan Hickman, who is writing the upcoming Inferno limited series, has been announced as part of Substack. Dark Nights Death Metal writer Scott Synder has signed up with Substack along with other writers, and more could be announced in the future. Substack is getting big-name creators away from the big two publishers.
Are these creators doing anything wrong? Not by any means. If Substack fails for them, they can come back to the big two publishers.  Can the comic publishing market take on more titles if Substack offers more comics in print? AWA has known talent though their titles have not been able to break out in such a crowded publishing field. Where is the new up-and-coming talent to fill the void left by these creators leaving the big two?
Geoff Johns with Gary Frank is doing great with Geiger, an Image title.  Geoff Johns writing JSA is something that would sell for DC; currently, DC has not announced when the actual first issue will come out even though a new JSA title was announced in the Stargirl one shot. The sequel to the Three Jokers would sell. Why is DC so slow to get these projects out?
Marvel and DC may still be recovering from the chaos of 2020. However, they need to get back to being leaders in the comic industry before they get passed up. Marvel's Joe Quesada once made fun of DC having Superman and Batman and not making the most of them; Marvel's characters are much more well known globally than they were years ago thanks to the various Marvel movies, and their comic sales are pathetic compared to their movie ticket sales. The Harry Potter movies increased interest in the books they were based on, while Marvel and DC could not come close to increasing interest after a comic movie came out based on one of their properties.
The big two have been very quiet in hyping their books this year. Marvel's C.B. Cebulski has been amazingly quiet.  DC has lost a voice for their comics by firing Dan Didio.

Marvel and DC need to show they are still in the game. By that show some investment into talent. Show us the new hot talent. Bring the excitement. Influence that change and chaos to be better. Show us great creators with great characters in print, of course!

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About Rod Lamberti

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