Tokyopop has announced that the North American restaurant/gift shop chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store will begin carrying one of its manga releases, the Nightmare Before Christmas (opens in new tab) adaptation by Jun Asuka.(opens in new tab)
"We're teaming up with Cracker Barrel to bring Disney The Nightmare Before Christmas manga to their stores!" Tokyopop tweets (opens in new tab). "Keep your eyes peeled for it next time you stop by."
On the face of it, this appears to be a special deal Tokyopop has worked out with Cracker Barrel similar to Marvel and DC's recent partnerships with Walmart, Target, and other stories, as opposed to a larger comics strategy from Cracker Barrel.
That being said, Cracker Barrel has shown itself willing for these unusual tie-ins, after previous collaborations with All Elite Wrestling and Nintendo's Animal Crossing: New Horizons. And given Nightmare Before Christmas' Disney pedigree and its unique tie-in to both Halloween and Christmas, now is literally the time.
For comics however, being stocked inside Cracker Barrel's signature gift shop area seems a unique area ripe for expansion. Although it may not be the right situation for any comic books, if books-on-tape continue to sell in a Cracker Barrel, why not books-as-art?
For its part, Tokyopop has several other Nightmare Before Christmas manga it could push to this market if its successful, including a four-volume spin-off focused on Jack's dog Zero (opens in new tab), and a fifth book following Sally.
To put it a better way, we'll leave it to Tokyopop's Twitter account (opens in new tab) and a response it had for a surprised fan: "What, haven't you ever had chicken pot pie by a roaring fireplace while reading your favorite manga?"
If the idea of a nostalgic store that carries comics entices you, wait until we tell you about comic shops.