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View Full Version : Main problem with comics in Walmart!


j giar
06-17-2006, 11:16 AM
I recieved this in an e-mail from CBG. This was one of the problems that I saw with putting any material in a Walmart or even a grocery store. Now granted this is in Arkansas and their might be a lot more potential tight asses, but.. If retailers are leary or even unsure of what to put out there for the public, for fear of lawsuites and repercussions from all those "I'm to busy with my own life to police or watch over my kids, so you f*ckin do it!" parents out there. They want to ignore their kids until junior gets a shot Catwoman in her underpanties. I put some of the discussion here but I'm linking the whole thing. Just for the record I've always felt that Spawn is not a kids comic. I don't give a shit how many action figures you put out. Women with nipple protrusion and child molesters do not belong in a kids comic.
Quote:
Better sellers are the Archies, with Sonic doing mid-range Marvel and DC numbers. Part of the reason that they're such solid sellers for me is because I'm one of the few places left in the whole state where they're sold. Unlabeled Mature product being shipped to the shelves of mass outlets, and the subsequent parental complaints, has kiboshed comics racks at grocery stores and everywhere else where they were once easily found. Even Wal-Mart won't sell comics in the state of Arkansas. People come in all the time and tell me that "I thought they quit making comics!"

I thought they quit making comics. How scary is that?
Here's the link:
http://www.cbgxtra.com/default.aspx?tabid=42&view=topic&forumid=55&postid=12467

Mwynn
06-17-2006, 11:20 AM
Walmart carries comics?

j giar
06-17-2006, 11:37 AM
Walmart carries comics?
I know ours did here at one time. But then again we also have old rubber tires made into flower pots in our front yards. Not quite sure why they pulled them or quit selling them here. I think in some of the Super Walmarts, in the magazine sections, had them to.

Mwynn
06-17-2006, 11:39 AM
I see the trades on the website. Yet not one comic ever in a Walmart.

Shishio
06-17-2006, 11:48 AM
I've seen comics in Wla-Mart as well, years ago. It was when Dragonball Z was really popular. They had a bunch of Viz published DBZ issues. I remember feeling dread, because I knew that a lot of parents would pick up the comics for their kids, thinking they were just adaptations of the harmless T.V. show. But unlike the T.V. show, the comics weren't edited.

j giar
06-17-2006, 11:59 AM
Are they still in Toy'R'Us? I know years ago you could buy a three pack..or was that at Walmart?

Scribe
06-17-2006, 12:43 PM
People shop at Wal-Mart?

Mwynn
06-17-2006, 12:44 PM
People shop at Wal-Mart?
Hell yeah.

j giar
06-17-2006, 12:45 PM
That's where I'm standing right now!!

theflash
06-17-2006, 12:55 PM
if we dont hit walmart once a day something isnt going right it seems. drives me crazy but there it is. i have thought as well about trying to get comics into walmarts but the door is shut pretty tight.

another place you might consider are Hastings stores. they have just revamped their comics section and might be open to stocking indy books. they made a killing with the sin city reissue and i guess it woke them up.

danedawg99
06-17-2006, 02:35 PM
wal-marts here had the serenity movie tie-ins from dark horse. but that's it.

Gonzogoose
06-17-2006, 02:48 PM
A couple of the Wal-Marts around here (out of about 7 or 8 in a 30 mile radius) carried quite a few comics at one time not too long ago, but recently I haven't found any. Kroger still carries some of the Marvel, DC and Archie stuff and occasionally an Image or Dark Horse title. They were carrying Wizard as well, but I haven't seen it for a few months.

