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#210943 - 03/16/03 12:04 AM starting a comic book store from scratch
ace cerniglia Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/06/03
Posts: 2
Loc: la
good afternoon everyonei want to start a comic store from scratch in the hollywood la area and i have a few questions for you kind folks what would be the top ten things to take into consideration of to do first . my second question is for those retailers who have worked with mel thompson is he as good as everyone says and is he worth the money asks for his projects as a consult for store sites and last but not least what do people think of the current state of the market and how did some of you get started in the business and can a person with a slight handicap play this game thanks ace

#210944 - 03/16/03 03:39 AM Re: starting a comic book store from scratch
iangould Offline

Registered: 07/16/99
Posts: 257
Loc: Brisbane, Queensland, Australi...
Mel is every bit as good as he says he is and his services are most definitely worth what he charges.

If there wasn't an ocean between him and my shop, I'd use his services without hesitation.

Other issues

1. Money - most people agree that you need a minimum of something like $50,000 to open a comic shop these days. If you don't have that amount, or close to it, i'd think very carefully before proceeding.

2. Comics retailing is a job - it can be a very enjoyable job but its still a job. If you don't have prior comics retailing experience, see if you can find a store somewhere that will let you work for them for a while - even if you have to do it for free, Talk to the owner about the work they do. This specific example won't apply in the LA area, but I know store-owners in places like Montana who get up at 4 or 5 AM every Wednesday to pick up their comics at the drop-point then work through until the evening.

3. specialise - comics now has such a selection of material available that its virtually impossible for any but the largest stores to carry a comprehensive range of all the different genres available. So carry a wide range - try to have something for everyone - but in addition pick one or two areas (preferably ones you're personally knowledgable and enthusiastic about) to carry in depth.

The areas you concentrate on could be Marvel or Vertigo, or "Goth" or manga (although that's getting to be such a big field in itself that you might almost pick a subcategory such as shonen or shojo titles).

#210945 - 03/16/03 09:41 AM Re: starting a comic book store from scratch
Lev Bronstein Offline

Registered: 07/06/02
Posts: 52
Loc: Montreal
First and foremost, get some behind-the-counter experience in an existing shop. It's a tough business, a sometimes unpleasant business, and you want to be aware of how gruelling it can be before you strap yourself to the "weekly wheel". Many comic shops welcome unpaid/paid in product volunteers/interns. Just ask.

Handicap: The lack of punctuation or capital letters in your post indicate that some sort of dysfunction may lie in this area. If this is the case, be advised that you must be very careful in dealing with Diamond. Very careful. I can't emphasise this enough.

If you make any kind of mistake in ordering, chances are Diamond will not or cannot correct it. If you order 10 statues instead of 1, you will get ten. You might be able to plead for mercy once. Might. Once. Diamond is very unforgiving of mistakes that are not their own. So if your handicap is in this area, check all correspondance to Diamond very carefully.

Otherwise, well there's lots of us with handicaps. We can't say that a handicap "shouldn't be a problem", because it always is, but we've learned to adjust around them, yes? Comic retailing is no different from any other endeavour- I've known dyslexics, parapelegics, stroke victims, amputees and so on that have been successful in this business- it just requires the "usual" extra effort...

Good luck

#210946 - 07/14/03 03:05 AM Re: starting a comic book store from scratch
Jim Hanley Offline

Registered: 06/19/99
Posts: 1313
Loc: NYC
"I love him like a brother. David Greenglass." -- Woody Allen - Crimes & Misdemeanors


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