Here's one for the library contingent out there. John Byrne living up to his reputation. Oh aye. Quick! Comics need protecting, from those pesky potential readers!
Ever since I started writing for a living, I have found myself viewing libraries(via Gutters)
somewhat differently than once I did. I think we are all in agreement that
libraries are A Good Thing -- but are they A Good Thing right across the
board? When we have niche products like comics, is it really a good idea for
them to be available in libraries? Some might argue that reading a trade
paperback could encourage a reader to seek out the comics themselves, but
I wonder if that really happens as much as we might like to think it does?
After all, as I have complained so many times, the comicbook industry has
done just about everything it can to make it as difficult as possible for
someone to start reading comics. The product is sold almost exclusively
thru out-of-the-way venues. It is "expensive". Shipping schedules are
erratic. Increasingly, once juvenile (in a good way) fare has become "adult".
The notion of "waiting for the trade" has, I am sure, had a negative impact
on the sales of the monthly books. How much more negative impact comes
from those trades being available in libraries? Not only are they reliably on
the shelf from month to month in a library, they are free! Taken from the
most cold hearted and mercenary stance (which is where I think we really
have to be in this crumbling business!) are libraries a Good Thing for