Sunday, September 2, 2012

The search for comics elsewhere

I had the chance to visit London's Forbidden Planet store this May. It is very impressive, although I was slightly disappointed. When it comes to popular genres, be it indie or not, the store has more variety than any comics store in Singapore. But when it comes to alternative comics, you find mainly the popular ones. For example, Guy Delisle's travelogues and Dan Clowes' albums. You;d be better off at our local Kinokuniya if you are lookng for more obscure titles.

In Paris, I did not come across any comics specialty store. But I shopped at a Virgin Megastore, where almost half an entire floor was devoted to comics. The other parts were a cafe and pop genre fiction. Titles and titles of comics that I have never known, and cannot read because I do not knwo French. Thus I am stuck with American translations. Though companies such as Fantagraphics have been publishing translated editions of European comics more frequently, they become very expensive when they are sold in Singapore.

If you check out Kino, you would notice that DC, Marvel and Image collected editions tend to be cheaper than the alternatives ,despite the US prices printed at the back of the books. Take any Marvel or DC book with a price of $14.95, and compare it to an obscure title of $10.95.

This is pure speculation. I guess Kino orders large stocks from Marvel and DC, allowing for economies of scale.

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