June 9th

The Lilac City Comicon was last weekend and it was by all accounts a success! I don’t know the final attendance numbers but it was crowded from the beginning of Saturday morning nearly to close on Sunday afternoon.
Generally the second day of a show is rather slow which is why I was so much against it but I was wrong about this one. I think there was probably 2/3 as many people the second day and nearly as many costumes as day one. It was a really good day business wise as well which was the biggest surprise of all. I think most dealers were pretty happy compared with other shows.
The next show up is Kuronekocon which is the Anime/Manga show! If you thought there were lots of costumes at Lilac City, you aint seen nothing yet….. Where 20% of the attendees were in costume this last weekend, probably 60% or more will be dressed up for this one. We have six or so tables at that show and have an insane amount of costumes and plush figures and stuff and we bring in lots of new stuff from Hong Kong just for the event! That will be July 29th and 30th.
We sell passes for Kuronekucon at the Mall store only.
We just got in two Spawn collections 1-40 and 50-200! If you are missing any now is your chance. The first 20 are pretty common but after that its really spotty and they don’t show up that often in large groups.
Life lesson of the week. I just had the oil changed in my van and requested the cheapest service as it’s a new van and really doesn’t need special treatment etc. I was informed that the computer at the oil change place recommends synthetic oil as that’s what was in the vehicle and was only $79.99. I told them I wanted the $30 service and was informed with lots of hand gestures that you cant just switch oils, it has to be a step down process or it will adversely affect the engine. My ‘huh, I have never heard that one before’ mixed with my natural look of ‘do you have to have your mother help you with your shoelaces each morning?’ had him backpedaling pretty quick and he offered the basic service. The lesson is you can switch at any time as many times as you want and unless your car requires it or is really high miles, save the $40. Synthetic oil is regular oil with extra additives and is not a magical brew. The more you know! -Craig!

April 30th

Lilac City Comicon is this weekend! We will be there both days selling…. T-shirts! T-shirts and hoodies are the winners this year and we will have somewhere over 1,500 of them all on super sale! The more we sell the more new ones we can get in at the mall location so we want to sell a lot!

If you still need tickets we have a few left at both stores. The VIP tickets are gone but we still have day passes. You can save a few dollars by buying in store rather than online.

I think we will also be selling fidget spinners at the show as well. We just got in a massive order from one of our vendors so what better venue than a group of 5,000 happy people that need something shiny and spinny.

I have decided to start bringing in more collector toys to the Division location which should start in the next month or so. It takes a bit of time before everything arrives.

The Division location is now buying Magic singles Monday through Thursday 11-4! Adam will be your point of contact. Please call first to make sure he is here just to be safe.

April 26th 2017

Free Comic Book Day is only a week and a half away!

Batman has been confirmed as a special guest for the morning so bring your camera!

Andy Owens will be on hand signing copies of his new series IT from Black Box comics! We have the first two issues available on the new comic stands!

Andy will also be selling original art from some of the hundreds of books he has worked on for DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse!

Here is a near complete list of his credits:

http://www.comicbookdb.com/creator.php?ID=1552

Andy will be signing from 11:00 to 2:00.

The Division Location will be open from 11:00 to 7:00 and the Mall Location will be open from 10:00 to 9:00.

Secret Empire #1 came with an interior panel that was unreadable so Marvel is supposedly going to replace all the bad copies. As they shorted us 50 copies anyway, that means they will actually fill our original order!

We have another massive Gundam order on the way with some of the Perfect Grade included which will primarily go to the mall store which has been selling a ton more since we moved a few weeks ago.

Posters are on the way too! Something like 300 posters have shipped from New York and should be arriving in the next few days!

We just got a huge shipment of Anime and Pokemon merchandise from China Wednesday! I am still shocked at how much faster we can get 300lbs of stuff shipped direct from Hong Kong than the same quantity shipped from Salt Lake.

We need to say good bye to a couple of our people this week – Josh who had been our in-house Pokemon expert and who had been running our tournaments for the past year or so has moved on to a full time position with the school system. JW will be leaving us in several weeks also for the school systems. Hmmmm looks like a trend.

At the Division location, Kevin is also heading off into the sunset as he moves over to UPS!

I would like to thank each of them for all the hard work and attention to the shop over the past few years and each one contributed immeasurably to the position they had and replacing the experience and knowledge of each one is going to be difficult.

With that in mind we would like to welcome and have started the arduous task of training their successors: Liam at Northtown and Adam at Division.

Liam brings a broad knowledge of strategy and RPG games to the mall store and a solid background in Magic play and singles. We hope to get him up to speed on Pokemon current rules and singles pretty quick.

Adam who also has a solid background in Magic and some games and reads comics and has been one of our baggers for the past year or so will be bringing all that expertise to the Division store where I hope to increase our Magic singles buying and selling to somewhere near what the mall store does.

