Flip Through

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Things I do in my free time

Pretty much the only independent bookstores in my area is a place called Mojo Books and Music. It is heftily hip and quite a good place all around: a great selection of books of all genres plus vinyl and CDs, and they just expanded to include a coffee and tea bar. It is one of my favorite places and I give them a reasonable amount of custom, usually in the fantasy and graphic novel areas.

It is this last that concerned me yesterday. Last week the store's owner put out a call for someone to organize their selection of graphic novels and related books in exchange for some store credit, and I volunteered. So on Tuesday afternoon I went in and spent five hours rearranging things. It was...fun. Well, duh. I don't mind shelving and organizing things, and believe me, their collection needed it. It ended up being delineated thus:

+DC and imprints (Vertigo, Wildstorm)
+independents with sizable collections: Dark Horse, Top Cow, Image
+other independents
+cartoons and strips
+retrospectives/history-of-comics titles
+how-tos for art and scripting
+oversized items
+memoirs and oddities

Whew! It was good exercise. Shelving is, especially unwieldy things like trade paperback collections. I also noticed a few things. First, within the collection there were about three times as many Marvel titles as DC or any of the independents; DC, Vertigo, and Wildstorm together made up about a shelf and a half, while Marvel took up four shelves. SOMEONE nearby is a Marvel fan (or was). Second, between the two major publishers there was a fractional amount of titles featuring female characters: Marvel had a few Elektra, a She-Hulk, and an Essential Spider-Woman, while DC had some Supergirl (I must've bought their last Wonder Woman trade). Both have teams including female characters (and believe me, there are TONS of X-Men and Justice League/Society trades on Mojo's shelves), but I was interested to see that very few of either publisher's lady-specific titles and teams were present.

I am choosing to be optimistic about this phenomenon and chalk it up to the fact that the people in my area who buy and read things like Heralds and Birds of Prey want to KEEP them, rather than sell or trade them to a used bookstore. To that end, I'll be using some of my store credit to nab the two trades of Gotham Central I spied among the DC offerings.

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