Episode 1670 Talkback - Comic Talk

Join us for a bittersweet bull-session that is both a recap of the fun and fellowship of the most recent WildPig sale... and a Requiem for WildPig Comics as we've known it. Plus: the little-explored connection between comics and the late Hugh Hefner; a few comics-related news items; and more. (46:44)

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Comments

  • TheOriginalGManTheOriginalGMan Posts: 1,639
    Uh, oh ...
  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 288
    Chris: Sorry to hear your announcement today, especially learning about how difficult
    and stressful things have been for you recently. My best wishes to you as you carry tough on a tough decision that's best for you and your family. I definitely share your prognosis of the comics field in general, and commend you on your clear-eyed wisdom to (as you so eloquently put it) "get off the crazy train". Huge respect for you, my friend. Best wishes on the next chapter of your life!
  • chrislchrisl Posts: 19
    I won't be able to listen to the episode until after work today but this sounds like bad news. I hope everything works out okay, Chris.
  • DARDAR Posts: 810
    Just listened to the first 15 minutes. Very sorry to hear this Chris, but taking care of your family is the most important.

    I've mentioned before but CGS was what got me into comics. That being said I rarely buy single issues. I stick to trades. I'm not sure if I'm part of the problem but I see no justification in spending 3-5 dollars on part of a story. Whereas I can spend 20 and get a complete story.
  • matchkitJOHNmatchkitJOHN Posts: 983
    @wildpigcomics Hey Chris good luck on your adventures post-brick and mortar Wildpig. Nothing like doing shows and meeting the people. Unfortunately I will never get that opportunity of going to a Wildpig sale but the time with your family and your health and well-being is more important.
  • Looking forward to listening to the episode. RIP, Wild Pig Comics! I’m sure it was a tough call bcause Chris is so passionate about selling a medium that he loves. I made it to several sales, which were great fun! Best of luck going forward, Sir!
  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,083
    Seems just like yesterday @wildpigcomics was announcing the reopening of the store. Sorry to hear it has to close and I wish Chris and the employees best of luck in whatever comes next.
  • matchkitJOHNmatchkitJOHN Posts: 983

    Just finished listening. I wish I could have made it to the last sale but could not because of the holiday and distance. I would have liked to have helped make it more profitable for Chris. And Murd, you are a good sport indeed! Jamie D would have never allowed those questions! The answer to the last one did not appear in a comic and don’t get me started on ransom amounts. In any case, I really appreciate the podcast!

    I was thinking the same thing on that last question. I always thought it had to appear in a comic? And ransom amounts! You only have to guess anywhere from zero to infinity! LOL Hey if they allowed it then congrats to the muddler!

  • matchkitJOHNmatchkitJOHN Posts: 983
    I like the idea of that online course for grading comics. I see it more as an investment for a serious collector as opposed to someone as myself who is just getting rid of my recent back issues that don't need any serious grading. I will probably get it when I ready to get into the back issue market.
  • bralinatorbralinator Posts: 5,916

    My first post on these boards, wish it was under better circumstances. I can't say I've been a long time listener as I only found out about CGS a year ago. I can't say enough good things about the podcast. I've got about an hour drive to and from work and it's now something I look forward to because I get to listen to my favorite podcast!

    That being said it was a definite gut punch to hear Chris is closing his store. Living in Colorado, going to Wild Pig Comics has never been a real option although having a bunch of family in New York I was hoping to make the trip to NJ to check out the wares in the event we took another family trip back east. I completely understand Mr. Eberle's reasons and certainly wish him the best in whatever the future holds.

    So, love love love the show, love comics, still buy my floppies from my LCS, and read books to my kids at night likes Chris' dad used to do (voices and all!), and will continue to do what I can to spread the word!

    Troy Terranova
    Castle Rock, Colorado

    Welcome Troy! Bittersweet first post and I have to agree with you. We all feel for Chris Eberle as he makes this difficult decision.

