Topic: Comic Book History
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3312:
Tina and I had another great day yesterday... Traveling to Hoover Dam in Boulder City, Nevada, but that's a story for another blog!
On the way back to our hotel we stopped in Las Vegas at the #1 recommended Local Comic Book Shop by my Facebook Friends!
When I say the #1 recommended... I'm talking about the responses I received when I queried my Facebook Friends on what 2 - 3 stores I should stop in at during our holiday vacation in the Las Vegas Metro Area.
This LCBS really interested my wife, Tina LoSasso, enough that I asked her on her opinion of this LCBS. For those of you that don't know, Tina is a 'mainstream' reader, and only reads graphic novels TPBs, and a few floppy comics that would interest the general public. She has her own business promoting non-fiction books and conducting Amazon Book Launches. I'm the comic book fanboy!
Here's Tina's post:
There are a ton of positives for Alternative Reality Comics:
-- Owner Ralph is extremely customer service oriented. He greeted us the moment we walked in. He seemed to know everyone else and greeted them by name. The store is set up with customers in mind. Here's how:
-- Displays of comics, books, and graphic novels are themed: horror, crime, humor, Alan Moore (Ralph's fav), you get the picture. This makes it easy for readers of one genre to find more great stuff that they're sure to love. It's also super easy to find what you're looking for.
-- The inventory is wide ranging. I discovered a bunch of indie and small press books by people that Michael and I know like Batton Lash (Wolff & Bryd), Derek McCulloch (Pug), and the team at Archaia Entertainment(Syndrome).
-- Like a great bookstore, there were small signs with "Recommended" or "New" next to some books, in addition to the genre designations. Another great way to help shoppers find something they might otherwise miss.
-- It's a comic book shop - not a gaming or toy shop. There are some toys, but not tons of dusty boxes piled to the ceiling as in many shops.
-- The store is clean and well-lit with aisles you can walk through easily without having to squeeze past other shoppers. There's even a table for people perusing the $1 boxes.
-- I also enjoyed the movie and comic book posters that lined the walls.
-- The $1 boxes are hard to navigate. There's no rhyme or reason to how they are organized, at least that I could see.
All in all, Alternate Reality Comics is like being in an Alternative Universe where the comic book stores are CLEAN, the salespeople friendly and helpful AND, there's no dust! Don't miss it the next time you're in Vegas!!
Thanks, Tina, for the above review of this LCBS!
Here's my 'take' on this LCBS:
As stated above at the beginning of this post, this LCBS in Las Vegas was the #1 recommended LCBS by my Facebook Friends for us to stop in at during our holidays vacation.
Traveling in the dark from Hoover Dam in the Southeast to the LCBS for the 1st time, I drove into this LCBS's old location parking lot, and found a deserted store, which had the neon signage and graphics on the windows. That was surprising! I had no knowledge of this and was a little 'put off' that it would be closed during what would be normal operating hours! Thank goodness for the small paper sign on the window that it had moved further North up the same street!
So I was pleasantly surprised to find the LCBS had moved from a location that was run down, to a better shopping center strip, as seen in the top left photo.
I could see from the front door as I entered, (second photo), that this would be a LCBS that Tina would probably like. I was definitely right in this thought, as seen by Tina's review above!
I found that the sections that were in their own racks and physically separated from other sections, had their own genre of comics / graphic novels / TPBs. Humour in one section, HoRRoR in another, and in the photo immediately above these paragraphs of mine... comics classics collections, like 'The Art of Steve Ditko' that I am shown holding.
The Dollar Bins area was very well lit and the table placed there so that the customer could pull down or out a box and then place on that table was a cool idea!
The fact that the comic supplies were placed on its own table was great merchandising! Too many times I have to ask where comics supplies are in a store!
Ralph was very knowledgable on new (Modern Age) comics and graphic novels. He had two showcases of Silver Age Comics, which he is just getting into selling at this LCBS.
As Tina stated, Ralph is very customer oriented. Would you believe that for the Last Wednesday New Comics Day of 2010, (yesterday when we visited), he had Free Vegan Ronald's Donuts near the check out counter for customers?! Plus a new club sheet for titles coming out the next three months! I noticed his 'pull' sections for subscribing customers were pretty large also, behind the check out counter...
There was a steady stream of customers coming in last night. Of course it was the Last Wednesday New Comics Day of the year, but Ralph called each customer by name, picked their 'pulls' from behind the counter, and still had a lively conversation with us!
I found that Ralph knew his 'stuff', and had the most organized store I've seen in ages, (Tina called it the Barnes & Nobles of comic book shops!), and knew the merchandising of comics very well.
He should, as he has been doing for 16 years now, and has been reading comics since 1975!
Matter of fact, his LCBS was one of the finalists in 1998 for the The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award!
That award is "presented under the auspices of Comic-Con International: San Diego, is given to an individual retailer who has done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large".
I can see why this store was nominated for this award, after visting Ralph Mathieu's newly re-located LCBS!
All in all, I would agree with the Facebook Friends of mine that suggested that this should be one of the two to three LCBS that I should visit in the Las Vegas Metro Area! Thanks Facebook Friends!
Plus many thanks to Ralph Mathieu, owner, who even though it was a busy Last Wednesday New Comics Day of the 2010 Year, spent a lot of time with both Tina and myself talking about his store.
I would have to agree with Tina, and my Facebook Friends. When YOU next go to Las Vegas, and want that 'new comics fix', this is so close to The Strip that I would also personally recommend it for those looking for 'NEW comics / graphic novels / TPBs', while on vacation in Vegas!
YOU can find Ralph's Facebook Fan Page for Alternate Reality Comics Las Vegas here. (The Alternate Reality Comics LCBS in Chicago is NOT affiliated with Ralph's LCBS).
YOU can find his shop's web site here.
Happy Holidays to all reading this blog post during the last days of 2010! New Year's Eve is coming up fast!
~Michael D Hamersky, of 'Michael D Hamersky On Comics' - my New Facebook Fan Page, and Facebook Comic Con | Make It So Marketing - my Facebook Group Page which is under the 'virtual umbrella' of 'Facebook Comic Con'! Plus of course this blog, ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com!
My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts, now over 3,310 total posts in number! I do appreciate your continued reading and support of this Blog!
BTW, You can 'follow' this Blog by clicking the 'Follow' Button at this NetworkedBlogs app! We currently have over 2,100 'Followers'! Thanks to ALL of YOU that have already clicked that button! And for those of YOU that haven't yet...I would appreciate it if YOU would!!!
~ Michael D Hamersky @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com
Note: Our online comic book shop carries many different genres of comics, magazines, graphic novels, and comic con promotional items at the link seen below.
Holidays Note: The online store is closed till the 1st week of January 2011. So none of the listings are showing at this time.