Opening a Comic Shop: Independent Comics

OK, maybe last one. We’re weeks away at most.

I’ve got the comics orders in for the big four or five publishers.

But my staff is giving me a shelf entitled ‘Nate’s Pretentious Shelf o’Comics’.

What should I stock? I can drop a little money on stuff that I know won’t sell right away but that IS REALLY GOOD!

Help me, here. I’ve got Maus and 300 and From Hell and stuff as well as odder stuff like Displacement and Lumberjanes.

But what else do you think would stick with it. I likely have most of them but some aren’t coming to mind.

Help me!

Visit some other shops and see what they have. Perhaps pay them for consulting advice (shops in non competing locations).

There is the whole area of used/collectible comics you might consider.

No, there’s really little money in used comics unless they’re pre-1962. I’ve done that research. I don’t want longboxes of 25 cent comics.

This time I’m really setting up indie stuff for my own entertainment.

The order for DC and Marvel is done. I’ve been very cautious as one of the things I’ve noted in shops is how they can overcommit to trade paperback series so you’ll find they have titles 2-10 over several series where someone bought #1 and no follow up. I consider that a significant barrier to sales and ends up generating non-performing shelfspace.

Whatever you decide to do, you should make sure you are doing big promotions and have events at the comic book store. Bring in anyone who has anything to do with the industry that people would like to meet. I’ve been to a comic con and I thought it was cool how they would have some of the comic artists there who would not just autograph but even do some custom requests. Whatever you think would attract the customers and have the budget to do.

I say this, and this is from someone who enjoys comics, that many of them can be subscribed to through digitally now. So you got to make the place a destination. I wish you success!

Phase 1: Get the shop open
Phase 2: Begin publishing our own comics
Phase 3: Our own comiccon

I’ve arranged for artists-in-residence deals with locals who have their own stuff out there in shops around the country already. They’ll be running classes on drawing and writing as well as giving feedback. It’s designed to bring me people who are able to produce salable work that I can bring to Diamond.

THAT is brilliant!

I’d sign up for a class, or even a demo by an artist. Wouldn’t matter if they were a “name” as long as they could articulate how/why they work.

Age of Bronze!


Comics in languages other than English? There are probably some customers who want their Astérix or Tintin or Dylan Dog or Akira…

Name it anything similar to Comic-Con and step 4:
Spend rest of life living in cardboard box eating dumpster food.

You have to do a lot more than that to face that kind of award. From your link:

Love and Rockets. Does Fantagraphic still print those treasury sized TPBs?

Love and Rockets, like Cerebus the Aardvark, is a great 80s comic.

There’s so many of them, though.

Here’s what I’ve got:

Maus 1
Maus 2
My Favorite Thing is Monsters
Love and Rockets vol 1-4
March vol 1-3
Oh Joy Sex Toy
From Hell

Don’t forget that brick-sized edition of Bone. That’s how you get the kiddies hooked.

go to a shop in another city and ask them what sells, they probably will help as long as they know you are not competition . Go an hour or so away .

In case you’re counting Image as an indie, Paper Girls and Saga.

Issue #1 of each are available as Dollar Issues (like Marvel’s True Believers reprints), and I know the first Paper Girls graphic novel is only 9.99…

I’ve bought a half-dozen to introduce friends and neighbors (and the neighbors’ daughters, and my kid!) to comics.

ETA: Have you decided whether to feature Manga right off the bat? If so, you might need another thread…

Asterios Polyp is well-regarded and pretentious. Couldn’t hurt to throw in some Grendel.

And I still think Daredevil: Born Again is the greatest comic book story of all time.