Monday, December 31, 2018

Selling hundreds of books an hour on Facebook Live

The newest selling wave hitting comic book stores? Facebook Live. And a consortium of comic retailers is looking to make an almost-24-hour network called the Comic Book Shopping Network. Read all about it HERE at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Waiting for Dog Man

Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild
It's just before Christmas, 2019, and comic book stores ARE your new neighborhood bookstore. Really. Stores are hunkering down for last-minute, high-ticket sales, and awaiting their share of the 5 million copy run (!) of the new Dog Man book. Read all about the retail season at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

A Comic Store Empire of Fun

Strange Adventures, credit: Nathan Boone
Calum Johnston owns three Strange Adventures comic book stores in Canada's Maritimes that span over 275 miles. Find out what he's learned on his retail journey over at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

12 Things You (probably) Didn't Know About Stan Lee

Stan Lee, courtesy Stan Lee/POW! Entertainment

I was lucky enough to spend the better part of two decades having lunch with Stan Lee every month or so. In that time, I learned his favorite lunch, his second-favorite lunch, his thoughts on God, and his favorite line from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. You can learn all this, too, by reading the Wired article.

Jim McLauchlin

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Job Four, Comic Store

Tim Finn, photo courtesy Hub Comics

Tim Finn already had three jobs. But when the owner of his local comic store passed away, he took on job 4, and bought Hub Comics. Now, seven years later, you can learn what he's learned over at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Friday, September 14, 2018

Ed Greenberg, from Belarus to two USA stores

Ed Greenberg (with thumbs up) at Collector's Paradise
Ed Greenberg is a great American story. He immigrated from Belarus at age 17, and got jobs in technology and education. Then the entrepreneurial spirit hit him, and he opened a comic store. Now, 24 years later, he's going strong with two stores. Read all about what he's learned at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Business Booms at Comics Conspiracy

Ryan Higgins of Comics Conspiracy
Ryan Higgins started working in comic stores at age 12, and bought his first store at age 27. Now, at age 39, he's seen a lot as his store, Comics Conspiracy, is gong through a boom cycle. See what's he's learned here at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Does Comics Have an Inferiority Complex?

Chart courtesy and
Comic publishing—the publishing alone, to say nothing of merchandising and other media—is a billion-dollar-a-year industry. And your grandma knows who Thanos is.

You'd think these would be great times for comic fans, but some see nothing but gloom. So we ask the question: Does comics have an inferiority complex? Spoiler alert: Probably, but it shouldn't. Read ALL about it over at Wired.

Jim McLauchlin

Monday, July 2, 2018

Convention Changes: Lower Prices, Street Closures

Getting around at San Diego Comic-Con, 2018
The comic convention business is hyper-competitive, and getting BIGGER. In the wake of competition, some cons are offering lower ticket prices. And some of the biggest cons are getting Super Bowl-like traffic closures. Find out what today's landscape is over at Newsarama.

Jim McLauchlin

Monday, June 18, 2018

Almost a stockbroker, now a comic store owner

Mike Banks, owner and operator of Samurai Comics
Mike Banks had a crazy year in 2002: He had a stockbroker job disappear from under his feet, and then got married, had a kid, and opened his own business, all in one year.

Today, Samurai Comics is three stores strong, and you can learn what Banks has learned over at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin

The porny Dungeons & Dragons module that costs $5000

The cover to the original "Palace of the Silver Princess"

So when Dungeons and Dragons was first becoming a Real Big Deal in the early ’80s, sales were doubling every year. Management had one clear directive: Crank out more product!

But one product was so bad, TSR had to bury the entire print run in a landfill. Check out what made it so bad, and why copies today trade for $5000 on the collector market over at Wired.

Jim McLauchlin

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Tiny Margins in Internet Business

Part of the warehouse at InStockTrades
An internet-based business can be low overhead, but also low margin. Christina Merkler at Discount Comic Book Service and In Stock Trades has been living on that thin margin for almost 20 years, and she'll tell you what she's learned HERE.

Jim McLauchlin

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Maxxing out your in-store appearance

George PĂ©rez at Bedrock City Comics via
If you're a store having an author appearance, you might as well get the MOST bang for your buck. Here's your tips and tricks for running a great—and profitable!—event at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Monday, April 30, 2018

Where Health meets "Hype"

Eggs are good for you! No, they're bad!
Red wine is great for you! No, it'll kill you!
Hey, look at this "cancer-busting" food!

There's a lot of hype in health, and Dr. Nina Shapiro has done her level best to separate fact from fiction in Hype, her new book in which she tells everyone how to calm down and focus on what really matters in health and wellness. Read an interview with Shapiro at LiveScience, and…have a glass of water. Just one will do.

Jim McLauchlin

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kids, $1 sales, and keep it simple

Menachem Luchins followed a dream and opened a comic store. He built it in $1 sales, catering to kids, and reminds himself that Cerebus is not for everyone. See what he's learned, right and wrong, over at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Comic store suppliers: More than just one

Challengers Comics in Chicago, 110 suppliers!
Everyone in the comics business knows that Diamond Comic Distributors is the go-to for comic stores. It's effectively the only place you can get new monthly comics. But stores do not live by Diamond alone!

Read all about the wealth of different distributors stores use over at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Friday, March 2, 2018

Does Twitter Destroy Creativity?

Does Twitter Destroy creativity? The short answer is yeah, it sure can. You have to guard against it. For the longer answer, with some nuance from comic, TV, and novelist creatives, read the full story over at Newsarama.

Jim McLauchlin

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Ryan Liebowitz, Catering to Comics

Ryan Liebowitz at Golden Apple Comics

Ryan Liebowitz knows all about legacy, food, and comic books. His journey took him through the catering business and back into his family business. As he enters his 14th year running Los Angeles' venerable Golden Apple Comics, see what he's learned at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin

Monday, January 22, 2018

Stock market whiz at age 17, now comic store owner

Tate's Comics (top) and Tate Ottati; photos courtesy Tate's Comics

When you're 17 years old and just quadrupled your money in the stock market, what do you do? You open a comic store, of course!

That's what Tate Ottati did 25 years ago, and he's still going strong. Find out the wisdom he's gleaned after 25 years on the retail front lines HERE at icv2.

Jim McLauchlin