Topic: Comic Cons
Two Weeks ago I started blogging a series about "The State Of Comics Retailing In 2009 Metro San Diego", as told by Jamie Newbold of Southern California Comics in San Diego, (click here for Part I) and (click here for Part II)...
Southern California Comics, a.k.a. SoCal Comics, is owned by Jamie Newbold and is one of the major places in Metro San Diego area that I stop in at for comic book supplies and new comics for myself.
When I stopped there the previous week for the FACTION comic book signing, (click here for that blog), Jamie and I went over what's been going on in San Diego sales wise for comics.
Part I of this series was an introduction to the Store, Store Sales, and New Comics. Part II was on individual Comic Book Publishers' titles sales at his store. The following is from Jamie's own words about his activities at Southern California comic book conventions:
"CONVENTION SALES: On a convention level, my main show presence is at the San Diego Comic Con International. I also attend one or two other shows during the year. I gather gossip and stories from other dealers (including other Overstreet advisors).
Patterns develop each year and I’m privy to the information that explains those patterns. One pattern that escaped my best prediction was the lack of sales at the 2009 San Diego Con.
2008 was a banner year for us in that the convention was just a good, easy show all the way around. However, in 2009, the show was set squarely in the second year of our country’s economic recession. In contrast to the previous show, I felt the reluctance of buyer’s spending money this year. Factors included an overcrowded dealer’s room, freebie frenzy by attendees, a lack of back-issue buyers (the common feeling was that many held off until Sunday to make their purchases) and the Hollywood distraction.
I commiserated with many fellow dealers and learned it wasn’t just me who experienced low sales. No one changed seller styles or offered different products...which generally stay the same each year. The fact is that we didn’t change--the Con changed. One major difference that many have seen is that the Gold and Silver Age sellers have reduced in numbers but attendance has increased.
Where and why have all the buyers gone? One dire consequence of dealer placement and large crowds are the throngs of people blocking access to one booth to get freebies or signings at another. Small press and publishers have been crammed into the same, tight area we occupy. They run promotions that generate huge lines of people and block aisles.
Back issue guys don’t draw large crowds so we can’t fight back. The Con managers do little or nothing to alleviate the stress. What a zoo. The sheer volume of people at our end of the room makes access to our booths a struggle. I’d like to see the show authorities fix that.
One irksome, logistical nightmare that Comic Con presents is their feedback period. Dealers with issues relating to convention problems are welcome to present them on the last day of the show. As a veteran of many Cons, I’ve gathered plenty of complaints, but I never get to air them.
Why? The main reason is that the forum is held for one hour late in the afternoon on the last day when business and theft are especially heavy. When we are all busy standing in long pre-registration lines for next year’s show. When the crush to leave the dealer’s room is at its greatest I’m stuck at my booth working. In fifteen years I’ve never had a problem-free show and never been able to make it to the forum. COME ON!
I give kudos to the fledgling Long Beach Comic Con. Wizard World LA left a gap when it disappeared. The Long Beach people happily filled that gap. I thought the little show had heart. Now, go see it and spend some money when it returns!
Terry’s Comics runs its own annual show in Orange County. It’s dominated by Terry’s desire to honor the traditions of shows of yesteryear where back issues were the draw. Support Terry and all of us Gold/Silver/Bronze guys and show up." (Michael's Note: Show is called the CalComicCon)
Jamie went on to talk about his Web Site Sales / and eBay & other Auction Site Sales, which I will be posting in Part IV to follow soon...
Thanks again to Jamie Newbold for sharing the above with me and giving me permission to post it in my Blog!
For those of you that are looking at visiting the San Diego area soon, be sure to visit Jamie's SoCal Comics store. There is much more to comics in San Diego than just the once a year Comic Con International: San Diego (CCI / SDCC) that over 125,000 people attend!
Here's the direct link to Jamie's store: http://www.socalcomics.com/!
AND... Thanks again to all of YOU reading our current and archived blog posts! We do blog daily on comic book creators, comic book reviews, comic cons, and other pop culture news and events including some TV shows and theatrical films as they are shown!
PLUS... Welcome to ALL of You that were reading the eBay Version of our Blog prior to eBay closing 'their eBay blogs platform' on October 31st, 2009. That version of our Blog had 1.37 MILLION page views before the closure... However, This Blog version is the same Blog that has been published at the same time the eBay version was being published. I've been publishing this version since September 2007, so it has the same 'Fun Stuff' you are used to reading on the eBay version!
Speaking of eBay... Be sure to check out our own new listings of comics, graphic novels, Comic Con exclusives and more pop culture items for sale in Our online eBay Featured Store that our blogs are based on! It's due to sales at this online store that keep us going with the ability to post blogs like the one you have read here today!
~ Michael @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com