BOOM! Studios CEO Ross Richie has released a video and begun a social campaign under the hashtag #boostyourLCS urging “fans, freelancers, and my fellow professionals in the comic book community” to visit a comic store and make a purchase.  “I’ve been talking to a lot of comic store owners and they’ve been talking about how difficult the end of last year was commercially for them, and I thought that we could help boost our local comic book stores,” Richie said in the video. 

Richie wasn’t focusing on BOOM! titles, but on any purchase from local stores, suggesting that shoppers buy a trade paperback, or catch up on popular titles, naming offerings from at least five other publishers.    

We’ve been hearing that comic sell-throughs have been problematic, as the Big Two comic publishers increased production (see “Big Two Comic Publishers Increased Production Dramatically this Fall”) and sell-in in November dropped over 4% (see “Comic Sales Slide in November”). A tough Q1 is being predicted by some (see “Talk Back:  Chris Butcher of The Beguiling Books & Art on Q1 Comics”).

Whether the campaign begun by Richie will have tangible results remains to be seen.  By the end of the day, the hashtag seemed to devolve into endless shout-outs to favorite stores, and mixed with posts carrying the #boostyourlocalLCS hashtag, we continued to see the usual casual Tweets from fans describing their latest purchase of graphic novels or manga on Amazon or at chain stores, oblivious to the campaign.  And while those purchases help publishers and creators, they don’t help independent comic store owners, who are engaged in trench warfare against Amazon and chains every day when they open their doors.  But it’s early, and we’ll hope that this admirable campaign has a positive impact on sales and helps bring about a quick turnaround in fortunes for comic stores.  We add our voices to those urging everyone with a stake to make an extra purchase at your local comic store.