It’s now officially the holiday season, so what does that mean for us in 2020?
MAKING IT TO 2021
We basically have one month left in 2020 (thankfully), so the comics industry will be wrapping up a tumultuous year. There are new events on the horizon, and they’ll continue over into the new year. Here’s hoping 2021 will be a better one!
This would be a perfect time to show our support for comics by giving them as gifts and in other ways! It’s important for comics to wrap up this year on a good note, I feel, so we need to focus on the front lines of the industry—the local comics shops.
While Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are behind us, that doesn’t mean we have finished supporting our LCS’s as much as we should. The month of December is usually when many businesses actually turn a profit, but this year, well, I don’t think that’s in the cards.
Comics continue to come out on a regular basis, mostly following the schedule we expect. Most shops have made it by selling the product they’ve received, but many have tightened their belts, selling only the things they can actually make a profit with. There were some items they did just because they felt they should sell, but more than ever, stores are focused on keeping their doors open, and that means earning what they can. These items have varied by the shop, so if you don’t see something you used to buy there, be sure and ask. You may have to turn to online or even another LCS if you want to continue buying those things for the foreseeable future.
I have a few suggestions on how to continue supporting your LCS in the remaining days of 2020.
I do talk a lot about local shops because I believe they’re critical to the industry moving forward. I frankly don’t know if local bookstores could pick up the slack all that well, honestly.
Granted, some of these things are what shop owners have told me they needed for years now. During 2020, they’re more important than ever!
The first thing that would help your LCS is for you to stop by and purchase all the items you’ve already ordered! If you have books and related items waiting for you that you haven’t bought yet, PLEASE get there asap and get them. I saw a post online that showed one store with literally thousands of dollars in ordered comics that people had not come by to get. Nearly all stores believed customers when they said they wanted these things, so they spent their money to get them. It’s critical that fans follow through on their requests, especially now!
If a customer’s financial situation has changed since those orders were placed, that person should call and make arrangements with the store. What’s a LCS to do if someone simply stops communicating with them? How long should they hold these books and items? That varies by the store. Some can afford to do that longer than others. I’m always entertained when I’m at a store and someone walks in after months of silence, expecting everything they ordered to still be there waiting for them. They’re frankly shocked that the store had to sell as much of it as they could to others. Well, what did they expect?
The second way to support your local shop is to be regular. If you frequent the store you buy from on a certain day, you should try to keep that habit. I know real life occasionally gets in the way of comics, but at least get there as close to that day as you can. Your store owner will greatly appreciate it, believe me!
Another way you can help your shop is by spreading the word about it. Word of mouth is considered the strongest endorsement of something, so if you can, I would tell others why you like the store you do, and that includes online. You never know who is listening and looking for a recommendation to a LCS.
I’ve noticed that some stores have had to monitor what days sales take place on and which ones they don’t actually do any business on. One I know of was opened on Sundays, but no one bought anything during those hours. Yes, people played games and that was fun, but in these times, the store simply couldn’t afford to make that happen, so they ended up closing down on those days. Maybe they could meet at someone’s home instead?
One of the good things about this year was the recognition that local shops are like a “third home” to many fans, with where they live as a first home, work as a second home, and a LCS as a third home. After all, that’s where we can talk about things we really appreciate with others who share those interests. I always come away from the store I frequent having learned a lot and shared what I know about many things I’m happy to talk about. Let me set a good example by mentioning Krum’s Worlds in Winter Garden, Florida, my go-to LCS!
INTERESTING BOOKS COMING
December looks to have some fascinating offerings as far as comics go. Marvel has Venom: King in Black, a Chris Claremont anniversary special, several Spider-Man comics and, of course, Star Wars!
DC has an “Endless Winter” event (which concludes by the end of December), Batman/Catwoman #1, Batman: Black and White #1, and more Dark Knights: Death Metal, just to mention a few.
Other companies have great books coming as well, far too many for me to begin to mention here!
I point these out to show that December looks like it will be a good way to wrap up 2020, so be sure to support your LCS!
What do you think? What’s the best you support your LCS? What other ways should we be showing our support for local comics shops? What are you looking forward to in 2021? Whatever your opinions, feel free to share them below!