Sometimes A Man’s Gotta Rant

 

Recently DC comics had a very successful promotion involving plastic ring replicas that were given away when customers bought certain issues. Being a new store, The 4th Wall couldn’t justify buying the required number of issues (50 copies of each book) to participate. We just didn’t have the customer base to warrant it. Thus, we missed out on the promotion.

DC has since announced that two of their new Brightest Day books will have a similar ring promotion. Retailers who order 10 copies of The Flash #1 will be able to order The Flash Ring to give away, and also those who order 10 copies of Green Lantern #53 will be able to order Green Lantern Rings.

It’s a great move by DC to promote their new “era” of The Brightest Day, and great for us at The 4th Wall because we can easily afford to get 10 copies of these books and partake in the promotion. Just one more way that we can promote comics to new readers, get our name out there and grow our business.

Then I read this:

“Come on! Are 10 copies too much of a stretch? If you can’t order or sell 10 copies of these books, written no less by Geoff Johns, then you are not a comic retailer! DC should have made the quantity 100 copies to get the rings.

Come on Marvel and DC stop rewarding people who can’t sell your books and start rewarding those retailers that can!”

Rich Biedrzycki of Dreamland Comics in Schaumburg, Illinois via icv2.com

Hey, Rich? F*ck you.

It’s awesome that you are an established store that can think nothing of ordering several hundred copies of a book. I’ve been open for 4 months, and I don’t have a huge established client base the way you do. I can’t afford to shell out for 100 copies of a book, no matter who writes it, just to get some rings. Marvel and DC reward you plenty for being a big seller, so don’t you dare tell me I’m “not a comics retailer.” I am so very happy that DC has lowered this minimum so that I can participate in the giveaway, and hopefully get some attention from people who wouldn’t normally buy comics and build that client base.

But this is the attitude that I keep encountering in the comics industry. From other retailers to convention organizers, their mantra seems to be “Feed The Rich, Starve The Poor.” They don’t want anyone else in their special little club and God forbid someone dare to come up with a way to do things that benefits the general retail customer as opposed to a select few.

The best-selling comics in the world rarely break 200,000 units sold. That’s not a lot of comics when you consider the amount of people out there that could be reading them if retailers and “industry pundits” just stopped be so damned exclusionary and actually promoted comics instead of the themselves. We as retailers need to stop fighting over the scraps of the few people out there who are religious about their comics and be working to turn new people into the types of readers who will stick around and fall in love with this medium the way that we have.

I apologize for the rant, but I love comics, and I want to see them thrive. I don’t believe in keeping them a secret, and making it harder for the industry to grow. When I saw that comment this morning, I took it fairly personally. Some would say too personally, but isn’t that what the internet is for?

-Moss

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 at 5:24 pm and is filed under Extras, News, Questy's Rant Farm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “Sometimes A Man’s Gotta Rant”

  1. Simon
    6:27 pm on February 17th, 2010

    I read a comic once. It said something about “With great power comes great responsibility”. I only wish certain larger stores, whom are in the position to expand the comic fanbase, would at least make an attempt to aid the industry as a whole and look past their own pockets. I needn’t go into what more readers can do for the industry but it does infuriate me that we miss out on so much, be it smaller shops not getting certain things or good books being cancelled due to poor sales, because their just aren’t enough paying customers. I don’t expect miracles, but at the very least they shouldn’t try to hinder the smaller stores.

  2. the forgotten
    1:13 am on February 18th, 2010

    without the infighting, someone could have actualy promotes S.W.O.R.D. and then it would have lived. I will miss S.W.O.R.D. so much.

  3. Insideman
    6:53 pm on March 10th, 2010

    Acutally, Moss– F*ck You.

    Rich has every right to his opinions as you do. If you’d been in the comic business for more than 5 minutes, you would KNOW that PERKS for ANY comic retailer are FEW and INSIGNIFICANT.

    Diamond– at least in theory– are NOT supposed to treat Rich’s store any differently than yours. You’ll figure ALL this out when you’ve been dealing with them for more than a couple of months, BELIEVE ME.

    This is NOT the REAL WORLD of MAINSTREAM Retail Book Selling– where high volume retailers (or retail chains) get treated LAVISHLY with BIG RETURN PRIVILEGES.

    This is the DIAMOND DISTRIBUTION MONOPOLY and they care little about you– and little about Rich too… Because they can AFFORD to… Since they are a monopoly.

    With few perks to be found anywhere, it is understandable that a retailer that spends TENS of THOUSANDS a month with a distributor might hope for further EXCLUSIVE incentives to retain their shrinking customer base in a lackluster economy… Yet, all they get are MORE variants (which almost DESTROYED the business in the late ’90’s) and some CHEAP PLASTIC RINGS… that they have to PURCHASE before they can “give” them away!

