Expect More From Your Comic Shop

In many ways your local comic book store isn’t at all like other businesses you visit.  You know them and they know you.  You shop there several times a month and develop a relationship with your store and a sense of loyalty.  Often, even a sense of pride.  In doing so, customers often overlook poor service, selections of merchandise, questionable business practices, dirty or cluttered stores, and so on that they would never accept in the other businesses they frequent.

You should absolutely look at your LCS with the same level of scrutiny that you do other businesses.  Small or large, new or established, your LCS should do their utmost to provide you with a positive shopping experience.  expect

  • Their store should be neat and clean.  Not maintaining a clean store shows a clear lack of respect for the people that shop there.  If a shop owner can’t even be bothered to do something as simple as cleaning, how are they going to handle more complex tasks?
  • They should be polite and helpful.  You should feel genuinely welcome in your LCS.  Employees should be helpful and attentive to your needs.  You should not be dismissed or put off or made to feel unimportant.  In some stores it isn’t uncommon for small ‘cliques’ of customers to receive preferential treatment, oftentimes marginalizing other customers.  Every customer should receive and expect to receive the same outstanding LCS experience whether they spend $5 or $500.
  • You should always know what you’re paying for something.  Products should have prices marked so customers can make educated decisions.  Any store that isn’t willing to put a price tag on an item is trying to take advantage of you.
  • Everyone should feel welcome.  Men, women, children, parents, grandparents, straight, gay, democrat, republican, white, african american, Falcons fans, and so on (you get the idea) should all feel welcome and comfortable in your LCS.  If any single group of people isn’t comfortable in your LCS then you shouldn’t be either.
  • In general, they should have what you’re looking for.  A comic book store should have comics.  Tons of them.  We’re at a point where large selections of back issues aren’t an absolute must, but your LCS should have a generous selection of new comics for you to peruse.  200-300 new monthly titles on the shelf at absolute MINIMUM.  You should be able to walk in on a Wednesday and flip through all the new comics that came out so you can pick some up off the shelf.  After all, what’s a comic shop without comics?
  • You should never have the feeling you’ve been taken advantage of.  Good businesses take proper care of their customers and always leave them feeling positive about their experiences.  Is your LCS asking you to pay more than cover price for new comics?  Did you buy a back issue only to find out that you paid way too much?  If you ever get the feeling that your LCS has been less than honest with you, you’re probably right.
  • They shouldn’t constantly be making excuses.  Does the comic distributor make mistakes?  Absolutely.  Do they make enough mistakes for your LCS to be complaining about them several times a week?  Not very often.  If your LCS is regularly not getting you the comics you ordered, it’s generally because they don’t do a good job managing their orders.
  • They should be open when they say they will.  Your LCS should be open the hours they have posted.  Always.  They shouldn’t be opening late or closing early unless there’s an emergency.  They’re breaching your trust when they’re not open when they said they would be.
  • They should know their product.  Your LCS should know comics and how to properly grade them.  How can they make recommendations if they don’t read comics?  How are they setting prices for their back issues if they can’t even tell you what condition they’re in?  How are they putting a value on the collection you brought in to sell them?

If your LCS isn’t taking proper care of you, let them know.  They can’t make changes or improvements unless they know they’re doing something wrong.  If they’re doing an exceptionally bad job, ask yourself why you continue to go.  It may be time to check out another store nearby.  Lastly, if they’re doing a great job, let them know!

Buy Comics Because They’re Good

A trend is re-emerging that is somewhat troubling:  A significant increase in the number of speculators in the comics market.  Many of these that I’ve run into are too young to recall what happened the last time speculation was rampant in comics.  HINT – The entire industry imploded and was almost wiped from existence.  Comic shops, distributors, and a lot of publishers went out of business.  Comics from that period are essentially worthless, regardless of their importance.  And while I’d like to think that publishers wouldn’t be complicit in repeating history, they’ll still print as many comics as shops order.  We’re the front line, the customer interface, and I think we owe it to our customers to give them good, honest advice.

Don’t get me wrong, a little speculation is a healthy thing.  Comics are collectibles after all.  That said, we’re past the days of new books like Chew, Peter Panzerfaust, Rachel Rising, and the like selling for multiple hundreds of dollars.  Publishers are printing many more copies of their new comics than when those books were published.  The industry is healthier than when those books came out so readership is up and readers have caught on that many of the smaller publishers are producing many of the best comics.  Hence there’s more supply.  Don’t buy into the hype when bloggers or sellers are touting this or that as the next big thing if it is for any other reason than that it is good.

