This is another reason I need to nip over to France. Bleeding Cool has a small item today on what French comics can be found in newsagents these days. It’s fed by a post on Tim Pilcher’s blog following a trip across the channel. He also has a report about Indian comics.
Pilcher has shied clear of specialist shops and offers a rough snapshot of what can be found on the shelves of an Intermarche. It’s not that dissimilar to what us Brits find in our local WH Smiths. Possibly a wider choice. I’m not immediately sure what the US equivalent might be? Anyway, they seem denser shelves than the Lancastrian ones recently spotted by John Freeman on his Down The Tubes blog. They also seem to break stuff into similar displays - the nursery lines, the US reprints, niches, manga, and bookazines.
Pilcher mentions that he picked up a summer special edition of Spirou but couldn’t see a regular copy. I wonder if that indicates healthy sales or the kind of indifference that killed The Dandy?
I’m also curious to know how many of these titles hail from the likes of Egmont, Panini and Redan? The leaning towards to junior titles might offer perspective on where Marvel’s new “kids publishing programme” should go. Particularly since this is a market where Disney already have a strong presence (and I’m sure you will find a few Marvel titles already in there).
Hachette can sign me up for an English language version of the Valerian partwork if they ever feel it has legs over here.