Off Panel #186: Comics + Conversation with Patrick Brower
In this week’s episode of Off Panel, comics retailer Patrick Brower (Chicago’s Challengers Comics + Conversation) returns to the podcast for a look back on 2018 for his shop. Brower discusses how the year was for Challengers, how it compared to 2017, disappearing subscribers, their ineffective events, what worked for them, the surprising single issue boom, the Marvel/DC divide, graphic novels, Saga’s disappearance, what isn’t working, the impact of pricing, big retailers speaking up, how back issues are doing, what publishers could do to help retailers, and more.
You can find Challengers on Twitter, on its website and the store in Chicago.
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Thanks to this episode’s sponsor, Radio vs. the Martians! Mike Gillis and Casey Doran host the Radio vs. the Martians! podcast, a show that gathers their funniest, smartest friends once a month for a deep dive into science fiction, video games, horror, comics, movies, and everything in-between. So far, they’ve dissected topics like Superman, Steven Spielberg, Akira, George Lucas, Zombies, Twin Peaks, Hayao Miyazaki, James Bond, Watchmen, and whether drivers are required to pull over for the Ghostbusters. Find this podcast and its spin-off show, Podcasta la Vista, Baby! a celebration of the films of thespian and statesman Arnold Schwarzenegger, on iTunes, Stitcher and their website.
Thanks to my patrons, including – but not limited to – Andrew Scott, Brett A. Schmidt, Jason Goodmanson, Johan Barrander, Paul Reinwand, Connor Farner, Vita Ayala, Jay D’Ici and Matt G. Gagnon, Aditya Bidikar, Tara Ferguson, Dave Slusher, Ciaran Marcantonio, WMQ Comics, Akylle, Greg Lockard, Kokaachi, Phil White, Ben Becker, Shaun Pinello, Kent Heidelman, Phillip Sevy, Al Ewing, Ryan Alcock, Nick Michelin, David Kelley, Robert Wilson IV, Nick Poleto, Dylan Campbell, Eoin McCready, Brenden Fletcher, Gary Moloney, Jonathan Nilsson, Matthew Groom, Jason Nassi, Adam Bogert, Xavier Files, Maria Schweitzer, Matthew Taylor, Tyler Turner, Nick Pitarra, Jacob Sareli, Ford Gilmore, David Baroldy, Evan Blasor, Brian McCray, Ira James Udaskin, Modern Magic Stories, Nick Hall, Bruno Batista, Bobby Angus, Bjorn Basen, John Hendrick, Steve Anderson, Phil Knall, Ian Maxfield, Cliff Chiang, Benjamin Schipper, Colin McMahon, Chris Palmer, Maxwell Schmidt, Scott McGovern, Nathan Fairbairn, Cat McKenzie, Lou Iovino, Nicholas Keslake, Greg Rucka, Adam Highfill, Nicholas Gardner, Andrew Corrigan, Fiona Staples, Chris Morris, Chris O’Hollaran, Mark Abnett, Mike Murphy, Michael Shirley, Tom Barnett, Jim Demonakos, Norbert, Nick Lowe, James Kaplan, and Mission: Comics and Art in San Francisco. You’re all the best.
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Header image is of Challengers Comics + Conversation. Intro music is Vulfpeck’s Outro from their album Vollmilch. Thanks to the band for letting me use the track.