Last but not least is the Lilac City Comicon! We still have a few of the VIP passes left but they are running out quick and when they are gone, they are gone for good. There were only 500 initially available and they are disappearing fast.

-Craig!

April 12th 2017

I spent several days in Boise last week visiting family and checking out the local comic and gaming stores. It was interesting.
The store that I bought comics from in the late 70’s announced last week that they were shutting down. It was a bookstore that sold back issues and I dont know if they ever did sell new comics. They are one of the reasons that I am actually in this business. When I was a kid they charged me so much for some books when I was 15 or so that when I opened my first store 15 year later, the books still hadnt reached those values. I have never forgotten that and I vowed my stores would never do that to anyone else.
It was an interesting trip through the past in the their store though. They had actually moved next door from where they were when I shopped there but I think they kept the exact same setup as the layout seemed to match my memory from 1977. They owners son who sold me the the back issues all those years ago was actually the guy behind the counter when I went in.
I found that out when I asked whatever happened to the red headed kid who worked there and he said it was him and commented on how he still had his red hair. I really didnt want to offend him by noting that not only did he not have red hair but his hair was whiter and grayer than mine…..
Anyway we had a about a 10 minute conversation about the state of the book and comic world and my need for nostalgia was filled.
Next time I go back they will be a 2nd hand store or a craft brewery and I will try and remember exactly which storefront was theirs and I will remember the DC 100 page books I bought there for 5 and 6 dollars each when the cover price of comics was .25 cents.

There is one really nice gaming store in Boise but it is located well off the beaten path and even if you lived there it is a bit out of the way. And just to make things more interesting, the guy in charge of renting space in GGP malls in the western half of the US texted me and told me he would make me an insanely great deal on space in the Boise Towne Square Mall. Its a pretty upscale mall with an Apple store, a Dillards (like Nortstroms)and a bunch of other higher end stores and about 3 times the size of Northtown.

I really wish I knew how to manage a store long distance. I could fly down and back the same day once a week for about $115 per trip so it would just be like going to work in the morning like usual…. Unfortunately I dont have any kind of support staff down there or framework to start with. They do have several Hastings with all those great abandoned fixtures still in them though…. I could get a skeleton of a store set up in about a week or less….

One of the things that is really stopping me right now is we suddenly need someone who has a broad knowledge of games current and upcoming, the ability to sell them and a great personality. A knowledge of Magic and Pokemon cards buying and selling is needed too. If you fit all those categories we would love to get a resume from you for the mall location.

March to April 4th

Somehow it looks like the newsletter didnt get uploaded to the site for the past couple of weeks. Paper copies are available in the shop but I cant find any digital version to put up here. But really, what have you missed other than my ramblings?

This is the week the mall store moves to the new location! Actually this is the day that the store moves so I have to get up there and see all the work everyone has done. I think this is one of the first moves that I didn’t actually help a lot with the heavy lifting. Its kind of nice.
The only really difficult part I have to do is get the computers and POS up and running and pull down some of the old slotwall and put it up at the new store. I think the slotwall is the worst part of this entire job. This one is even more difficult as one of the previous tenants built a second interior reinforced wall to attach their shelving to and the aluminum studs don’t always seem to be in the correct place. And then, when you actually find one, getting a good solid mounting screw into it is a pain in the butt. It takes a long time for minimal payoff and reused slotwall never looks that great anyway. Oh well, its better than working for a living.
We are hoping to be able to get 90% or more of the shop moved today and be open for business Thursday morning or in the worst case scenario, Thursday afternoon. Its possible. I hope. They really don’t stop charging us rent if we close for a day or so, so we cant afford to not be open.
Sorry for another short newsletter but its time to go up and start getting set up. -Craig!

The setup of the new store went really well. We were open through Tuesday night and we moved a few of the heavier items then and at 7 in the morning Gabe and Jen showed up and started the mega move quickly joined by 22 people from the KuroNekoCon Anime staff and more of our people.

For as huge a move as this was, there were very few problems until we got to the point of merchandise being moved much quicker than we could put it away and things just started getting stacked.

On thing that worked really well was that since I bought so many new bookcases we had the store skeleton pretty well set up and just had to fill shelves with merchandise. Even so though, we had to close the entire next day while the store was put in order and made presentable. By the time we left Thursday night at some ungodly hour the store looked pretty good.

Friday morning the store opened normally and everyone seemed to really like it with most commenting on how much larger it was and how much more stuff we had than at the last location. I think our sleight of hand worked pretty well as its about 600sf smaller and we still have tons of merchandise in the back that we cant figure out a way of putting out yet without making the store too crowded and look like a Spencers.

Free Comic Book Day is coming up really really fast again. Saturday May 6th at both Comic Book Shop locations. http://www.freecomicbookday.com/ has a complete list of all the books we will be giving away that day! We also have some of the exclusive POP! figures and the Special Edition Heroclix available for sale that day.

http://lilaccitycomicon.webs.com/ is the other huge event that is approaching rather quickly. Check out this link for the list of guests! We still have VIP tickets available!

