I Read Comic Books discussion

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What do you think makes a "good" comic shop?

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message 1: by Kate (new)

Kate (kgskocelas) | 581 comments Mod
What qualities do you think make for a good comic shop? What are the most important features for you personally?


message 2: by Francis (new)

Francis | 134 comments Friendly staff, It's really important that staff are approachable and there is nothing worse than gate keepers who turn away new readers.


message 3: by Chad (new)

Chad | 828 comments Francis wrote: "Friendly staff, It's really important that staff are approachable and there is nothing worse than gate keepers who turn away new readers."

Not only approachable but won't scoff at anything readers are into, no matter how crappy it may be. Knows their stock well enough to give informed recommendations. Also, nowadays a robust collection of trade paperbacks is a must.

A hangout area really helps too so readers have a place to gather and talk comics. I've heard of a few comic / coffee shops. I think that's a wonderful idea.


message 4: by Mike, Host & Producer of IRCB! (last edited Jul 16, 2018 07:36PM) (new)

Mike Rapin (mikerapin) | 641 comments Mod
Having a great staff is SUPER important; friendly, positive, non-judgmental. A major must for a GOOD comic shop. This also means the staff know when to check in and maybe leave you be if you want to peruse on your own. I'm 100% fine with being friendly, but if I'm browsing around at a shop with a big selection, I'm cool just being by myself (I realize this sounds super snooty, but I promise, I'm not trying to be).

That being said, being able to speak to comics and chatting at the register is always a thing I love and hate.

Love: People who love comics talking about loving comics!

Hate: I hate holding up the line and/or distracting the staff from other customers.

This is also why I like grabbing my physical books on off days (if the shop is open).

Another thing that makes a shop great is a well organized, clean layout of single issues and collections. Clear labels and staff picks scattered in the bunch is great, too.


message 5: by Scott (new)

Scott I noticed a trend here. Friendly staff keeps me coming back to my favorite shop. The owner is just about the nicest guy in the world. He'll thank you for shopping, takes time to give his recommendations, and goes over and above by searching the store for things you might be interested in. I was looking for something upbeat after having just come off a super dark and violent book. He brought some humorous comics ranging from high school settings to fantasy and sci-fi.
There's another shop I like about 40 mi north of me. They have a better selection of comics and games but the staff is not very friendly. They kind of ignore the customers. I usually just go in for mtg cards.
But yes, friendly employees and owners. People who appreciate your patronage.


message 6: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Seth Parsley (mrgarnish) | 1 comments I live in a college town that hasn't had a shop for years. One recently opened up and it's nice to have a place that isn't over an hour away to get my pull list from.

I will echo everyone else that friendly staff is a must. The owners father helps out a lot at the moment as he used to run a store himself. He is extremely friendly and helpful. The owner is friendly, but has never initiated conversation first with me. If it weren't for the owners father, I'd rather go to an amazing shop that's almost an hour and a half away at which I've never had a negative experience.


message 7: by Will (new)

Will Robinson Jr. | 13 comments A dream comic book shop has:

1. Friendly Staff that loves to talk comics
2.Offers club meetups for comics, gaming, and collecting
3.Does outreach with the neighborhood library and other community events
4. Unfortunately has to offer more than just comics but video games, movies, toy collecting, artwork and other geek products.
5. Some shops have started to have coffee bars or become pizza places and invite guess to use wifi.


message 8: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 265 comments I patron 2 Comic book shops where i have 2 different pull lists (HumbleBrag), here is what i think makes each one of them great.

First shop:
The owner is very knowledgeable and takes the time to learn peoples name and greet them.
Tons and I mean TONS of Back issues and variety and plenty of copies of all items weekly
They offer a discount to pull list subscribers.
Shop #2:
The staff is AMAZING, there are a few people but they are all friendly, every time I visit i see them reading a book.
They have events like our monthly comic book club which builds a community
They have great communication on their online/social media outlets.

Both shops are different but i love them both and i dont think i can just pick one to frequent.


message 9: by kaitlphere (new)

kaitlphere | 236 comments Mod
I agree that a good comic shop needs friendly, respectful staff. I used to visit a comic shop near my college, and every time I went in, I would have the unfortunately stereotypical experience of "the GIRL in the comic shop." The one I visit now has women on their staff, it's better lit, and no one stares at me.

Store organization and layout is also really important to me. I have been to comic shops where their only organization system was JUST long boxes--no shelves or front-facing racks. It was terrible. A good shop needs to be able to display its product in a way that I know what they have without needing to dig. Wide aisles are also very important. If you can't pass someone who is browsing, a wheelchair definitely can't get through, and no one is going to be comfortable at such tight quarters anyway.

Will mentioned outreach. While I don't know how many comic shops do outreach, mine does, and it's wonderful. They co-host gaming and D&D events with local businesses, and even have a film series with the local cinema. They even had a booth at a zine festival recently!


message 10: by Judah (new)

Judah Radd - Friendly staff
- well stocked
- has a lot of back issues
- has a HUGE wall of TPBs


message 11: by Will (new)

Will Robinson Jr. | 13 comments Sounds like a great shop


message 12: by Erin (new)

Erin (panelparty) | 284 comments Mod
My favorite shop right now is Apotheosis Comics in STL (worth a trip if you're ever in the area!) It doesn't have the largest selection (don't get me wrong, they still have a ton!) but they have events seemingly every day, ranging from stand-up comedy open mic nights to graphic novel book club once a month. The staff is SUPER friendly, and not only can give you recommendations, but welcomes your own opinions and reviews on things - plus they don't make you feel like an idiot if you don't know about random obscure events in a book or like lame comics. I don't think I've ever left there unhappy - if they didn't have what I wanted, I can always find something else that piques my interest. They also sell art from local artists and letterpress shops. Oh, and did I mention they also have a bar in the shop? It's kind of the best.


message 13: by Chad (new)

Chad | 828 comments Erin wrote: "My favorite shop right now is Apotheosis Comics in STL (worth a trip if you're ever in the area!) It doesn't have the largest selection (don't get me wrong, they still have a ton!) but they have ev..."

What part of STL is it in, Erin? I'm on Long Island now but grew up outside STL. In fact, I just flew back from STL yesterday.


message 14: by Erin (new)

Erin (panelparty) | 284 comments Mod
Chad wrote: "What part of STL is it in, Erin? I'm on Long Island now but grew up outside STL. In fact, I just flew back from STL yesterday."

Ha! That's awesome! I've only lived here for a few years but there really are so many great shops here. Star Clipper was my all-time fave until this place showed up. Apotheosis is on S. Grand.


message 15: by Chad (new)

Chad | 828 comments Erin wrote: "Chad wrote: "What part of STL is it in, Erin? I'm on Long Island now but grew up outside STL. In fact, I just flew back from STL yesterday."

Ha! That's awesome! I've only lived here for a few year..."


Star Clipper is where I used to go when I'd come into town too. Fantasy books in Fairview Heights is where I went for my weekly comics for the last several years I lived in the area.


message 16: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 265 comments Erin wrote: "My favorite shop right now is Apotheosis Comics in STL (worth a trip if you're ever in the area!) It doesn't have the largest selection (don't get me wrong, they still have a ton!) but they have ev..."

This sounds fun, I love comic book clubs, also, stand up, wtf, that's so cool, its difficult to find people to chat about comics with.


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