innocentboy
06-17-2006, 05:06 PM
I recieved this in an e-mail from CBG. This was one of the problems that I saw with putting any material in a Walmart or even a grocery store. Now granted this is in Arkansas and their might be a lot more potential tight asses, but.. If retailers are leary or even unsure of what to put out there for the public, for fear of lawsuites and repercussions from all those "I'm to busy with my own life to police or watch over my kids, so you f*ckin do it!" parents out there. They want to ignore their kids until junior gets a shot Catwoman in her underpanties. I put some of the discussion here but I'm linking the whole thing. Just for the record I've always felt that Spawn is not a kids comic. I don't give a shit how many action figures you put out. Women with nipple protrusion and child molesters do not belong in a kids comic.
Quote:
Better sellers are the Archies, with Sonic doing mid-range Marvel and DC numbers. Part of the reason that they're such solid sellers for me is because I'm one of the few places left in the whole state where they're sold. Unlabeled Mature product being shipped to the shelves of mass outlets, and the subsequent parental complaints, has kiboshed comics racks at grocery stores and everywhere else where they were once easily found. Even Wal-Mart won't sell comics in the state of Arkansas. People come in all the time and tell me that "I thought they quit making comics!"

I thought they quit making comics. How scary is that?
Here's the link:
http://www.cbgxtra.com/default.aspx?tabid=42&view=topic&forumid=55&postid=12467
just wanted to drop a comment on that ...

granted i don't have kids, so i can't speak from experience, but it IS a world where things are constantly changing. i mean, now both parents are ussually working (and working longer hours at that), and it's often not out of choice. considering things like the economy, and that there are more single parents now then ever ... parents can't watch thier kids 24/7

and again, yeah, i don't have kids so i'm not speaking from experience, just from observation.

not saying that parents don't have a responsibility with thier kids, just saying that the finger can't all be pointed in just 1 direction

MrGranger
06-18-2006, 02:09 AM
The big issue with these stores is that they buy their comics from distributors that require 365 day 100% returns. That's why you don't see DC and Marvel jumping up and down for the newstands.

Imagine what 6 months of a 15,000 unit order is like. :banana:

Now imagine what it's like six months later to get 90,000 copies back. WITH a bill for shipping them to you. :cry:

L Jamal
06-18-2006, 09:43 AM
1) They don't ship them back, they jus return the covers as proof of destruction
2) Returns are usually about 35-55% but the discount is much lower about 25-35% off cover.
3) You get paid a small percentage up front. Then a payment after 3 months and then a final settlement after 9-12 months. The real problem most comic publishers have is being able to float that long and then maybe having to pay some back because they were overpaid along the way.

Ingrid K. V. Hardy
06-18-2006, 09:52 AM
Ooooohh but I'd have lots to say about pointing fingers at parents, seeing as I am one, but this isn't really the place. As for Walmart, they are getting a really bad rep up here in Quebec anyway, mostly for the way they treat the people and companies they buy products from. Our family has drastically reduced the number of times we go there now, and the last time I went - about a month ago - they don't sell comic books. But there is a magazine store not far from us that does sell comic books and I've been going there for at least 10 years now. I can tell you exactly what they sell: Superman, Batman, Avengers, Spawn ( and I SO agree, that does NOT belong where kids can get it - my kids don't get their hands on that. When they're 18, they can read what they like.) They had a few Star Wars issues, most of which I bought, Archie, Jughead, a few manga books of which I don't remember the names, and that is it. None of the really interesting stuff like what you all are putting out. 'Course, here not everyone reads in English. From my location, if I want something interesting to read, it takes an effort to find it and the general public is not going to do that. IMO of course.

MrGranger
06-18-2006, 10:18 AM
1) They don't ship them back, they jus return the covers as proof of destruction
2) Returns are usually about 35-55% but the discount is much lower about 25-35% off cover.
3) You get paid a small percentage up front. Then a payment after 3 months and then a final settlement after 9-12 months. The real problem most comic publishers have is being able to float that long and then maybe having to pay some back because they were overpaid along the way.

Is this from Wal-Mart directly? I thought they also bought their magazines from Ingrams.

Ingrams is 100% returnable for 365... but of course it might be less that are actually returned. They will either send back the books or a digital list of the books. They don't do covers for magazines. And no payment upfront.

