While a lot of people who write about comics want to work on the creation side of the industry at some point, that’s never been an interest to me outside of a brief flirtation with drawing my own comics. 1 I did have a dream comic job, though, and that was – and always has been – opening my own comic book shop.
It makes sense if you know a little about me. Obviously I love comics and clearly enjoy talking about them. But I also went to business school and have always had a fascination with the holistic implementation of those concepts, especially after taking one course that could most easily be described as “fantasy business.” In that class, our entire grade stemmed from the competitive management of fictional businesses in a game that simulated the footwear industry, as we had to manage inventory, marketing, pricing, distribution and other facets of a company in this setting. I loved it. We also dominated the rest of the class, and it was largely because I took to the running of a (fictional) business so well.
Now, I know running a comic shop isn’t the same as managing a fictional shoe company, and I also know that owning a comic shop isn’t just sitting around and talking about them at your leisure. But it does match two great interests for me, as well as two things I’d say I’m pretty good at. So it makes sense.
While I’ve yet to open my own shop – I started going down that path, but I stopped when my home state of Alaska’s endless recession hit hard – it’s still been an idea that looms large in my brain. Thankfully, I’ve been able to scratch that itch just a little bit these past two summers with a pair of comic book garage sales, or, as I have called them, the SKTCHD Pop Up Comic Shops. While it’s about as similar to running an actual, ongoing comic shop as managing a fictional shoe company was, it was in the same vein. So naturally, I enjoyed the heck out of it.
But I didn’t just enjoy myself. I learned a whole lot in the process, and today, I wanted to talk about some of what I picked up over this past weekend’s second annual edition.
I stopped because I was very, very bad at it.↩