Comic Shop Struggles

Running a comic shop is tough business. I’ve been rooting for new retailer RIOT Comics + Culture as I’ve read Jason’s blog about starting the business. Now, he’s got some discouraging news: he’s going to have to sell the store and/or take a full-time job elsewhere (link no longer available).

I applaud his honesty, because this is one of the aspects of the business that a lot of starry-eyed new storeowners aren’t aware of. It’s not a real business until it pays a good salary, and it’s hard to get to that point. It’s common wisdom that the industry needs more and better stores run by sensible businesspeople — but having seriously considered the option myself, a sensible businessperson will find that there are many better fields to go into, ones that (for example) don’t rely on monopoly distribution companies that refuse to ship product before the day it’s supposed to go on sale.

I hope Jason is able to find a solution that allows him to balance practical needs and career dreams. I’m wishing him the best.

5 Responses to “Comic Shop Struggles”

  1. Lisa Lopacinski Says:

    It isn’t easy running a comic book store. We’ve been open almost 2.5 years and I get a very very very small salary. But we’re growing every year and hoping for a prosperous future. Truth is most store owners don’t make money until they either have one HUGE store or several locations. Unfortunate but true. I’m doing a series of articles on being a comic book retailer, if anyone, including you, Joanna, want to know more about what’s all involved in running a good comic book store business:

  2. Johanna Says:

    Great resource, thanks, Lisa!

  3. Alex Cox Says:

    Open a shop, Johanna!

    One of us…. one of us… one of us

  4. Johanna Says:

    Alex, the problem is that Richmond has an abundance of shops serving a variety of audiences. Although it\’s not very culturally aware in other areas, in this field, it seems well- (if not over-) served.

    And even if we moved, I think you have to know an area before you can start a retail business there.

    But thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Comics Worth Reading » Riot Comics Closing Says:

    […] isn’t terribly surprising, given how Jason Richards, the proprietor, was talking about his struggles last […]




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