Volume 9, Issue 3 - June/July 2007
Field of Vision
Whatís in Your Comic Book?
Most of us have seen Spiderman, know who Wolverine is and grew up watching Batman on television. But, how mainstream have comic books become? So mainstream that when independents in Las Vegas asked consumer advocate Ralph Nader what they could do to make changes in the industry at the level of their various state legislatures, he had just one thing in mind: comic books.
Nader reminded the audience that state senators, local representatives and judges may be interested in their issues, but they donít have time to learn the ins and outs of the business. They donít have time to understand NAGS, what competitor administrators are and the elements of steering. And, letís face itóthere are a lot of industries out there with their own issues, all of whom are vying for that same legislatorís attention.
But a comic book can get some notice. Nader suggested that those in the audience put together a comic book in order to initiate change in an industry he called ďbizarre.Ē
Iím not suggesting you go out and quit your job in the auto glass industry and start a comic book store, but I want to know: if you were to write a comic book about the industryís issues, what would it contain? Just from a quick review any day of the week of the AGRR Online Forum at http://pub24.bravenet.com/forum/2036554146, itís obvious youíve got a lot on your mind. Just one dayís sampling comes up with an array of topics: pricing, insurance issues, gas prices, direct marketing, technical issues, industry giants and competition, just to name a few.
To take it a step further, for those of you out there who are more artistic than I (my eighth-grade science teacher once told me Iíd starve if I was ever an artist), I would like you to send me a page or two from your comic book (either via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to P.O. Box 569, Garrisonville, Va., 22463). Iíd love to see what issues you cover and, just as important, the fun names you come up with for the heroes and villains of your saga. If we receive enough of these, weíd like to include them in the pages of AGRR in future issues.
Hopefully a few of the topics on your mind are also covered in this edition of AGRR magazine. Be sure to check out our review of the Independentsí Day Conference on page 52 for a more in-depth look at Naderís discussion for some inspiration. Included in the review is also a look at what might happen to the industry if NAGS didnít exist.
Also, in honor of our annual safety issue, turn to page 44 to read publisher Debra Levyís one-on-one interview with David Rohlfing, president of Glass America, as he discusses the auto glass retailer chainís commitment to safety. On page 46, find out how those who have registered that they comply with the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) are using the registration in their business.
Hopefully some of these issues might show up in your comic bookóand, if not, Iím looking forward to seeing what does.
Penny Stacey is the editor of AGRR magazine.