Thursday, October 9, 2008

Weekend Whats-its and Woozies

Not much time left now before the glorious, glorious weekend, so Happy Friday to our legions (upon legions) of Exfanding readers! It's been a whirlwind week for us here, with lots of work happenings and late nights at our day job, and we're all looking forward to a couple of days of not doing anything.

Well, that's not entirely true. I plan on doing a few things this weekend, many of which revolve around reading. (Nathaniel, on the other hand, will be partaking in his usual Saturday morning bear-wrestling routine, then moderating a debate between Sarah Palin and Tina Fey on Sunday afternoon.)

[Nathaniel, on the other hand, will be at a Renaissance festival on Sunday and won't have time to moderate any debates. Though he will still have time for his morning bear-wrestling routine. -The Management]

For me, though, I look forward to diving into a couple of things I've been meaning to read. Well, OK, when I say "a couple," I mean an insurmountable pile of words (and pictures).

Here, take a look:

Stack of books*sigh*

And that's not even including my pile of new comics from this past Wednesday. Nor does it include my copy of Charlie Huston's latest Joe Pitt novel, Every Last Drop, which I've actually started...and I'm sure I'll finish it before...well...guh.

To that issue of simply having too much stuff, I'd like to make a quick point. One of the problems (if you want to call it that, I guess) of our fandoms (comics, gaming, orchids, whatever) is the sheer amount of stuff that's out there. I mean, new comics ship every Wednesday, and the new releases wall at my LCS sometimes vaguely resembles Gettysburg after the second day of fighting.

There are new books everywhere! And, have you ever noticed how, if, say, last week was a relatively slow week and none of the major titles shipped, you better believe that this week, EVERYTHING will ship? And you know they'll throw in a bunch of trades and hardcovers just for the heck of it. How comics shops run at all is beyond me.

And the publishers really don't seem to care. No [big, honking crossover event A] books this week? That's fine, we'll hit the stores with 20 must-read-to-understand-the-plot issues next week!

And, as customers get weary of being bombarded with DC's and Marvel's 50 book Wednesdays, customers decide to stop buying certain titles. They'll put issues whatever of Robin and Nightwing and Birds of Prey back on the shelf (even though the comics shop owner fully expects the customer to buy said issues, as he or she does every month) in favor of picking up the one or two big "must-reads" of that particular week.

And, in this economy, I have a feeling that more than a few comics buyers are "store-stealing" issues left and right, reading an entire book and placing it back on the shelves, only to leave the store empty-handed.

And that stinks for retailers.

And, if things stink for the retailers, you can bet that things are going to stink for the fans at one point, too. I dunno if the comics publishers are going to alter shipping schedules during this scary economic crisis, but it would sure make life easier on fans and retailers. If Marvel and DC lessened their weekly output, even by a few books, I'd bet that sales in local shops would increase week-to-week.

And I'm not suggesting they not put the books out. No, no, no. I just mean that maybe they could spread things out a bit. You know, one medium-sized week followed by two or three more, instead of one small week followed by three weeks of massive output.

No one's gonna listen, though. No one's gonna care. But, hey, it's half my blog, so I'll write about it if I want to!

How 'bout you guys? Are your buying habits changing in this crazy, scary economy? Leave some comments, and let us know. And, yes, I realize that this has been done on other blogs recently, but I don't care what their readers have to say. I only care about you guys!

So there.


Scott said...

I think DC is the worst, considering that they had not one, but TWO 52-isuse weekly must-read series in succession along with all the normal must-reads.

AJG said...

Actually, they had three! 52, Countdown, and now Trinity. Crazy, isn't it?