    Be sure to drop by the Introduce Yourself thread soon and tell us more about yourself!
  • I never actually got to make it to a Wild Pig show and sale, sadly, but I very much enjoyed listening to the recaps and on scene episodes over the years. Chris, your enthusiasm for Wild Pig shone like a beacon through your voice and could never be mistaken for anything other than pure love. My deepest sympathies to you, sir, as you close this chapter in your life and my most sincere wishes the New Universe you build for yourself is as rewarding to you as Jack Magniconte's was to him. Magniconte!
  • TheOriginalGManTheOriginalGMan Posts: 1,639
    edited October 5

    And Murd, you are a good sport indeed! Jamie D would have never allowed those questions! The answer to the last one did not appear in a comic

    I agree. I'd like to challenge the ruling on the field.

    image

  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 288
    Part of me wonders if the sale would have been more successful if fans and customers knew what the stakes were....but, from what I've learned about Chris from listening to him on the show, that's just not his style. However, now that the announcement has been made, I wonder if a "Going Out of Business" or, to give it a classier spin, a "Farewell Sale" might help Chris defray some of his debts? Just a thought.
  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 523
    edited October 10
    @wildpigcomics, I just heard the news about the shop. Very sorry to hear it, obviously. Wildpig is an excellent institution, and I will be sad to see it go. But putting family first, and your own health first, is what matters, always. And if the helper does happen to buy the store, do let me know, as I would be happy to begin a conversation with that individual as well!
  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 288

    Just finished listening. I wish I could have made it to the last sale but could not because of the holiday and distance. I would have liked to have helped make it more profitable for Chris. And Murd, you are a good sport indeed! Jamie D would have never allowed those questions! The answer to the last one did not appear in a comic and don’t get me started on ransom amounts. In any case, I really appreciate the podcast!

    I was thinking the same thing on that last question. I always thought it had to appear in a comic? And ransom amounts! You only have to guess anywhere from zero to infinity! LOL Hey if they allowed it then congrats to the muddler!

    Yeah, I agree...that last question felt a little beyond what "Muddle the Murd" is supposed to be focusing on. The number of New 52 titles seems more of a comic book marketing/inside baseball kind of question only those deeply involved in the business would know (or care) about. Granted, ALL trivia (by its very definition) concerns itself with minutia that few know or care about....but this didn't seem like the right kind of question. You were, indeed, a great sport about it, Murd.
  • GregGreg Posts: 1,908
    edited October 6
    @wildpigscomics sorry to hear about the store.

    We've all known and have talked about the comic side of things before. As far as the gaming side though: We just had a local comic and game shop close in June. Sad thing is, he was doing everything right. Was involved in the community, had leagues and tournaments for one game or another daily and had decent prices and regular sales. But gamers still went elsewhere to buy their cards, primarily ebay, and then Wal-Mart and Target became competition. Then came the Russian and Chinese online store fronts selling recasts of miniatures and vehicles for a plethora of tabletop wargames. He had a good 11-12 year run but people were not buying where they play and that is key to any game shop's success.

    Ebay/online sellers are a serious threat to brick and mortar stores as they just sell the stuff out of basements or garages at 20-35% off with free shipping so there's little overhead to worry about. Big box stores have been carrying some gaming stuff awhile now, Magic, D & D, YuGiOh and the Pokémonz, but I'm seeing more and more tabletop stuff that would normally be found only at hobby shops. I'm seeing games from Fantasy Flight, Paizo, Cool Mini or Not (CMoN) and WizKids in Targets and Wal-Marts now. And online only store fronts are selling them at huge discounts. OR, in CMoN's case use Kickstarter as a pre-order shop, not for actual crowdfunding.

    Games Workshop and Privateer Press has made it nearly impossible for the ebay sellers to sell their products anymore. They have broken ties with dstributors who sell to online/ebay stores that also have no brick and mortar presence. Also, they have a blanket rules for what stores can advertise sales prices at. Physical stores however can still have their rewards programs involved and "at the register" discounts. Only store and ebay sellers, cannot sell or advertise more than that 15% off, if GW or PP catches it, both the store and which ever distributor it used potentially loses out selling the kings of miniature tabletop wargames altogether.
  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 288
    Greg said:

    @wildpigscomics sorry to hear about the store.

    We've all known and have talked about the comic side of things before. As far as the gaming side though: We just had a local comic and game shop close in June. Sad thing is, he was doing everything right. Was involved in the community, had leagues and tournaments for one game or another daily and had decent prices and regular sales. But gamers still went elsewhere to buy their cards, primarily ebay, and then Wal-Mart and Target became competition. Then came the Russian and Chinese online store fronts selling recasts of miniatures and vehicles for a plethora of tabletop wargames. He had a good 11-12 year run but people were not buying where they play and that is key to any game shop's success.