Don’t fan the flames of hype by desperately looking for the next Walking Dead.  Realize that you missed the boat.  There are reasons why that comic is valuable.  It’s really good, readership at the time was really low (approximately 10,000 copies were printed), and it transcended the medium and become a commercial success of gargantuan proportions.  People that had literally never been to a comic shop in their lives were coming in droves and buying all the Walking Dead comics they could get their hands on, then looking for more titles to consume.  Lapsed readers started coming back to comic shops after not having read comics for years.  It literally paved the way for all the others that are getting bought up by studios and optioned for film and TV.  No other comic since has had anywhere near that effect on the industry.  No movie from Marvel or DC has had that kind of effect either.  I’m not sure what the state the industry would be in today if not for The Walking Dead.

You’re not going to get rich buying up extra copies of comics that you hope in your heart of hearts will be the next big thing.  So please, buy comics because they’re good.  Buy them because you enjoy the stories and the art, not because some huckster on a website or message board or God forbid, at your LCS, is touting something as the “next great investment opportunity”.  I promise you he has some he wants to sell.

Shamwow-guy copyI’m not saying not to buy an extra copy of a book here or there, not at all.  There’s nothing wrong with taking a chance once in a while that a book might go through the roof.  Maybe you like to have one to read
and one to keep pristine, keep doing that.  Do those things because you enjoy the books and you think that they’ll go up in value one day because of their merits.  Buy 10 copies of a book because you’re obsessed with it, not because you think you’ll flip it for a couple extra bucks.  Do all those things because you love comics.  Want to know a secret?  Most comics don’t go up in value.  The real value you get out of your comics should be the enjoyment of reading them and sharing them with someone new.  So many books go way up in value based on hype and then come crashing down to earth.  At the end of the day the only people profiting from the speculation market are the ones selling, not the ones buying.  

Please don’t confuse the speculator market with the collector market either.  They’re two separate entities all together.  The speculators directly affect the future of the comics industry by buying up extra copies of new comics to make a quick buck and thus artificially inflate print numbers.  Comics today are printed based on demand.  If that demand is ever skewed significantly by speculators buying up dozens of copies of new comics then eventually there will be a tipping point where we’re partying like it’s 1999.  That is to say, we’ll all be wearing our sad faces because history has repeated itself and most of the comics printed since 2010 become worthless.

Thanks,

Steve

 

 

Hammond…we’re coming!

 beciscoming

We’re super excited to announce that Big Easy Comics is opening our second location this October in Hammond, LA!

We’d like to thank all our wonderful customers for making this possible, we really are living the dream.

While this store won’t be as large as our Covington Superstore, it will have the same amazing selection of comics.  We will also be featuring a fantastic selection of games and feature in-store gaming events such as Magic the Gathering, Heroclix, & Cardfight Vanguard.

Want to jump on board with our subscription service?  You can sign up now at our Covington store, start picking up there and then we’ll move your account to Hammond as soon as we open!

 

NEW COMICS FOR WEEK OF 8/13

NEW #1 RUNDOWN FOR 9 JUNE 2014. . .Whatta SPREAD!

There were so many new series beginning this week that we decided to put the focus on them for our NEW THIS WEEK post!

SPOILER:

The best book this week was SPREAD #1 By Justin Jordan. Colorful, action-packed, gritty, beautiful, funny. . .awesome.

Gross someone got baby in my blood!

 

Next up is Spider-Man 2099 #1 Written by Peter David, the series’ original writer. This book has all of the charm, humor and action of the original and is keeping with Spidey2099′s status quo in continuity with Amazing Spider-Man (which, if you don’t know, is that he’s stuck in present day). Highly recommended!

2099 meets 2014!

 

Stjepan Šejić has a very distinct art style and it’s won him quite the hardcore fan-base! With Death Vigil #1 it looks like he may be winning over even more(if they’ll give it a chance!). This book reminds me of some of my favorites from the golden age of VERTIGO Comics, but it’s much fresher and it’s got Šejić’s art! Please just pick it up and flip through it. . .you’ll want to own this beauty!

'The High Cost Of Living'

 

New Suicide Squad #1 is a relaunch/jumping-on point for The Suicide Squad. A slightly new team, a slightly new direction. . .I guess you just don’t mess around with what’s already working! Oh yeah, and there’s Harley Quinn, you guys like her, right?

