Sunday, July 10, 2005

Just a thought (it might be a stupid thought, but it's the only one I have!)

I was thinking about Previews and why some people out there might be missing out on stuff that is outside the "Big Two Axis of Evil." I know you can find Marvel and DC solicitations on the Internet, but I don't know about everything else. Back in the day, I didn't get Previews because I didn't think I needed it. Oh, I was a foolish mortal! Also, the damned thing is 5 dollars! So I'm just wondering if people who want to find non-mainstream comics don't because they don't want to plunk down the ducats for something they're going to recycle in a month anyway. My point is: my local comics shoppe gives Previews away. I'm thinking if the owner of my store, who is a nice guy but very conservative in his business, can afford to give it away, most stores can. If you would like Previews but don't want to pay your hard-earned cash, you might suggest to your local entrepreneur that he (or she, I suppose) give it away. You would order more comics, which would make him mo' money. Or that's the way it's supposed to work. Anyway, it's just a thought. You can return to your much more fascinating lives now.


Blogger Bill Reed said...

I'm... I'm sorry. I have no life.

And I think I've only ever bought two whole issues of Previews ever, and that was *years* ago, when I didn't even know what the hell "Previews" was. And I didn't use it to order anything, I just liked reading about what was out there.

7/10/2005 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

If Previews is of any use to you, you're either trying to beat the other studios into a silly pre-emptive bidding war, which I assume isn't the case here, or in need of a better comics shop. I realize moving house may seem like a drastic step, but one must set proper priorities. :-)

7/11/2005 02:25:00 AM  
Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I've never understood why Diamond "sells" their friggin' ordering catalog in the first place. Considering the amount of paid advertising in the damn thing and their captive audience, it's the ultimate in soaking your base for every last possible penny. I'd say it's shortsighted, too, but we all know that Diamond views indies as second-class citizens and only tolerates them to ensure their little monopoly. For all of the "problems" facing the comics industry, I'd rank Diamond in the Top 3.

7/11/2005 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'm not trying to start a bidding war, I swear! Here in the black hole that is Arizona, I have very few choices about where I get comics (and I'm not ready to make the leap into mail-ordering). I go to the small, independent comic store because I like supporting it, but I also go to the big chain store occasionally (Atomic Comics). Any other stores are too far away. Even Atomic Comics, which is a pretty big store, doesn't have everything I order out of Previews. Action Philosophers, for instance. I would love to go to a store that has everything I could ever want, but I don't think it's happening here. You bring up a good point, though. Should we need Previews? What about those poor schmucks who live in North Dakota? Do they need Previews because their comic book store options are limited to weekend drives to Minneapolis?

7/11/2005 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Brian Hogg said...

I live in Oakville (half-hour outside of Toronto), and I get my comics mail order; going into the city is a hassle, and my LCS has a pretty limited selection.

Much as I resisted the idea of reading Previews before I started (the mail order place I use gives it away for free), I like being able to see all of the independent comics I wouldn't otherwise be aware of, because, you're right, most places only mention the new releases for Marvel, DC, Darkhorse and Image.

Maybe what we need is a "what's coming out this week for non-mainstream publishers" site, something where, in addition to generic "company x is publishing product y" the companies have a space to tout their wares, or a vast cluster of comic readers can post reviews/previews.

Also, Previews helps me save money; I can easily keep up to date with comics I've got a passing interest in but don't want to shell out the money for. The opportunities for armchair criticism are wonderful!

7/11/2005 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Mark Fossen said...

I think it's a great thought. I can't see why any LCS wouldn't want to make sure that their subscribers get Previews. I don't know what the cost is to retailers, but it seems like if Previews does it's job, you'd see more sales.

7/11/2005 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

Action Philosophers rocks my socks, and I only bought it because my LCS plunked it on a shelf for me to find on Wednesday night, so I suppose living in The Big City does have some advantages. Still, all this talk is making me think I should finally sit down with an ish of Previews and actually read it, or at least turn all of its pages and let the purty pitchers wash over me.

7/11/2005 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger jason @ RIOT said...

Previews costs retailers $2.70 per issue. That's probably why most stores don't give it away.

However, there's something to be said for offering it for free to all of your subscribers. Some will want it, some won't. But the subscribers are the people who are going to use it, not the average Joe off the street.

7/11/2005 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

I order from Previews every month. It gives me a chance to discover/try out small press titles. And my shop stays in business in part by ordering very conservatively. With a pull list, we get our copies at retailer cost. And when done, I pass it on to friends without pull lists so they know what to watch out for also.

7/11/2005 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Jason - thanks for the info. I'll have to ask my LCS why they are able to give it away.

Kristen - that's what I'm talking about. I order from Previews too, which is why I'm spending too much on comics these days, but it's because my store is very conservative. Dark Horse and Image get represented, but barely.

I know that I have given my store a lot more business because they give me Previews free.

7/11/2005 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

Your LCS offers Previews to everyone for free, but one thing I do know for sure about this book is that it's big and heavy, and I'm guessing this means not everyone takes them up on their offer. I wonder if the percentage of people who take a copy and order something from it is very high. That could explain both how this LCS is able to do it and why others don't realize they should.

7/11/2005 07:12:00 PM  

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