I recently came across a story here on MajorSpoilers about Local Comic Shop Day! I had to know—just what is that event?
ABOUT LOCAL COMIC SHOP DAY
Honestly, I had never noticed Local Comic Shop Day (LCSD) before! Fortunately, there is a website devoted to this event here.
A paragraph in a news release there explains about it:
Local Comic Shop Day®, the day that celebrates the independent spirit of local comic book shops, returns for its eighth annual event on Wednesday, November 23rd.
I like the phrase they use to discuss comic shops, “Where Pop Culture begins!”
While stores don’t have to register in order to sell items being released to celebrate that day, the organization behind LCSD, ComicsPRO, recommends that store-front retailers sign up:
“Technically, retailers don’t need to register to order the local comic shop day items,” added Marco Davanzo, ComicsPRO executive director. “But we recommend that ALL retailers register so that they can be reminded when to order, will get help in marketing, and will be able to get special deals from LCSD partners. Also, customers will be able to find registered retailers easier because stores will on a map on our website. So please register at www.comicspro.org/lcsd2022!”
Of course, this begs the question: Who is ComicsPRO? Again, the news release provides the answer. “ComicsPRO is the comics’ industry’s trade organization dedicated to the progress of direct market comic book retailers. The goals of ComicsPRO are to help direct market retailers speak with a single, strong voice on important industry issues, to provide educational and mentoring opportunities to current and future retailers, and to offer opportunities for retailers to reduce fixed costs.” If you want more information about ComicsPRO, go to www.comicspro.org.
Publishers are invited to participate in Local Comic Shop Day by putting the LCSD logo on items coming out on November 23. If you’d like to participate, be sure to contact email@example.com.
It’s kind of a Free Comic Book Day thing, something like the Halloween event that has yet to take off.
LONG LIVE THE LOCAL COMIC SHOP!
Let’s be real here—The comics industry wouldn’t be nearly as accessible as it currently is without local comic stores. If we had to go to local pharmacies or general book sellers, we wouldn’t get to enjoy this pastime as much as we can now.
Back in 2020, Filip Sablik from BOOM! Studios sent a message to local comic shops that included the following, “Community is what makes comic book stores special.”
And he’s still so right! When we go to local comic stores, we are often going to be with people who enjoy the same interest in comic books and related pop culture. Conversation often breaks out because we can share the latest news or our opinions about what’s going on in the industry.
I have made a great many friends during trips to my local comic store. If I see another customer looking into a comic I want to know more about, I ask that person what he or she thinks about it. Then if I see that person again when I return to the same store, we have a starting place to talk again.
Sablik also said something else I heartily agree with: “No other comic store can replace the experience of your comic store.” Each store has its own unique personality, and that includes the people who work there as well as the fans who shop there.
Granted, you could just be someone who got dragged along by a person who wanted to go there and needed a ride. But most people in a comic shop know at least some of the creators in the industry. They have their favorites, be it anyone from Jack Kirby or Stan Lee to James Tynion IV or Kieron Gillen. And they often look forward to sharing that passion with others who understand.
THE ‘THIRD PLACE’
Another point Sablik made that I believe in is that comic shops are the “third place” for many fans.
We each have a home we live in. Then we often have a work environment we go to regularly. Those are the first and second places we inhabit.
A “third place” is where we go to share our loves and passions. Those locations can be coffee shops, pubs, restaurants, malls, clubs, and other organizations, libraries, churches, or community centers.
We need to escape the responsibility of daily life even for just a little while, to “be ourselves” at our most passionate. We want to talk about our favorite stories or characters, explore areas we have never been, find others who understand what motivates us.
For many of us, that “third place” is our local comic shop.
I make the weekly trek to the store I support because I want to stay current with the latest “stash,” as some people call it. What’s new? What do I need to read? What stories are now available that I can experience? What are my heroes doing? Also, what threats are they encountering that they need to overcome?
I’m sorry I haven’t heard of Local Comic Shop Day before this. However, I will be supporting it and encourage others to go to their local shop and support both them and the comics industry.
What do you think? Do you have a “third place” you go to? Do you have a local comics shop that you frequent to be part of a community? Have you made friends at local shops? Whatever your opinion, be sure to share your thoughts in the space below!