Another Open Letter to My LCS (And Probably Some of Yours Too)
First, when I come in at 1:00 or 1:30 on a Wednesday afternoon, I expect everything to already be up on the shelves. Period. I’m sick of watching you do your retarded sea donkey dance, still unpacking half of the boxes, packaging material strewn about blocking the aisles, simultaneously trying to answer people’s questions, work the register, and answer the phone – all alone – while a handful of people stand around in bewildered frustration wondering if you will ever produce the books they came to buy. It really shouldn’t be this hard for you to take my money.
Second, I expect you to carry mainstream titles. Period. I shouldn’t have to ask. I’m sick of hearing your excuses. Is it really always someone else’s fault if it happens week after week after endless, painful week? Is it always the fault of the publisher, distributor, or shipping company? Really? Every. Single. Time? You really have no culpability in this process? It’s not, say, that you just didn’t order it, because you’re so blindly unorganized? This is what I think about when I watch you fumble through your diamond print outs, only to ultimately cede “yes, it came out… but we (inexplicably) didn’t get it…” Get your shit together already.
Lastly, I think it’s great that you do in-store signings with creators. Really, I do. But you might want to… oh, I don’t know, I’m just spit-balling here… you might want to stock some of the books that the creator has actually worked on in anticipation of the event. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of blokes standing around uncomfortably going “uh… hey man, how’s it going?” Or did you really want me to leave your store, go down the street to the competition, buy a book the poor guy has worked on, then come back to get it signed and have a little chat? That business model is retardulous; how embarrassing for you.
But Justin, you will surely ask, why do you continue to frequent this establishment? A valid query, but as I’ve explained before, this "Grade B-" of a shop is essentially the lesser of many evils in my metro. There are a handful of shops to be found, yes, but every single one is a very rough Grade C, D, or F. And yes, I've tried constructive feedback, but it goes nowhere. I'm reduced to this acerbic monologue as my only catharsis. Oh, how I long for the bastions of retail excellence found in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lee’s Comics, Hijinx Comics, Comic Relief, The Isotope Lounge, Comix Experience… I miss you!