Sometimes I worry about the competition. Before we launched I was sure someone else would start a comic strip about a library and we'd lose all our thunder. I periodically fret about Frazz which is set in a school. I was briefly frightened about Rex Libris until I actually, well, read it.
Today the subject of my concern is Retail, which launches tomorrow. For two reasons. One is that it's about service jobs. Not in a library, but we've always kind of thought the experiences of Dewey and company often transcend their actual workplace. And the other is that it's syndicated. And for all you'll hear me rail about how outmoded that moribund distribution mechanism is, it's still pretty successful in getting stuff in front of a new audience. Twenty papers isn't a lot, but if each paper gains it 1250 readers then they've caught up with us.
In the end I always stop worrying about the competition. It's not really about surface similarities. Comic strips are about characters, and no one is copying ours. And it's not like people only get to read one comic - the tent is big enough for everyone. But I like to be special, and a high-profile comic strip about a similar enough subject can't help but make me feel a little less special.
All that said, I love comic strips and I'm always excited that a new one might tickle my fancy. Welcome, Retail!
Jan. 19, 2018 Downer's Grove, IL
Downer's Grove Public Library Staff Day (private event) (Gene)
Feb. 9 - 12, 2018 Denver, CO
ALA Midwinter (Library COMIC booth 714) (Gene)
Apr 2 - 6, 2018 Dallas, TX
TXLA 2018 (Library COMIC booth 2632) (Gene)
June 22 - 25, 2018 New Orleans, LA
ALA Annual (Library COMIC booth) (Gene)
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