Post 2: On Comic Con, On The Shop, and on Getting it Together
“I find that the harder I work, the luckier I am.” –Somebody at some point
I’ve been working on writing a blog for the shop for a long time. It’s not easy because things come up and it gets pushed to the side and buried under a mountain of “Hey I need to do this thing right now”. I want to show you a little bit behind the curtain but at the same time behind the curtain is often incredibly boring and convoluted, its full of jargon, and minutia, and things that even in my position I’m not sure I understand. So, what do we talk about? What do I tell you? What’s exciting enough to share but insider enough to engage. I don’t know, and that’s why it’s taken me so long.
On Comic Con
There is nothing else in the world quite like comic con. Literally nothing…well maybe the Moscow Circus but I doubt that very much. Comic Con is the strangest conglomeration of art and commerce that has ever been. It is a place where people flock almost as a form of worship to their favorite artists, creators, celebrities, and fandoms. It’s a place where for the right amount of money you can meet your idols and collect your white whales. When you look at con like this (and for me its often hard not to) it can seem both amazing and bleak. There is, however, another way to look at comic cons. There exists among this microcosmic community a family, like the ones that exist in industries that are transient by nature, like musicians and athletes. When you look at a convention from this perspective it’s a wonderful place. I’m not sure which way to look cons but I’m not going to stop going and I’m always going to enjoy myself. Before you go to your next comic con think about what you want to get out of it. Do you just want to get stuff or do you want to make family?
On The Shop
Seann’s Anime and Comics has been my home away from home away from home for a long time now. Even when I was working one day a week in the old shop it was like home. For any of you who don’t remember the old shop was about 850 square feet and was crowded with only a few customers. I loved that little hole in the wall. When we moved to where we are now we almost tripled our square footage. The move in was hasty to say the least we waited until the last second it felt like to move. Seann, Chris and myself, with help from some others, would work all day and then go to the new shop and work until late getting ready, day after day. We got to the point where it was time to move and we closed for 2 days and did it all in that time. Five years would pass before anything would change. Hopefully you’ve all seen the updated store, which we did in February, even though its only one half of the shop. We plan to update the other side but that won’t be until the fall. I spend a lot of my time focused on furthering the store thru better use of our space and other capital improvements as they become possible. Since I’ve taken over the shop I’ve also made an effort to be involved in the community as much as is possible, and will continue to strive to do more. So keep an eye out for Seann’s as you are out and about you never quite know where we will turn up.
On Getting It Together
Since day one I’ve had huge plans that it’s taken a long time to get enacted. A big one on the list is the website. I wanted to use the site as an alternative to other places online where comics are talked about and as a place to sell things we need to sell. Well the ecommerce thing isn’t going to be a part of it anymore but we will be doing more and more with the site. I called this section “Getting it Together” for a reason and talking about the website wasn’t it. When you start a business, you are by function of being new, also small. When you buy a business, you don’t have the advantage of size. The store I inherited was massive. We have a large pull list, we have a massive customer base, and a huge inventory. The learning curve is sharp. There isn’t a lot of time to learn or mess up you don’t have room for error. I’m pleased to announce that I have made my fair share of errors, and learned from them. I’m pleased to announce that I have made improvements on some long-standing practices. I am pleased to announce that we have be very successful thus far in our first six months. Those things are great but there is still a long way to go. We are constantly streamlining our retail process and expanding our web presence. What this means for the customer is that things cost less. I think you’ll agree that things costing less is good. I am still learning and we are still improving and trying new things. There are plans in place that are very exciting and will provide great opportunities to our customers. These things include, Samurai Sundays, Sylvania Con, Creator Appearances, Game Nights, Meet Ups, and so many other things that are only in their infancy as ideas. Please let us know if you have an idea for improvement or new things for us to try. We will be making announcements as things roll out and we will be sharing those with you in as many ways as possible.
See you soon.