Thursday, June 02, 2011

Comics In Newsstands

Barnes & Noble is expanding their comic book presence significantly in their newsstands early this June, and giving them a prime location at the front of the newsstand area alongside entertainment and music magazines.  Prior to this change, comics were mixed in to the "Games and Humor" category beside crosswords and sodoku magazines.  Now, it seems, the bookstore chain is taking notice of floppies and giving them a chance to thrive in the bookstore atmosphere.  I'm not entirely sure what to make of the expansion and aggressive push (the store I work at is going from about ten titles to filling five spaces worth of books across each gondola, which would mean over sixty titles, many of which we're seeing ten copies of each book coming in).  Most of the titles are Marvel and DC, with a good mix of kid-friendly titles like Sonic the Hedgehog and Archie as well.  It may be that comics are one of the few areas that the nook and nookcolor don't offer in their electronic library, or a sign of weak magazine sales overall.  Or it may be that the buyers for Barnes & Noble's newsstand are noticing that crossover events move plenty of copies, with interest dying significantly by the time the collections roll around for their graphic novel areas.  Either way, the coming months will tell if this move will pay off.  Barnes & Noble does not have the capability of ordering specific magazines or comic floppies in for their customers, so pull lists and variety will still be a big draw for comic specialty shops, but this may hook some new readers on mainstream titles and perhaps draw more interest to the medium.

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