Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Finally a step back in a forward direction!

Well on the tail of my last rant, this.

I hear the roar of Godzilla...

   This is a good thing, there's a few downsides but there's mainly upsides. I've heard some straw man arguments like "well none geeks won't know what to do with them" and "Who goes to Walmart to get comics?"
I see ballgags in their future...

   Well I'm confident that "none geeks" can read and geeks still need Cheetos and Mountain Dew so I guarantee if there's a comic there that takes your fancy, you'll buy it.

   Of course they're not talking about floppies, they're taking about digests and trades. Diamond distributing to Walmart will lead to an increase in trade sales, in theory, and as the frequency of superhero movies increases people seeing the comics they are based on next to the fresh fruit isle might actually cause them to pick one up, if not for the shopper then for their kids.

   It won't impact floppy sales for a while as there's still a market for them from the direct market, but if trades do take off in supermarkets and the sales steadily climb and it becomes more lucrative to sell trades by body swerving the floppy then as a physical entity the floppy might actually die on it's arse. This is bad news for comic shops that survive on standing orders, but if I'm being honest their days are numbered any way if they can't diversify and move away from the format.

NOT sold at Walmart
   Other factors include the fact that while I'm sure there's some business savvy people in Diamond, they are going for a swim with sharks when it comes to Walmart, not that Walmart's business practices are any different from many others just that they've been doing bigger and broader things than Diamond for a long time and some of Diamonds practices are going to get laughed out the room, like returns and the depth of their discounts. Walmart run things like their novels section through merchandising, ie. Diamond will be running the bit they keep the trades on, but at a massive wholesale discount to Walmart, this means Diamond will have to shift some copies to make it work. Walmart also run a returns policy on their merchandising, so if it doesn't sell Diamond are getting it back.

   Right now though that's all pie in the sky as it's just marvel and Viz (NOT the humor rag from this side of the pond, the manga publisher). I say "just" between them they have some of the most popular and widely known characters and licences in popular media. Seeing a shelf full of Civil War trades on a Walmart isle next to a run of Naruto manga will do wonders in the up coming summer . If Marvel and Viz make it work, expect many others to follow and with Valiant joining the movie business I'm guessing a few more people will recognize Bloodshot as they buy their barbecue sets and hot dogs.

says it all really.
   If this is a success, it's another nail in the coffin for floppies and adversely another step towards a wider audience.

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