Rants, Raves & Observations

Comic Book Store Blues in Boise

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My long time favorite local Comic Book store in Boise, The Paper Back Place recently closed down shop….another great comic book store in a line of great comic book stores over the years in Boise to eventually shut their doors. The notion that ‘they will be missed’ is an understatement.

I have now had to go all in with Captain Comics just outside the Boise downtown, and although they have a great set-up and excellent selection, they have a ‘policy’ that over the long term, may prove to become difficult to source solely from them.

All About Comic Book Art

comic book art

Art by Humberto Ramos

I like Comic Art. It’s one of the main reasons, motivators, whatever, that I have in choosing a particular comic. Writing is of course, very important, but everyone has their ‘preference’ and personal quirks, and for me, ART trumps WRITING.

Captain Comics has a ‘policy’ that you must grab staff in the store (of which there are maybe 2 at any one time…), if you want to ‘open’ the plastic, protective covering they place, even newly arrived comic books in. Why would you want to ‘open’ this protective casing? Well, for people like me, that would like to actually SEE the artwork inside, this is pretty much a MUST. Looking at the COVER ART on a comic book does not necessarily mean that is how the artwork ‘INSIDE’ is. I have learned over the MANY years at reading comics that physically taking a quick glance inside is almost always necessary, and ESPECIALLY NOW, with the price of comic books at LUDICRIS levels.

No way I am going to chance grabbing a bunch of titles, at $3-$4 a pop and ‘HOPING’ that when I get home, peel open the protective case, that the art agrees with me.

Problems With Captain Comic’s Policy?

  • It’s Inefficient. You mean to tell me that I have to grab one of the few staff in the store (screw this notion if the store is packed and someone needs to man the register), every time I want to look inside a comic book? No matter that I may look into 4 or 5 books, this individual is to me follow me around like a ‘gas attendant in Oregon’ and open each one for me? Don’t get me wrong, I definitely feel ‘SPECIAL’ having my personal comic book attendant, but this is silly?
  • It’s sort of Annoying? I have to find, wait (for them to finish with someone else), then grab staff, every time I want to do something that maybe takes 10 sec for me to do?

To their credit…I UNDERSTAND, some of the precautions here they would like to take with just anyone going into and out of these sometimes STUNNING collectibles and works of art, but there’s got to be a better way? Yes? No?

Taking Steps Into My OWN Hands…For Now

With no serious options in sight right now with regards to an alternative comic book shop to use (Hastings is an option as their selections have gotten better…), there are things I can do to improve my ‘EXPERIENCE’ at Captain Comics for the time being.

  • Know What I’m Looking For. I have already established a list of artists I like using EVERNOTE. I just need to better organize it and make it more available and usable relatively quickly. With a list of names, I can scan the outside covers of comic books for the artist I prefer. This works for artists I know. However, I don’t KNOW what I don’t KNOW right? So if a new comic is released and I’m not familiar with the artist name on the cover, I’m SOL!

Yes, yes I know….small city problems, but I love BOISE so I’ll just need to figure it out. If any of you reading this have similar pains in your neck of the woods, I’d love to hear about it. Misery loves company right?

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2 Comments

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    Corbit - Captain Comics, Inc.
    November 6, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Thanks for giving Captain Comics, Inc. a chance! We really do appreciate it! I totally understand your concerns, and AGREE with you! Just so you understand, we only bag 2 types of new comics: 1) Mature reader books. You can understand that we need to do this to protect ourselves in case a younger reader opens it up – and a can of worms – when the parent becomes irate. This helps us, the parents, and ultimately, the kids. 2) The comics with a “digital code” in it (mostly Marvel). Before we were bagging them, we found out that people were coming in, peeling off the code sticker, and taking the code for free. Not only did they “steal” the comic without paying, but left a useless code for the person who actually wanted it. So I hope you understand that we’re only looking out for the buyer in this case – in that they get what they pay for. And finally, as for back issues,…. we have to price the book – and can’t put the price label on the comic itself. And if the customer opens the bags him/herself, then many, many times they get the tape stuck on the comic and tear off some of the paper or worse. (Not to mention that they put the comic back in backwards or upside-down.) Since they hide this 99 out of 100 times, it means that we have damaged books that someone may be paying the normal price for, which we don’t want to happen. Make sense? We really want to help solve the problem – and would love a solution that helps us all. So certainly speak up with any ideas you have when you’re in the store.
    Again, thanks for giving us a shot! We’ve been open over 23 years, and want to be here for 23 more – and we can’t do it without happy customers! So we mean it when we say we appreciate your support!

    • Dave Lawyer
      Reply
      Dave Lawyer
      November 6, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks for the clarification. I had a feeling on some of the reasons why you have had to adopt these steps (although I had no idea on the ‘code sticker’ issue as I have never used those). I guess no real options for me other than to just have a good idea as to what artists I am looking for before coming into the shop. Thanks for the response and explanation!

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