That is a pretty standard thing for comic shops. As one manager I knew years ago put it, they do not want the comics hanging around. (Back-issues were his least favourite thing. They took up space and moved slowly.)Which is fine, on some level--it probably is what's keeping the store afloat in this economy and area--but it's still shitty, right?
Have you checked out "the Vision" from Marvel?If I am buying a "cape" book, it's typically because the concept interests me
Do not get the wrong idea. Stuff sells through here. That is why I use my pull-file.Except for the apparent Comics Mecca that is the Boston area, where Dom can afford to just up and take his business to a different comic shop, the nearest comic shop other than the one in my town is over an hour away in any direction.
And, keep in mind, the competition in Boston is fed by the colleges. And, it does not keep the stores in competitive shape.
I bailed on two shops in the last 6 years because they sucked. One had a generally bitchy attitude about pull-files, and the guy running it regressed to high school level maturity in general. (Sometimes, the cool kids never grow up.) Another, the second largest chain in New England), did pull files, but did them badly. The chain did not specifically order or allocate compilations. They did not allow for it. In early 2012, after they failed to get my hard cover "Last Stand of the Wreckers", I was done. I had three viable options, and opted for the one closest to where I live (which also happened to be my childhood comic shop).
Ordering to sell through is fine. It makes sense. But, the lack of pull-files is another thing.On a Thursday, the day after New Book Day! What a crock of shit. But that's what my store is. That's my only option.
Comics are sequential. If I buy one, I probably bought the one before it and will likely buy the next one. Pull-files exist to ensure that people can get their stuff consistently. (There are not many casual readers.)
As much as I love comics, I would have long ago stopped reading comics just by virtue of having missed too many comics. (I gave up on the Black Library because Games Workshop sucked ass at distribution.) At the very least, I would be reading far fewer.
The store I currently buy comics at is pretty good. Aside from a certain amount of human error, I get my stuff. (And, some of the error is *mine*, when I forget to order something.) They are willing to check other stores in the chain to find things.
Most importantly, if it is offered in the Diamond or Marvel catalogues, they can try to order it. It is possible, albeit expensive, to subscribe to action figures. I know people who subscribe to "Marvel Legends" figures the way I subscribe to comics.
The branch I go to easily has 100+ files, including people whose pull-files consist of Diamond boxes under the back issue bins. Every Wednesday, they start pulling an hour before the store opens. Then, they sort stuff after the store opens. (In theory, if somebody gets to the store early enough, they might end up buying their stuff off the shelf.)