    Understand this in the collegial spirit in which I write it:

    A person like Rich LOVES comics JUST AS MUCH– if not MORE– than you do… As he experiences MORE shortages, MORE billing problems, MORE damages and MORE miss-shipped items than you can (now) only DREAM about… And he endures this sh*t on a WEEKLY basis… Like clockwork.

    He ain’t doing it for the MONEY, Moss… That’s a FACT you can believe.

    At your current rate of sales– you really are in a different league than a retailer like Rich. Good business would dictate that he would be treated with MORE perks and incentives than you because he gives the distributor HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS MORE BUSINESS than you. If your account were to grow, than you should start t receive the EXACT SAME perks too. That’s the way it works in EVERY OTHER industry,

    Yet, as I have just written– Rich gets treated LESS well you because any significant problems you have ever had with Diamond are multiplied a THOUSANDFOLD with him. (And don’t act like you’ve never, ever had a short or a damage. If you haven’t– than you really must order 8 books a week or your last name must be Geppi, Didio or Quesada.)

    DC, by lowering the book minimum needed to order for retailers to purchase the new rings will FLOOD the market. This CHEAPENS the VALUE of the PREVIOUS incentive/promotion rings that were offered and therefore will make them ALL LESS SPECIAL in MANY collector’s eyes.

    If I may hazard a guess without knowing the man– that’s the CORE of Rich’s argument. IF everybody can get the rings– the rings are automatically LESS COLLECTIBLE… and MORE IMPORTANTLY, LESS SPECIAL in the eyes of many collector’s who strove to collect all the previous rings.

    If you sell 10 or 20 of these books– what are you going to do with 100 plastic Flash rings anyway?

    Don’t tell me you are SO DELUDED in your “love” for comics that you think if you give someone a cheap PLASTIC RING that you’ll turn a NON-comic fan into a NEW comic reader?! That’s not going happen.

    Ever.

    In the end, you’ll give ALL your EXTRA RINGS out to people who won’t give a damn… And Rich? The guy who is actually helping to keep the dwindling comic book industry ALIVE?

    He gets nothing “SPECIAL” for all his extra efforts… Which means all the extra hardships he endures at the hands of a monopolistic distributor will never be soothed (as long as this business is served by a monopoly) and he will have to REDOUBLE his efforts to make his customers think his store is better than yours… When rightfully– at least for now– it IS “better” than yours in terms of quantity and diversity of book product carried.

    A lot of retailers feel like they are just donkeys carrying Diamond’s product to market.

    Believe me when I tell you that as long as there is only one MAJOR distributor in this market– if your business thrives and your ordering increases– you’ll feel EXACTLY the SAME WAY too…

    … And you’ll mutter about your “love” for comics in an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT WAY.

    You’ll say, “Damn, I’m glad I LOVE comics… because I wouldn’t put up with ANY of this sh*t otherwise!”

    May your new comic business live long and prosper (although odds are against that) and please, have the sense to understand that since you now SELL NEW COMICS– you are in a BUSINESS… And your “love” for the medium will do little to keep it alive. (Although positive attitudes and a true love for the medium are ALWAYS appreciated when one walks into a new shop!)

  4. Insideman
    6:56 am on March 12th, 2010

    You responded to me at noreasoncomics.com and told me to email you.

    I responded with my comment below. I post it again here to make sure everyone sees this back and forth for what it truly is.

    I’d rather keep our discourse public… Especially since you have taken it upon yourself to misrepresent my words and intentions.

    I want other people to see how you spin the following:

    You wrote on the front page of your web site: “…and it got me thinking about what a strange world the Internet is. A platform for anyone to spout off about anything without fear of reprisal, or the necessary things one usually needs to make and argument like, y’know, facts.”

    That’s hilarious. You accuse me of spouting “off about anything without fear of reprisal”… when that is EXACTLY what I told you that YOU were doing when you told this Rich guy– a complete stranger– to “F*ck Off” in your original post.

    You KNEW there would be no comeuppance for your actions. I’ll bet the farm you would NEVER tell this guy to “F*ck Off” to his face!

    His post– MADE ON ANOTHER SITE– was NOT directed at you specifically. You just decided to get all “F-wordy” about it because his post made you mad– and because you thought there would be no reprisal.

    YOU seem disturbed at the “amount of time and effort” I have put in to expose you… When you wrote a FULL PAGE RANT on a four sentence post written by a complete stranger on another web site!

    Huh?!?

    YOU are the one who got unnecessarily flippant and you have yet to acknowledge that “fact”.

    Then you write, “…Not just because it was something of an attack on me regarding issues that this person clearly has with Diamond Distribution, but because of the amount of time and effort the person has put in, and continues to put in, just to tell me I suck.”

    #1 I do NOT have “issues” with Diamond Distribution. What I wrote are wrote are my opinions based on incidents I have seen happen over and over. Again, you probably would not know anything about these particular incidents because– by your own admission– you’ve only been in business four months and act like ordering 10 or 20 copies of one blockbuster title is a significant feat.