Feb 7 and 15 2017

The Coast to Coast Comic Convention last weekend went over pretty well! Both stores were exceptionally busy especially in light of the fact that half of Spokane was in Seattle at the Emerald City Comicon where we were live streaming our event from!
We will have some of the cool special limited edition covers that were created just for the event and they are all still available at their original cover price.
Once cool thing was late in the afternoon, Brian Posehn the actor, stand up comic and comic book writer showed up for his weekly comic fix as he was in town for a couple of shows at the Comedy Club.
Before he left I got a photo with him and he offered to sign any of the Deadpool books he worked on which was rather nice of him. Hopefully next time he is in town we will be able to set up an instore signing either here or at the mall location which should bring in lots of people to the shop and help him sell tickets to his shows. It should work out well for the both of us.
The new location at the mall is nearly finished! I was rather surprised they have been able to get it done that quickly but it looks really good. There are a few quirks that I really don’t like but oh well that is life.
We are still on track to be open prior to April 1st at this point and I just talked to a contractor about moving our sign and next up is transferring Comcast and having it work both on our last day at the old location and on the first at the new. Its harder than you think.
I am heading off to one of the old Hastings stores this morning to pick up a ton of their floor displays to set up in the new store and to replace the racks we have at Division that the supplies and games are sitting on. I really hate those shelves so hopefully these new ones will work much better. At the very least they will give us a lot more room down each isle as they are only two feet wide instead of the current three. Wish my back luck. All these shelves are steel and weigh a ton……
We have a massive order of Gundam coming in this week for both stores along with lots of new Funko Pops and other assorted toys.
The new camera system I put up in the game area of the mall store about a month ago that I now have to remove paid off last week with Gabe catching a guy stealing another players binder of cards! I love the resolution of the new cameras as you can watch the thief look around, pick up the binder, put it in his backpack and move away and sit down. When confronted, he informed us that it was just a misunderstanding and that he was going to look for the owner of the binder but just forgot it in his bag. The kid got his binder back, the thief was kicked out of the mall for a year and the tournament went on and the store avoids a blackeye, Twas a good day.

We got the keys for the new location at the Mall Wednesday morning! I spent several hours there unloading and building new shelving and trying to figure out the spacial configuration. This one is going to be tricky.

The set up is a bit problematic as part of the mall heating and air conditioning duct work goes through the center of the where the two stores they joined together meet. There is also the problem of two large steel beams that seem to hold the mall up being in nearly the same location so that impacted the way the stores could be joined.

What we ended up with is two locations that are joined by two holes/doors/openings through the wall, one being 9 feet wide and the other about 4. It gives the store an odd sealed in look so we have to figure out a way to direct people into the second section using the feng shui of the fixtures. Its going to be a lot of trial and error. The downside is that the later altering of the shop and tinkering with shelving placement is that all the new shelves are steel. Thick steel. With no wheels.

Speaking of new fixtures we replaced the ones we replaced last year with some of the ones I just bought from the guy who owns the building that Hastings had been in. When Hastings left, they abandoned everything they had not sold and just left it for the building owner to deal with. I contacted the realty company and they are selling us what we want which is probably much easier than just carting it off somewhere else.

Both stores have large Gundam model orders coming in this week and from the same company, Star Wars models from Japan! If the quality is anywhere near as nice then we will have some great stuff.

I am off to work at the new store right now! -Craig!

28 Feb 2017

The Coast to Coast In Store Comic Convention is this Saturday! We will be live streaming the event at both stores when we open. The show is based at the Emerald City Comicon this year and will feature exclusive interviews with tons of comic professionals and panels. As many of our customers will be in Seattle this weekend for the show, we wont have a big sale like previous years but we will be running specials at the mall and at the Division store, we will be doing 20% off NEW Graphic Novels and 30% off all USED Graphic Novels of which we got a ton of new ones in in the past couple of months.

Here is the list of times for the interviews and panels for Saturday:

We have been putting out lots of new back issues in the past couple of weeks. Somewhere around a 1,000 this month and we are going to try and keep that pace up for the near future. As we make room for all those new books we are pulling out some older ones that havent sold in years and have been putting them in our discount boxes which have doubled in size in the past month. Tons of great stuff if you have a few minutes to look.

The mall is currently hard at work on our new location! One of the stores they are prepping for us is nearly finished and work on the second one will start in two days and they will connect the two together! I think they may actually get it ready by the March 15 date they initially promised me!

If they can hand me the keys by the 15th, we should be able to hopefully get open by the 1st of April. We will have two weeks to put up the slotwall we need, move the backroom from the old location, mount the tv’s to the walls, get our sign moved and try and figure out how to use the space prior to actually moving all the merchandise in. Nothing to it.

Both locations also received a massive reorder of POP figures. Something like 1,000 new and reordered figures!
-Craig!