#Tilting At Windmills

Tilting At Windmills

WHEN I FIRST visited my wife’s family 40 years ago, a nearby road sign warned drivers to proceed carefully because a deaf child lived in the area. About two years later, the child and his parents moved to California. But the sign alerting motorists of his presence remained, and has since been replaced two times, cautioning drivers of a nonexistent peril. It reminds me of a certain political party restricting voting access under the guise of preventing voter fraud, yet another danger that doesn’t exist, at least to the degree they imagine.
Picture for Tilting At Windmills
The Beat

Tilting at Windmills #286: The Era Changes – Part One

Everything is changing for the “Direct Market” – the roughly 3000 independent stores around the world who sell periodical comics – in ways that it hasn’t changed in more than a quarter of a century. Virtually everything that we know or understand about how the market functions is going to be entirely upended by the beginning of Penguin Random House’s (PRH) distribution of Marvel comics, and I, for one, take that as direct blowback from DC’s attempt to rewrite their own distribution in the wake of COVID. There’s probably not going to be another more momentous period in my professional lifetime, and the way that these changes are going to impact many of those roughly three thousand stores needs to be “read into the record”. Now that I have divested myself of our second location (in the end I found a buyer, so San Francisco won’t have to lose another comic book store, yay!), I’m hopeful that this marks a return to monthly columns for Tilting at Windmills for the foreseeable future to chronicle and analyze the new gyrations that the market is going to have to stagger through.
Picture for Tilting at Windmills #286: The Era Changes – Part One