This is Xtian writing for CnM – hey how’d ya do? Phoebe and I miss y’all so, so very much. We love our jobs as funnybook sellers / comixmongers. We are honored by the place we have in our community and market. We think it’s obvious how we love comics, and how much we love to share that love. It hurts to miss yall so. I could go on and on about how grateful I am. And I will. But right now you want tangible, actionable information. And I am here to provide.
If you’ve seen our comments in the press (links below) you know our stance: it’s not safe to re-open yet. We are not making this decision lightly. Stores are eager to open, including our peers in the local funny books market. We don’t think it is safe to do so. We will re-assess week by week, but unless something miraculous happens you can pretty much expect us to open to customers sometime in July.
I really hope we can count on yall’s support. You can support us by shopping in our online store, our threadless website store for t-shirts and other merch, or by emailing or calling us to curate you a more personalized shopping experience. Links below.
We are enthusiastically doing curbside at the store and still offering delivery and mail order fulfillment. Let us know what works for you.
There are new weekly comics but the publishing volume is starting real slow. It’s going to be ramping up all summer long though.
On that note – we need to know now. Laid off? Work reduced? Change of fortune? Please let us now and we can work with you, we love comics and we want you to be happy.
We are also interested in acquiring new comics collections. This is currently only open on a case by case basis. Please contact us for details.
On DC Comics (citations below):
We will be trialing DC/At&T’s new distribution terms. This means yes, we will be carrying DC Comics, an At&T subsidiary, per usual. Due to their new terms, shipping rates and more we are asking patrons to forfeit their discount privileges. DC’s new terms are different, including additional shipping charges, a different day of delivery and an estimated less than $1 return on each single issue comic.
2020 has proven more inspiring, more challenging and more mind boggling than anyone could expect. Black Lives Matter. This is not the first time we said it and it won’t be the last. We have openly been antifascist since we stepped up as comixmongers and long before that. We operate a capitalist bookstore, it’s true but lol dont u dare accuse us of making any money. Our niche is small, it’s sincere and it’s a lot of work but it’s been absolutely worth it. Six years this November. That’s thanks to every single one of you, and we are absolutely humbled.
From The Reminder
“The issue of reopening is complicated by the type of business. Christian Reader is the owner of Comics ‘n’ More in Easthampton. He explained a comic book shop is like a bookstore in terms of the customer experience: people like to browse. Reader closed his downtown shop on Cottage Street before the governor’s orders and continued servicing regular customers who have subscriptions for titles through his store. He was then ordered by the Easthampton Board of Health that he couldn’t operate this contact-free service from his shop, and was forced to move the operation into his home.
He is grateful his subscription customers – between 350 and 400 people – stuck with him through this period. He implemented the rules to prevent the spread of the virus – masks and sanitizers – early on as well as curbside fulfillment which he said was “demanding physically and very difficult to keep up.” Now, he is planning to how to change the layout of the store to meet the demands of the next reopening phase.
The relationship established between small, owner-operated retailers and their customers is something that has sustained shop owners during the shutdown. Reader said, “I’ve been touched by the great deal of generosity [from his customers].”
(By G Michael Dobbs for the Reminder)
From The Gazette
“Christian Reader, one of the owners of Comics N’ More on Cottage Street in Easthampton, said his business relied heavily on community support to stay afloat this spring. Distributors stopped shipping books April 1, only to resume at the end of May, Reader said, which was a departure from the shop’s normal business model of having subscribers regularly pick up new entries in their favorite series. People instead bought books the store already had through a new online store, which Reader said was a “net positive.” Comics N’ More also started mail order, delivery and curbside pickup for people to get their comics.
But when asked if they’ll allow in-person browsing if Baker allows stores to open beginning Monday, Reader said: “Absolutely not.”
Reader said he doesn’t know if it’s safe to move past their current sales methods just yet, arguing that COVID-19 testing numbers may not accurately reflect the reality of the disease’s current spread. He’s not alone. A group of doctors, union leaders and health officials are demanding Baker ensure that at-risk populations, including people of color, are adequately protected before reopening; they also demanded increased testing, among other things, according to the State House News Service.
“We have numbers in our state that rival foreign countries,” Reader said. “I don’t like these odds. I don’t like this fight — this fight’s terrifying.”
(By Michael Connor for the Gazette)
DC Diamond Split From Comics Beat
‘End of an Era: The comics industry reacts to the DC Diamond split
Reaction was mixed, but retailers are very anxious and unhappy with the move. By Heidi MacD onald -06/06/2020