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Anti-Con Harassment Project [Sep. 8th, 2008|10:28 pm]

Not me! That's why I support the girwonder Anti-Con Harassment Project.

From the site:

About CAHP

The Con Anti-Harassment Project is a grass-roots campaign designed to help make conventions safer for everyone. Our aims are to encourage fandom, geek community and other non-business conventions to establish, articulate and act upon anti-harassment policies, especially sexual harassment policies, and to encourage mutual respect among con-goers, guests and staff.

The convention experience is often a fun and rewarding one; we want to do our part to make it fun, rewarding and safe for everyone involved. Conventions can’t eliminate harassment, but they can reduce it, have ways to deal with it when it happens, and make it clear that it’s unacceptable in our fun con environments. Our campaign is based upon a three-part action plan we encourage con committees to adopt and adapt for their own con atmosphere and environment.

Let's all show our support for this goal and work together to help end harassment at conventions.
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Neptune - Moving up & moving out [Sep. 5th, 2008|10:09 pm]

We have finally signed on all of the dotted lines and can make the official announcement that we're moving the comic book store to a new location.

Starting October 15 Neptune's new home will be 2120 E. Moreland Blvd. (see the schematic for the exact spot we'll be found in marked in lavender) It's almost twice the size of the location we have now on Sunset. This strip mall is also much larger with large anchors and other good smaller stores. Some tennants include: Blockbuster Video, Kohl's Department Store, Radio Shack, Bartz' Party Supplies and the Chocolate Factory. It is also not far from the freeway, making the store much more accessable to our many customers who commute to the store from outlying cities like Milwaukee, and we're closer to Brookfield.

This mall is actually one of the places we were considering when we were going to open the store. But they did not have availablility that fit with our time frame. The Sunset location where we are now was acutally our last choice, but the only one willing to take a gamble on a new store and having availability and price and size that all worked for us as new retailers. Our lease at Sunset was coming to an end and we felt that if we could, now would be the time to move to a location closer to the freeway and other major shopping stops. Really it has worked out wonderfly. The price and location and timing all worked out and now we can finally move to the location that we wanted when we first opened.

So far our customers have been very supportive of the move, which makes this tough decision easier. We know that it is hard to move a store and get shoppers to go to a new place to visit, but we really feel that in the long run this move will greatly benefit the store, making it bigger and better for both new and long-time customers.

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The Economy, Comics, and You [May. 27th, 2008|08:37 pm]
Today on Newsarama.com Vanetta Rogers has an interesting column about how retailers feel the economic "downturn" we have recently seen is impacting comic book store sales.

While some retailers said that they've seen many stores in their area close down and that they have seen and felt the impact of today's more cautious buyer, many others seemed to express little concern about how today's economy will impact tomorrow's comic book sales.

Overall comic book sales have risen in the last 10 years, based upon Diamond's sales reports. Nothing huge, but still mainly an upward trend. But, one might note that the economy, aside from the impact of the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01, had been growing fairly well until recently.

You will also note that in her column Rogers reports, based on her research, that Americans are more pessimistic about the economy than they have been in the last 15 years. Gas prices grow every day, the cost of food is increasing, the price of many things has gone up. Except the price of homes - that market has been hit hard, and many people, during the years where the price of homes continued to plow forward, invested in the housing market, thinking it would provide better returns than stocks or bonds. Many of those people are hurting now, unable to sell the homes and cash out and not seeing any appreciation in their real estate investment. The fact that this is also a presidential election year impacts the economy too, since historically the economy stagnates and the media tries to whip people into a deep depression before everyone heads off to the polls.

