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Christopher Duffy on the Scarcity of Shops in Small Town America
posted August 23, 2005

Christopher Duffy
Via The Internet

"Is anyone else concerned."

For years I wished the comics stores would just all die so the industry would be forced to deal with the reality of the world outside of their hobby and appeal to new (and mass) markets again...But lately I've been thinking that so many good comics and publishers came out of the direct market, I'd rather see the stores get better and survive.

But is that possible? If I'm Sam the Green Lantern Fan and I've owned a superhero-mostly comics shop for 20 years, am I going to find a way to draw in new little kids, goth teens, and whatever demographic defines manga fans in this country? I really doubt it. Sam's going to rail against the changing times and throw in the towel. And who's going to take his place?

So unless some other viable model of comics shop presents itself (and I'd love to think these hip new stores in Brooklyn, Penn., and L.A. are the answer--but I doubt it)and catches on like wildfire to a new generation of possible store-owners, I think the direct market the will limp along more lamely every year and finally crawl into its deathbed around 2012. (I thought it would be fun to suggest a final date.)

I guess I'm concerned but pessimistic.