Mile High Comics Says Goodbye to SDCC!

Mile HIgh Comics, one of the nation's largest back issue retailers, is calling it quits at the San Diego Comic Con. Its hard to fathom one of the biggest names in Silver Age and Golden Age comics calling it quits at literally the biggest gathering of fans and professionals in the entire comics industry! But its happening.

According to Mile High Inc. President Chuck Rozanski, whose "booth" at this year's SDCC was in fact 7-booths long, suffered a $10,000 loss in sales revenue. According to Rozanski, its the publishers themselves who are to blame for the money lost by not only Mile High Comics but certainly many other back issue retailers throughout the show floor. 

The fact is, the publishers' booths are so large, and done with such spectacular bravado, that fans flock to them like moths to a flame. And rightfully so. The big name publishers like Marvel, DC, Image, etc. are attending these larger-than-you-can-possibly-imagine conventions to display anything and everything they can that will attract the eye of the fans that support them. Whether its what's coming out in the comig year, to movie previews, to exclusive signings, all the way down to super exclusive only-1,000-copies-printed get-'em-while-they're-hot variant covers!

And its these super rare, and usually pricey, variant covers that are draining the life blood from the back issue vendors throught the convention. According to Rozanski, "In a nutshell, the comics publishers with booths at the San Diego convention have so cleverly exploited the greed and avarice of comics fans through limited edition publications that are only available through their own booths, that there is no longer enough disposable income left in the room to sustain us."

Comparing Mile High's higher sales statistics from the Denver Con a couple months prior to SDCC, Rozanski found that even though hey had 20,000 less book with them for that convention, their sales per hour in Denver were double that of San Diego. The lack of fans stopping and spending at his booth cost Rozanski $10,000 out of his own pocket in order to attend SDCC. And for comic retailers in a cutthroart business of scrutinized grading and "How much do you want for that?"'s and "Do you have any room on it?"'s, it gets harder and harder to make a profit. 

It looks like Rozanski will be sticking to the smaller conventions that are less likely to be attended by the big name publishers with their 100K sq.ft. mega booths. "It now seems obvious to me now that we finally have to end a lifetime of exhibiting at San Diego, and instead seek out relatively popular comics conventions in other cities. Especially conventions where our publisher friends choose to not exhibit," said Rozanski.

Rozanski concluded his eassay on this disturbing note, "Doesn’t that thought just drip with irony? Comics publishers have evolved to become toxic to their own retailers. Who would ever have thought that would happen? Even with all my many years of experience, I simply cannot believe that our world has now been so perverted by the mania for exclusive variants, that comics retailers can now only survive in the absence of the very publishers we support. No matter how you look at it, this is a profoundly sad day." 


Chuck has been attending The San Diego Comic Con for the past 42 years.

Also, apropos of nothing, Chuck's got some pretty sick tattoos.

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