Category Archives: How to Buy Comics

The Comic Shop Adventure: Learning the Ways of Buying Comics

I was reading Katie Schenkel’s twitter¬†and she was talking about DC making a how to video on the comic shop system. She’s right that it is hard for a new fan to figure out how to make sense out of it. I know when I got back into comics I had my own learning curve with it back in the late 90’s. I was left to my own devices learning the comic shop system. I picked up on it as time went on by listening and researching all the terms. Of course here’s the thing too as she mentions, a lot of comic shops won’t explain the ropes to new readers. Now people are wanting to get into comics and people are hunting out stores. Some people find an awesome one that engages them and gets them into the comic world. Others get a bad store and get driven away faster than you blink. I’ve done my share of helping people in shops before so I’m inspired to write my own oddball helper piece for a comic store newbie. Take note I’m not an expert but I’m a sponge and also helped a few new people get into comics. If I miss anything don’t hesitate to let me know and now onward with the comic learning show!

Now with a comic store you’ll enter in there trying to figure out how to navigate it. Where are the new release books, the back issues, trade paperbacks/graphic novels, and so forth. I went into a Hastings store recently that carried comics and my word it was a nightmare to navigate, new issues mixed with the old, it was such bad design with a little sign saying “New this week!” over the new title. It’s why most stores have new releases in a defined separate section. If you want to get more to catch up, the issues can be either behind the comic, next to the comic, or even in their own separate set of shelves next to the new books. Every store operates differently but usually it’s one of those setups for a lot of stores.

I have been talking in previous posts about pull lists and pre-ordering comic books. A pull list is when you tell the comic store people what you want to get week to week. You give them your list of books and they either put it into their system or put it onto paper near your pull, depending on the store. Once you give that store your list of books they’ll be sure to order that copy for you and you won’t miss a single issue. You can add or subtract titles from your pull list at any given time too.

Now with pre-ordering, it’s the same way with video games. You tell the store what you want and they’ll order it for you in advance. It’s another way to let the store know what you want and that book will be there for you the day it comes out. Pre-ordering also works for TPB’s, GN’s, and whatever else you desire from your store. You can use a catalog called Diamond Previews to go through and find what you want and use the order form or tell your store yourself what you want in advance.

There’s a lot more here to cover but this is a good way to adapt you to a store. I’ll probably do more of this as I don’t claim to know everything, I’ve just been in a lot of comic stores. Comic stores, book stores, and you name a style of book store I’ve probably been in it at least once. It’s my own experiences fueling this and believe me I don’t claim to be an expert at all. Seriously if any of you out there on twitter, tumblr, here in the comments, or anything else have more to add, feel free to put your voice out there. We’re all in this comics train together, let’s help one another out and help new readers out in their own adventure. To a better comic world and making comic books that much a better place for our new comic reading pals.