I observed with interest the advent of Loot Crate, a subscription service that sends to your door a variety of comics, toys and other comics-related items. They publicize well in advance what the theme of each month’s offerings will be so you can know what you want.
As cool as all that is, I can’t subscribe to a service that comes to me fewer times than my local comics shop has new offerings to pick up.
Call me irrational, but I can’t wait when it’s time to feed my comics habit!
COMICS ARE A HABITUAL INDUSTRY
Believe it or not, there were days when comics didn’t arrive on Wednesdays. They used to come in on Fridays, and that was great because I’d pick them up after work, then take them home and be able to enjoy them over the weekend.
However, if there was any kind of delay, that meant the books likely wouldn’t arrive until the following week.
There were also shop owners who didn’t like to have to rush out in traffic early Friday to get their books. To them, it was better to wait until Monday to have them available on the stands. Oddly enough, those same owners would criticize people who would drive to another town just to get the books on Fridays. “What’s wrong with people that they can’t wait until the next business day to buy their comics?” was what I heard one of those folks say.
In two months, he also was making sure they were out on Fridays in his shop. They were just losing way too much business to the other stores.
What this illustrates is that, as many in the industry are anxious to point out, comics are a habitual medium.. That means many of us have the habit of wanting to pick up our stack of stuff as soon as we can so we can pore through it.
I know that’s how I like to do it!
But Fridays became a tough time to get books because some people want to go to the movies on Friday nights or do other social activities. So the decision was made to have the new products available on Wednesdays. Please understand, though, that most stores actually pick up their orders on Tuesday sometime. They are not allowed to sell any new offering until their stores open the following day, though.
CRATES AND BOXES AND BINS AND ALL
Recently, the advent of “crate” subscription services has changed the industry. Instead of making trips to the local shop, more and more fans are saving money and time by placing orders for their “box” to arrive on a regular basis. Many come monthly, but the pressure is on to increase the number of times a subscription is delivered each month. We’ll see who goes semi-monthly first!
As much as I hear some companies saying their deliveries will happen on a very regular basis, I can never trust the delivery systems in our country to be on time. And they always seem to be late when I want what’s coming the most! ARRGH!
I’m sure every subscription service is working hard to meet their deadlines. After all, customers expect them to be true to their word. They could lose business if, as often happens, a box is lost in the mail or comes too late.
However, with postal deliveries at an extremely low rate at this time, there’s not a lot of competition, so it should be easier to get their goodies to you on time.
AM I JUST IMPATIENT?
As I once told a co-worker when she was fussing with me about tracking down items I wanted, “It’s not the wanting, it’s the having!”
I don’t feel great about wanting something. Instead, what matters to me is having what it is I want as soon as I can and in as good condition as possible.
I used to read my books in what I called “reverse” order. I put the ones I was least interested in on the top, then put the ones I wanted to read most on the bottom of my weekly stack of reading. That way, I thought, I’ll end on a great note!
But real life gets in the way of comics at times, so I kept finding I was reading my favorite books days later. Then I began to read the ones I wanted most as early as possible. But that left me somewhat dissatisfied if I read an “okay” book last. I wanted a high-octane exclamation point to my reading!
I often wonder if I’m just impatient or if my comics habit has gotten the best of me! I’ll let you all know when I finally figure all that out!
WHERE I STAND FOR NOW
The industry is going through a series of changes that might impact readers and producers alike for years to come. Kickstarter.com, crate subscription services, digital comics – all of these are pulling us forward. The question will be, are those changes making comics better or worse?
As cool as these new subscription services are, and I wish them all the success in the world because I want comics to get into the hands of as many as possible, they just don’t work for me. I can’t wait especially when Batman or other great titles are calling out to me from my local store.
If you can hold on until your box arrives, more power to you! You’ll likely save money and time, things we all really need more of!
But there is just no way I can hold on until I open my front door to pick up and sort through a crate! That may change in the future, but I don’t see it taking place in the next months or ever years!