I suppose that was their downfall – overreaching in a possibly saturated market. I’ve seen 1 comic shop very dear to me close down about maybe 6 or 7 years ago, and many comic shops are no longer at their old locations, a victim of rising rents, or maybe just a changing market. Comics Mart (defunct), Comics Asylum (dead), Absolute Comics, Alaric’s Comics (website dead), Comics World (warning, loud music on geocities style website), Astronaut Comics (I think that was its name, deceased), My Comics Shop (dearly departed), Comics Art Gallery (done for) and of course G&B Comics – off the top of my head these were the few shops serving Singapore in the past 10 years or so. Having known the owner of a comics shop, and hearing about how it’s quite the dog eat dog world out there (a few friendships broken, and there was the huge USD conversion rate wars a while ago)… sometimes its surprising to see some shops last so long.
But to actually see Comics Mart fall is another thing altogether, especially in a time where comic book movies, and soon, comic book TV shows, are huge right now – it boggles the mind. But in the end, even a rock solid business will fall, whether its due to bad judgment calls, or a bad market.
So to Comics Mart – hopefully you will return, a symbol of the comics industry in Singapore. There are those looking to take your place, but old comic book fans will remember your name fondly, for sure.
An Aside: I find it strange that Nicholas Yong, a comic book fan of a good 16 years would consider G&B Comics “up-and-coming”. G&B Comics has been around for a good decade, coming at a point where a new wave of comics shops were opening – but new wave or not, G&B has weathered its own storms, especially during the time when it was offering a 1.4x conversion rate when the US Dollar was worth 1.7x… it definitely survived then, snapping at the heels of the Comics Mart behemoth – but even now I suspect it’s been hit hard, having to move from a nice cosy location in Bras Bashar to Rochor Center. Rising rents? Larger space? Well, I guess Nicholas Yong is out of touch, being left to borrowing TPBs from the library… perhaps then they could have found someone who was still a collector to write the piece? Just strange, I say.
EDIT: Nicholas has clarified his stance below. Thank Nicholas!
Another Aside: Today’s Today had a short article about Glee and gleeks – but that’s not the point here – tomorrow’s episode features Joss Whedon directing and Neil Patrick Harris acting. A must watch!
Yes, my scanner is still down. Enjoy the read!