Thinking outside the traditional-medium box

Inspired by 1) Dan Cassino’s fantastic round-up of essential true-crime comics/graphic novels from yesterday; and 2) a recommendation from an Exhibit B. customer for a DB Cooper young-readers book, I’m wondering what media true crime isn’t traditionally associated with — but should be. Come the day the store opens to in-person customers, I won’t really have anything “for kids” — but when I think about when I started reading and caring about true crime, I was a kid! Leafing through my parents’ Bloodletters & Badmen, eating popsicles in front of Unsolved Mysteries…like, I wasn’t in pre-K, but I was a kid, and I wonder if adults assume kids can’t or shouldn’t handle this material, when in fact it’s a big part of learning about the world and how to manage its many (often evil) variables. (NB: I do not have my own kids and this is probably a key, wide plank in the “and that’s for the best” platform; AMA!)

I’ve also noticed that there’s not a lot of ancillary “product” in the space — at least, not that doesn’t feel disrespectful. Like, I couldn’t find a true-crime wall calendar when I went looking at the end of last year — but should there be one, one that’s not prurient or flip? Weegee photos, maybe, or non-lethal art heists?

And are there ways to fold museum-tour concepts — you know, where you get the headset and you walk through the, uh, exhibit — into true crime? A shop colleague of mine and I are noodling that while trying to stay on the right side of that line between “creative” and “creepy” information packaging…maybe the point is that medium doesn’t matter, as long as it’s thoughtful. Y’all are thoughtful, and I’d love to hear your takes. — SDB