BY TINA POWELL
Demand for comic books and graphic novels in South Florida is stable enough to support over a dozen successful suppliers along Florida’s southeast coast. While some fans and collectors have only one or two stores nearby, those not residing in larger cities often have an inconveniently long drive separating them from their nearest merchant.
The sparse placement of comic shops does not leave all buyers feeling cheated.
“Prices usually stay consistent between north and south,” FAU student Bertram Krueger said. “Price variation is more from mom-and-pop establishments like Collector’s Comics versus big time institutions. Consistent pricing holds true for new releases across the country.”
“It depends on the content and the size, but current pricing is on the right track.” said longtime reader Tim Montano.
Florida readers and collectors of older comics or comics with specialized genres often turn to online marketplaces like eBay to find reasonable prices. Artist and comic book enthusiast Alisyn Donnelly says that local stores cannot compete with the the convenience of buying comics online.
“With free shipping and a little patience, I can usually find almost any comic I’m looking for without paying more than a buck or two,” said Donnelly.
Her collection is comprised of mostly back issues that would cost $5 to $9 each in local stores.
“Plus, none of the places nearby sell graphic novels any cheaper than Barnes and Noble does,” she said.
Fans muse over whether greater demand for local stores is coming. The industry-wide interest in portraying their comics as movies is bringing in a wider audience, said Montano.
A new wave of readers could be on the way with a generation growing up with “The Dark Knight” trilogy and X-Men movies. While older fans who grew up alongside the evolution of Superman and Batman may fade out, “newer ones will arrive to replace them accordingly,” he said.