[EDITED TO NOTE: it seems Rich Watson pulled his article "How Not to Run a Comic Store" from his column CHICKS AND ROMANCE published by COMIC WORLD NEWS, negating the relevancy of the above link]
Not that I think it's the wisest choice to rake your boss over the coals in public after getting fired from your job, but I champion Rich Watson's charge to build a better store and respect his overall conceit about the horrors of some delinquent comic book shop owners. They truly are one of the very reasons why our industry is in the toilet. I wish we had a thousand Jim Hanley's Universe's across the nation. Alas, we don't and the best shops we got do their damnedest to promote the form and save the American comic book from going the way of the 8-track tape.
It's great yet a curse that our sacred cultural radar, THE NY TIMES, only parades graphic novels in their pages and don't make room for the traditional comic book pamphlet. It's the pamphlet that's dying an ugly death. Now that they're generally accepted, graphic novels will always be compared graciously to literature [allowing crossover potential for movies, games, toys, etc], but our weekly fix needs some much needed tender loving care without having to murder another comic book character and making a big sweeping deal about it across a company universe. I drop most comics that have anything to do with tie ins and I'm a veteran fan. How is the new reader supposed to catch on in the midst of a colossal marketing hook? Sure, it gets an inch in your Entertainment rags ["Blue Beetle Bites the Dust"], but does that actually translate into more sales? Perhaps, more sales in movie tickets, DVDs, music, and novels, because, who in their right mind and frugal wallet wants to spend $3 on a 10-minute read that'll cost another $100 and six months to get the whole story of something that fits into a larger continuity that is tens of thousands of comix wide and 50 years old?
Bring back the whole story in one issue, please. If Charles Schulz could do it in 4-panels, I know we can do it in 22-pages.