Monday, February 15, 2010

Feel Sorry For Kevin Smith? Don't Think So

One of the funniest things happened yesterday when Kevin Smith, movie director/actor/sometimes comic book writer was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight because he was too big. Now, in no way am I making fun of overweight people as struggling with one's weight is one of the toughest challenges in almost everyone's life - and goodness knows that overweight people have been discriminated against for centuries.

No, it is because we are comic book retailers that this is so funny - i.e. at last Mr. Smith gets his comeuppance - or a partial one at least. You see, in 2002, he began writing the six issue mini-series "Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do" and the first three books were published that year. However, it wasn't until 2006 that the last three issues were published!

Kevin Smith was considered a comic book writing superstar from his stints on Green Arrow and Daredevil so like many retailers, we ordered VERY heavy on those first three issues and sold quite a few but the HUGE lag between issue #3 and issue #4 caused interest to wither and die for this mini-series. Retailers were left holding the bag on this one as so many of us had ordered hundreds of #1's and several copies of #2's and #3's that just sat in the bins because who wanted to buy the first three copies of the mini-series when absolutely no one had any idea when the last three issues were going to come out.

A search on eBay shows these issues can be had for two bucks or less - they were $2.99 cover price - and no one is really buying them. A completed auction search shows that one copy of issue #1 sold for only $0.99 and one that was signed by artist Terry Dodson with a certificate of authenticity only fetched $2.25 with a measly two bids. Bottom line is that the book is dead, dead, dead and in my humble opinion, Kevin Smith is the person to blame for it but we retailers were the ones who were punished.

Now no one wants to see anything really bad happen to Mr. Smith - e.g. like getting hurt in an accident - but to see him get a dose of humility is wonderful. The only thing we didn't like about the whole deal is that Southwest Airlines apologized and offered him a $100 voucher. Fact is, Mr. Smith had bought TWO tickets for a later flight but wanted to get on the earlier flight where only one seat was available SO it isn't like he didn't get the flight he paid for already. Well, unless he threw a temper tantrum and refused to fly on it - who knows? TMZ came out with an article on the situation and after reading it, we tend to think Southwest Airlines is the good guy in this situation and the overall tone of the article comments seem to support that.

So Mr. Smith, looks like what goes around, comes around...

(OK, OK....enough of the schadenfreude - time to sell some comic books...)

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