Monday, April 25, 2005

Time Sure Flies....

Welcome back! Sorry for not posting on Friday – I really do feel lousy about that since I have only been doing this blog for about two weeks, and I already missed my first installment. If you were paying me for this, I could understand you issuing me a warning for my personnel file. As it is, I hope you will forgive me and accept my humble apologies.

Now that I have dispensed with that little bit of bootlicking, let me get on to the meat of today’s installment.

For those of you that don’t know, while I live in Richmond, I am still working at my old job in Washington, DC. This means that I go home on the weekends to spend time with my family and do house projects. I then drive back to DC on Sunday night, crash at a friend’s place during the week, and then repeat the process.

As you can imagine, ths whole thing is a bit of a drag. On the upside, however, my last day at my grownup job is coming on May 6, I will be reunited with my family full time, and I will be able to hit the ground running on my quest. On the down side, the last day of my grownup job is coming on May 6 and my steady employment (and the paycheck and the health insurance that comes with it) stops for the first time since 1992. A bit scary that.

I mention all of this to let you know that things will probably really start to heat up after the first week in May. Until then, I will continue to post my thoughts and plans, but it will only be after May 6 that the concrete steps are really going to start taking place.

The Distinguished Competition

I have been researching exactly who will be my competition in the Richmond market, and it appears that there are (basically) nine stores in the greater Richmond area. I have yet to visit any of these stores, so I am looking forward to seeing what they are like. Heck, even if my store ends up never opening, I at least need to find a place to get my weekly fix, so I HAVE to check these places out. I’ll begin visiting these stores this coming weekend, and I’ll let you know what I’ve seen.

On the whole, though, this does make one question whether the Richmond market is already saturated with comic book stores. I guess it is possible, but having come from the DC area, I have seen that if properly marketed and differentiated, then a lot of stores can coexist without cannibalizing each other’s clientele. In fact, the store I buy all of my comics — Beyond Comics 2 on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown — is literally right around the corner from another store. I don’t want to have a repeat of that situation when I get Big Monkey up and running, but it does make me feel that it is possible for several stores to coexist with one another.

In Closing

Okay, I think that today’s installment was a little dry. But to make it up to you, I am going to post the first part of a three part Hero Clix adventure on the site tomorrow, so hopefully that will bring you back. Trust me, this little experiment in creative writing is well worth reading!


At 10:31 PM, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I've visited two of the stores in your area, neither in Richmond proper, and one was great, the other terrible. Richmond Comix, down in Midlothian is a terrific example of what a comic shop should be like, so much so I did a spotlight of it. It also seems to be the LCBS of choice for several comics bloggers down there. Oddly, Diamond doesn't list any of the shops located within Richmond itself.

Good luck with your shop! It's a distant dream for me, so I'll be following your efforts for a vicarious thrill.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Ed Sizemore said...

Jack, You say there are 9 stores in Richmond. There are really only 7. I have been to all the stores listed in the area and two are really gaming shops with comics on the side. When you get around to visiting the various places I will be interested in your impressions of the competition.

At 5:29 PM, Blogger JackM said...

Gentlemen, thanks for posting your comments.

Guy, I've added a link to your site, so hopefully I will be able to direct a few adventurous souls your way. I enjoyed the spotlight you did on Richmond Comix, and I'm actually looking forward to checking it out.

Ed, thanks for the clarification on the stores. I found a listing on the Internet that had those nine stores in the "Greater Richmond area" listed, but it is good to know that they aren't ALL devoted exclusively to comics. That makes my dream 22% more likely to come true!

I will be finalizing my move to Richmond on May 6, and I am planning on getting out to all of the stores on the list during that week so I can get a feel for their style as well as their location relative to one another. I'll post some impressions during that time.

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Mufyn said...

Hi, Jacks:

It's nice to see things coming together for you! We here at your old grown-up job sure do miss you. But at least we can track all your comings and goings with this site. Give the boys and Christine my best. Love you and miss you bunches.

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