The Bradenton Herald says that the veteran comics store in Miami that was suffering a huge drop in business during the early stages of the Corona crisis has reopened to better sales, but what’s said to be their biggest selling products is just head-shaking:
Jorge Perez, who has owned A&M Comics and Books since 1990, said a two-issue story line pitting the Dark Knight against his arch-enemy the Joker in issues 93-94 of the “Batman” comic has been the biggest seller since the store reopened in June.
Another big hit: “Negan Lives,” a one-issue spin-off focusing on the nefarious villain of the popular “The Walking Dead” series, which creator Robert Kirkman wrote and released on July 1 to help struggling comic book stores.
Also popular: “Empyre,” a new limited series that folds in most of Marvel Comics’ popular characters. Most of the issues and their related spin-offs will be published in July and August.
I know Superman’s had to contend with Brian Bendis these past 3 years, but still, this is regrettable if people are going for such easy, politically correct and obvious choices as the Batbooks, Kirkman’s horror-themed franchise, to say nothing Empyre itself. Maybe because the more optimistically and organically built tales are being obscured by the press.
Still, Perez said that although interest from collectors remains high, business is only 50 to 60 percent of what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the store to close.
“Even though 70 percent of my client base has come back, there are still some who will never come back because they can’t afford to collect anymore,” he said. “A lot of my customers are waiters and bar-backs and bouncers, and they’re still unemployed because Miami has become the worst place in the world with its rate of infection.”
What would be equally dismaying is when a store’s customer base becomes built almost entirely on speculators, and not on people with an investment in reading as a pastime, as the report makes it sound like. Obviously, it’s a terrible shame the customer base may be out of jobs due to all the harm wrought by China’s commies (and it’s definitely terrible Florida’s taken such a blow in public health), but if the customers are just collecting in hope of monetary value, it’s ridiculous, especially at a time when the pandemic could’ve made it less likely the issues will be able to retain value as a result. Another reason I feel the time’s come to abandon the pamphlet format.
And I can’t understand why the customers want to buy stuff that’s got such a heavy emphasis on darkness. At a time when the situation is dire, it doesn’t make things better, IMO.
Originally published here.