Saturday, April 26, 2014

Comic shop strategies

Forbidden Planet and Gosh Comics lie at two ends of the spectrum. You go to FP for everything mainstream, from DC, Marvel to Dr Who novels and merchandise. There is a small selection of alternative and independent comics. But you go there for the range of toys, tikam tikam and comics you can buy. It's fun to shop there, you can literally hang around there for hours. There are always things to browse.

Gosh Comics, on the hand, wear its indie heart on its sleeve. You enter the shop and you feel you are in the zone, surrounded by Robert Crumb, Love and Rockets and British homemade like Self Made Hero, Blank Slate, Nobrow, artists/collectives like Tiny Pencil, Isabel Greenberg and Katie Green. Stepping into Gosh couldn't be anymore different from going into FP. But Gosh has a huge section of mainstream and back issues in the basement level; they just chose to have their front filled with indies and alternatives.

So it's how they decided to position themselves and the shopfront strategies they adopt. Who they want to attract into the shop (mainly tourists for FP and the more hardcore crowd for Gosh) and what they want to promote (exclusive signed bookplates for mainstream or local books) for their identity as a comic shop. Both work as different shops appeal to different folks, and mainstream fans can find their groove in Gosh as well.

Now what we need in Singapore is a shop like Gosh...

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