MARTHA THOMASES: The DC (And NY And LA) Implosion

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. I, too, prefer paper copies. I sometimes will buy a digital copy of something I’m not sure I’ll like and then buy the paper copy if I do. is great for that, and DriveThruComics is my jam for back issues from Rebellion and Top Cow.

    About 20 years ago, there were five comic stores in my area. Now there’s one. It’s the one I’ve been buying comics in since I was 8 (I’m in my thirties now), so it’s okay with me but the others all pretty much disappeared around the same time in 93-94.

    There was one right by my house that I loved to visit, cuz the guys who worked there were really cool, but it was tiny and they would only order small quantities of each book so they could keep as many different titles on the shelves as possible, so it wasn’t a great place to actually go and buy comics, ironically. They held on for a little while longer but they, too, were gone by the mid-90s.

    It makes me kinda sad just thinking about it.

  2. Martha Thomases says:

    Judging from my neighborhood (admittedly not a representative sample), the good bookstores survive. There are several specialty stores, including ones dedicated to mysteries and biographies, that are doing well. Others, like Shakespeare & Co, concentrate on excellent customer service. I anticipate the same will hold true for comic book stores.

    • Probably true in many areas, but the comic shop that survives in my area is owned by a member of very wealthy family who also happens to own most of the downtown area of the city (including the building the shop is in). They had truly awful customer service for a very long time and for years I’d just go in, get my books and leave, then go to the shop near my house to talk comics (I know that sounds bad but I was young).

      Fortunately, 6 or 7 years ago, my comic shop hired a manager who fired all the surly, rude employees who just wanted to read comics and the staff has mostly been very pleasant and helpful since then. The current manager who took over a couple years ago was one of those hires and he’s kept the place running smoothly. I hope my kid, in 30 years, is bragging about how long he’s been shopping there like I can.

      Also: I’d KILL for a bookstore that specialized in mysteries but the area couldn’t possibly support it.

      • Oops. I think I deleted an important sentence when I meant to just delete a single word.

        Missing is: “Without the ownership to building connection, I don’t think they’d have survived on customer service alone during the crisis in the 90s”.

  3. mike weber says:

    My nearest comic store is twenty-plus miles away.

    Even before gas prices went through the roof, it was too far away to hit regularly.

  4. Mindy Newell says:

    I totally agree with you, Martha. I can’t get behind digital comics…or digital books for that matter…except when I’m traveling. But even when I’m reading digital, I miss my actual BOOK.