Sunday, January 11, 2009

"Thank Heaven For 7-11"

sg Rob Kelly - Well, our first Hey Kids! poll is concluded, and the far away winner for where people would love to see comics sold again is...7-11!

Despite the fact that if comics were sold on a grand scale in big box stores like Target it would probably have a significantly positive effect on the comics industry, in the end most people who voted went for the place I bet most of them bought comics in the first place, the local 7-11 (or equivalent "Kwik-E-Mart"-esque chain).

I have to say that, while in my head I know that it makes the most sense for comics to be in the big-box stores (have you been to a Target during Christmas?), deep down I think I'd give my left arm to see them sold in 7-11s again--it would just make me feel good.

7-11s are the first store many kids can get to on their own, the place where they can spend their money without their parents approval (heck, from what I remember, most of the stuff you bought in 7-11 would be gone by the time you even got back to your house). At the 7-11 down the road from my house, kids still hang out outside, their bikes off to the side as they eat candy bars and smoke cigarettes. The more things change...

Back in 2007, Marvel tried a brief experiment and started putting together specially-made collections for 7-11 stores, and I was so excited I bought every copy I found. But to no avail; eventually the range of titles dwindled from half a dozen to pretty much just Spider-Man, and then even Spidey disappeared.

I guess sales just weren't there, which kind of confounds me, because at several 7-11s in my area, they regularly stock Wizard--Wizard!--a magazine about comics sells well enough to be in 7-11s, but the comics themselves don't. What's wrong with this picture? I'm not a fact and figures guy, but boy would I love the opportunity to dig into Marvel's 7-11 sales figures and see just what the hell went on.

Even though comics are gone--probably never, ever to return--I have to admit, every time I'm in a 7-11 (which is often) I find my head, more often than not, unconsciously turning towards the magazine racks, in some vain hope I'll see a huge selection of comics there again. It's like my own sad, four-color version of "Christina's World."
Oh well, at least they still have Slurpees.


David said...

The only drawback to your 7-11 plan is the smell. Those stores have the god-awfullest stench to them, and when you got them home the stink used to be on your comics, too.

Anyway, I grew up in the boonies, so we usually had to settle for a 7-11 knock-off called "Hop In." I still remember discovering The Uncanny X-Men (#112) on a spinner rack there and being blown away.

My friends thought I was crazy for buying comics when I could've had pixie stix, Snickers or candy cigarettes, but who's got the last laugh now? Their Slim Jims are ancient history, but my X-Men still smells like a Slim Jim 30 years later. Owned!

Grears said...

I wish 7/11 would feature the super-heroes slurpee cups. Using vintage artwork. Yeah!

Seriously, I love that 7/11 smell. Brings back memories of being a kid. I used to go and look at all the comics, and all the candy.

The closest place I have found for my kids that match the old 7/11 sense overload is Five Below. I love taking the kids there. No comics, though. However, you can find the occasional Aquaman artifact!


Anonymous said...

We have never had 7/11 stores in our neck of the woods. We did have a Convenient store which did have a comic rack though. I bought most of my comics from the local drugstore up the street.

ANYPLACE where comics could be bought besides the LCS would be nice though.


Anonymous said...

Oh my dear Lord, yes, bring comics back to 7-Eleven. I grew up in Middletown, Va., and for the first six months of my life in the old farm house mom and dad renovated, we would travel to the local laundry mat to wash our clothes. 7-Eleven provided not only a Slurpee, with super heroes on the cup to save and drink from later, but comics.
I can still remember picking up X-Men No. 87, a reprint of issue 40, and reading it while sitting on the curb outside of the dreaded laundry mat.
Later, when old enough to bicycle the mile and a half from home to Middletown, that same 7-Eleven would provide most of my monthly purchases - along with more Slurpees than were probably healthy to consume.
It was the same chain that kept my interest alive.
After graduation and adulthood claimed some of my love for collecting, the ubiquitous 7-Eleven kept comics in the periphery of my vision and I found myself picking up familier titles throughout the years just to see what was happening.
When my wife and I married in 1988, I returned to the fold and have been fairly regular with my buying habits, but it was 7-Eleven who allowed me to remain currnet with many of my favorites throughout the years.

Mz. Libertee said...

yes, can anyone please tell me WHAT IS THAT GODAWFUL SMELL in 7-11 stores? it's absolutely revolting! please tell me if you know! mzlibertee at earthlink dot net.