Out with the old, in with the ewww

 

Grayson #1 sees Dick Grayson pulling a Winter Soldier. Everybody believes that Nightwing Died so Batman takes that opportunity to make Dick Grayson disappear and become a deep-cover operative. So far. . .it works. The character is fun and kinetic, which is spotlighted a lot here, as is the sex-appeal so often associated with Nightwing. A winner for fans of Nightwing AND Dick Grayson

too many puns. . .whole lotta guns!

too many puns. . .whole lotta guns!

Finally: The Life After #1 by Joshua Hale Fialkov. It’s this week’s dark-horse for sure, and it’s a bit of a thinker. It’ll be a sleeper hit in a few months with people scrambling to find this first issue. Very entertaining book that’s also very challenging and rewarding.

better than before though

better than before though

NEW COMICS 4/23/14: 4 AMAZING FIRST ISSUES!

This is one of those great weeks when the big-two give us some summer-blockbuster level new comics!

 

originalsinOriginal Sin #0 is the beginning of Marvel’s next huge event. It’s said to be a murder mystery involving the death of The Watcher! This Zero Issue gives us a peek into who and what The Watcher is, told through the eyes of Nova!

 

Justice League United #0 starts bringing together a new team from the ashes of Justice League of America.JLU With Adam Strange, Star Girl, Martian Manhunter, Animal Man, Hawkman and Green Arrow it’s the team you never knew you wanted until it was given to you! Throw in cosmic adventure AND LOBO!? You’ve got the start of an epic tale!

 

Elektra #1 is the next in Marvel’s excellent line of solo titles. This first issue is almost poetic with a beautiful narrative voice and gorgeous art. . .can’t stress how excellent this thing is enough. If you love Elektra and are a fan of what  Bill Sienkiewicz did with her before then this beauty’s for you!

elektra#1cover

elektra-1

Secret Origins #1 is exactly what the title suggests, but is also so much more. It’s not just a basic retelling of origins, it’s also an angle of the stories you really haven’t seen before. This first issue features Superman, Dick Grayson/Robin and Supergirl; all of them written by writers currently working on the characters. Great art and exciting, engaging SecretOrigins-1-FINAL-cb210storytelling make this a very enjoyable book!

 

Finally, Batman Eternal, the awesome new weekly from DC Comics is only on its 3rd issue– this is the time to jump on before we’re 10 issues in!!!

Batman_Eternal3

NEW COMICS 4/16/14 THE (AMAZING) SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN!

spidey!!!!!

 

It’s finally here folks, Superior Spider-Man #31. This is both the final issue of the series AND a bit of a first issue for the soon to return Amazing Spider-Man. Dan Slott is a master at writing Spidey, apparently has a PhD in Spider-Man, he really knows what makes the character work. He made it work without Peter Parker and now he flips it and shows you why it works best WITH Peter Parker. A must read for any and all Spider-Fans!

 

sinestro

Sinestro #1 is beautifully drawn and beautifully told. Are you a Green Lantern Fan? Do you love Sinestro? Do you hate Sinstro? Did you see the GL movie and feel like the only thing that worked in the movie was. . .Sinestro? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions then this book is for you! See how gorgeous that cover is?? It looks just like that on the inside too because Dale Eaglesham is amazing! Really looking forward to more of this series,

 

 

 

batman30Batman#30 & Batman Eternal#2 are out today. Batman#30 begins the final act of the Zero Yearbatman eternal2 Story and you can finally see some pieces coming together. This is way more than a retelling of an old story or an origin. . .it’s a new beast all-together and adds quite a lot to Batman’s Mythos (it also makes the Riddler a very real threat). Batman Eternal, only 2 issues in, is a weekly series written and drawn by a team of creators under the direction of series head Bat-Scribe Scott Snyder. I know a weekly series is a big commitment but so far this one’s a beauty art wise and the story also does not disappoint- It feels like a great Batman Story and not like an event, that’s something I can get behind!

 

 

Ultimate FF#1 is the next release in the Ultimate Line’s relaunch. This is not the Fantastic Four, it’s the FF! The team includes Sue Storm, Tony Stark Iron Man, Sam Wilson The Falcon, Phil Coulson, Danny Ketch Machine Man and a secret member I’ll not spoil!ultimateFF Much like All-New Ultimates, this is a huge new direction for the Ultimate Line as well as the characters involved. Opening the issue the reader is immediately struck by the art style which itself declares the book something new and fresh. Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov  is up to something big here, highly recommend jumping on for the ride!

