A lot of people, including myself, say there are no such things as coincidences. A few weeks ago, Ross Richie, founder of BOOM! Studios recorded a message on Twitter and Instagram to encourage everyone to support comic book stores by going there and buy books. Well, today, I support mine: Anyone Comics, even though it hasn’t even opened yet!
First, if you know Ross, and I do, you’ll get that it’s very hard to say no to that sweet big 6 feet plus guy. And second, as an independent creator with a book on the shelves right now, I couldn’t agree more. But I’m not writing this post just to sing Kumbaya with all comic book fans out there.
I read everywhere that comic book stores are struggling. And many of them are. I read that they’re fed up with the Diamond Comics system, and they probably are. I read that they’re flooded with Marvel and DC books that they didn’t even order because the big two are putting more and more books on the market. BUT…
Comic Book Stores are still standing. They are still showing the world that comic books are this incredibly powerful medium which regenerates itself with great talent and great stories. And Comic Book Stores are even opening! Yep. It’s 2017, everybody’s lamenting about the economy or the gentrification of New York or politics, but here, in Brooklyn, comic books are expanding!
Last week, I read about Anyone Comics, a new comic book store slated to open, in Crown Heights Brooklyn, in March, on Dean Haspiel’s Facebook timeline. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I frigging live in Crown Heights! The store is like 6 blocks from my home. Up to now, I went to Manhattan for my comics. Either at the Fulton St Midtown comics, or, because I like the little guys better, at Carmine Street Comics (hi Jon Gorga, don’t worry, I’ll still praise and visit your store).
But a comic book store in my neighborhood? Too good to be true! I immediately wrote a message on the Anyone Comics FB page. About an hour later, the owner, Dimitrios, wrote me back. I wanted to meet him. He said: “sure, drop by tomorrow. We’re not open, but we’re there, working on building it”.
So I went. Not empty handed. I gave Dimitrios a Spider-Man sketch card I drew and signed for him an issue of Intertwined#3. The first ever signed comic book for Anyone Comics! Boy, I’m proud. 🙂 Dimitrios gave me two issues of Millenials in exchange, an indie comic he wrote.
The store is going to be amazing. Relatively small in size but filled with quality comics and the best graphic novels. The passionate owner even showed me some piece he got for the opening, including some rare European pieces. Very nice.
But the most surprising thing about Anyone Comics is its very own basement. An “Anyone Cave” of sorts. The stock will be located there, but there’s also a big room for future events, a kitchen and 4 small rooms that Dimitrios started offering to artists for residency. Rent’s not cheap, but I think it’s a great opportunity to work there, within the walls of a comic book store. I certainly expressed my interest.
I’m super excited about Anyone Comics. Not only because it’s the closest store to my place. But also because I could feel Dimitrios’ passion. I approve this store. And I strongly encourage anyone in the area and beyond to come support it come March. We need comic book stores. And we need creators invested in their success. Let’s do it, folks!
To be continued
ANYONE COMICS is located on 1216, Union St, Brooklyn. Subway: Nostrand Ave (3)