The stores seem to all try to encourage youngsters as well as older artists -even selling, in a number of cases, Small Press comics -though they are not referred to as such. Art pinned up in stores by kids and older customers. Excellent. Even in some cases far more kid friendly comic areas, though that requires a lot more space than some comic shops have in the UK.
With The Midwest In Panels we see store owners making points I've been making for years such as Free Comic Book Day is only free to the customers who grab the comics because stores have to pay for them -and it is simply to promote the comic company product. The Halloween Free Comic Book Day is the same thing under a different name but, again, store owners under pressure to keep their businesses making money and keep open have to pay for what is comic industry promotional advertising.
The Diamond Distributor monopoly which they all think is bad -there are a couple exceptions including the guy who jumps up and down whenever a company or the distributor has an idea...even if it costs him money. In the UK a monopoly is supposed to be illegal but, as the owners in this documentary state: who gives a crap -its comics.
There are some very wise words and, in both documentaries, there are some great pieces of sage (and very funny) wisdom -I laughed in a few places which I was not expecting.
2,500+ comic book retailers in the United States. Now you know why the UK is seen as a not very important outlet.
But I kept thinking "I'm in the wrong country" though the biggest thing that I realised I missed after watching these documentaries was talking to comic fans. Fans duck into events now, get what they are looking for and go. Back with the old Westminster Comic Marts there were plenty of comic fans to chat to. Even the UK Comic Art Conventions (UKCAC) saw fans meeting up, chatting and even keeping in touch -and we wrote to each other back then because there was no email -how fecking hard is it to type a comment or send an email: "Liked that item. Thanks!"??
On the other hand there are examples of old style comic fans still going. A couple weeks back a Russian CBO visitor emailed me with a scan of the missing Tarzan #4 I'd been looking for from the 1990s on. He was missing two issues. I scanned and sent him those. Yesterday, another Russian visitor sent me a link for a download of the Tarzan (Russian) I had missing but I've the full six issues now anyway. He was still looking for two issues -I had those two issues scanned so a quick email attachment and off they went. Back came a "Thank You".
Now uploading and sending that email took a couple minutes. Original scanning took longer but that doesn't matter. Any real comic fan will tell you of the pain, the agony and the utter anguish of a comic series you read and collected that misses one or two issues. Years of searching -still can't find them. I see myself as having administered pain relief! And, of course, I got to complete the series myself.
Fans in action. Swap scans in this case, chat about them. Thank yous all round. No nastiness or bitching or name-calling you get on the fake 'fan' sites. Gives you a buzz.
We just need more small events that are interested in one thing only: back issue comics and maybe a very selective few small pressers. With Europe seemingly not open for me next year my brain is thinking.....
Hopefully, even if you do not speak the languages, the German comic related videos also gave you a glimpse of how things are going "over there". I was disappointed to see German TV travelling to France and Belgium to do stories on comic creators rather than giving time to their own comic creators of which there are a good few -I would publicise them but no one sends me German small press or comics these days...sorry, had to wipe a tear from my cheek.