Long-time comics retailer Bud Plant has decided not to exhibit at this year's Comic-Con International: San Diego - the first time he has not exhibited at the convention since it was founded in 1970 under its original name, the Golden State Comic Book Convention. Plant, who at one point rented eight connected booths at the convention, cites a decline in convention attendees interested in buying comic books.
"After 48 consecutive years of exhibiting at Comic-Con, I am not going to set up this year," Plant wrote on Facebook. "I'll be there walking the floor, looking for new sketchbooks and other products, catching up with publishers, seeing friends, and, well, scouting for Golden Age comics as I always find time to do. But after long and hard debate, we here (LaDonna, Anne and our usual assistants) decided we had enough of the complicated and labor-intensive logistics of setting up there."
Plant says that his SDCC sales peaked in 2007, there has been a steady decline.
"But we kept seeing diminishing rewards, not a loss per se, but really very little in the end, after the enormous expenses involved, to compensate for the time and energy it takes to do the show," Plant continued. "Seven full days on the road, 13-hour days at the show, plus all it entails getting material and ourselves prepared and down there.
"As you may know, I'm not the only one who's bowed out of the show, as big and special as it is. The folks in charge there have always treated me very well, aside from occasional mishaps - it's nothing against the show itself. The attendees these days are, in general, not our customers or they are not looking for books. Many former customers can't get tickets or have chosen to stop coming. I enjoy far more the smaller comic book and rare book shows and will continue to do those. I have an Inkpot Award from Comic-Con, which gives me a free lifetime ticket. I'll just be walking around enjoying myself for the first time ever, with no booth to look after."