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Friday, November 26, 2004
There's a popular myth in America that the Friday after Thanksgiving is the "busiest shopping day of the year." Actually, that dubious distinction generally goes to the Saturday before Christmas. For those who work retail, the day is generally referred to as "black Friday." Management, jokingly, suggests that this is because today is the day the profit ledgers switch over from the red ink to the black ink. Those who actually work on the floor generally peg the name origin of the name on one of the more negative connotations of the word "black"; such as the mood of all those turkey-gorged consumers who feel an obligation to go out and buy presents for the relatives they resent and they already had to spend a day with.
Now, comics retail and holidays are an odd combination. Usually, the last thing on people's minds when a holiday is coming up is buying comics (unless of course the person in question is the type who must have their new comics on the day they are released). And on a major shopping day like today, comics are traditionally an afterthought. People are more concerned with getting to their local big box department stores to buy 32 inch HD TV sets at a whopping 5% off than go buy little Timmy that Marvel Masterworks: Spider-Man set he probably doesn't actually want because Steve Ditko and John Romita draw a "weird" Spider-Man, that doesn't look like the "normal" Spider-Man of Todd McFarlane.
What we probably are going to sell a lot of are gift certificates, usually to people stopping off on their way to or from one of the many malls in our area. This is probably for the best, because comics fans are particularly shirty about getting exactly what they want and nothing else. "This All-Star #18 is only in "fine" condition! I already have two in "fine" condition! I need a "very fine" or better! God, Mom, can't you do anything right?" has been uttered by many a comic fan on a Christmas morning. Best to avoid the whole messy scene and get a comic fan a gift certificate, let them make up their own mind, is what I usually tell relatives.