Daydreams Comics owner not worried about DC online streaming threat

Some Daydreams Comics customers are concerned about the threat posed by comic reader feature on DC’s new streaming service, but owner Zach Power isn’t worried.


Gaoyuan Pan

A collection of comic books is seen in Daydream Comics on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018.

Becca Turnis, News Reporter

On Sept. 15, DC comics launched its own video and comic streaming service DC Universe. The comic-reading feature has several people in the print comic industry anxious, but Zach Power, the owner of Daydreams Comics, 21 S. Dubuque St., doesn’t seem worried.

“Looking into what the DC Universe streaming service is currently offering, I don’t envision it affecting our new comic sales, as they aren’t offering current titles in full,” Power said in an email to The Daily Iowan. “The only thing I could see losing some sales on (as it is presented currently) is on some back issues or graphic novels.”

UI junior Maddie Helm, the secretary of the Iowa Comic Book Club, goes to Daydreams once a week and believes DC’s service has the potential to drive it and other small local stores out of business.

“Brick and mortar comic book stores are going out of business everywhere at a very sharp rate,” Helm said. “It’s really a privilege to have one in your city.”

According to comic news site Bleeding Cool, more than 50 comic shops across the country closed their doors in 2017, including Black Medicine Comics of Des Moines.

Many members of the Iowa Comic Book Club prefer hard copy comics to reading digitally, said UI junior Hannah Ericson, the president of Iowa Comic Book Club.

“Comics, for me, it’s such a visual medium,” she said. “It really helps … enhance the experience when I have a hard copy right there in front of me. I feel like I appreciate it more.”

Helm noted that the page design of a comic can come across differently on a digital platform and ruin the visual punch. She also said she was annoyed that readers can only see one page at a time on most platforms, negating the visual effects of a two-page spread.

Power shares the same distaste for digital comics as his customers.

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“I’m not into digital-format comics, as a reader or a retailer, for various reasons,” Power said in his email. “They don’t hold an appeal to me as a reader, as I enjoy the feel/nostalgia associated with reading a physical comic. As a retailer, I obviously don’t like them because it’s giving people a reason or excuse not to come into my shop.”

If DC improves the comic selection on its service, Power said, he may start to worry, because around 25 percent of his business comes from DC products. While Power knows his and other small shops are a David to DC’s Goliath, he knows his advantages to get people in the door.

The shop stocks 80 to 90 percent of current comics from all companies, he said, and carries an extensive selection of graphic novels. The shop also does special orders if items are out of stock and offers a free pull list so customers don’t miss out on their favorite titles, he said.

“There’s also the benefit of having someone to ask for good recommendations, as well as having a positive impact on the local economy and supporting a business that’s been a part of downtown Iowa City for 32-plus years,” Power said in his email.

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