Midtown Comics Rules

May 12, 2007 at 3:40 am | Posted in comic books, fantasy, pop culture, SCI FI | Leave a comment

yellow-line.jpgThe Reading Interests of Adults course at Rutgers for MLIS librarians-in training ended the semester with a NY field trip. I’ll blog about the bookstore visits in the next few entries. 

Midtown Comics Times Square(Comics, Collectibles, Manga)200 W 40th Street, 7th Ave., New York, NY 10018
Phone: 800-411-3341 or 212-302-8192 
(Mon-Sat: 11AM – 9PM, Sun: 12-7PM) http://www.midtowncomics.com 

Our store tour guide was Jerry, one of the founders of Midtown Comics. Its two locations and website sales have been going strong for over 10 years. Midtown is so well-known and respected that Entertainment Weekly reprints their website’s weekly bestseller lists. Comics and graphic novels are exploding in popularity thanks to movie/video game/comics tie-ins with media events such as Spiderman 3, the death of Captain America and the launch of the last Harry Potter book all in 2007  

Hot Releases New comics are issued every Wednesday. Midtown added a “do not cross” yellow checkered line on the floor to manage the midweek crowds. New issues are shelved by publisher (eg. DC,Marvel…,) with the last 4 weeks of issues on display.  Midtown is a strong supporter of Indie comic presses too manga2.jpg 

Mangadominates left wall space on the main level. Titles are shelved alphabetically but Jerry notes “there’s a raging debate about this”. Some of the staff are lobbying for shelving it by type (eg. shonen jump vs. shojen jump). The hottest trends are manga from China and Korea. Midtown stocks only English-language translations of manga.

Back Issues and CollectiblesMidtown has a Queens warehouse for back issue storage and order shipping. The store’s upper level features comic book, sci fi and fantasy collectibles like action figures. Midtown is proud of the “certificate of authenticity” it offers with its signed copies. Jerry noted that they charge a “fair price” for these, and often see the items resold on EBay at higher prices.   

rare-comics-wall.jpg Age Range Midtown Comics’ customers are “about 98%” adult males in their 20s and 30s although manga is attracting more female buyers. The store enforces comic book codes : M titles can only be purchased by adults with ID. The upper level has an “adult only” titles section. Midtown offers a “Young Readers” section where you’ll find kid-appeal comics like Calvin & Hobbes or Bone. Jerry noted that http://www.tokyopop.com  has a new age/content code for manga as of 2007.

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