C'Mon, people...I KNOW you have ideas. And I know you can be quite vocal about things...so no excuses!
Hey, gang. Been awhile. Well, maybe it hasn’t been awhile since we spoke, I’ve been popping reviews, news, comments, and the odd interview up all over the site, but we haven’t had a SEB-standard in awhile. So, I figured, I should get out there. As Forby said, I need to make sure my name is seen.
There, did you all see that?
Anyway, one of the many topics we revisit here is the idea of comic stores doing more to help bring people in and to help get that kind of “community” feel in their store. You know, as opposed to a comic shop that is filled with people just grabbing their books and running, not talking to each other, and trying to avoid the disdain of the employees.
As you know, my boy Rick owns FAMOUS FACES AND FUNNIES, my local comic shop. Now, Rick is just about the friendliest guy you’ll ever meet, and he does amazing things with his store. Some are for bringing in the newbies, while others are for rewarding the regulars (and newbies) for coming in.
In October, for the second time, FF&F hosted 24 HOUR COMIC DAY. This always attracts new people in, as they like to watch us draw and check in and see what we’ve produced. Sure, after finishing 24 pages in 16 ½ hours last year, I wussed out with a mere 17 pages in 16 hours, this time out. As soon as I get the scans I’ll show my creation, EVENT FATIGUE. Oh yeah, good times.
One of the best parts of the night (aside from the TONS of free pizza) was when this old German guy came in and was fascinated with us and our dorkiness. He began telling stories of comics from Germany, and reciting them from memory…and then translating them into English as we all sat blinking vapidly. Not a lot of us spoke German. But it was this wonderful moment of comics bridging the gaps between generations and cultures. Zat und, evereesing seems so much kooler vis a German accent!
Rick is friends with Aaron Haaland, who, aside from having ENTIRELY too many “A”s in his name, is the owner of A COMIC SHOP. Yes, the one from A SHOP OF IDEAS on Newsarama.
One of Aaron’s babies has always been FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. But, not just the big one, first, Aaron started something called “MY Free Comic Book Day”. He’d made these cards, good for one free comic up to $3.99. The cards boldly offered the challenge “WE DARE YOU TO READ…A COMIC.” He’d give them to people, getting them into the store and able to try a comic without risking the cover price if they didn’t like it. Rick loved that idea, and soon FF&F had their own cards.
This year, after much planning, Rick and Aaron are hosting synchronized MINI FREE COMIC BOOK DAYs. On Saturday, Nov. 7th, both stores will be hosting their own FREE COMIC BOOK DAY events. There will be plenty of free comic giveaways (obviously) as well as other perks, including some of the pros on hand to do sketches and sign things. I know I’ll be getting my L.E.G.I.O.N. series signed by Tony Bedard at FF&F, when I’m not hassling frequent guest artist Karl Moline. And Karl drew one of the stories in the L.E.G.I.O.N. ANNUAL #1, so double signage there! Woo-hoo!
Now, sometimes I offer up ideas to Rick, because..well, because my store has been closed since 2001, and I live vicariously through Rick (which is probably the saddest thing a person could ever admit). But, if you flip through old SEB-standards, you’ll find the Flash Race, which I dreamt up and participated in (took a nasty hit, too). That idea was good enough that Aaron used it as well, and Rick did a spin-off FLASH VS. Superman race when FLASH REBIRTH #3 came out. Oh, and Aaron had Ethan Van Sciver, himself, guest judge his Flash Race. Coolness, no? Either way, customers got to “bet” on the winner in exchange for prizes and discounts.
But, last week I FINALLY got to partake of my latest promotional idea. THE BLACKEST NIGHT GRAVEYARD GIVEAWAY. I had come up with the plan to build a cemetery and give customers the chance to pick a dead hero, and rob their grave to “resurrect some savings”. The qualifications are subject to change, but for the moment, if you buy a GREEN LANTERN trade or any GEOFF JOHNS trade, you get to pick from the graveyard. I picked up Geoff Johns and George Perez’s FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS Hardcover and chose TED KORD, naturally, and will enjoy 15% off my next purchase.
It’s NICE when an idea pays off like that!
Anyway, just so you can see them, here are the rules and prizes for the BLACKEST NIGHT GRAVEYARD, as well as some photos of the whole thing. And for fun, I'm tacking on two pics of custom Black Lantern figures (yes, the Ted kord is MINE).
Genius, weirdo, and all around cool guy, Kevin Little designed the graveyard and built the graveyard and did all the art.
Es muy bueno.
Blackest Night Graveyard Promotion
Throughout the rest of the incredible Blackest Night saga, you can win prizes out of our Blackest Night graveyard for every eligible TPB you purchase. Everyone's a WINNER!
