It’s peculiar; I haven’t sold a comic book in 15 years, and haven’t had to order them as a retailer in over two decades. But I’m still fascinated by the market. Well, maybe it’s not fascination as much as horror. In my day, there were actually competitors in direct market comic distribution. Now, evidently, it’s either Diamond or nothing. I mean, there are other ways of getting comics, the way bookstores and newsstands get them, e.g., but these, I gather, may not be comparable for a variety of reasons, which someone who actually knows can address.
I do know that I’m glad I am not a retailer anymore. I read things such as this from ADD, and I get flashbacks:
“Diamond offers its clients (comic book stores) the option to receive their comics for Wednesday sale on Tuesday [for an extra fee, if I understand correctly], actually giving beleaguered owners and staff a chance to stock the shelves each week on Tuesday night, after the store is closed, so as to avoid dodging slavering fanboys desperate for their Wednesday fix. Seriously, there’s nothing that points out the embarrassing nature of the direct market than retailers being forced to stock the shelves while the store is open and customers are (im-)patiently waiting for what they just gotta have.”
Yet I’m planning to go to the next Albany Comic Con on Sunday, October 24th at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Rd. in Albany, NY. The thing runs from 10 am to 4 pm, but I probably won’t get there until 1. And I go only because there are people I just love to see. Joe Sinnott is a sweetheart of a guy. Joe Staton who signed some Archie booklet for my daughter is terrific. But mostly it’s to see my buds Fred Hembeck, John Hebert, and Bill Anderson. Also, friend Rocco and perhaps the aforementioned ADD will be there.
I REALLY need to talk to Fred, who I met in 1980. He met my friend Judy, who I’ve known since 1977, recently for the first time, and apparently, I was the subject of conversation. What WERE they saying about me? Two odd things about this: Judy used to live on State Street in Albany, just a couple blocks from FantaCo, where Fred was known to hang out, and 2) Judy has known Fred’s wife Lynn Moss for a number of years.