If you aren’t familiar with comic book stores, most let you “subscribe” to the titles you like– You provide a list of comics you like, and they’ll be put aside every week. You can generally walk in and give them your box number, name, or (if you’ve been there a while), they’ll just know which comics are yours. It’s kind of nice.
Since moving to DC at the end of 2005, I’ve been a subscriber of several fine comics shops.
So, here are the shops where I’ve kept my subscriptions:
- Aftertime Comics (Old Town, Alexandria)
- Alliance Comics (Silver Spring)
- Big Planet (Vienna, VA)
- NOVA Comics (Springfield, VA)
I’d settled in with NOVA comics, and was looking forward to being a customer for a long time. Then, news came that the store was shutting down on October 23rd. I asked what had happened and was told that, after the passing of the owner in February (Gary A Johns), his daughter had been trying to sell the shop. A buyer stepped forward, but has failed on several attempts to secure a loan. The date when she would have to choose whether to renew the store’s lease for 3 more years was approaching, and she chose to shut the operation down.
NOVA Comics closed it’s doors on 10/23, as scheduled, but then a really cool thing happened: Louis Meyer (A NOVA customer) decided to start up a new shop, and even hire some of the NOVA staff. Game On! Comics will be open for business on December 1st.
The bad news (for me), is that the Game On! will be in Vienna– which is a bit of a hike from Lorton. The reason I went to NOVA Comics in the first place was that I really didn’t like trudging all the way out to Big Planet (Vienna) to get my comic fix.
I’m still deciding what this all means for my future as a comics reader. I’m about halfway to deciding that I’m done with traditional print comics– that it’d be better to support online comics, and comics-related Kickstarter projects, than to keep doing the comic-book-store-dance.
On the other hand, I haven’t told Game On! to delete my subscriptions yet, either.