“big news” this week is that long time Comic-Con International Vendor Bud Plant art is not returning to Comic-Con International as a vendor.
He writes a letter about it basically saying he can’t make enough money there and he has no ill will towards the convention itself and will be going as an attendee. He lays out the whys and wherefores in what I would call a pragmatic and classy way.
AND as usual out come all the people yacking about how “Comic-Con International isn’t about the comics anymore.”
There’s two main types making this complaint. People who have not gone and never will and people who have been going since 2000. Guess what? It’s not the year 2000 anymore…NOT ANYWHERE. Have you been to a COMIC BOOK STORE recently? They are often stocked with toys, dvds, video games ABOUT comics as well as comics themslevs. WHY and HOW could ANY comic con be any different? Comics have GROWN INTO THE POP CULTURE. The notion that Comic-con ins’t about comics is flat out absurd…because in 2018 you have to search and try to find ANYTHING THAT ISN’T ABOUT COMICS. Movies, toys, t.v. shows….COMICS HAVE TAKEN OVER EVERYTHING. not the other way around. YOU ARE LOOKING THROUGH THE WRONG END OF THE TELESCOPE.
Comic-con has grown tremendously, and for a year or two it looked like it might take an unpleasant turn for comic books themselves…but it didn’t. The fans, and people at the wheel kept it moving along in a very advantageous direction for comics in general.
Comic-con has changed much in THIS way. It is not about the “what” it is about the “WHO”. You can ( I am getting tired of saying this) see and meet the ACTUAL MAKERS OF COMICS, ACTUAL STARS, GO TO PANELS OF PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY MAKE THE THINGS WE LOVE . It is the makers of things that people go there to see, not the things.
So yeah…vendors aren’t able to get any traction just selling comic books, no sh*t Sherlock. Why would someone buy a book from a vendor when they can buy it from the man or woman who made it? and get an autograph? and have a conversation about how it was made? They wouldn’t. NO ONE WOULD. Not even the people bitching and crying for Bud Plant and Mile high comics and every other vendor who has been made obsolete by the growth of this show AND by the internet. These people yacking about what a shame it is…if you took a comic book they wanted and put one copy on a shelf next to Bud Plant and another on a table in front of the person who drew it…where do you think they’d spend their money? hmm? Bud Plant seems like a decent human being, and seems to run a honest business but you cant make money at CCI trying to sell the same stuff you can get online. and you shouldn’t be able to.
Going to this show is ,for many, a once in a lifetime opportunity. Who would go there and spend their time and money getting stuff you could just order online. NO ONE. You’d have to be a moron! If it were up to me they’d check your bags on they way out and if you wasted your precious time and ticket doing this, they’d strip you of your badge and give it to someone who will make use of it. This would be like owning a Lamborghini and only using it to listen to the radio.
Bud Plant will be fine. In fact he mentions that he will still be going to the show as an attendee. THE GUY IS STILL GOING TO GO AS A FAN…tell me HOW that is evidence that the show isn’t for comics anymore? Every time one of these vendors cashes in, that is a good thing. They will be replaced by someone who is going to offer once in a lifetime things. Or did you think there would just a plywood with “we have closed” spray painted on it surrounding the table? Some people are lamenting his impending absence, I’m excited to see what will be in his place.
This con has gotten so big and so full of stars and pros and once in a lifetime items that just a used comic book or some TPB about used comic books isn’t going to cut it. AND YOU THINK THAT’S BAD?????WHAT THE F*CK?!!!!
Do you not realize how much time and effort and hard work from the CCI staff it took to get this show so big and glorious? You wanna talk “how it used to be ” in the year 2000? In the year 2000 we would have stabbed our mother’s in the face for a show like this. But we don’t have to stab our mothers because CCI spent two decades building this for us. And for that matter us exhibitors/publishers/pros put a good amount of time and effort into it. We all had some hand in making that a con where there is so much more to see, do, and get that a long box of used books is out of place.
What do you want? You want the crown jewel Comic-con of the entire industry to be a bunch of long boxes and local stores?
It’s not appropriate anymore.
CCI is the crown jewel of this INDUSTRY. It is the shining example of what we are capable of, to the entire world. I want it full of pros, and stars, and exclusives, and sneak previews, and once in a lifetime opportunities, and Chris Helmsworth and Sony pictures and a giant TWD display. I want a colossal golden statue of Stan Lee….I want them to dig up Jack Kirby and put his body in a glorious glass coffin like Lenin’s in Russia.
If you think it should be about long boxes full of used books that the vendor couldn’t sell on ebay, than you are thinking like an insect.
THAT is my larger purpose for writing this blog. That there is an attitude here that needs to change if the comic book industry is going to be around ten years from now.
REALIZE that BILLIONS of dollars are being spent on Comic book properties and yet comic book PUBLISHERS are by and large not growing. You wanna know why? because of the attitude that comes with this next sentence.
“pfft, half the people who got to CCI don’t even read comics”
GOOD! THAT IS GOOD! how else are going to get GROWTH if you don’t have access to people who don’t USE YOUR PRODUCT YET????? YOU CAN’T…YOU …CANNNNNN’TTTT
Any other industry on this planet would sell it’s soul to have a convention with 160,000 people attending, many of whom don’t use their product yet.
A show with a large percentage of people walking in the door who don’t read comics isn’t just opportunity knocking on our door, it’s opportunity jumping into our bed and putting a tab of Ecstasy in it’s mouth. …and some of you people want to stand it back up and give it the Heimlich maneuver. WHAT THE F*CK????? If you can’t see this for the opportunity that it is for this entire industry, how are you going to find any growth anywhere? How are you going to spot less obvious opportunities? How is this industry going to stay relevant after this wave of pop culture interest moves on?
STOP THINKING LIKE AN INSECT.