Comic shop appreciation thread

Let's be honest with ourselves. Most comic shops stink. Which is why I think it's important to give credit where credit is due when a comic shop does something right. I'm hoping people will utilize this thread to share the love a little. At best, we all might find some great new places to visit. At the very least, it might just make some of us appreciate some of the people who help make our buying and reading experiences better.

Let me start the ball rolling by sharing a great experience I had today. My wife and I decided to take a trip to one of our favorite nearby flea markets. It's called Saturday's Market. It's located in Middletown, PA. While there, we were surprised to discover a comics dealer we had been previously unaware of. The booth belonged to a man who operates a comic shop named Comics Corner in Elizabethtown, PA.

First, let me describe the selection. All back issues. There was a well-balanced selection of mainstream and small press. Also, a variety of prices were represented. There were nicer hardcovers and trades in a variety of prices with a 40% discount applied. Back issues were divided into priced-as-marked, $1 bins and 50¢ bins.

Next, the service. While we were browsing, the gentleman running the booth approached us and engaged us in friendly conversation. This immediately stood out to me. Later, when I was taking my purchases to the register, the same gentleman noticed I was buying all small press books. He further engaged me in conversation, asking me if I read new stuff in addition to buying back issues. When I responded in the affirmative, he then made recommendations of publishers I might be interested in! And we chatted more about our favorite small press publishers until my wife brought her purchases to the register. She was then given the same respectful service. As we were leaving, we were given a flyer for 20% off of our next purchase that also provided the address and business hours of the store location.

In closing, let's review. My wife and I were welcomed, engaged, encouraged and informed. The atmosphere, combined with the prices and selection, will ensure that we will, at the very least, return to the flea market location and will likely check out the store location. Please feel free to share your own experiences and/or recommend shops you feel deserve some love and attention.

Comments

  • PSUriviePSUrivie Posts: 12
    Third Eye Comics in Annapolis, MD is amazing!! HUGE selection and a very friendly staff. I also recommend Four Corner Comics in Gettysburg, PA. The owner has a nice selection of wall books for a great price!
  • Fade2BlackFade2Black Posts: 1,449
    edited April 26
    I'll give Comics Conspiracy in Sunnyvale, CA a shout-out. The owner, Ryan Higgins, recently moved to a new location (still in Sunnyvale, CA - though a much better venue). Like before, his store still has a plethora of back issues that get replenished fairly routinely. That entire right wall aisle in the picture below is comprised of back issue shelves stacked three rows high (all on separate shelves for easy access). In addition to the back issues, there are a few shelves filled with used, though in well kept condition, graphic novels, all marked down significantly.

    image
    Ryan also does mail orders, he was one of the earlier adopters of a digital storefront, in which people can make their ComiXology purchases through his digital storefront and his brick and mortar business receives a small kickback (feel free to use his storefront if you buy through ComiXology and are not currently supporting a physical retail store with a digital storefront). Ryan, and the rest of his staff are very passionate about comics. They host a weekly comic book podcast called The Comic Conspiracy which provides retailers' perspectives and insights on the industry (as well as fans' -as they are both). Additionally, Ryan (along with another gentleman also named "Ryan") hosts a more game and pop culture-oriented weekly podcast called The Geekbox. One of Ryan's employees, Charlie, is also my co-host on The Wanderers in the 4th Dimension Doctor Who podcast. Often, when there's a new comic book movie being released, Ryan will purchase a bunch of tickets for a premiere screening and offer them to his customers (at face value). That way the showing is well-represented by the shop regulars. He's even been known to land exclusive showing just for the shop. Ryan is also very attentive to customers' needs. If he knows a subscriber gets a certain title and sees something related that he thinks that subscriber might not be aware of, he'll toss the related issue in their sub box (no obligation to buy).

    About 12 years ago, I was disgruntled with a local shop that was closer to me, I decided to give Comics Conspiracy a try. I've been going there ever since. These days, I don't collect comics to the extent that I used to, but I still pick up a couple titles. Over the years, I've gotten to know these people very well (attending their weddings, kids; christenings etc...). This is the kind of shop I'd want in any neighborhood; I'm just lucky enough to have it relatively close to mine.

    image

    The video below, is one I shot years ago at the store's previous location (yes, that's Geoff Johns discussing drink options). As you can see, the new store's layout is a vast improvement.

  • That is a very nice, clean looking store, I'm jealous you have a shop like that near you! I also love the table painted up like Plastic Man!
  • Mr_CosmicMr_Cosmic Posts: 3,200

    That is a very nice, clean looking store, I'm jealous you have a shop like that near you! I also love the table painted up like Plastic Man!

    I zeroed in on that Plastic Man table too!
  • Fade2BlackFade2Black Posts: 1,449
    I believe the plastic Plastic Man table is a one-of-kind piece. If memory serves, it was created by local art students as an entry in a charitable fundraiser. Ryan's spouse is an art illustrator and instructor, so they're both well-connected to the local community's art scene. When they saw the table at auction, it was kind of a no-brainer as to which piece they were going to bid on.
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