BEAUOLOGY 101: COMIC BOOKS: SHOP, look and listen

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Beau Smith-“Wynonna Earp viewers will Come and buy The Comics!

by beau Smith

The inner Geek. Ashland, KY.

Last evening I ventured into one of the local comic book stores in my area, The inner Geek in the Ashland, KY, town Center. They had just put out a really nice Silver and Bronze Age collection available for sale and I thought I’d cruise through it. I don’t know why, I have most ever issue there, but still, the comic book reader/collector in me rages on.

It was a nice evening in the mall, not too many out of control children screaming, very little older ladies shoving me out of the way for sales items, and Beth, my wife, was happily shopping elsewhere and not asking me to look at what she was shopping for. Not bad for a grouchy baby Boomer like me. It could be worse.

All Hail Doom!

While I was looking through the long boxes of very nice comics, I could overhear the two store employees behind the counter discussing the character and moral fiber of doctor Doom with a customer. sample questions about the doctor were: “Does Doom truly care about the people that he rules in his country? Does Doom really know that what he does hurts people? Deep down inside, does he hate Reed Richards, but still has respect for him?” They talked about these and many other questions of Doom. I didn’t stay around for all of the conversation and its answers, but what I did leave with was the fact that here were these guys, young enough to be my kids or even grandkids, and they were having a conversation that my friends and I had over 45 years ago.

I like that.

It amazes me, and pleases me that there is still that hungry passion to talk about comic books and their characters. at one time in my youth, even I thought that would be something we would “grow out of.” I don’t know why we would think that. After all, we don’t grow out of talking about sports, TV, movies and such. Why would comic books be any different? A good buddy of mine reminded me the other day, that when we (Baby Boomers) were young, you were sorta told that you shouldn’t be reading “that kid stuff” once you were around 12-13 years old. I never understood why, but believe it or not, comic books used to be thought of as “kid stuff” back in the day…when I rode a dinosaur to school.

I kept my comic book reading and collecting on the down low once I got in 7th grade. Sure, I had a few fellow friends that were in the inner circle. We traded, read, and talked about comics together, but for the most part, I never talked about comics with my girlfriends or my teammates on the wrestling or track team. thinking back on it now, even baseball and football cards were looked at as kid stuff back then. I never let that stop me from collecting them. I fight authority! (Just like The Hulk did.)

Once I got into the comic book business as a marketing guy and as a writer, I didn’t stop talking about comics, but the topic did take a different slant. It wasn’t so much talking about the characters and current stories, but we were talking about how to write and draw them as well as how to sell them. You tend to think that way when they pay you.

The Flash The TV Series

I’m also happy to see that more women now talk about and enjoy comics as well as the non comic book buying public. You can thank the film and TV studios for that. Still, a frustrating part is that you can get almost anyone to watch a comic book movie or TV show, but you still can’t move the sales needle to get them to buy comic books of the same characters. You are either drawn to comics or you’re not. I still believe it’s a myth that there are crossover sales between film/TV and comics. just because someone watched every episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer or The Flash doesn’t mean they will ever buy and read a comic book. You’ll get the comic book reader that will watch the film/TV show, but you won’t get the reverse. Every publisher that thinks it will happen is lying to themselves, and to you. There is not SIGNIFICANT, consistent sales proof. trust me, it’s all BS, and I should know, I’m in marketing and my initials are BS.

The Flash The Comic Book.

Next time you’re in your local comic book shop, listen in on the conversations around you. better yet, start one. Make it about comic books.

Always listening,

Beau Smith

The flying Fist Ranch

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