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Founding San Diego Comic Con Exhibitor Bows Out Due To Lack Of Sales

Written by Tim Midura on Friday, May 11 2018 and posted in News with Benefits

Founding San Diego Comic Con Exhibitor Bows Out Due To Lack Of Sales

People just aren't buying comic books at comic conventions.

Source: Facebook

After 48 years as an exhibitor at Comic-Con International: San Diego, comics retailer Bud Plant has decided to call it quits. At one point, Plant rented eight connected booths at the convention, but now cites a lack of convention attendees interested in comic books. Folks need those Funko chase figures instead. Plant's SDCC sales peaked in 2007 and has been in decline since.

Plant took to Facebook to make the announcement.

After 48 consecutive years of exhibiting at Comic-Con, I am not going to set up this year. I'll be there walking the floor, looking for new sketchbooks and other products, catching up with publishers, seeing friends, and, well, scouting for Golden Age comics as I always find time to do. But after long and hard debate, we here (LaDonna, Anne and our usual assistants) decided we had enough of the complicated and labor-intensive logistics of setting up there.

I'm proud that we had as many as eleven booths up until 2008, ten of new products and one with out of print material. But since that disastrous year, when sales dropped by 40%, we've been downsizing in an effort to still make it work. But we kept seeing diminishing rewards, not a loss per se, but really very little in the end, after the enormous expenses involved, to compensate for the time and energy it takes to do the show. Seven full days on the road, 13-hour days at the show, plus all it entails getting material and ourselves prepared and down there.

As you may know, I'm not the only one who's bowed out of the show, as big and special as it is. The folks in charge there have always treated me very well, aside from occasional mishaps--it's nothing against the show itself. The attendees these days are, in general, not our customers or they are not looking for books. Many former customers can't get tickets or have chosen to stop coming. I enjoy far more the smaller comic book and rare book shows and will continue to do those. I have an Inkpot Award from Comic-Con, which gives me a free lifetime ticket. I'll just be walking around enjoying myself for the first time ever, with no booth to look after.


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About the Author - Tim Midura

Born in the frozen tundra of Massachusetts, Tim Midura has long possessed a love for comic books and records. After stealing the beard of Zeus and inventing the pizza bagel, a much more heavily tattooed and bearded Tim Midura has finally settled in San Diego. He's the world's first comics journalist who doesn't want to become a comics writer. Find him on twitter, facebook or by email.

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