    Ebay/online sellers are a serious threat to brick and mortar stores as they just sell the stuff out of basements or garages at 20-35% off with free shipping so there's little overhead to worry about. Big box stores have been carrying some gaming stuff awhile now, Magic, D & D, YuGiOh and the Pokémonz, but I'm seeing more and more tabletop stuff that would normally be found only at hobby shops. I'm seeing more and more games from Fantasy Flight, Paizo, Cool Mini or Not (CMoN) and WizKids in Targets and Wal-Marts now. And online only store fronts are selling them at huge discounts. OR, in CMoN's case use Kickstarter as a pre-order shop, not for actual crowdfunding.

    Games Workshop and Privateer Press has made it nearly impossible for the ebay sellers to sell their products anymore. They have broken ties with dstributors who sell to online/ebay stores that also have no brick and mortar presence. Also, they have a blanket rules for what stores can advertise sales prices at. Physical stores however can still have their rewards programs involved and "at the register" discounts. Only store and ebay sellers, cannot sell or advertise more than that 15% off, if GW or PP catches it, both the store and which ever distributor it used potentially loses out selling the kings of miniature tabletop wargames altogether.

    SHEESH! No wonder Chris' heart wasn't in gaming. What a freaking headache!

    At the end of the day, people are going to go where they can get the best deal for their hard-earned money. Brand and store loyalty mean little when there are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of alternatives out there. That's a harsh reality, but a reality nonetheless.
  • BionicDaveBionicDave Posts: 286
    Just heard the show, and like everyone else, my heart broke for Chris. I feel such sympathy for him. I once had a job that paid me crap and worked me like a dog - yet I stayed there as long as I could, because I loved what I was doing. But I finally had to step back and acknowledge how the rest of my life was suffering because of it. And like Chris, I made the painful and wise decision to leave (thank God). Cheers to Wild Pig, and louder cheers to you, Chris. In time, the universe will reward you for your sacrifice.
  • TheMarvelManTheMarvelMan Posts: 147
    Just a few short lines to echo the above sentiments with my sadness that Chris has had to make this difficult (but probably wise) decision. The medium that we love is in, at best, a transitional phase. Chris, I know you were greatly dissatisfied during your sale, so this news isn't too surprising, yet I am still very sorry that you must abandon a piece of your passion, and your home away from home.
  • TheMarvelManTheMarvelMan Posts: 147
    Last, in the category of "Big John, try to pay more attention from now on," I just learned that George Khoury, author of the fantastic Comic Fever, was at the Wildpig sale! I was at the sale! I didn't know that he was there! I need to pay more attention...
  • MattMatt Posts: 3,943
    Sorry to hear about the store, @wildpigcomics, but completely understood. Glad you’re doing it now then trying to prolong the (seemingly) inevitable.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,216
    Finally getting around to listening. So sorry, Chris. Best of luck going forward in what, at the very least, should hopefully be a less stressful life.

    Re: Diamond, trust me, they were just as difficult to deal with in the early ’90s when they still had competition. Becoming a monopoly didn’t really change them all that much from what I’ve experienced.
  • Damn. I wish there was something I can buy as a Wild Pig souvenir since I will never make a sale. Something with the logo? A Murd-curated box of comics from the legendary 50 cent bins? Wild-Pig has been so much a part of the show I'd like to do something.
  • mphilmphil Posts: 219
    I too want to jump in and give my deepest condolences to Chris. As you said, it must be mixed feelings of sadness and relief. My hats off to you sir, for trying and being an ambassador in the face of overwhelming odds.

    One of my favorite ongoing discussion topics on CGS is the comic industry and your insights have been precious to me. With your business behind you I'm sure you'll continue to discuss this topic and I very much look forward to hearing what you have to say.

    On a personal note, I stopped going to a local comic shop the last time I moved. My previous local store had issues I'm sure your very familiar with (stuff with diamond mostly, but also people not coming in to pick up their books for weeks/months, leaving the store acting like a lender). Operating on razor-thin margins makes it hard to do stuff like keep back issues for very long..

    I now buy through dcbs and when I miss an issue I can usually find it on mycomicshop or atomicavenue. I pay a little more (and including shipping), but if i'm willing to wait until I have a decent cart size it's not that big of a deal.

    I'm not sure what the future is for the floppy medium. I think the model of preordering 3 months in advance needs to go for it to survive. Asking people to know what they want to buy 3 months in advance guarantees you're not going to get anyone but the most hardcore of readers. They need to move to an on-demand model, so impulse purchases can happen again, but I imagine that's too expensive and so digital is going to be what dominates.

    I for one will hang out to floppies until they are pried from my hands.
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