50 Comics Positives In 2012: A Good Year For The DM
I love comic book shops. The best ones fulfill the promise of "the place that has all the comics" that triggered their spread in the 1970s and 1980s; even the terrible ones have something to offer, if only the fruits of their own awfulness. I haven't tracked down the details of what happened in 2012 in North America's network of shops and retail outlets, but my reading of stories along the way indicates that it was a pretty good one, particularly when compared to some of the lousy times in the year before. How much of that health in serial comics is based on manipulating the same 90,000 fans into buying "important" comics of some type in increasingly tighter cycles and how much represents real health is unknown, but these are shops that have pretty much survived all similar networks of single-proprietorship establishment, so you have to come at that question with respect. It also seems to me that an underreported story is a steady surge in trade sales at these shops -- I would imagine there's a chance that a lot of customers have simply switched their comics buying to that kind of comics buying, but again, details are to come.