Okay, maybe not really.
With DC Entertainment being apart of the Time Warner family that just got the shit bought out of them by AT&T a few weeks back, it's time for AT&T to try to make some cash back. Yes, I'm talking about comic books. Something I haven't done for a long time now. But here I am. Back. And how fitting that this topic comes up around Comic Con in San Diego. A time when we remember that this convention was all about comic books. Go figure.
Anyhow, it seems that DC is bringing comic books back to big chains and I wonder how the little comic shops will react. Probably with a huge amount of fear. It's bad enough owning a shop in the age of digital, though, to be honest, nerds will always gravitate towards having something you can collect in your hand. It allows them to think that they have something of value that they can some day retire on. It's like how Boomers pretend that the home they own is an investment property when in reality no modern day generation that came after them can even dream of having home ownership with crushing student debt.
So now DC comics will be bringing their comic books back to the mass market distribution channels that they had when I was a kid. Finding comic books all battered and bent on the shelves of grocery stores was something I fondly remember as a kid. I also remember fondly that my mother told me they weren't going to spend that buck or two on a comic. Which makes me wonder how any parent in today's economy will even dream of allowing little billy to toss in that comic book in to the purchases since they're now climbing towards the $5 mark for a single comic.
I don't think of Walmart for much, but to suddenly have 3,000 Walmarts suddenly carrying comic books for a comic line that the film adaptations haven't been very good seems like it'll just sit there. Not to mention the anxiety that the 1200+ independent comic retailers who are hard at work slinging these books themselves, now they got a huge competition that has already taken out plenty other mom and pop shops all across America.
On top of that, these will be exclusive versions for Walmart. Which is to say that they will be special edition versions of the comics that have a lot more content. It'll be a 100 page format with a main story in the front and in true recycling power, the back story will be something from the last two decades. Now, I stopped really following DC comics in the 2000's. I loved the stories of Green Lantern and Justice League and what not. But felt that they became to "event heavy" over the last few years and I got fatigued right the fuck out of that scene. So it's decent to see that besides the crap they're trying to throw against the wall to see if it sticks in the newer stories, the older stuff will be tossed in to the spotlight to show how much better it was.
So you'll get Superman Giant, Justice League Giant, Batman Giant, Teen Titans Giant.. etc. etc. It''s interesting to see this movie again because when I was a kid, your local thrifty or whatever pharmacy would have a rack just for the comics as well. In fact, this is why when you think of Silver and Gold age comics as being valued in the hundreds of thousands, it's because that was a time when the mothers would throw out the books of their stupid kids when they moved away to college or the fact that they were just magazines you frivolously bought at the market and the conditions that they were kept in meant that so many copies were lost to time.
So what does the future hold for actual comic shops? They're going to have to find other means to get customers. I know the whole variant cover scene has been happening for a while now, but I pray that folks have wised up to that bullshit since you can easily just download an image online of whatever variant cover you want. There's no real value in it for the future. So just stop trying to make it a thing already, please.
But other collectible items will have to take the heavy lifting that these will take away. Ultimately, the comic shop has survived this long and while these bumps in the road will constantly continue, it'll still find some means to stay alive. Either that or the whole scene can just go digital already because fuck if all I know as to where this sucker is heading in the next five to ten years.