 

 

 

 

Here’s the full list:

 

PREMIER PUBLISHERS

DARK HORSE COMICS

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IMAGE COMICS/MCFARLANE TOYS

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MARVEL COMICS

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New Comics 2/12/14: BATMAN ETERNAL

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A great week all around but hands-down the winner for book of the week is:

Batman #28. Taking a break from the Zero Year storyline, this issue gives the reader a glimpse at what’s to come in the soon to begin, weekly series Batman Eternal.batman28_cvr It’s a great tease for what’s to come and if it doesn’t whet your appetite for what is coming. . .well then re-read it because you did it wrong!

 

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NEW COMICS 2/5/14- JUMP ON!!!

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This week is full of #1′s and jumping-on points for readers of all stripes!

 

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WHY AREN’T YOU READING. . ! ?

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There are a ton of new series out that deserve your attention. 2013 has been an amazing year for comic books and 2014 looks like it’s going to be just as big!

Rather than do a preview of the books to come, I want to talk about some of the great new titles that dropped in 2013 that are still very early in their initial storylines.

First off I’ll just highlight some of the books that not only deserve your attention but, according to our sales, are actually RECEIVING it!

Manifest Destiny is a new comic from Image that is only 2 issues in. It is an alternate-history Lewis and Clarke exploration of the west. This 653569823667comic is slightly gory, highly adventurous and darkly-humorous. 2nd prints will be available after the first of the year I highly recommend ordering it!

Black Science, also from Image and also only 2 issues in. Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Fear Agent, Venom, Uncanny Avengers) gets back to his roots with a pulp sci-fi action story about an ordinary man stretching to extraordinary lengths to save his family. . .and frog people and a WWI where the Germansblackscience01_coverA appear to be fighting highly advanced Native Americans. 2nd prints coming up, also a must-order!

Pretty Deadly, again: Image Comics. This surreal take on the Western/Revenge epic is just getting started with only 3 issues released. The art of Ms. Emma Rios is astounding and Kelly Sue DeConnick wields a wicked pen rendering pages that can’t be properly done justice by my description.

 

Rat Queens, Image Comics again. A group of vulgar, violent, female adventurers questing in a not-so-typical fantasy setting. . .and it’s also very sweet!rat-queens-01-covb-staples10copyincentive The art is the star here.

So now onto our list of books that we must know: WHY AREN’T YOU READING!?!?

 

zero1Zero by Ales Kot. So far this is the story of the ultimate spy. It’s not glossed over like James Bond. He’s a killer, an infiltrator, a soldier and a spy. His story unfolds episodically with glimpses of his training(as a child!), betrayals to come and tragedies in the present. Each issue is drawn by a different artist and so far they’ve all been up and coming super-stars.

Hinterland, Coffin Hill, The Wake. VERTIGO is back! After the cancellation of Hellblazer many thought that was the end for VERTIGO Comics; but a new wave of releases is showing that the DC Imprint is still very Vital. Hinterland takes place after a mysterious event nearly wipes out humanity. It’s a future where nature has reclaimed the cities and the few remaining tribes of humans are being hunted. Coffin Hill is about a Cop who returns to her hometown after being shot to find violent mysteries from her past (as a sexy socialite spoiled-brat teenage witch) repeating themselves. It’s a fun read by Caitlin Kittredge author of the Black London Series of novels.The Wake Scott Snyder issue 1_a Finally- THE WAKE. The Wake is a masterpiece. It’s written by Scott Snyder (Batman) and drawn by the incredible Sean Murphy. It’s reached its halfway point with issue #5 and VERTIGO has released a special The Wake Pt.1 edition collecting the first 5 issues for only $9.99. It’s an incredible deal and EVERYONE should give this horror/sci-fi adventure a look before it begins again in February.

 

Finally, Drumhellar. This book is on drugs, that’s what it seems like. It is beyond surreal and can even be a little nasty at times, mostly though it’s just funny and intelligent. It’s a great replacement for the now defunct Hellblazer, a story about a magic-sensitive detective of sorts who vision-quests is way around seeing things others cannot. It’s a loose description but only 2 issues in it’s the best I can do beyond saying I Highly recommend this book!Drum_01_CVR_A_FINAL

 

Hopefully this will inspire you guys to try out some new books that are slipping by under the radar or to special-order second prints of some that went like hotcakes!