Depressed By My Local Comics Store

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briantaylor
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Depressed By My Local Comics Store

Post by briantaylor » Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:37 pm

What's wrong with me?!!

I very occasionally visit the comic store these days and when I do, it's a bit of a let down. Comics still seem preoccupied with superheroes and I don't see too much else. I always leave feeling like there isn't really anything that interests me story or art wise.

Now online, I know of a lot of great comics creators. But I go to the comics store and it all seems to be roughly the same as it was ten years ago.

I still really like super heroes, but I don't really care for how they're being done in comics anymore. I'm more into the movies now I think (Spiderman, Superman Returns, X-Men, Batman Begins). They seem a bit more believeable and down to earth to me.....I dunno.

I think the kinds of stories I'm into have changed a lot too. I'm much more into animation and fantasy now. Other than Bone and Flight, I can't think of any comics that I look to for inspiration. My main inspiration comes from movies these days. Stuff like Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or whatever.

I still LOVE drawing and telling stories through comics. For me it's the ONLY way I can tell my stories visually and make them true to how I see them in my head. Plus I love the proccess. But honestly, most of the content that's being put out at my local comic shop doesn't interest me anymore.

Anyone else feel like this?

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:55 pm

No worries. Just wait a couple of years. We're working on it. ;)
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Matt Bernier
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Post by Matt Bernier » Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:26 pm

Sounds like your particular store just sucks. If you walked into Jim Henley's, you'd think you were in Shangri La. See if there's any other stores in your area- I have two stores near me. One's closer and it sucks SO bad. The other is amazing. It could just be that your area hasn't been blessed with an enlightened comic shop owner yet, too. Fortunately, you can also BUY comics online!

You'd love the stuff First Second is putting out now- in particular, it sounds like you'd go nots for Sardine of outer space, by Joann Sfar. Oh, and NBM puts out Dungeon and Issac the Pirate- two of the very best series ever, both totally in line with your tastes.

ZidaneTheKing
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Post by ZidaneTheKing » Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:02 am

You should check out Fables. It's not superheroes, although it is heroes in some sense. I find it very interesting and unique, although I'm not really a comics buff.

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:54 am

You guys, he's right though. Outside of manga you can't really get comics that are accessible to a wider audience. Even at The Comics Factory, my favorite comic store, I can rarely find books that interest me. I pretty much buy anything that even gets close (the guys there do a fantastic job of seeking the good stuff when they can), and while I have a pretty extensive collection, there's very little in the way of new material.

By the way, as far as newer manga goes, I recommend checking out Monster and Train Man (the version drawn by Hidenori Hara). Also, if you haven't already, check out Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind. I also read Aya, a French comic, recently, and really enjoyed it. A lot of the French comics, if you can find them, are really good.

Like Brian, I always look outside of comics for inspiration, unless I'm looking at Nausicaa or Bone, my favorite comics. Trying to defend the current crop of material on the American comics scene just sounds like denial at this point.
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KevinR
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Post by KevinR » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:40 am

I find the current situation with comic books very strange indeed. You often hear people complaining about the lack of diversity and the lack of all ages reads but no one seems to be doing anything about it. There are a LOT of good creators out there that just need the right kind of recognition and hopefully things can build from there. What you are doing, Kazu, is an amazing job of diversifying comics and bringing good all ages reads to comic fans, especially with your Flight anthologies. I have a huge amount of respect for what you are doing.

I, too, am often very dissapointed when I go to the comic shop. I don't get to go too often but when I do I am quite excited at the possibilites, but haven't left happy after a visit in a LONG time. I have actually resigned myself to ordering online instead, that way I can get what I want and I can save myself the journey to the comic shop. Which is sad as going to the comic shop has always been a joyful experience and is part of the fun of being a comic fan.

-Kev

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heinz91
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Post by heinz91 » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:02 pm

I don't have a comics shop in my area at all. :cry:
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nemu
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Post by nemu » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:35 pm

The local shop Kitsy and I go to isn't anything like Comics Factory but it does bring in it's share of Manga and "regular" comics. It's been a while since I've read something that has impressed me, aside from Sorcerers and Secretaries which I finally got a chance to pick up last month (for some reason its hard to find locally in Hawaii....)

Most of my faves are from highschool and early college days. These days I've been "re-buying" those memories since they have em all in graphic novel collections.

I think sometimes the reason manga is so appealing to me is that it's not tied to a particular universe like DC or Marvel is. The stories can be told and it doesn't matter if something catastrophic happens since the characters live in their own universe. If the x-men blew up the earth, Spiderman would be pretty upset right?

But I too am bored with a lot of whats going on in American comics. I do still pick up an issue here and there... I like Liberty Meadows a lot but Mr. Cho is so busy with other things. Dawyn Cooke's doing a pretty fine job on the Spirit... I love Yotsuba&!, XXXHolic, Genshiken but thats about it for manga on my list.

I can't wait for the folks here to break out and produce the comics I can only dream about right now...