    #2 As I touched on above, I hate to burst your bubble– but I am NOT putting a lot of effort into this. In fact, it is a small amount of effort. I’m a fast typist and I have taken ignorant people to task before. It’s no big thing.

    I HAVE laughed at the huge amount of hypocrisy you embed in almost every post on this subject though. THAT has taken up a LOT of my time… but again, thanks for the laughs!

    You might remember that in my original post I asked you to take my words in the collegial spirit in which I was offering them. Look that word “collegial” up. In my own acerbic way, I was attempting to clue you into your future as you start to play this real life game of “Monopoly”. I was actually trying to help.

    I don’t feel my tart writing style was in any way uncalled for… After all, you had just told a COMPLETE STRANGER to “F*ck Off” in a PUBLIC FORUM because they dared to have an opinion that you disagreed with.

    You took this person’s comment from ANOTHER SITE and told him to “F*ck Off”… THE VERY FIRST WORDS OF YOUR POST… and then you were surprised someone reacted… Poorly?

    Again… Huh?!?

    (By the way, are you getting MY THEME yet– how it is absurd to tell a COMPLETE STRANGER to “F*ck Off”… Then post on the main page of your website that the internet is a “funny place” because you got put in “YOUR PLACE” by ANOTHER COMPLETE STRANGER?)

    Twisted logic… And tt’s called “cause and effect”.

    You reprint a post– siting the poster’s full name and store name– and PUBLICLY DEMEAN another this retailer… when he NEVER called you or your store by name.

    The only “funny” thing here is, I wouldn’t have even seen your adolescent screed if I hadn’t been doing a Google search on a totally different area of “reason” and then saw someone ranting and going off on a complete stranger because they dared to have an opinion. (There’s that darn THEME of mine again.)

    So, finally… You write stuff in such a way that you want people to think you’re a nice guy. Maybe you are.

    Maybe you aren’t.

    Well guess what: “Nice” guys don’t tell people to “F*ck Off” ever– let alone when they hide in their dark rooms and think they can type their crap with no fear of reprisal.

    Finally… You really owe this guy an apology for writing sh*t like that… Don’t you think? He did nothing to you.

    I’ll say it again: “Nice” guys don’t tell people to “F*ck Off”!

    (P.S. I NEVER said I was nice… So don’t put those words in my mouth either.)

  5. Kim
    10:13 am on March 12th, 2010

    Insiderman…Wow. I just read all your comments and you are crazy and obnoxious from the first word you posted. You were trying to say that that post was well thought out and well written???? It was full of ranting and yelling. Lets see. He owns a small comic shop and all small comic shops were insulted by being told that they are not worthy of existing. He has a right to be pissed and a right to respond. Where is your connection to this? Are you the guy quoted? If you have no connection whatsoever, then you are noting more than a troll.

    FYI nice guys, and nice girls for that matter, WILL tell others to F*ck off if they are insulted.

  6. Ash
    10:21 am on March 12th, 2010

    @Insideman
    Dude, chill the fuck out.

  7. Oges
    2:48 pm on March 12th, 2010

    From what I understand from your long winded rants, your issue seems to be that Jeff responded to someone’s opinion in an inappropriate fashion, where he would be protected from his anonymity from the internet on a public forum.

    However Jeff didn’t respond with anonymity or on a public forum, he posted his opinion on his own sites, where he is fully within his right to bitch about whatever he pleases. He did so in a very public fashion. If I wanted to take a trip to Montreal and discuss his opinion on the subject, I could. I could also boycott his store, stop listening to the watchtower, stop reading no reason, etc. In the same fashion I could visit Rich at Paradise comics in the same fashion, since he also put his name and business to his original post.

    You, Insiderman, are in fact posted anonymously, so there is no hypocrisy when Jeff calls you out on it. No one cannot affect you personally or your livelihood. All we know is that you are long-winded and that you seem to take enough offence at internet comments that you must address them in an angry fashion.

    As for Diamond, you’re the one who brought them up, and there’s much confusion to as why you did since they have nothing to do with the original argument. The ring promotion was created by DC comics in order to sell their Blackest Night and Brightest Day titles. Initially a comic store had to buy a large amount of these comics in order to take part of the promotion, that number has been reduced so that more stores can take part, with the hope that more comics will be sold.

    Rich took issue with this reduction, assuming that the promotion was in some way a reward or “perk” for stores that were able to sell more comics and slammed stores that could not sell that volume. However this is not the case, all DC cares about is selling it’s product, and allowing smaller stores to take part in it’s promotions does help DC achieve it’s goal.

    As for Jeff being nice, that’s irrelevant. He’s a man sticking up for his business, all he did was respond to a guy who apparently doing well enough for himself that he doesn’t need to pick on his competition.

  8. Big D
    2:00 pm on March 13th, 2010

    I responded on the no reason site. I think it’s been summed up pretty well over there. I know Moss, so my opinion might be biased.

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