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Saturday, 10 June 2017

I Can Hear The Grinding Of Teeth and Blood Vessels Popping!

I think that the options I have as a publisher and comic person in the UK are not that many!

There is the idea of bi-monthly comic marts based in Bristol but, to be honest, bi-monthly just may not be sustainable as, when I asked on social media and also here on CBO, what comic dealers might be interested in setting up at a Bristol comic mart the results were: Zero. Zero and Zero.

If dealers cannot be bothered when the offer was of table prices being reasonable (the cost of the venue divided up to make each tables cost) and not over inflated then you know they are not interested. 

Also, although not banned (!) the mart would not be promoted as a cosplayer event –I have watched cosplayers over the years and while most will take freebies only about 1% will actually buy comics.  I have even chatted to cosplayers and the response about their attending comic cons was “It isn’t about the comics!” Well, Uh, I think…”comic con” and ”Comic expo” sort of say it is.  Well, not to them but the problem has been (as conventions in the US have noted)  that cosplayers look good but “take up space” –they don’t buy comics but are there simply for the cosplaying. Dealers make no money and that means “I won’t be back next year: the place was full of cosplayers and no comic buyers” and the event loses out.

People want to sell action figures? No problem, however, the event was supposed to be back to basics and concentrating mainly on comic sellers and buyers which most UK conventions do not really push because they are not true “Comic cons”.  Local Indie/Small Press publisher wants to sell? No problem but they would be the minority because this was an event to sell and buy old comics.

If there is no reaction after using CBO and a host of social media including Twitter then there is no interest.

The Comic Mart would have been a good outlet for promoting and selling Black Tower Books and Comics.

There was the toyed with idea of getting lots of local press/media interest in a one day event simply promoting comics but featuring only Black Tower as a seller.  To be honest, might attract a few but as a way to make money as a publisher…no.

Comic cons in the UK are getting a bit of a battering. Comic buying is dropping because of the hyper over the top prices of new comics.  To expect dealers to pay a huge price for a table, buy in the stock and then transport it as well as take all the other costs (food, accommodation etc) in the hope that some people might buy some books –enough books- to make back that money? No. 

And I’ve heard event organisers say that “if these people can’t survive in the business that isn’t our fault” Well, in a way it is your fault.  Look at how the old cons used to be organised and comic dealers were not hit with a bill of £100-£300 a table!

Also, you have to deal with the fact that event organisers invite the same guests every time and are influenced by many of them.  When I mentioned the “UK comics Mafia” before I was quoting other people and my own experiences.  I have now heard from two people who laughed at that phrase who now KNOW the reality of it. Not healthy for the comic scene which is already in Rigor mortis.

Comic shops will not take books because they are scared of Diamond Distributors which runs the comic distribution monopoly. Monopolies are illegal in the UK but shop owners tend to be spineless –I discussed this in depth on the old CBO where I was faced with email after email from UK store owners with legitimate grievances and expecting ME to sort them out or make an official complaint –WTF?  Why? Because they were scared stiff of any backlash from the distributor.

And those “darling nice guys of comics” sit on their lardy asses talking about how big they used to be and trolling anyone they disagree with.  That is their contribution. They do not care what happens to a comic shop or event.

But let’s not get into that.

The UK for real comic publishers is dead.

And that leaves one option.  An option I have no choice but to leap into because with zero online sales it is a case of “do it or quit” and I don’t quite.  Once I have everything worked out then I’ll reveal the plan.  But until then…enjoy comics and remember it does not just have to be DC, Image or Marvel.

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