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WAITING FOR TOMMY
By Richard Johnston

JOE QUESADA: Gents, not to get too involved between Rich and Mark's economic debate but the truth is glaringly obvious.

I wasn't joking and I wasn't prophetic when I called the industry self-loathing in San Diego last year. It was done for a reason and all the self-loathers stuck their heads out and showed us who they are. Unfortunately, it's about 70% of our industry.

Bill J[emas] is absolutely right, it's not about a fear of success meaning a fear of impending bust, there's a bit of that but what it really is is a fear of people invading the nice little sanctity of the comic book club. Retailers don't keep dirty stores because they don't know how to clean, they all most likely have nice neat homes, they keep the dirt there as a barrier to keep the invaders out. This is revenge of the nerds to the highest level and it's not even being done on a conscious level. These are the geeks that joined the AV squad to be with other geeks, they don't want the football players or the cheerleaders joining their little deserted island, their safe haven on this planet.

Here's a funny anecdote for all. I just did an interview for some major newspaper about the upcoming Hulk movie and all the success we've been having. The reporter asked me if the movie affected sales of the books because it seems like there's more traffic at stores these days and our exposure in bookstores has been amazing. I told her about how it's helped circulation and visibility. She told me how funny it was that what I was saying was so at odds with the retailer in her area that she interviewed as research for the column. This retailer apparently told her that the movies had no effect and that his business was the same sh*tty business it's been for the last bunch of years. Now, I don't know about you guys, but if a major paper calls me for word on how the comics industry is doing, even if we were going in the toilet, I would never tell them that. Yet, this retailer felt compelled to let her know that no one was showing up and by the way, no one should bother.

That is what our industry has to contend with, unfortunately you have an industry that feels that XXXX XXXX's head shop is how you should run a comic shop. Only in comics can this happen. That's like Bryan Hitch waiting anxiously for Rob Liefeld's next book on how to draw anatomy or Alan Moore asking Todd McFarlane for writing lessons.

[But I was having a different conversation.]

RICHARD JOHNSTON: Not necessarily. By making the Bank of England independent, he cut the link between governments being able to be manipulated to change interest rates. This changed the perception of the British economy by money handlers and abolished the possibility of more Black Wednesdays. One of the more radical measures this government has taken. Then he's taken tough choices in the good times where a previous chancellor cut taxes. As a result, while the market is poor, unemployment, interest rates and inflation are low. Keynesian economics would have a very different outcome based on the state of our current industry. Brown pulled out a couple of policies from left field which are still having a big impact today.

Maybe Bush is a comics fan and he wants a boom to offload his Valiant crates?

[Barrucci addressed Bendis' points.]

NICK BARRUCCI: And Brian, I think that they will. Just like Hollywood needs to churn out good movies, but might have collector edition DVD's, you gotta keep in mind that people only buy more if the movies are good. We need to just keep creating the compelling content. You do. Let's get more people to. Let's advertise outside the comics field. We're going to do this, and drag the comics industry nay-sayers kicking and screaming if we have to!

[But Mark knew where the real conversation was going.]

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 Continued Here...

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