I hear horror stories about comic stores: dark, creepy, misogynistic, crooked, incompetent…pick your poison. I’ve been lucky in my options, though. Since I live in Dayton, OH, I’m 20 minutes from Bookery Fantasy, self-proclaimed largest comic shop in America. It’s bright, clean, professional, well-stocked, filled with variety, manned by a knowledgeable staff. It’s great and they had my pull list for several years.
My current shop is Bell, Book, and Comic, in Dayton. It’s 5 minutes from my house, slightly further than another competitor (yes, I have an embarrassment of riches). It’s a small, slightly cramped space, a little darker than Bookery, a little more lived-in. But they recognized me on sight by my third visit, offer to grab my comics as soon as I walk in the door, and they know their stock. The owner remembers titles that I grab that aren’t on my list and makes sure to toss a copy in my file for me so it doesn’t sell out. I don’t want it? I put it back on the shelf, no problem. Pete (the owner) remembered that I special ordered The Question: Pipeline and offered me first crack at a near-complete run of the original Question series when they came into the store. At 50 cents each rather than the $2 copies he had in the backstock.
They play great music, everything from Cake to Asylum Street Spankers (I think) and AC/DC. Most Wednesdays they have homemade cookies for free. They have a gaming area in back and regular events. They special-order product for me with no questions and no deposit. I LIKE to go there. Pete knows the books I read and has recommendations ready and probably in stock.
This store cannot be replaced by Amazon or DCBS. So, I buy everything in my file every week. I buy my TPBs there, even when I can buy at 40% off at Amazon. I try to give Pete the respect he deserves for doing a great job. Sure, everything I’ve mentioned results in my dollars going to his pockets but he does a GOOD job selling comics and apparently, that’s pretty rare.
How great is your comic shop?