When I was a child, my father managed a variety store. Comic books were among the products he sold and he would bring home handfuls of them every week. I had a big box of them, constantly replenished, sitting under my bed and I loved them.
Every day I would run my hands through the books, picking out an Archie, a Superman, a Richie Rich, or some other comic with which to pass the time. I still have those fond memories but have to admit that I no longer read them. I do, however, root for comic books as a beautiful form of literacy and art.
Independent stores make up a large part of the comic book industry’s retail arm, made up of independent stores, which faithfully update their array of releases. As a result, they have loyal followers who visit each week to get the latest issues of their favorite characters.
As big as DC and Marvel are, it is these small stores that ignite the fuse of passion that keeps fans engaged between the various ComicCons. Not surprisingly, in the age of Coronavirus, comic book stores are struggling.
The comic book industry is, however, a closely connected ecosystem. Global distributor, Diamond Comics and its owners, Geppi Family Enterprises are working hard to help these stores stay in business.
They have created an initiative, “Back the Comeback,” which seeks to shore up these store owner’s losses both financially and emotionally. Here is a statement from the “Back the Comeback” website:
We need you to help spread the word about #BackTheComeBack and support the retailers of the comic book, gaming, and pop-culture industries jumpstart their re-opening efforts. Post a shout out to your favorite comic or game store, share a video of you picking up the comics or games you just bought, share pics of the comics and games you’re loving right now or can’t wait to get your hands on, tag your favorite store, artist or publisher – get creative! Challenge your friends to join as well so we keep the love going.
Be sure to tag us @backthecomeback and use #BackTheComeBack
The “Back the Comeback” website features an auction and calls for donations. I think it is a an excellent idea for other industries that want to help their small, independent retailers. And one that could well be emulated by those who wish to keep these small retailers in business.