Monday, February 04, 2013

Do We Still Use "LCS"?

"LCS" is comics shorthand for "local comic shop." I don't recall where or when exactly I first heard/saw it used, but I'm pretty sure I've been using it for pretty much the entirety of my talking to people online about comics. It was a useful shorthand, particularly online, where so many discussions take place across vast distances. The name of the small comic shop I frequent might not have any meaning to somebody from 600 miles away, and the guy that lives 600 miles in the other direction probably uses a shop that neither of us have heard of. So "LCS" became a nice abbreviation that everyone on your discussion board or chat room knew what you were talking about, without having to go through and explain that you actually get your comics from a place called "Thee Keep" or "Cosmic Cards" or something that doesn't immediately scream "WE SELL COMICS" in the name.

I was having a dicussion on Twitter earlier today and used "LCS" in a more ubiquitious sense. I wasn't talking about MY local comic shop necessarily, just any comic shop that happened to be local for the generic anybody I could be referring to. It makes even more sense on Twitter, given that you've only got 140 characters to work with, right?

But I thought about it for a bit, and realized that I don't think I've actually seen anybody use "LCS" in several years now. Not to say NO ONE is using it, of course, just that I don't remember seeing it lately. There are several possibilities that spring to mind...
  1. Maybe my memory is just total crap. I've seen it plenty, and I'm just blanking on that.
  2. Maybe people are still using it plenty, and I just happen to not be in those discussions any more. I do travel in different online circles now than I did, say, five or ten years ago.
  3. Maybe most of the small comic shops that gave rise to "LCS" have died out, primarily leaving stores with noticeable brands/reptuations. I know The Beguiling and The Isotope and Flying Colors even though I've never been to any of them. Maybe peole can say, "I picked it up at Forbidden Planet" and everyone knows what they'r talking about.
  4. Somewhat related, maybe most of the small comic shops that gave rise to "LCS" have died, and there just simply AREN'T local comic shops any more. I know I've heard Tom Spurgeon mention that he's at least an hour's drive away from one; I'm sure he's not alone in that predicament.
  5. Maybe the fact that over the last few years I've focused a lot more on comics that typically aren't available through Diamond (webcomics, digital, indies...) means that local comic shops are a lot less relevant to me, so I don't pay attention. Why talk about them when I can't get the latest installment of Bob the Squirrel from them in the first place?
  6. Maybe more people are doing the "wait for the trade" game and picking their books up from Amazon more cheaply than they would at an LCS.
  7. Maybe a combination of all of the above
So, a question out to the internet: is it just me? Is it just me not seeing the term as much as I used to? If it's not just me, what reason(s) do you think people are using it less? I'm genuinely curious for your feedback on this one. Thanks!

1 comment:

Matt K said...

I have no idea, but, since you raise the question, I don't have any strong feeling that you must be wrong...

Your reasons sound pretty plausible, too.