So, without naming names (should I name names?) I have decided today to boycott my local comic shop.
It's a personal choice and my reasons may not apply to anyone but me. Over the past few years I have spent a couple of THOUSAND dollars there, twelve to twenty bucks at a time. I went to the store in question because it is close to my house and they seem like nice enough guys. I don't hang out there and I don't mention my "pro" status to try and get a discount. It's just a convenient place to drop by to get my latest 100 Bullets or Hellboy fix. Maybe I'm lazy.
They carry a reasonable assortment of indie comics along with the mainstream stuff, but when it comes to the books I've personally worked on, they never cease to IRK me.
I first noticed this back when my Weasel Guy/Witchblade comic was published. You see, my local comic shop organizes their comics by publisher. I know everyone has a system but, call me crazy, don't comic shops want to SELL their books??? Weasel Guy/Witchblade was published by Hyperwerks before they fell under the Image imprint. Therefore, the shop did NOT display the comic near the Witchblade comics, but on a foot-level shelf far away from them. Just because that's where they hid the other Hyperwerks titles. Does anyone out there think that's a good way to sell a book called Weasel Guy/Witchblade?
Maybe the store is a non-profit organization.
A couple of years later, when we were putting out our Comiculture anthology magazine, Rob Tokar and I went to several local shops, introduced ourselves and dropped off preview copies to the owners. We told them that we were local artists and wanted to do whatever was necessary to sell the book. Two comic shops in LA that I don't mind mentioning are HiDeHo and Golden Apple Comics. Both of those stores greeted us with enthusiasm and set up in-store signings so that we could help push our new product. But my local shop barely greeted us with lip-service. The owner recognized me as a regular customer, but that didn't really help matters. Maybe we got him on a bad day. He ordered 3 or 4 copies of each issue and naturally hid them in a hard-to-find space. Not near other anthologies, but near some magazines ABOUT comics. That tells me that he didn't listen to our pitch or open the magazine to see what was inside.
Today is Wednesday and there is a new book coming out that I'm eager to get my hands on from Slave Labor. I don't know if it will be available at my local shop, but I really can't bring myself to go there because I know they did not order a single copy of my latest book, Belle Starr: Queen of Bandits, published by Moonstone Books.
Am I a moron, or what? Why have I continued to give these people money? LOTS of money?!
Today I "Mapquested" a comic shop that is a few miles farther away. I've never been there, but I know the manager a little bit. He deserves my money much more that these other guys. I don't know if HE ordered Belle Starr either, but that isn't the point. Even if the trip is less convenient, I feel like I should stop rewarding the other place for running a shop that infuriates me.
What do you think?