Kazu: I was a huge fan of Hidenori Hara back in the 80's early 90's. He had a manga called Winter Story but of course back then it was only in Japanese and I couldn't read any of it. I did try hard to emulate his style though. I learned a lot about non-action story telling from him. Just facial expressions and body language was enough to explain the story to me. If you'd like to read it let me know.
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angeldevil
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Post by angeldevil » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:05 pm

Part of the problem with shopping at comic book stores is that their selection is really limited. Years ago Forbidden Planet was THE shop in NYC. You could find anything -- Euro comics, Japanese magazines, import toys... then they changed. These days they sell pretty much what you would find everywhere else, but with the same surly staff they had when they were "cool." The reason for the lack of selection is that most comic book stores only order from Previews catalog, and anyone who has had to go through Previews knows just how hard it is to find anything unusual in their phonebook sized listing (or even to locate stuff you know is there! Massive!). What's more, Previews doesn't distribute books that can't meet their quotas, so a small or new title may get into the listing but won't last long enough to get real attention unless the publishers can afford a big fat ad. I have better luck buying my comics and books in actual books stores or just shopping around online and reading blogs to find new, cool projects. Another problem is Manga it's self. I'm thrilled Manga is available en masse and in English, but because of the formulaic manner in which it is distributed some really great titles get passed over or fall out of print because the company distributing it has no idea what category it belongs in. Hey, I love Taiyo Matsumoto, but if he's not "boys manga" and he's not "girls manga" or "yaoi" or some other group, then how do you sell him? No. 5 seems to have been dropped by Viz, which is a shame since it's one of few titles that transcends the barriers between various fan groups (or it would, but no one ever saw it...). Likewise sports manga never seems to makes the jump either for the same reasons.

Anyway, comic book stores are not where you go these days to try something new, and that is too bad. An imaginative comic book store owner turned me on to a lot of titles I never would have bothered with back when I was a goofy twelve-year-old picking through back issues of the New Mutants. There's good stuff out there, we just need to figure out how to get it into the comic book shops.

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nemu
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Post by nemu » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:19 pm

Yeah I agree totally. Most of the comic shops just order whatever they see in previews so it's a tough call. Kitsy picked up an Alice in Wonderland comic while we were up in LA last year but she never got any other issues because it wasn't mainstream enough. She also wanted to get Hatter M but none of the local shops ever brought it in.

Interesting what you say about manga and how it's distributed. There are a few that I enjoyed reading only to have the publisher drop or publish months or years between volumes.

But yeah, the best way to find cool, new, interesting stuff is to find it by reading forums like this one or net/blog reading...
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angeldevil
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Post by angeldevil » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:07 pm

Hmm Nemu, it looks like you and I are of the same thought again. Although to second Kazu's post, a lot of what I "read" these days are French albums and comics, to the point where my language skills are actually improving just out of desperation to discover books that hold my interest. Of course FLIGHT is a horse of another color altogether, but I'm guessing that's why most of us are on this forum in the first place...

And being in Previews still doesn't mean you can find the comic anywhere. Diamond is the sole distributor for Mour Ning Star and I have yet to locate a copy in a store where I can give it a flip through and "see what all the fuss is about" before buying it. Last I checked, Amazon didn't even have it listed if I did want to buy it blind.

rajesh
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Post by rajesh » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:02 am

This discussion is really interesting to me since it relates with what I'm trying to accomplish. I hope this isn't spam, so if it is, feel free to delete it.

I recently started a website, www.deptap.com , with the goal of helping artists sell products they produced themselves. I had a hard time getting a poster I made into retail joints and figured I'd create my own store and with the help of other artists, fill it up quicker than I could by myself. Once I get out of the beta testing phase I will be opening it up to more artists.

Also, after publishing Luca Tieri's sketchbook/portfolio, I decided not to go through Diamond and Previews. So instead I started shopping them door to door and had a pretty good response. I'm going to be distributing a catalog with just a handful of books in there, so each gets enough "spotlight" time with cover and preview images of the insides. I'm still looking for a few more books to fill it up, and not just of comics.

I'm curious about your comic shopping experience. Is it that there are no products being made that appeal to you, or is it that you can't get your desired products in places where you can flip through them, such as Borders, B&N, and your local comic book store.

I really admire what Kazu and crew have done with Flight by appealing to people who have broader sensibilities and interests than Marvel/DC.

My hope with Deptap.com is that by appealing to a broader range of people and not just comic fans, I can encourage artists to create products that appeal to the people they want to appeal to and not just superhero fans.

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:43 am

Wow, Rajesh! You've been busy! I just checked out the site and it looks great! :D
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nemu
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Post by nemu » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:52 am

After angeldevil and a few others told me about diamond, I decided to investigate it and see for myself if we could distribute the nemu*nemu book through them... after reading through the scary stuff, I highly doubt we'll be using diamond. If anything we'll make some postcards and ask some of the readers to pass them out in their area to see if they're interested. I already have distribution through Lulu so if any of the shops wanted to, they could order through them.

Rejesh: that sounds like a really cool idea! I can't wait to see whats going to be featured on your site! Like you, Flight really was a big inspiration to get Kitsy and I off of our butt and do a comic strip in the first place. These are exciting times!
Smiles to Go! - http://www.nemu-nemu.com/
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wendy w
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Post by wendy w » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:23 pm

heinz91 wrote:I don't have a comics shop in my area at all. :cry:
Ditto.
Where I used to live had two, one of which was worth going in to. Where I am now there's nothing within a reasonable travelling distance. There's a few news agents and other local shops that sell a few titles, but they all sell the same half dozen or so, none of which I actually feel like buying.
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