Thursday, August 17, 2023

The rise of the suburban comic store


Gary Colabuono, courtesy Colabuono

Comic book stores may be ubiquitous now, but once upon a time, they were few and far between, and usually deep in major urban downtowns.

But by the 1980s, entrepreneurs such as Gary Colabuono expanded into the suburbs, and the business grew from 900 or so stores to 3000 or more. Read all about the rise of the suburbs over at ICV2.

Jim McLauchlin

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

From a basement to a worldwide distributor


The original Geppi's Comic World sign from 1974

Steve Geppi started with a 350 square-foot store in the basement of a TV repair shop in Baltimore in 1974. Happy accidents and answering when opportunity knocked eventually landed him a worldwide distribution company, Diamond Comic Distributors. Read Steve's amazing journey over at ICV2.

Jim McLauchlin

Monday, August 14, 2023

Shinder's: The 90-year cultural institution that crashed and burned

A Shinder's T-shirt, circa 1970s


For 90 years, Shinder's was a MASSIVE cultural institution in Minneapolis/St. Paul, a hangout for outcasts, and a place where you could get comics, baseball cards, and even 50 worldwide Sunday papers.

Then a new owner got busted on a variety of drug and weapons charges, and the business swiftly tanked, twisting in the wind in an agonizing fashion.

Wanna read more? Head to ICv2 for the full scoop.

Jim McLauchlin

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Two lifetime jobs, one as his own boss


Jermaine Exum and Acme Comics, courtesy Exum

Jermaine Exum is living the dream: He's had a whopping two jobs in his life, one as the owner on a comic store. He's been at it for 27 years now, and shares what he's learned at ICv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Friday, March 17, 2023

Getting experience, 30 years in the making


Trent Walsh and BaT Comics & Games; courtesy Walsh

Back in 1993, Trent Walsh was a newly minted college graduate looking to get some real-world experience so he could get a real-world job. So he opened a comic book store. Now 30 years later, he's still at it, and it's become the experience he loves. Read all about Trent and what he's learned HERE at ICv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

25 years in a family business

Casey Heying, Kelly Heying, and Buy Me Toys and Comics; courtesy Kelly Heying


It started with an overcrowded apartment, but after 25 years, Buy Me Toys and Comics has gone through five upgrades, and maybe just maybe, will soon be passed to a new generation soon. Find out what owner Kelly Keying has learned over a quarter century over at ICV2.

Jim McLauchlin

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Three stores and many more lessons


Tim Stoltzfus and More Fun Comics, courtesy Stoltzfus 

More Fun in Denton, Tex., lives up to its name: Three stores with similar merchandise, but each store with its own specialty in comics, games, and toys.

Owner Tim Stoltzfus has been operating the stores for decades, and has leaned the value of networking, work/life balance, and more. Find out even MORE of what he's learned at

Jim McLauchlin