At Neptune we have not seen the growth we did the first four years of business this year. I am sure there are a couple of major reasons for that. One is that we are now a "mature" store, and just won't see the kind of growth that a new, growing store sees. The other is the economic impact. People do have to cut back on things when the price of food and gas go up. But, this is not to say that we've seen a decrease. We have not. People continue to come into the store every day and purchase comics, graphic novels, games and other items. As a few retailers point out in Roger's column, during times like these, where people tend to feel depressed, they often reach out to forms of entertainment they enjoy to serve as a distraction from the realities of their daily lives. Video game sales continue to grow. Movie theaters continue to have hundreds of millions of dollars in ticket sales every weekend. People continue to spend money on things they enjoy. However, they do tend to cut back on "luxury" items. Maybe they don't buy that $200 statue. Or perhaps they eliminate buying comic book mini-series and just do the main titles. Or they only purchase 12 booster packs of Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh instead of the full box they usually buy. Maybe the back issue and low-price bins and racks get much more action than they used to, as people look for bargains.

We as retailers need to face this economy head on and be prepared to make adjustments as the market changes. Keeping track of sales trends with a computerized system is essential. Being prepared to advertise more, even in just a low-cost way, is also essential - because as existing customers start to cut back stores need to bring in new readers. Marketing is important too - finding ways to reach out to customers and potential customers and showing them what fun they can have with games and comics is important.

I would rather, as a store owner, have customers cut back rather than find themselves so financially tapped that they have to stop coming in altogether. Balance and budgeting are always important - I talk to people about this every day at the bank.

So, what are YOU doing now, during this economic slump? Are you cutting back? Have you seen the economy impact your job? Are you going to cut back on the comics you purchase?
Blogged with the Flock Browser
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RIP Rory [May. 19th, 2008|08:09 pm]

Comic book retailer Rory Root, owner of  in California, died today.  He was in "the business" for quite some time, and won the Eisner Spirit of Retailing award back in 1993 - one of the first to receive the award.  He was an important member of ComicsPRO.  Really, an important member of the comic book community, known not just among retailers but among most in the industry.  I did not personally know Rory, but of course I knew of him, and had communicated with him on more than on occasion.  He seemed like an interesting guy, well liked, respected, knowledgeable, and possessing a deep love of comics.  He was one of the good guys.

This morning Rory went into a coma, after having some other serious health problems.  This evening he left this earth to go sell comics to the angles.  ComicsPRO has a few more details, and I am sure more information and a tribute will be coming from them and a variety of other sites in the coming days.

My condolences to his family, friends and the comic book community.
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2007 Darwin Awards [Jan. 2nd, 2008|06:15 pm]
My take on this year's celebration of the world's winningest loosers is here, on my blog.
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If you had One More Day, and had to make a choice... [Dec. 28th, 2007|05:15 pm]
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New, Not to miss, comic by Jeff Smith [Dec. 18th, 2007|01:19 pm]
Jeff Smith, creator of Bone, will be creating a new comic book series called RASL.  The first issue is scheduled to arrive in February.  You can still pre-order it from your local comic book store, but hurry because orders have to be in soon.

Rasl Cover

Smith told Vaneta Rogers at Newsarama  "RASL is this guy who has a special immersion suit that allows him to go into other dimensions. It's a very sci-fi idea, or at least a far-out idea of physics, where he straps these giant engines on his shoulders and knees, and using thermo-magnetic forces, he can actually warp space around his engines and step into a parallel dimension. And if you give him enough money, he'll go to those dimensions and steal things for you. He's found a really lucrative market in doing things like getting someone their own Mona Lisa, or something like that. A world leader who is really rich can pay him go get their own Venus de Milo or whatever.Click here to read the entire article.
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Johnny Depp Loves Sharp Objects [Dec. 4th, 2007|05:07 pm]
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I am a J.D. fan ever since 21 Jump Street, so of course I will eventually see Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. It will be interesting to hear him sing, as I don't recall him in a musical before, plus he's doing it with a British accent.

And WHAT are the chances that he's doing ANOTHER movie where he wields a sharp knife?

The movie site is up and running and it looks different, dark yet fun. A Tim Burton flick for sure. Almost a Nightmare Before Christmas live-action thing.

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(no subject) [Nov. 13th, 2007|12:28 pm]
What do you think about Marvel's on-line comics?

Opinion Polls & Market Research
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Poor Small Press! [Nov. 2nd, 2007|02:56 pm]
Read my blog post about what the small publishers go through to get their comic book into stores.  This is just one example of stuff that I am sure goes on every single week behind the scenes.
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