This month, if you buy any Green Lantern or Geoff Johns TPB or HC, you can pick a coffin and win a prize. Green Lantern TPBs will always be the constant but the second title will change each month. Starting November 4, any Green Lantern TPB or Superman TPB will win you a chance to win a prize. In December, it will be Green Lantern TPB or Titans TPB that earn you a chance to win a prize.
Going on NOW: Each Green Lantern or Geoff Johns TPB = Pick a Coffin & Win a Prize!
Current PRIZE LIST - Every Coffin is a WINNER!
Save 15% On Your Next Purchase!
Save 25% On Your Next Purchase!
Save 30% Off Any ONE ITEM!
Save 40% Off Any ONE ITEM!
You Win a $10 FFF Gift Card!
You Win a $20 FFF Gift Card!
You Win a TPB up to $15.00 Value!
You Win a TPB up to the Same Value as the one you just bought!
You Win a FREE comic up to $3.99
You Win 2 FREE comics up to $3.99 each!
You Win $15 Worth of Back Issues in the Bins!
Roll 1 Six-Sided Die & Get 5 times that amount off your next purchase! Minimum = 10% Off!
For HOMEWORK…think of something cool you've seen that a comic store HAS done and/or come up with something cool you’d like see done as an effort to bring people in and keep them coming back, and share it with us. Let's see what cool ideas we can come up with!
Our little world can ALWAYS use expanding!
Last edited by SebastianPiccione; Friday, October 30, 2009 at 01:52 PM.
C'Mon, people...I KNOW you have ideas. And I know you can be quite vocal about things...so no excuses!
yeah, we all have ideas, but I thought you wanted good ideas, I don't have too many of those.
All I've ever asked from a comic shop is courteous staff who will order what I ask them to order, make sure they remember to actually pull the items on my pull list, and not dump what contents they did bother to include in my pull list into the back-issue bins just because I might go a few weeks between the hour-long drives to get to the place and pick them up. Demanding as hell, I know, but, if I'd been able to find someone who could handle that herculean task, I might not be buying all my comics in trade form at bookstores or online.
All bitterness aside, I really don't need any more from a comic store than to simply be a good comic store. But one thing I have thought would be useful for stores is a "new releases" section. There have been a number of times that a new series, or mini-series, would come out and I'd never know it until it was well underway, because it would just get lost in the sea of covers on the general rack. A seperate section just for first issues would very likely have had me checking out a lot of stuff I never bothered with.
Tigger- OK, I accept that as an answer.
Calvin- Dude, you must be surrounded by the Worst. Comic-shops. Ever.
I live kind of in the middle of nowhere. To the best of my knowledge, there's only one actual comic shop left anywhere around here (plus a couple places with a limited newstand selection). I've heard there's a good shop in Albany, but that's a four hour round trip for me.
Middle of nowhere 2 hours out of Albany, eh?
I know several great shops on long Island and in the city, and one lower-mediocre shop in Olean, but I doubt those are close enough to help you, either.
hey, I have to drive an hour to get my comics too, but I live near Omaha, which has what I consider to be the ideal comic shop, it has everything split into sections, they have very helpful staff, they have one of the largest collections of Star Wars Action figures for sale, and it is a big store, so there is a vast selection. If I had to go to a store, and the week's new comics weren't separated out and easily noticeable, and the most current issues of every series were also not displayed, I don't know what I would do. I mean I can dive into the back issues and find stuff there, but sometimes I only have so much time to pick up comics, since I am a busy person, I enjoy being able to get in, get what I need, and get out, but when I do have the time (and money), there is nothing better than pouring through the back issues to find something you missed or a gem that might have been before your time (like a complete set of the original COIE collected in single issues (too bad I don't have the money for something that awesome, oh well, thats why you have trades. I love going up to Krypton Comics every wednesday for new issues, its a fun exciting experience (except for this last Wednesday when I totaled my car on the way home, and lost the newest Gotham City Sirens in the process, that one just got shredded by the airbag, since I set it on my dash for some reason, plus the newest issue of Star Wars Legacy ended up on the floor of my car with my pop landing on top of it, so I lost two comics, some boxes in my trunk, and my car).
Pete...I got nothin'.
Are you OK, man?
yep, just hated losing a trusty vehicle and comics that way, but hey, that's why you have insurance, right? granted my premiums are probably maxed out right now, but hey, that is the cost of driving a lot. I think I will probably get my mom's Pontiac G6 (has 125k miles on it already) and she will get a new car. I hate to see my old malibu go away, but the G6 is a better car (more power, better handling, nicer interior, etc..) so aside from insurance, things are probably going to turn out in the plus column. I wish I had hit a deer and not another car though, although the other car was a pickup, and had very little damage (I bent the bumper a little) the driver got whiplash, so my liability insurance kicked in. it should turn out ok, but nevertheless, I hope the other driver gets better quickly, and is not litigious. oh, and some of my MTG cards got ruined from rain and other environmental factors in removing them from my car, but it is ok, they were mostly just commons.