Good news: Four new comics shops and a reopening

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201304020321 Good news: Four new comics shops and a reopening
Diamond reports that for the last two years, their number of accounts has gone up by 1% each year—a tiny amount, to be sure, but at least it isn’t falling. Here are some recent stories about NEW stores opening up, and one old one reopening—proof that indie bookstores and comics are not doomed quite yet.

¶ Rocket Comics: In Menifee, CA, Life-long residents to open comic shop pictured above.

Cousins Jesse Heinrichs, 22, and Zach Heinrichs, 25, plan to open the first comic book shop in Menifee’s known history.

The grand opening for their shop, Rocket Comics, is planned for 10 a.m. April 6 at 27140 Shadel Road and includes food, drinks, a raffle and a free package of buttons for the first 20 customers.

The shop, which specializes in comic books but also sells games, toys and other collectibles, is the realization of a dream for the two cousins — who proudly embrace the label “comic nerds.”


The two hope the store will be an after-school destination for kids, which seems to be a growing trend for shops located near schools.

¶ Vintage Villains: In Danville, IL another pair has opened a shop:

Partners Chris Perrault, a laid-off FreightCar employee, and Troy Walton have opened the shop, which opened today in the former Bruce Huff Photography business next to Hoarder’s Paradise, at 103 N. Vermilion St. [snip]

Perrault said the downtown pedestrian traffic also played a part in their decision to locate downtown.

During the last few months, they have been painting, removing a wall and renovating the space to fit their needs.

The shop has sections of T-shirts, reproduction movie posters, buttons, records and music CDs, horror/sci-fi/anime, VHS movies and DVDs, video games and video game systems — such as Atari and Nintendo, non-sports cards, action figures from movies and television shows and toys from the 1980s and 1990s.


The store sounds fine but we’re curious about the spot called Hoarder’s Paradise!

¶ Heroes For Sale: Liverpool, UK Yet another pair of determined fans opening a shop:

It hosts a vast collection of items such as classic comic books, action figures from Star Wars, Iron Man, Transformers, Ghostbusters and other memorabilia that is a journey of nostalgia through the sub-culture of TV, cinema and cartoon series heroes across the second half of the 20th Century.

The shop is run by Pierce King and David Ross, who are themselves collectors and enthusiasts and have collected most of the shop’s content over the past two decades.

¶ Hypno-Tronic Comics, St. George, Staten Island, NY; this one is run by a couple:

From tiny robots, laser beams, space invaders and bad monster costumes, a new comic shop in St. George is stocking up on vintage science-fiction and horror movie merchandise. Aside from the usual stock of superhero comics, Hypno-Tronic Comics will sell everything from Elvira dolls to Star Trek laser-disks.

“We’re different,” said co-owner Joy Ghigliotti. “We try to cater to sci-fi, horror movies, television, pop culture stuff, as well as the comics.” The store already has a large collection of memorabilia culled from garage sales, conventions and the personal collections of owners Ghigliotti and Edmund Varuolo.

¶ Finally, in Lynchburg, VA, Collector’s Lair has reopened in a new space following a fire:

The blaze, which burned for days, remains under investigation, Lynchburg Fire Marshal Thomas Mack said. About a month after the fire, Lair reopened his shop less than a mile away, next door to Chestnut Hill Hardware and near Fort Avenue’s intersection with Wards Road. He has operated a hobby shop for more than 20 years and knew he had to reopen. “That was almost immediate,” Lair said. “We were successful at what we were doing.” For 10 years, Lair sold collectibles from his former location on Fort Avenue, previously the Continental Hobby Shop. Lair opened his store in the 1980s after his childhood hangout, The Treasure Chest, closed. The faded sign from Lair’s first store is displayed in the front window of his new location.


Glad to hear this store was able to reopen following what sounds like a pretty bad fire.

How much these openings have been helped by Diamond’s incentives to help new stores open is unknown, but it’s definitely a welcome trend.

Has a comics shop opened near you? Tell the Beat!

Comments

  1. comicsatemybrain says:

    And over the last several months, Dreamscape Comics in Bethlehem PA re-opened after its owner passed away and Comics Etc in Rochester NY opened up a new location after being unceremoniously (and without cause) booted out of its 20+ year location.

  2. Torsten Adair says:

    For new comics shops, Comics Pro also offers a mentoring program:

    http://www.comicspro.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=843470&module_id=96759

  3. I opened SIDEKICK COMICS in Columbus, Indiana May 4, 2012 (1 year anniversary approaching!) and we are doing very well!

    http://www.facebook.com/SidekickComics

  4. I work at Action Jackson Comics, a new shop in Bismarck, ND which opened last November. It is a welcome site for anyone in the area, considering the one comic shop we had closed down the previous year.

  5. Great news – can’t wait to visit them all someday!

  6. Whatever says:

    Only a fool would consider this growth. Good luck with that, St. Jude is the Patron Saint of lost causes.

  7. Torsten Adair says:

    One other suggestion:
    Make sure you have a website.
    Facebook and Twitter are nice, but they tend to be blocked by company firewalls.

    Nothing fancy is required… it can be a single page with a logo, address, directions, and a description of what you sell.

    @Whatever:
    In related news, Tate Comics will be celebrating their 20th year this weekend, and are looking for a larger retail space.

  8. Gaming and comic shop Table’s Edge opened up here in Amarillo, Texas, last summer. They’ve done well enough that they had to move to a new space a few weeks ago. Gaming is their bread and butter, but they’ve expanded their comics selection and are adding new pull lists every week. Good news for a small market like ours.

  9. While at WonderCon two gentlemen came up to my table who are opening a store in the LA area. And I also talked with a number of retailers who are experiencing profit / growth for their stores. It might be risky, but it is far from failure. In fact, the same can be said of many industries besides ours.

    It’s good to be in comics right now. As a creator, retailer, reader, supporter, cosplayer, whatever.

  10. Whatever says:

    Sure it is. That’s why everyone sells gaming cards because comics are flying off the shelves. Retailers are experiencing growth? Really 1%. Okay lot’s of mathematicians here.

  11. Arkham City Comics opened in Auckland two days ago, https://www.facebook.com/arkhamcitycomics

  12. george says:

    “Gaming is their bread and butter …”

    Yes, you’d better offer more than just comics if you want to stay in business today.

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  2. [...] Good news: Four new comics shops and a reopening The shop has sections of T-shirts, reproduction movie posters, buttons, records and music CDs, horror/sci-fi/anime, VHS movies and DVDs, video games and video game systems — such as Atari and Nintendo, non-sports . [...]

  3. [...] Continuing the recent uptick in comics shop robustness, a Texas shop is expanding and launching a pop culture [...]

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