Friday, March 29, 2002

Join the Comics Club
Antony Johnston makes an interesting suggestion to the comics industry: Take some cues from record and book clubs -- and the media tie-in reading habits of Babylon Five fans -- to create a club for comic book readers. It's an interesting idea -- but one that already exists in several ways.

If you frequent a comic shop, you can already sign up for their pull service and "subscribe" to titles you buy frequently. Also, through online and mail-based services such as Comics Now, Mile High Comics' NICE Subscription Club, and Westfield Comics, people can already subscribe to comics and place special orders as new releases are announced and published.

I agree that a Book of the Month Club for comics readers is interesting. But I think the idea needs to be fleshed out more fully before it's a better method than, say, Westfield. Of course, that's only if such a club is aimed at people already reading comics or frequenting comics shops. Antony's right that another model might work better for folks immersed in other pop culture adjacent to comics. But even if that's the case, if you look at science-fiction digests such as Asimov's and Analog, while they do have ads for the Sci-Fi Channel, the book club they advertise is a writing book club -- not the Science Fiction Book Club. That strikes me as odd. Does the Sci-Fi Channel advertise Asimov's? I'd be surprised.

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