Sunday, 17 June 2007

Saturday shorts

Dave F continues to ignore my text pleas to play Heroclix with his brother's reputedly HUGE collection.

Bah! The urge to have a go at this game is getting stronger. I spent a good ten minutes in Forbidden Planet today lurking sheepishly around the booster packs while sweaty men filled their baskets with boxes of the things.

My research reveals that there are many subgenres of the game, including something called Horrorclix, a set which includes this ghastly figure...

Yes, it's a Jack the Ripper horror toy and he's standing over a murdered prostitute in contemporary garb.

Fucccccccccccccck!

Check out his special ability...

Jesus wept! Who in hell's name came up with this vile thing? Not a woman that's for sure.

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My constant mantra that Orbital is the best comic shop in London's West End might need revising after a visit to Gosh comics with my girlfriend

Becky usually rolls her eyes when I drag her into a comic shop. She hates superheros and like most sane women finds the sight of pasty faced fanboys patrolling ill-lit stink dens for ancient comics a bit weird.

She seemed to enjoy Gosh though. It's small, but relatively bright and it stocks a lot of non superhero titles. I was amazed to see her flicking through a couple of books and even more shocked when she told me she was going to buy this one...

Holy crap. My comic hating girlfriend feeling comfortable enough in a comic shop to browse the shelves and then buy a book! It was quite a weird moment; one which made me reconsider my own buying habits. I love the superhero stuff, but there is a lot more out there than Spandex, and Gosh does a fantastic job of showcasing it.

Orbital do stock some non-superhero indy titles, but Gosh devotes a huge whack of shelf space to the stuff. It's a very different place to all the other shops out there and by far the most girl/kid/normal person friendly outlet I know.

I'm always going to have a soft spot for the grubby basements that deal in Marvel and DC, but Gosh is more representative of the medium as a whole and probably has a brighter future as a result.

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Having said all that I'm not sure comic shops have much of a future at all. I'm keen to pick up the second Fantastic Four Omnibus which came out this week, but it costs £20 more in the shops than it does on Amazon. So who do you think is going to get my money?

Granted this is an extreme example, but virtually every graphic novel you care to mention is available for less online. Given that we seem to be moving inexorably towards the death of the monthly comic book, I just don't see how comic shops are going to be able to compete with the online giants.

In the end I suppose the ones like Gosh that stock the more obscure stuff and the cheap manga are going to be the ones who survive.

1 comment:

Ben said...

it would be a damn shame
buying comics for me isnt all about getting the cheapest, its a trip out of the house, its the excitement of browsing and recomendations and a chat with the staff. Its holding and looking at comics.
ordering stuff online always feels a bit joyless and you really feel the money bit, as its the longest part of the transaction. there will be no joy for young collectors if all they know is an html page.
- an old man