Comics conventions, artist alley, Norman Reedus, Florida Supercon, Wondercon, Walking Dead

Comics conventions are returning now, sometimes with more than one happening on a weekend in the U.S.

It makes me wonder if, on some levels, comics are TOO popular now!

WHY THE INDUSTRY MAY BE TOO BIG

Superman & Lois, CWBefore the pandemic hit, comics conventions were often bursting at the seams, with fans and others crowding in every day. People came in from the local community as well as all over the country. Conventions have had quite the reputation for drawing in a huge audience as well as exhibits in one place that you might have trouble finding elsewhere.

You can also find many t-shirts and other comics-related items in your local Wal-Marts and other stores. In fact, not long ago I discovered a store chain I’d never heard of before. It’s called 2nd & Charles, and they had a lot of materials I had never encountered previously. There were Pops galore, comics, books and other items that took us a while to sort through. They have stores all over the country, and I can guarantee that won’t be the last time we’ll visit a 2nd & Charles.

I have been watching and really enjoying Superman & Lois, now on The CW. Many times in the 8:00 p.m. slot from Monday through Thursday, you can see a DC Comics-related show. ABC, Disney+, and Netflix have had Marvel-inspired shows as well, and I hear other companies may have their wares on display on broadcast stations, not to mention Valiant’s digital-first series.

Never mind the many movies based on comics, with Black Widow arriving in theaters before long.

Comics-related properties are considered commonplace and well-known. Geeks rules the world! I mean, how much bigger can these comics-related things get? Have we reached the pinnacle?

WHY THEY’RE NOT BIG ENOUGH

Black Widow, MarvelOn the other hand, comics really could use more attention and support.

In their heyday, issues of comics often sold over 2 million copies. Now, if a book passes the 100,000 mark, that’s rare and news-worthy. Granted, back in those days, TV was just beginning, and games used cardboard playing boards with little pieces on them rather than today’s videogame consoles.

Comics shops are often found in many communities, but they can be found struggling to keep their doors open. They have to work to know their regular customers well, then keep those same people happy! There aren’t nearly enough other people on the lookout for these stores as there could be, in my opinion.

I wish more shops would piggy-back onto movie releases, maybe getting permission from local theaters to hand out flyers for their shops or even sell books there while people are excited about the film. I also wonder out loud why DC and Marvel don’t advertise their wares with trailers or commercials during movies or TV shows. In my opinion, that’s low-hanging fruit!

There are many more comics properties that could become TV shows or movies, so I don’t think we’re reached the end of that yet … not nearly!

I fret over the industry a lot, wondering what it will take to keep it moving forward as well as even surviving!

NOW WHAT?

support the industryI think it’s important to keep the various levels of comics going, from the local store to the companies the ideas come from to the TV shows and movies. I’d really hate for this to be the “golden age” of comics, only to have it all vanish into the ether in a few years.

I know I say this a lot, but it bears repeating – Support the industry! Buy and share with others about the books you love! Watch the shows! Go to the movies if that works for you!

I really want comics to move forward, to advance rather than fade away. I’m convinced that the only way that can happen is if we as fans, at least as many of us as possible, take it upon ourselves to be “ambassadors” for the industry. I mean, if all the people who walked the halls of comic conventions spread out into their communities and shared the word about comics, well, I probably wouldn’t worry so much! Instead, many go home and hide what they bought in their closets or other hidey-holes. That’s fine, but share your passion, too!

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Comics conventions are returning now, sometimes with more than one happening on a weekend in the U.S. It makes me wonder if, on some levels, comics are TOO popular now! WHY THE INDUSTRY MAY BE TOO BIG Before the pandemic hit, comics conventions were often bursting at the seams, with fans and...