This week’s new comics post is more about the further adventures of local comics shops, and the future of the industry, than it is about this new series by Eddie Gorodetsky, Marc Andreyko, and Steve Sadowski. It’s no secret that retail has been in trouble for several years now, and 2017 was exceptionally difficult for brick and mortar. And where that hits us hardest is at our friendly neighborhood comic book stores.
On a personal level, my shop of choice here in San Francisco is in very real danger of closing up this year. Mission: Comics and Art is a beloved shop in the Mission district, but as these posts on their website explain, Facebook likes and favorable Yelp reviews can’t pay the bills. At a community outreach meeting this past weekend, I was surprised to learn how much of their sales had been attributed to Image Comics. Declining interest in that publisher, along with well-documented struggles from Marvel Comics, seems to have been a major factor in a 17% dropoff in sales during the calendar year.
And this news led me to thinking about my own investment into Image Comics. Since their resurgence in the last decade or so as a publisher devoted to exciting, intelligent, creator-owned books (took me a while to discount the testosterone-fueled mess that was the Image of my youth), Image Comics has published some of the best series on the stands. Lately, however, for every Saga or Descender, there are a half-dozen half-ass titles that try to get by solely with a clever concept, slick design, or interesting character.
You know, like something that might sell to Hollywood.