Monday, July 28, 2014

The post we've all been waiting for...

Or at least the post I've been wanting to write...I'll explain after a brief interlude.

First I want to bring this item to your attention:

Chuck Rozanski and SDCC
After 42 consecutive years in a row, it may finally (at long last...) be time for me to bid San Diego good-bye, forever.
The comic collectibles market is changing, we all know that. Ebay, digital, trade omnibus editions and a new generation of readers that don't care about ownership have taken the old paradigm (of long box diving and gap-filling back issue purchases) behind the woodshed and pumped a shotgun into the back of its head.

I do not weep for the past. I think collecting things is fun. However, it is no longer a necessary function of enjoying comics. If you want it, you can eventually find it on Ebay. If you have a reading device, comics are as portable as any other entertainment. I have a large bookshelf and I like the look of having it full of beautiful trades and omnibus editions (omnibi? nope, checked it, omnibuses...hmm, I don't like that).

And access over ownership is really the generational shift we're seeing. My kids loved Frozen (didn't we all? Especially that's it go again?) (By the way, AAAAaaggghhhh).

Though we did buy it on DVD (for our epic July cross-country trip these past few weeks, he says, explaining Zombie Cat's summer hibernation), we didn't need to. The kids use Netflix streaming, Time Warner on-demand and YouTube for 90% of their flat screen based entertainment. They rarely if ever ask us to purchase DVDs (or even to go to the local cinema). They have access to nearly anything they want 24/7 via multiple devices.

So why buy stuff like paper comics? "I love the feel/smell/permanence/physical object", you might say. That's fine, but you're in the rapidly shrinking minority. And if you're under the age of 30, you're weird.

Chuck's rant regarding this weekend's Comic-Con is focused on a specific category of collectibles, but the underlying theme regarding his business model shows how vulnerable enterprises like his really are. He has literally millions of comics in his warehouses. The supply will now always supersede the market demand, and as demand for physical objects like Marvel Two-In-One #39 stagnates and shrinks, the costs of warehousing and staffing physical plants will only increase over time.

"Doomed" is the word that comes to mind.

Interlude over.

So anyway, I sold my collection yesterday.

More on that tomorrow...

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