So are you quoting direct to Wal-Mart?

daweir
06-18-2006, 10:43 AM
not saying that parents don't have a responsibility with thier kids, just saying that the finger can't all be pointed in just 1 direction

I'll start pointing the finger elsewhere when those parents start living up to their parental obligations. Deal?

j giar
06-18-2006, 11:28 AM
I'll start pointing the finger elsewhere when those parents start living up to their parental obligations. Deal?
Innocentboy is right in one respect. Which was one of the reasons why I posted the article in the first place. The responsibility is split amongst the creators and the parents and the retailers. For a creator to produce a comic and since it's easier to pick on it..Spawn for example, and gear it towards kids with questionable material is setting up the retailer for some major possible legal problems. And if the retailer is unaware of the content or subject matter and places the book with Donald Duck and Sonic books...well that's why the CBLDF exists. I followed Mcfarlane from his days on Spiderman to his solo debut on Spiderman as writer and artist..to Spawn. It's obvious even now that he had a loyal following..which,for the sake of argument ,we'll say a decent percentage were kids. They followed him to Image and Spawn. Being an adult I liked the book. I won't say it's one of my favorites. In particular when he had Miller, Gaiman and others do the writing. Do you honestly think a 7 or 8 year old kid needs to see Wanda's panty line or the silhouette her breasts through her night gown. When I was 12..yeah maybe. :har:
However, being the parent of two girls that are 6 and 15 (Yes, I realize I'm doomed. DOOMED!), I police everything as does my wife. I control when and how long my oldest is on line. She doesn't like my rules...tough shit! She'll get a chance to screw up her own life when she's an adult. I monitor what they watch on T.V. This coming from a die hard horror and action movie junkie. I watch T.V with my kids all the time. My oldest and I used to watch Batman The animated series, Johhny Quest reruns...The Herculoids. Now with my 6 year old. Spongebob all the way baby. PLANKTON RULES!!!!

Buckyrig
06-18-2006, 12:00 PM
Yeah...parents need to do what they can...but lots of parents are not. And that still affects the parents who do. I do not believe anything short of child pornography should be censored...but there is nothing wrong with making sure the buying public knows what kind of content you are providing.

And as I said, there are still other problems. Even if my parents will grab something from me...the kid next door doesn't have that same problem...and we hang out all the time.

I was never allowed to watch R movies as a kid. Most of my friends were under the same restriction. Gary was allowed to watch certain R movies, but his mother did not allow other kids to watch them in her home...but then there was Scott's house...that Shangri-La every kid looks for where the parents are nothing more than occassional footfalls on the basement ceiling. We could have sacraficed goats down there and no one would have known. It was non-stop viewing of everything we were not allowed to watch at home. Horror movies, Richard Pryor, and a never ending search for nudity.

Well, that'll happen anyway I suppose, but it can be minimized with a modicum of common sense.

j giar
06-18-2006, 12:23 PM
I was a child of the late 70's early 80's. You'll never now the rush of finally getting cable T.V. ALL HAIL SKINAMAX!!!!!

rlauf
06-19-2006, 03:17 AM
yeah

Dave Reynolds
06-19-2006, 07:21 AM
My local Wal-Mart carries some books, but aside from the Archies books, they're the Marvel Adventure books and the Johnny DC line.

Ingrid K. V. Hardy
06-19-2006, 08:08 AM
Well seeing as everyone else is talking about it... I'm not saying that any comic books or novels should be censored, (or any book at all) but only that perhaps retailers could group these things together like they do with other magazines. Because they don't do that now. As parents who are hawks with our kids, supervised online time, a limit to violence and the like, we also like to try to let our kids explore on their own as well... ie ok guys, "go to that section and pick out what you would like". Of course that's an ideal world. So lately, (since they're getting older and as mentioned, they will see it elsewhere) we've tried to show our kids these violent things and explain why we don't agree with it, and asked for their opinions on it. So far it works. Now, when we take them to a store that has comic books (not often admittedly, since there are not many around here) they invariably come to the approval/checkout with very reasonable reads. Last night, with my daughter, we started watching a James Bond movie - "Die another Day". In the first 15 minutes the gratuitous violence was just unbelievable! Where's the brain food in that? Even my 8 yr old daughter said " let's read a book instead". In passing, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of comic books for young girls.... Gee have I been rambling....

Scribe
06-19-2006, 04:44 PM
The onus here is totally on the parents to police their children. We shouldn't have our cultural values held ransom to what is appropriate for a six year old.

