OPINION: Support Your Local Comic Book Store Rather Than Online Vendors

Just 10 years ago, superhero movies were scarce in the box office. Now, the box office is dominated by them. Some of the biggest earning movies all time come from comic book properties and some of the more watched TV shows are comic based. As this revelation comes ahead, it is only right the correlation should occur with the sales of comics. In 2015, comics sales had reached an all-time high as they crossed a billion dollars. This surge in reading has continued, and newcomers to the comic space and longtime readers are beginning to have the debate amongst themselves on which is better, purchasing from the old fashion comic book store/ brick and mortar locations, or reading only from ComiXology and other online services. I think both have their purpose, but today, I’m here to support why you should go support your local comic book store over the online location.
Look, I get the whole reading the online thing, I do! We live in a world where we are always busy and don’t have time like we used to. We also live in a world of everything on your palm of your hands. In the blink of an eye, you can have anything you want in front of you. This has even made it to the world of comics, where services like ComiXology are creating an easy format to get any comic you want in a flash (see what I did there). While that is nice, the local comic book store triumphs this future. Let’s start with the service. Your local comic book stores are filled with employees with years of knowledge of the comic book space. From Marvel to DC and other publishers and indie developers, if you have any questions about a particular run of books or a certain order to read in, they have you covered. For example, let’s say you want to learn all about Shang Chi before Marvel releases his movie in late 2020/2021. If you go to ComiXology and just search Shang Chi, you’re going to get a list of results that more than not is hard to sift through.
Meanwhile, you walk into your local comic book store and bam, ask for Shang Chi and will have all sorts of reading recommendations based upon your taste. Also, your local comic book store is a great place to start if you have never read comics! They also deal with new readers and can help you understand all the terminology that comes with it. On top of all this, if you make a pull list at your store (a list of books you would like to read weekly) the store will pull the books for you, and you can go anytime and pick them up!
All the services are cool, but the main draw that comic book stores have over online retail is a sense of community. It is so refreshing to start going to store over and over and have the staff and the other regulars learn your name and interests! It is even better when the store begins including discounts because you have been there for so long. Comic readers and fans are nla niche group in the much larger popular culture space. Nevertheless, this group is passionate and cares a lot about the art form. Your local comic book store is a great place to find and be introduced to new people who might be just like you.

What are your thoughts, Online or in person? Let us know, and for all things cinema related, you are in the right place!