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Retailer story paints hopeful outlook

Friday, February 6, 2009

With much of the comics world's attention focuesed on New York for the Comicon, another mainstream media report about comics shops has appeared on the other side of the continent. Only this one, from the Seattle Times, involves the chain Comic Stop and presents a more hopeful outlook.

Obama did indeed save January, according to chain founder Jim Demonakos, and the reporter quotes Comics Chronicles information about the 2008 market growth and lack of a strong correlation either way historically between comics industry and overall economic performance.

The reporter, Amy Martinez, did mention to me having seen the more downbeat Los Angeles Times story that circulated widely; I now know of several other interviewees on that one, including myself, who had concerns about the angle the paper took on that one. The local Seattle picture not squaring up with the one painted in the Times story, Martinez said, she expanded her research. It's a good thing: I don't doubt that Southern California and the Pacific Northwest have different retailing environments, and that the local markets might be doing better or worse than what we see in the aggregate. But to the extent that the picture painted in the Times piece differs from the national one, seeking out additional data points is usually helpful.

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