As a writer my job is to tell a story, ideally one that will sell. I am not responsible for where that story ends up once I release it to a publisher. You write a story witha certain audience in mind, you can't be held responsible if someone else picks its up and decides to read it. That said I'm writing a mainstream fantasy novel and knowing that the readership of that genre includes a lot of kids under 18 I am keeping it pretty gore and sex free, but thats my decision as an artist, and I respect others who do differently.

In the Spawn case I do feel that McFarland deserves some blame because as a creator I'm sure he has some say in where his comics are sold, but it's not the fault of a creator if an adult book ends up in the hands of a child.

Buckyrig
06-19-2006, 05:13 PM
The onus here is totally on the parents to police their children. We shouldn't have our cultural values held ransom to what is appropriate for a six year old.

No, but Wal-Mart will do what's best for its business. Part of that is maintaining its public image. Blockbuster would not have been the powerhouse that it is if it carried porn. (Also see my previous post regarding parents. "Ignore it" or "keep your kids away from it" don't really wash when "it" is being shoved down everyone's throat at every turn and on every channel. The only other option is to become Amish.)

As a writer my job is to tell a story, ideally one that will sell. I am not responsible for where that story ends up once I release it to a publisher.

Legally, no. The publisher has legal obligations in some cases however. Ultimately it is the retailer who will get nailed if there is a problem though. I guess you have to ask yourself if you think you have an ethical obligation in this regard. A story heavy in adult-theme (without getting too far into what that might mean) should definitely be advertised as such. There will be problems anyway, yes. Like with South Park getting grief (at least in the beginning) even though it was advertised as a mature show, has a disclaimer before episodes, and airs later at night. But they did say, "Hey, this isn't for kids."

Personally I think a creator has more of an obligation to advise readers on content than they do in salability of the story. (Yep, I'm gonna get slammed for that one. :whistlin: )

Scribe
06-19-2006, 05:38 PM
Personally I think a creator has more of an obligation to advise readers on content than they do in salability of the story. (Yep, I'm gonna get slammed for that one. :whistlin: )

I completely agree with that statement. I think you should write to your audience and if you do write adult stuff it should be advertised as such.

The problem is a lot, seemingly the majority, of parents freely ignore warnings. When I caught the late showing of Saw II on Holloween night this couple brought a boy who couldn't have been older than three years old. I saw a kid in the park the other day reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods that includes hetro and gay soft porn.

Movies, televisions, albums and comic books all have ratiing systems and parents ignore or don't take five minutes to understand them. All televisions sold today have V-Chip tech in them and no one uses it. There is a myriad of parantal control options available for the internet, but few parents use that.

As a writer most often you don't have control over how your work is marketed or where it is sold. That being said the only option you are left with is to self edit your own work, and I refuse to write for the youngest common denominator.

j giar
06-19-2006, 07:08 PM
There is a myriad of parantal control options available for the internet, but few parents use that
I do! It's called get off the frickin computer!

Ingrid K. V. Hardy
06-20-2006, 08:10 AM
I do! It's called get off the frickin computer!

Hey that's my "parental control option"!! :laugh:

Romaine
06-20-2006, 10:44 AM
This subject has been a sore spot with me for aeons. So since everyone's throwing their two cents in, here's mine:

I'm an artist and (soon to be) creator of comics. I write and draw what I feel with no regard whatsoever for whether or not people will be offended by it. If some people are, they can buy something else.

If a publisher doesn't want it, that's fine with me. I'm not interested in working with a publisher who doesn't have the balls to put out something spicy.

If a retailer won't carry it, so be it. I'd rather have my book in a store known for carrying mature titles than have it sitting next to "Archie." :yuk:

If a parent gets upset because their kid got their hands on one of my books, that's their own damn fault. A parent is responsible for their children until the age of eighteen, and that includes what they read. I'm a parent myself and I have no trouble keeping on top of what my daughter mentally ingests.

Now, I'm sure a lot of folks are thinking that with such ideals, I'll have an extra-difficult time selling my books in an already slumped market. And I'm sure those people are absolutely right.

