The Direct Market Needs An Alternative
DC Comics have done a good job at getting the word out about their NEW 52 relaunch and subsequently have gotten more people interested in comic books. Hopefully this can translate not only into long term readers for them, but can increase the general readership across the entire industry.
But there is one hurdle that I think the industry should be poised to overcome. That hurdle, the Direct Market, can often stifle as many sales as it creates.
If you want to buy a comic book right now, you have to go to a comic book shop to find one. This might be fine if you live in a major metropolitan area, but if you’re not, you might have to travel quite a distance to find one. You have to go out of your way with the sole purpose of buying comics. This defeats the idea of casual sales or impulse buys.
When I bought my first comic book, I did so at a small local bookstore. I don’t think the place was bigger than 400 sq. feet. They had their comics up front by the register on wire racks and a spinner rack by the door. I would sometimes spend a long while looking through them when I went there to buy actual books. The condition didn’t matter to me, I was new to comics – all that mattered was if it looked like I would like it or it had a cool cover.