To Our Retail Partners,
A new day will dawn for the direct market. I believe we must rise to meet this rebirth by recommitting to who we are and what makes comic book stores special.
Soon, we’ll have new comics to sell. When that moment comes, every comic shop will have a fresh start. Each store has their own new Day One in their future.
Some parts of the world will open before others to ensure safety. Comic shops won’t have a single uniform Day One. One size doesn’t fit all.
But one thing is certain: Your customers will return. And on your new Day One, you’ll have an opportunity you haven’t had since you first opened your store – the chance to make a first impression.
How do I know your comic book customers are coming back?
Because you sell community.
Community is what makes comic book stores special.
Before COVID-19, customers could buy comic books online at the click of a few buttons. Many websites sold cheaper than you could even after shipping. Your customers could read the newest stories instantly when they woke up through digital apps. None of this information is new or secret.
If price or convenience was the only thing driving a customer’s decision to purchase, there would be no foot traffic in comic book stores after the widespread adoption of the internet. None at all!
But comic book fans didn’t exclusively buy new releases off the internet or an app. They bought them at your store.
Because you sell community.
It’s why I love comic shops. Where else can I talk about Saga coming back?
Now I don’t debate who’s stronger—Superman or the Hulk. But I’ve been there when two people—neither of whom worked at a job where the boss or a co-worker wanted to debate this—started discussing it and asked me what I thought.
In case you didn’t know, I have a shrine to the original superhero in my office.
You see, you don’t just sell issues of Superman—or Once & Future.
You also sell community, a place where everyone knows your name. You sell a place where every customer knows that you’ll introduce them to the best work from their favorite creators. You sell them Kieron Gillen’s Once & Future or Ludocrats because they love Die or The Wicked & The Divine. You sell them Brian Azzarello’s Faithless because you remember they enjoyed Moonshine or 100 Bullets. You sell them James Tynion IV’s Something Is Killing the Children because they’re devouring his Batman or The Woods.
You sell a space where people appreciate gorgeous art by Jim Lee, Jenny Frison, Dan Mora, and Mike Mignola.
You sell a place where people know who these creators are — and if a customer doesn’t know who they are, you educate them.
And in turn, you know your customers. What they like, what they don’t like, who they are, who their families are, and what matters to them. You’ve shared in their joys and laughter, their achievements and triumphs.
Your store is a unique, integral part of the comics industry. No other comic store can replace the experience of your comic store.
President, Publishing & Marketing