But I'll go to my grave knowing I stayed true to my vision no matter what. The day I cut nudes out of my book just to get that "mature" label off my covers and sell a few extra books is the day I take a rusty knife and geld myself.

Just my humble opinion...

~Romaine

DannoE
06-20-2006, 11:40 AM
Walmart is a really great place to sell everything, but they want to have a squeaky clean image, which is why both Marvel and DC have been kicked out of there several times. DC's Batman Adventures-type books were made with a Wal Mart type audience in mind, but even that hasn't really worked out as well as they might have hoped.

Wal Mart wants to sell comics to kids and it doesn't give a crap about what adult comic readers want. So they DON'T pander to the DM and insist on what they want, with the result that both companies have been booted. Think what you will, Wal Mart is a private company and can do what it likes. There is no "right" to sell at Wal Mart.

With that said, I have heard that they've had better success at Target, so here's hoping.

innocentboy
06-22-2006, 12:36 AM
trying to stay out of it, 'cause like i said, i don't have kids and can't speak from experience, but i DO know that in these days and times, many many families gotta depend on income from both the mom and dad ... and many many families only got a mom, or a dad, not both.

and single parents go everywhere, lower, middle, high class.

so if a single parent needs a double income, and has to work more than 12 hours a day ... what they supposed to do? (retorically asked)

nolanjwerner
06-22-2006, 12:50 AM
Main problem with comics in Wal mart = conservative white guys in arkansas deciding which books go on the shelf is worse then the comics code.

Buckyrig
06-22-2006, 01:46 AM
Main problem with comics in Wal mart = conservative white guys in arkansas deciding which books go on the shelf is worse then the comics code.

Main problem with comics in __________ = ___________ deciding which books go on the shelf...

Fill in the blanks. I agree that it would not be a place for me to go get books, but so what?

j giar
06-22-2006, 10:34 AM
trying to stay out of it, 'cause like i said, i don't have kids and can't speak from experience, but i DO know that in these days and times, many many families gotta depend on income from both the mom and dad ... and many many families only got a mom, or a dad, not both.

and single parents go everywhere, lower, middle, high class.

so if a single parent needs a double income, and has to work more than 12 hours a day ... what they supposed to do? (retorically asked)
You have a good point. However (don't you just love when someone says that.) I do have several friends, male and female, that are single parents. I do see how tough it can be for some. But true love for your child and concern for what type of person they turn out to be as an adult should be motivation enough. I know it's what motivates them.

nolanjwerner
06-22-2006, 10:37 AM
Main problem with comics in __________ = ___________ deciding which books go on the shelf...

Fill in the blanks. I agree that it would not be a place for me to go get books, but so what?




The problem is that most comic stores are already not the most stable of businesses.

And Wal Mart's record with local business when it moves in to things is generally a bit shy of the business equivalent of genocide.

And in an age where comics are inching closer and closer to the mainstream due specifically to their quality, it would be a Wetham level catastrophe to let a company run by conservative white men from Arkansas to establish a huge market for comic retail, especially since most of them probably have the "comics are for kids" attitude. This kind of thing would essentially eviscerate the possibility of comics reaching the plateau of serious literature probbaly for the rest of our lifetimes.

L Jamal
06-22-2006, 10:51 AM
If comics want to get a firm foothold out of the DM, then the publishers will have to produce some sort of content guide for their books. Why because bookstores need to know where to place the books. Mature books should not be grouped with young adult books or all ages books and that's currently what you have in most bookstores. There is one GN/TPB section with all the comics whent at material would/could better within their respective genre sections.

theflash
06-22-2006, 01:41 PM
And in an age where comics are inching closer and closer to the mainstream due specifically to their quality, it would be a Wetham level catastrophe to let a company run by conservative white men from Arkansas to establish a huge market for comic retail, especially since most of them probably have the "comics are for kids" attitude. This kind of thing would essentially eviscerate the possibility of comics reaching the plateau of serious literature probbaly for the rest of our lifetimes.

your arguement isn't supported by facts. comics aren't becoming more accepted, they are falling off, or stagnant. i hear so many people shocked that comics are even still produced that it's not even funny. mainstream? man we're not even a tributary. movies help some, but depending on the movie they actually hurt rather than help, and many movies downplay their connection to comics because they don't want the comics stigma.

