How to support your favorite comic book(s)

At The Source Comics and Games with my current comics.

At The Source Comics and Games with my current comics.

I was just asked on Twitter how someone could buy Young Justice in a way that was sure to benefit me. Here’s the basics:

Any sales of a comic through a local comics shop or in digital form through an official outlet will help earn royalties for the creative team. But regarding comic book shops, it gets a little tricky.

As far as the publisher is concerned, the sale of a comic is made when the comic book shop orders the book from the distributor. Whether the comic is then purchased, taken home and read, or sits indefinitely in the shop’s inventory matters to the shop, but not to the publisher.

Additionally, some shops are better than others about displaying and effectively promoting anything designated as an all-ages title. Often these books are off in their own section and not displayed with the rest of the “mainstream” titles, and aren’t ordered by the shop in the same quantities. This creates another problem. If a shop only orders 2 or 3 copies of a book, even when those copies sell out it doesn’t create much of an impression to convince that shop into ordering more of that title and promoting the book to its customers. So if you like Young Justice, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, or any other comic, here’s what you do:

Don’t just find the comic at your shop and buy a copy. Establish a “pull list” at that shop and put the titles you care about picking up every month on that list (most shops have a system like this). That does much more to let the shop know there is demand for a book than just buying the comic would. And usually a shop will purchase copies of books to fill their pull list orders in addition to the quantities they intend to display on their shelves, so you just increased the sales of that book by one. If everyone did that, it would add up very quickly! So by all means, talk to the staff at your local shop about the comic, post reviews on line, tell friends about the comic. But in the end, it’s when that enthusiasm translates into additional SALES that your efforts will mean something to comic shops in determining what books they display and promote and to publishers, which in turn plays a part in determining which books continue and which don’t.