Notch one up for Big Business. On October 31st Final Frontier in Taman Tun, one of the last remaining mom and pop comic stores in Malaysia will close it's doors. Sales have been depleting, the Kementerian Dalam Negeri confisticates comics that have supposedly violence, supernatural and sexual elements. That's like 90% of comic book content! Ironically the same books are sold in larger chain stores like Borders and Kinokuniya. Obviously the big boys have better influence.
FF as its fondly known was one of the few places that sold action figures and comics at reasonable prices and the little store would be full of collectors on Saturdays just chilling and hanging out. The amiable Davin and his friendly mum at the counter were miles apart from the drones you see at Toys 'R Us or some of the greedy hyenas at the 'collector' stores.
They didn't mark up popular new items unlike many scalpers masquerading as toy stores today.
But that's the name of the game and the evolution of our retail environment begins its next phase, although I still hope that there is life for small retailers to thrive in what is growing into a hopelessly impersonal world.