I've been following with interest a recent mini-thread regarding
bad comic book shop experiences, including what I think of as a reasonable and thought-provoking response by Tom Spurgeon (you'll have to scroll down a bit to find it). This has got me thinking once again about
comic shops, in both economic and cultural terms: what they do, what they can do, and how my own reading
life has been impacted by shopping in such shops. It happens that the students in my
Comics & Graphic Novels class submitted essays about comic shops in our area a few weeks ago, essays that I got through reading and grading not long ago, so those too are echoing through my head.
This post will be a bit of a departure for Thought Balloonists. Because I'm interested in the economy of artistic forms, hence in comics shops, this post will be the first of an occasional series about the direct market -- both the market in general and certain shops in particular.