as to the doom and gloom brought on us by conservative Arkansans, what's your point? do you know who the single biggest power in the music industry is? that would be Wal Mart. no other store, company, or entity can force lables to edit their content, packaging, and distribution until it's acceptable. only Wal Mart does that. and they haven't been wiped off the face of the earth. the music industry still puts out music and makes billions every year despite having to deal with Wal Mart. comics could easily endure the same if publishers were serious about it, but they aren't. Marvel and DC don't care. they are gonna get their sales folks. so why should they be interested in doing anything to help the industry when their section of the industry is just fine?

Buckyrig
06-22-2006, 01:49 PM
Marvel and DC don't care. they are gonna get their sales folks. so why should they be interested in doing anything to help the industry when their section of the industry is just fine?

But they are not even selling what they used to/can. The larger companies need to actually put an MBA in charge of shit. Just an MBA who has a love for comics. I'd hate to be a creator under those conditions, but that is what would dig comics out of the financial hole they are in.

Frankly, I don't personally give a damn. I prefer underground status. Doesn't improve quality necessarily, but at least the stuff that falls on its face does so more on its own merit than in other media.

theflash
06-22-2006, 02:06 PM
Frankly, I don't personally give a damn. I prefer underground status. Doesn't improve quality necessarily, but at least the stuff that falls on its face does so more on its own merit than in other media.

very true, and that's the way it should be without a doubt.

nolanjwerner
06-22-2006, 02:26 PM
your arguement isn't supported by facts. comics aren't becoming more accepted, they are falling off, or stagnant. i hear so many people shocked that comics are even still produced that it's not even funny. mainstream? man we're not even a tributary. movies help some, but depending on the movie they actually hurt rather than help, and many movies downplay their connection to comics because they don't want the comics stigma.

as to the doom and gloom brought on us by conservative Arkansans, what's your point? do you know who the single biggest power in the music industry is? that would be Wal Mart. no other store, company, or entity can force lables to edit their content, packaging, and distribution until it's acceptable. only Wal Mart does that. and they haven't been wiped off the face of the earth. the music industry still puts out music and makes billions every year despite having to deal with Wal Mart. comics could easily endure the same if publishers were serious about it, but they aren't. Marvel and DC don't care. they are gonna get their sales folks. so why should they be interested in doing anything to help the industry when their section of the industry is just fine?



Actually the sales for trades and manga is doing alright. Comic movies are doing fairly well. Its jut the little floppy pamphlets that are suffering, mostly because of bad business decisions by the industry.



Look at the way Wal Mart has eviscerated music sales. And then imagine that happening to comics. You'd get something worse then the comics code. No Vertigo, no Wildstorm, No MAX. No wild Grant Morrison stuff. It would be the second coming of Archie.

j giar
06-22-2006, 02:29 PM
but that is what would dig comics out of the financial hole they are in.
CBG Article:
http://www.cbgxtra.com/Default.aspx?tabid=42&view=topic&forumid=16&postid=12698

It may have already begun. Granted Marvel and DC still control the lions share. But at least figures are up. Supply and demand at it's finest. Less retailers and more volumn. I honestly do not see the independent market going into Wal-Mart. For the same reason I don't buy my music there. They do enforce a rating system there. I don't need WalMart to tell me what I can and cannot listen to. So I chose to not buy there.
Book stores are a definite avenue that if played right could open alot of doors for everyone.

innocentboy
06-22-2006, 06:22 PM
You have a good point. However (don't you just love when someone says that.) I do have several friends, male and female, that are single parents. I do see how tough it can be for some. But true love for your child and concern for what type of person they turn out to be as an adult should be motivation enough. I know it's what motivates them.
true. no argument there.
there's no set formula for raising a kid (or so i've heard).

(and sorry if this is derailing the thread)

j giar
06-22-2006, 09:37 PM
true. no argument there.
there's no set formula for raising a kid (or so i've heard).

(and sorry if this is derailing the thread)
Nah, mind as well clear the shit out of the air so we can focus on the subject. All points are good!