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Wednesday, March 08, 2023 

A specialty store in Asheville, North Carolina, spoils everything with hints at wokeness

The Mountain Xpress has an article about a specialty store in Asheville called Morgan's Comics, and their description of one of the managers is annoying:
Unwise though it is for a reporter to conduct an interview during business hours, especially on a teacher workday that vastly increases afternoon youth patronage, it’s delightful to witness. Albritton brings to mind a kinder, friendlier version of the DC Comics villain Harley Quinn — down to the pink pigtails.
I really don't like it when they run the gauntlet of comparing the owner to a villain like HQ, who's been way overused in the past decade, and whose creation as conveyed into comicdom was embarrassingly bad. They also told the following:
“The generation before us wanted everything to stay the way it was, dude. Like, ‘I want Spider-man to be Spider-man,” says Atkins, a kindly bearded fellow who wouldn’t mind having Danny Trejo play him in a biopic. “Our generation just wants to read what’s next. ‘Oh, you’re going to do that? That’s cool. Oh, that didn’t work? Try something else.’”
This is fishy as it's ambiguous. What did the folks he speaks of mean exactly? That Peter Parker shouldn't have had any character development or marry Mary Jane Watson? Or is that what the employee thinks? I don't know. Considering Spidey was written into a corner years ago by Joe Quesada and J. Michael Straczynski, we're way past the point where it's possible to care what's next for the once great web-slinger and his lovely lady fair.
Story adaptations into big-screen action/adventure films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the DC Extended Universe and beyond have also increased foot traffic at local shops.

“There’s a little bit of oversaturation. Now, there are so many shows and movies that the waves are small — but they still make waves for us,” Jenkins says. “When something special is in an episode, we’ve got to go dig through all the comics and make sure we have that one that went from $5 to $20 overnight because of Episode Three of [the Disney+ series] ‘WandaVision’ — that kind of thing happens a lot, so there’s a lot of minutiae to pay attention to.”
Oh boy, more of these hints at the speculator market, I see. Just what we need. And then they try to downplay oversaturation in the market to boot, though they seemingly admit all the movies and TV shows no longer give their products a boost.
The concerted — dare we say Secret Wars or Unified-like — defeat of Diamond Comic Distributors, is likewise increasing access for the ever-growing industry. Diamond held a middle-man monopoly for roughly 25 years and in 1997 was investigated by the U.S. Justice Department for possible antitrust violations but avoided charges. But in 2020, DC Comics ended its partnership with the provider and struck a new distribution deal with Penguin Random House. Marvel Comics soon followed, and all three shops agree that the change has been a beneficial one.
While breaking away from Diamond was a good idea, that alone doesn't improve the Big Two's artistic fortunes, so one must wonder how well their wares sell in an era where they're obsessed with woke pandering. Speaking of which, at the end:
Of particular note is Albritton’s goal to provide a welcoming space for local artists and the downtrodden, whether in her shop’s basement or a nearby building. And despite a recent break-in at her store, her spirit remains undeterred.

“The people I’ve seen suffer the most are the socially, economically disadvantaged folks and those of color and the trans community,” she says. “What people have been asking me a lot for is a space since that can be almost like a local nerd art gallery. And so, I’m looking into what it would take to possibly make a [home for them and] stand-up comedians and musicians. I think that there’s a space for that in Asheville. That isn’t really being taken care of yet.”
Well if that's the way she's going to go about business, then this store can't possibly be dedicated to meritocracy. More like victimology pandering, it would seem. That doesn't ensure quality or high sales at all. Very disappointing to see another example of woke marketeers care more about political motivations than about entertaining the public.

I also noticed this article from the Rome Daily Sentinel (NY), about a specialty store called Ravenswood, that's been around since 1984, and along the way, they told the interviewer:
“If you like to watch boxing, there’s a boxing comic,” Dorantes noted. “There’s superheroes, obviously, but if you like horror, we can find you a horror comic.”
Seriously, that part about horror themes is pretty cheap a subject to raise, rather than the comedy genre. I guess in an era where comedy is seen as offending to the PC crowd, only horror can possibly be considered legitimate fare. So, I guess this is another weakness of modern marketers, that they can't bring themselves to defend the better side of comedy, and can only care to bring up a genre that's more depressing than optimistic.

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