Monday, May 01, 2006

Once I get on that soapbox it's hard to get off

Just had some rubbish news confirmed. Red Route has closed. Some of you probably have no idea who they are, but they’ve been very handy for me, working in a bookshop and trying to get an interesting range of comics was made very easy due to their existance. Last week I tried to contact them a few times to try and order some stuff and got a ‘number does not exist’ type message which gave me cause for concern, looks like it was justified.
Trying to move into book shops is a risky undertaking for comic publishers and distributors (as Pete Pavement of the sadly missed Slab O Concrete will tell you) and it could be that this is what has been Red Route’s downfall. With only a couple of places for bookshops to get a decent range of comics from, it could be that Titan books are the only thing you’ll see in the graphic novel sections, nothing terrible with Titan but a section that only has Batman, Superman, film tie-ins and a few UK reprints is not going to attract that much interest.
As you might’ve picked up from the last post, I’m a bit worried about the lack of variety and quality when it comes to books, films, etc. Sadly (I speak from bitter experience here) it’s easy to blame the places that create and sell these things but the biggest problem is the people who buy them. As customers we get what we deserve, and if that’s a bookshop full of Dan Brown or a cinema full of repetitive Blockbusters then maybe it’s time we started actively supporting quality and dismissing dross.


Danny said...

WTF?! Red Route are gone? That is a genuine shame...

I. N. J. Culbard said...

Well, that's fantastic news (apply sarcastic tone of voice).

I recently got myself published by Dark Horse comics. Getting into comics is relatively easy compared to getting people to buy your book. And getting in to comics isn't easy.

So to have supply lines to stores hampered like this really is just crazy.

paulhd said...

It's not all bad, just, difficult.
Between Titan publishers and Airlift suppliers Dark Horse books should be available with US wholesalers taking up the slack.
If Diamond UK had an actual account with bookshops it'd be easier
But basically the only way a bookshop will be stocking that range is if someone who works there knows their stuff and tries hard to track it down.
Rubbish really.