A Short History of the Comic Book Specialty Market...
Once, comic books were sold solely at newsstands, drugstores, and other mass market locations. This made them available only sporadically, frustrating regular readers who wanted to keep up with their favorite titles on a monthly basis.
In the late 1970s, however, the minimal discounts and unpredictable nature of newsstand comics distribution gave way to a new method of distribution — one which offered retailers better discounts on comics they purchased on a non-returnable basis.
Since then, pop-culture fandom has grown dramatically, along with the range of comics-inspired media and related products available. Comic book dealers have evolved into full-scale entertainment retailers, offering customers a wide variety of comic books, graphic novels, toys, games, trading cards, apparel and more!
As a result, comic book specialty shops have flourished.
The Benefits of Selling Comics...
Whether you're a retailer who specializes in comic books, or considering adding comics to your current product mix, there are many good reasons for selling comics:
- Repeat business. Most comics are published on a monthly or bi-monthly schedule, and feature continuing storylines that will keep consumers returning on a regular basis to find out "what happens next."
- Graphic novels. These bookshelf-ready editions offer self-contained stories, and appeal to both current fans and new readers. Unlike comics, they are usually kept in print, and therefore can be easily restocked. Because of their convenience and visual appeal, graphic novels are a rapidly growing product category.
- All-ages appeal. Comics offer stories for every age group, from young readers just discovering Superman to older ones who remember his debut.
- Something for everyone. In addition to superhero stories, comics offer a multitude of subjects for male and female consumers of every taste: humor, sci-fi, horror, biography, slice-of-life and more!
- High sales per square foot. Whether they occupy one spinner rack or an entire wall, comic books are an economical way to provide your customers with a lot of entertainment for a relatively small price.
- Easy media tie-ins. Today more than ever, comics serve as the inspiration for movies, television, video games and more, creating new demand for the art form — and for trend-savvy retailers.